Public schools in the Richmond region feature a broad range of special programs addressing the needs of remedial students and advanced scholars alike while satisfying the requirements of the Standards of Learning (SOL) and No Child Left Behind. Included here are the numbers and the details you're looking for when investigating a school system.
Charles City County
Student Population: 902
Number of Schools: 3
Elementary: 1 Middle (Grades 6-8) : 1
High (Grades 9-12): 1
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:14
Accredited Schools: 3 out of 3
Dropout Rate: 0.5 percent (2007-2008)
Gifted Programs: A local gifted program is available, as well as participation in Richmond and Petersburg governor's schools.
Special Programs: Students in K-8 participate in the after-school CHAMPS program, which provides tutoring for students who are in need of academic assistance, as well as activities for social-skills enhancement and leadership development. Elementary students participate in Mind in Motion, as well as chess, etiquette, golfing and horseback-riding clubs. Special-needs students participate in the Special Olympics. Middle-school students participate in book, chess, fantasy-football, golfing and photography clubs. In addition to traditional subject-related clubs, high-school students have the opportunity to participate in the following activities: Academic Challenge (a high-school academic competition), Forensics and the Youth Health Services Club. The following opportunities also are available for high-school students: Internet-based virtual-learning courses; Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); and the Richmond Technical Center.
Languages Taught: Spanish and French; other Internet-based foreign-language courses also are available.
International Baccalaureate: No
New Programs: Activboard technology, a computer-based learning tool used for whole-class, interactive instruction
General Information: 652-4612
Superintendent: Janet C. Crawley, 652-4612
Gifted Education: Patricia S. Alexander, 652-4612
Special Education: Tina J. Smith, 652-4612
Transportation: Melvin Robertson, 652-4612
Web Site: ccps.net
Student Population: 58,571
Number of Schools: 64
Elementary: 38 Middle (Grades 6-8): 14
High (Grades 9-12): 11 Technical Center: 1
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:24
Accredited Schools: 63 out of 63 (Accreditation is based on SOL scores, so the technical center is not counted in the listing.)
Dropout Rate: 1.5 percent (2006-2007)
Gifted Programs: In grades K-5, students receive modified in-class instruction in English and math. In grades 3-5, students who demonstrate exceptional ability and performance may attend a center-based gifted program. Gifted students in grades 6-8 are identified in the areas of English, math, science and social studies, and they receive modified instruction in their home school. Students demonstrating advanced ability and performance in multiple academic areas may attend a center-based gifted program. High-school instruction includes Advanced Placement, dual-enrollment and honors classes in English, math, science and social studies.
Special Programs: High-school options include 11 specialty centers and two governor's schools: the Health Science Specialty Center at Cosby; Humanities Specialty Center at Monacan; International Baccalaureate programs at Meadowbrook and Midlothian; Leadership and International Relations Specialty Center at James River; Mass Communications Specialty Center at Manchester; Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill; Pre-Engineering Specialty Center at Bird; Spanish Immersion Specialty Center at Manchester; Teaching and Learning Through Technology Specialty Center at Matoaca; Visual and Performing Arts Specialty Center at Thomas Dale; and Appomattox Regional and Maggie L. Walker governor's schools. The Chesterfield Technical Center offers a range of career and technical courses tailored to current workplace needs. The Coordinated Studies Department offers online courses.
Languages Taught: French, Spanish, German, Latin, Japanese and Chinese
International Baccalaureate: Offered through specialty centers at Meadowbrook and Midlothian high schools.
Awards: These include three National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence (James River High, Clover Hill Elementary and Robious Elementary); the What Parents Want Award from SchoolMatch; three Milken National Educator Awards in four years (Laura Lay of James River High in 2005, Joshua Cole of Chalkley Elementary in 2006 and Laura Marshall of Grange Hall Elementary in 2008); two Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (Sharon Hoffert of James River High in 2007, and in 2008 Carrie Persing of the MathScience Innovation Center and previously of Harrowgate Elementary); and three National School Change Awards (Bensley Elementary in 2002, Chalkley Elementary in 2007 and Harrowgate Elementary in 2008). In addition, 77 of the system's educators have achieved National Board certification.
New Programs: Audits conducted by Chesterfield County's auditor and Standard & Poor's have shown that Chesterfield is one of the most efficient and effective school divisions in Virginia, and Chesterfield is the largest school system in the state to have every school fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. Initiatives that help prepare each student for success include a school readiness program for 4-year-olds at several schools; world language instruction in elementary schools; algebra for every student during his or her middle-school years; a balanced literacy approach to language arts; encouragement for more high-school students to enroll in Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment classes or to pursue courses leading to an industry certification; and safety nets for struggling students.
General Information: 748-1405
Superintendent: Marcus J. Newsome, 748-1405
Gifted Education: Cathy Glenn, 594-1770
Exceptional Education: Michael Asip, 594-1732
Transportation: Dennis Lewis, 748-1656
Web Site: chesterfield.k12.va.us
Student Population: 2,500
Number of Schools: 5
Elementary: 3 Middle (Grades 6–8): 1 High (Grades 9-12): 1
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:18
Accredited Schools: 5 out of 5
Dropout Rate: 0.2 percent (2006-2007)
Gifted Programs: These include center-based, elementary- and middle-school programs wherein gifted students receive separate instruction. Technology instruction encourages collaboration throughout the Goochland curriculum. The Young Explorers program serves academically talented students in grades K-2. Goochland provides a range of high-school honors, Advanced Placement offerings and dual-enrollment opportunities at the Western Campus of nearby J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Through the College Connection Academy, seniors may finish their freshman year of college during their last year of high school. Goochland also sends students to two regional governor's schools (Maggie L. Walker and Blue Ridge) and participates in Destination Imagination, Knowledge Masters and robotics competitions.
Special Programs: At the high-school level, these include broadcast journalism, digital graphics, Web publishing, athletic training and dance, as well as firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) services. Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes are offered through J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Through a CTE program at Goochland High, internships and independent-study opportunities via online classes and apprenticeships are offered. All teachers are bloggers (glnd.k12.va.us/weblog).
Languages Taught: French, Latin and Spanish
International Baccalaureate: No
Awards: Goochland and Byrd elementary schools are both Distinguished Title I Schools as determined by the Virginia Department of Education. Goochland was one of 17 districts in Virginia to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) at the division level as well as at each of its schools. According to a June 2008 study by the Virginia Education Association, Goochland had both the highest graduation percentage (104.71) and the second-lowest dropout percentage (0.2) of school systems in the state.
New Programs: The new Goochland Middle School opened in the fall of 2007. Active-classroom technology strategies enhance student learning in all 60 classrooms of GMS. All 11th-graders have access to a Web-based SAT-preparation program. More than 70 percent of seniors have taken a dual-enrollment class from nearby J. Sargeant Reynolds. The new automated phone-dialing notification system, School Messenger, sends out information during emergency and other situations.
General Information: 556-5316
Superintendent: Dr. Linda Underwood, 556-5601
Assistant Superintendent: Peter Gretz, 556-5605
Gifted Education: Connie Foreman, 556-5613
Special Education: Debbie Beasley, 556-5625
CTE & Technology: Tom DeWeerd, 556-5627
Transportation: Betty Thurston, 556-5367
Web Site: glnd.k12.va.us
Student Population: 19,584
Number of Schools: 25
Elementary: 15 Middle (Grades 6–8): 4
High (Grades 9-12): 4 Alternative School: 1 (The Georgetown School)
Other: 1 (The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology)
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:20.1 (elementary); 1:17.4 (secondary)
Accredited Schools: 22 out of 22
Dropout Rate: Less than 1 percent (2007-2008)
Gifted Programs: Students are identified in general intellectual aptitude (grades K-12); specific academic aptitude (grades 4-12); and visual/performing arts aptitude (grades 6-12). Accelerative and enrichment options are available, including grade-level or content acceleration if appropriate. Individualized education plans are completed for identified students in art and music who are enrolled in elective classes. Resource teachers for the gifted work with classroom teachers to tailor the curriculum to students' needs. In grades 9-12, each student's educational program is planned on the basis of individual abilities and interest. Advanced and challenging learning opportunities include the following: College Preview Program at Randolph-Macon College; Visiting Students Program or Advanced Scholars Program at Virginia Commonwealth University; Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies; mentorships related to possible careers; seminars based on students' interests; Emerging Leaders Program; dual enrollment; and International Baccalaureate.
Special Programs: Available at all grade levels. Examples include fine- and performing-arts programs; advanced and Advanced Placement (AP) courses; International Baccalaureate (all four high schools); dual-enrollment courses through Virginia Commonwealth University, Randolph-Macon College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College; and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Career and technical-education programs are available in information technology and communication; agriculture; environmental studies and natural resources; electronics, engineering and scientific technology; and health, human and public services.
Languages Taught: Latin, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Japanese
International Baccalaureate: Yes
Awards: Hanover has received state, governor's, national and presidential awards. Among the awards: 10 National Blue Ribbon School awards since 1996; four No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools; two Virginia Distinguished Title I Schools; the first Virginia school to win the U. S. Senate Productivity and Quality Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE); and district accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and Continuous Improvement (SACS CASI).
New Programs: The 15th elementary school, Laurel Meadow Elementary, and the Hanover Center for Trades and Technology opened in September 2008.
General Information: 365-4500
Superintendent: Stewart D. Roberson, 365-4502
Gifted Education: Becky Alexander, 365-4546
Special Education: Diane Brown, 365-4535
Transportation: Michael Ashby, 365-6520
Web Site: hcps.us
Student Population: 48,285
Number of Schools: 69
Elementary: 45 Middle (Grades 6-8): 13
High (Grades 9-12): 9 Technical Centers: 2
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 3:20
(elementary); 7:21 (middle); 1:21 (high)
Accredited Schools: 66 out of 66
Dropout Rate: 2.01 percent (2007-2008)
Gifted Programs: In the K-3 category, pullout groups, problem-based learning and acquaintance with technology are offered. In grades 4-5 there are single-subject programs, and at Three Chopt and Ward elementary schools there are zone-based, full-day programs, as well as accelerated math for selected fifth-grade students. Gifted students in grades 6-8 have access to advanced sections in core subjects and after-school activities. High-school credit courses are offered to middle-school gifted students. In high school, students may take advanced courses and earn college credits and/or placement into higher-level courses. Specialty-center programs encompass student interests from the arts to information technology.
Special Programs: Henrico provides laptop computers for all middle- and high-school students. Laburnum and Ratcliffe elementary schools offer voluntary uniforms. The Henrico County Public Schools Student Congress is made up of high-school students from all over the county.
Languages Taught: French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish
International Baccalaureate: These programs are in place at Moody Middle and Henrico High.
Awards: Godwin and Deep Run high schools were named as "Best High Schools in America" by U.S. News & World Report for 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. In 2007, Shady Grove Elementary was awarded as a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School. The National School Boards Association selected Henrico as one of the nation's top three school divisions for technology implementation. For the ninth consecutive year, Henrico was recognized by the NAMM Foundation as one of the "Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America."
New Programs: Springer Schoolhouse is a preschool facility staffed with students studying early childhood education at Highland Springs Technical Center. The students act as lead teacher, assistant teacher, cook, custodian, music leader and language-arts leader. The school system's Web site now features Flash video clips from activities in classrooms throughout the district.
General Information: 652-3600
Superintendent: Fred S. Morton IV, 652-3717
Gifted Education: Judy Williams, 652-3790
Exceptional Education: Barbara Driver, 652-3866
Transportation: Pat Martin, 226-5563
Web Site: henrico.k12.va.us
New Kent County
Student Population: 2,750
Num. of Schools: 4
Elementary (Grades K-5): 2 Middle (Grades 6-8): 1 High (Grades 9-12): 1
Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:23 in all schools
Accredited Schools: 4 out of 4
Dropout Rate: 1.83 percent (2007-2008)
Gifted Programs: New Kent County organizes its curriculum in the areas of general intellectual ability and specific academic ability. Once identified, the gifted students may participate in the Academic and Creative Excellence (ACE) program.
Special Programs: Career and technical education is provided at New Kent High, and work-training courses for juniors and seniors are offered through the Richmond Technical Center. New Kent offers after-school programs incorporating the visual and performing arts at the middle- and high-school levels. The system also maintains a Title 1 Big Buddy tutoring program.
Languages Taught: Spanish and French
International Baccalaureate: No
Awards: The school division won the State Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award in spring 2008. The county's new high school won the Virginia School Boards Association's People's Choice Award in November 2008.
New Programs: New Kent is in a working partnership between Virginia and Kent, England. In the fall of 2008, New Kent hosted its first weeklong teacher exchange with educators in Kent, England, who came to the school district to see what the American educational system is like. New Kent hopes to send its teachers to Kent in the future. The partnership is planning a fine-arts production for the fall of 2009; New Kent students will travel to England to perform, and their British counterparts will come here.
General Information: 966-9650
Superintendent: J. Roy Geiger II, 966-9650
Gifted Education: Nate Collins, 966-9636
Special Education: Robert Richardson, 966-9650
Transportation: Stephen King, 966-9670
Web Site: nkcps.k12.va.us
Student Population: 4,476
Num. of Schools: 6
Elementary (Pre-K to grade 4): 3 Middle (Grades 5-6): 1 Junior High (Grades 7-8): 1
High (Grades 9-12): 1
Average Teacher-to-Student Ratio: Powhatan Elementary, 1:20; Pocahontas Elementary, 1:22; Pocahontas Middle, 1:24; Powhatan Junior High, 1:22; Powhatan High, 1:22
Accredited Schools: 5 out of 5
Dropout Rate: 1.49 percent (2006-2007)
Gifted Programs: Gifted services throughout grades K-12 emphasize the development of students' critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Activities include Future Problem Solving, Community Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, Model United Nations, mathematics-league competitions, College of William & Mary curriculum units, and vocabulary contests.
Languages Taught: English, Spanish, French and German
International Baccalaureate: No
New Programs: Several existing programs have been expanded in recent years, including K-12 Planet, a Web site that allows parents to access their students' records online; piano keyboarding for musically minded students; and Senior School for older adults who want to keep learning. Through a partnership with J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, participating students at Powhatan High take eight dual-enrollment college courses, four courses each semester. Powhatan also offers online courses for grades 7-12 and homebound students, and alternative education for expelled students and high-school seniors who may have fallen behind.
Awards: Powhatan High has been the recipient of a High Schools That Work Grant from the Southern Regional Education Board since 1993 and won a Bronze Award of Education Achievement from the SREB in 2006. Powhatan has been a consistent recipient of Partners in the Arts Grants, a program administered by the Arts Council of Richmond, since 2002. It also received the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience Grant in 2005-2006, and the Old Dominion EMS Regional Award for Outstanding Contributions to EMS for Children in 2007.
General Information: 598-5700
Superintendent: Margaret S. Meara, 598-5700
Gifted Education: Sandra Lynch, 598-5700
Special Education: Gayle Keith, 598-5700
Transportation: Rose Studivant, 598-5709
Web Site: powhatan.k12.va.us
Student Population: 24,000
Number of Schools: 45 (excluding the Richmond Technical Center, Adult Career Development Center and Amelia Street)
Elementary: 28 Middle (Grades 6-8): 9
High (Grades 9-12): 8
Teacher-Student Ratio: 1:24 (grades K-3); 1:25 (grades 4-5); 1:21 (grades 6-8);
1:21 (grades 9-12)
Accredited Schools: 42 out of 48 (87.5 percent)
Dropout Rate: 3.99 percent (2006-2007)
Gifted Programs: These include, at the elementary and middle level, the Special Program for Academic and Creative Excellence; Maggie L. Walker Governor's School; and the Appomattox Governor's School for the Arts and Technology.
Special Programs: There are three specialty high schools in Richmond. Franklin Military Academy offers JROTC and police and fire academies. Richmond Community and Open high schools, which both ranked among America's best high schools by U.S. News and World Report in 2007, offer an advanced, college-prep curriculum. Community and Open students may pursue Advanced Placement (AP) and dual-enrollment courses at VCU and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Three Richmond high schools (Armstrong, Huguenot and John Marshall) participate in the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart program. Other special programs include an elementary-school foreign-language program; vocational, career and technical-education programs at the Richmond Technical Center; G.E.D. and other adult-education programs at the Adult Career and Development Education Center; and after-school guild classes held at the district's Arts and Humanities Center.
Languages Taught: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin and Japanese
International Baccalaureate: Offered at Lucille Brown Middle and Thomas Jefferson High.
Awards: Recognition includes Irene Williams, principal at Fairfield Court Elementary, who was one of Richmond's four area principals to receive the R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership in 2008; Lynwood Spell, a 2008 Richmond Community graduate, who won first place in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Public Speaking II competition; Open High's selection as a 2008 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education; Armstrong High history teacher Bobby Shockley's appointment to the Governor's Advisory Board on National and Community Service; Richmond Technical Center principal N. Maurice Holmes' selection as the 2008 Outstanding Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences; and ACDC teacher Elaine Marolla's selection as the 2008 Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Association of Adult and Continuing Education.
New Programs: The Richmond School Board's New Direction Initiative is piloting Core Knowledge Academies at two elementary schools; Spanish-immersion kindergarten classes at two elementary schools; Johns Hopkins University's Algebra I Study program at four high schools; a character-education program at all schools; expanded AP and dual-enrollment offerings for high-schoolers; and conservation or environmental-science project requirements for every student. The district also has opened a second site for its Performance Learning Center, an alternative-education program for secondary students.
General Information: 780-7710
Interim Superintendent: Yvonne Brandon (acting), 780-7700
Gifted Education: Rodney Fout, 780-7805
Special Education: Harley Tomey, 780-7911
Transportation: Vincent Ashley, 674-1234
Web Site: richmond.k12.va.us
The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies (700 students, 354-6800) is one of several Governor's Schools with full-day programs. The other such school in the region is the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for Arts and Technology (350 students, 722-0200).
Students apply to Governor's Schools through testing and by providing writing samples, transcripts and recommendations. A regional committee reviews all applications, and students are ranked. Individual school divisions select from the highest-ranked students to fill their Governor's School slots.
Maggie Walker offers 11 languages, from Italian and Chinese to Arabic and American Sign Language. The social-studies curriculum focuses on global studies and rotates from region to region. Senior Seminars allow students to research subjects independently.
Appomattox Regional students designate a specific area of study, much like a college major. While fulfilling educational requirements, they concentrate on a program of dance, musical or dramatic theater, visual or literary arts, or technology.
Sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students may apply to the Richmond MathScience Innovation Center summer Regional Governor's School (343-6525, ext. 245). Rising junior and senior high-school students may also apply for Summer Residential Governor's Schools (contact Donna Poland at 225-2884) or Governor's Foreign Language Academies (contact Helen Small at 225-3666). Visit doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/Gov schools for information about Summer Residential Governor's Schools or doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/Language/GAindex.html for information about Governor's Foreign Language Academies.