The REB Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership provide a tangible, public way to recognize an outstanding principal at area schools. The Community Foundation’s yearly awards identify, recognize and support leadership excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive an unrestricted $7,500 cash grant and $7,500 to be used for school initiatives. Eligible are principals from public schools in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond. Nominees should have served in their current positions for at least three years.
The Community Foundation invites nominations from students, parents, colleagues, school personnel and administrators, and the community at large. Principals may not nominate themselves. Nominations must be submitted through the foundation’s online portal by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7. Hard copies or nominations submitted via email or fax will not be accepted.
Starting this year, all nominations must be submitted online. To find out more and to nominate a principal, go here. Nominators must create an account before logging in. As part of their application, nominators should upload a one- to two-page letter describing the nominee’s distinguished educational leadership. Nominators may also upload as many as three one-page letters of support.
Award recipients will be announced in March of 2020.
Following comprehensive review, Douglas Freeman High School to retire ‘Rebels’ nickname
“Following several months of listening, dialogue, and careful reflection with the help of a thoughtful and passionate committee, there is no need to wait,” said John Marshall, Douglas Freeman principal, in a letter emailed to members of the school community. “It is clear that now is the time to retire the ‘Rebels’ mascot, to leave it as a part of our history and not carry it into our future.”
After a comprehensive review that included considerable public input, Henrico County’s Douglas S. Freeman High School will retire its “Rebels” nickname. A committee of community members, students and staff voted to recommend the change after analyzing community input collected in June and July. The school administration will work with the community in coming months to choose a new mascot for the school.
“Following several months of listening, dialogue, and careful reflection with the help of a thoughtful and passionate committee, there is no need to wait,” said John Marshall, Douglas Freeman principal, in a letter emailed to members of the school community. “It is clear that now is the time to retire the ‘Rebels’ mascot, to leave it as a part of our history and not carry it into our future. We will adopt a new symbol that better represents our school as a forward-thinking, inclusive, welcoming place for all students.
“Now that this decision has been made the best thing to do for our school and students is to focus all of our energies into reuniting as a family. We have been a model in so many ways for many years, academically, athletically, and this summer, a model for how to have a civil dialogue within our family. It’s now time to show the world how a family comes together after an impassioned disagreement. I ask this for the benefit of our students and school. I can think of no better example of putting school over self than rallying behind something we disagree with because it is better for others.”
The full text of Marshall’s message about the decision is available at https://www.freemanmascot.info.
Marshall also announced the creation of the “Freeman Forward Fund” in partnership with the Henrico Education Foundation. The fund will build school culture and support long-term efforts to promote inclusivity and innovation. Members of the public can donate to the fund by going to https://bit.ly/33oNrqu.
Once a new mascot is determined, the school will hold a fall “spirit-wear swap” where students can trade in Rebels gear for items with the new nickname.
Marshall announced in June that the school would conduct the school-based review of the name, in cooperation with Henrico County Public Schools’ superintendent and School Board.
The review process drew more than 2,000 comments, including around 1,500 responses through an online form. The input also included emails, social media posts, handwritten notes, voicemails, videos and an online panel discussion on the topic.
While the school has used the Rebels name since it opened in 1954, it has not used a visual mascot for many years, instead opting for an interlocking “DSF” logo.
The school is named for Douglas Southall Freeman, a Richmond historian, author and journalist. While Freeman won Pulitzer Prizes for his biographies of both Robert E. Lee and George Washington, the school’s nickname was likely inspired by his Confederate subjects.
Pop-Up School Supply Drive: Help make a big difference for Henrico County students
While Henrico County Public Schools’ 2020-21 school year will begin using a fully virtual format, students still need school supplies. Here’s how you can help.
While Henrico County Public Schools’ 2020-21 school year will begin using a fully virtual format, students still need school supplies. Besides standard supplies such as highlighters and notebooks, many families also need assistance with supplies that might normally be found in a classroom, such as whiteboards and pencil sharpeners.
You can help by dropping off supplies at a Pop-Up School Supply Drive Thursday from 1:30-3 p.m. at Mad Science of Central Virginia in Glen Allen. To prioritize safety, the drop-off will use a drive-thru format, with social distancing and mask-use in effect. The drive is sponsored by HCPS’ Department of Family and Community Engagement. Some needed items are listed below.
It takes place Thursday, July 30 from 1:30-3 p.m. at Mad Science of Central Virginia, 11551 Nuckols Road. Contact Van-Neisha Johnson at 804-328-8110 or [email protected].
Elementary school items:
- Wide-ruled notebook paper
- No. 2 pencils
- Black and white composition notebooks
- Lined index cards
- Pocket folders
- Washable markers
- Glue sticks
- Child-sized scissors
- Pencil boxes
Middle and high school items:
- College-ruled notebook paper
- No. 2 pencils
- Blue, black and red pens
- Spiral notebooks
- Lined index cards
- Three-ring binders
- Colored pencils
- Four-function calculators
- Dry-erase markers
- Washable markers
Virtual learning family support items:
- Calendar anchor charts
- Flashcards for all grade levels (math, sight words, language arts, shapes, and colors, etc.)
- Classroom organization charts
- Pencil boxes
- Three-ring binders
- Paint and paintbrushes
- Workbooks (for all grade levels)
- Binder rings
- Index cards
- Wooden craft sticks
- Current wall maps and globes
- Hole punches
- Pencil sharpeners
- Red correcting pencils
- Staplers and staples
- File folders
- Treasure chest/prize box incentives
- Post-it Notes
- Ink cartridges
- Printer paper
- Magnetic letters and numbers
Henrico Schools to follow Richmond’s lead and go with all-virtual fall semester
The move follows Richmond Public Schools’ lead on the decision and will require a School Board vote this Thursday.
In a decision that prioritizes the health and safety of employees, students and families, Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy Cashwell announced today that she will recommend a fully virtual start to the 2020-21 school year as Virginia continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Cashwell’s public announcement comes in advance of the Henrico County School Board’s Thursday meeting to hold a formal vote on the recommendation. The virtual approach would be in place for at least the first nine weeks of the school year, which begins Sept. 8.
“As heartbreaking as it would be to not see all our students in person on Sept. 8, it is clear to me that this is the most prudent recommendation at this time, based on evolving health information,” Cashwell said in messages to HCPS employees and student households.
September’s virtual learning experience will be different than the one students encountered in the wake of the school division’s March closure.
“Henrico Edflix offered a lot of great material, and we’re very proud of it,” Cashwell said. “It was an emergency learning tool that provided flexibility for staff and students in bringing the school year to a sudden close in the middle of a crisis.
“For months, we have known that a virtual option would be included for the 2020-21 school year and our staff members have been working long hours to create a redesigned, developmentally appropriate experience that is rich, structured, robust, and graded.”
Cashwell elaborated on her recommendation in a video posted to the school division’s YouTube channel and social media:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni3UBckxu1A&feature=youtu.be.
Visit “HCPS 2020-21: Mission Forward” return-to-school page at https://henricoschools.us/returntoschool/ for the latest information. More information about virtual learning will be made available on an ongoing basis.
Henrico County Public Schools will continue to work with health experts to evaluate pandemic conditions in Virginia and the Richmond region, and regularly assess the feasibility of incorporating in-person attendance for students and staff members.
While HCPS had already decided to make fully virtual attendance one option for the 2020-21 school year, the school division also considered starting the year with pathways that included in-person attendance. A hybrid model would combine some rotating in-person attendance with virtual learning. The school division also looked at the feasibility of allowing students to attend school in person five days a week. Depending on health and safety conditions, in-person options may be incorporated later in the school year. All would include social distancing and rigorous safety protocols as recommended by health experts.
The School Board will vote on Cashwell’s recommendation at a Thursday in-person meeting, scheduled for noon at New Bridge Learning Center in eastern Henrico County.
In-person attendance will conform to Virginia’s current health and safety guidelines. In accordance with the policy for access to all buildings operated by Henrico County, attendees aged 10 and older are required to wear masks. Masks will be provided for those needing them, and the seating policy will reflect social distancing guidelines. Attendees will also undergo a brief health screening before entering, including having their temperature taken using a no-contact thermometer. They will also be asked a shortlist of health-screening questions.
Those not attending can view a livestream of the meeting by going to https://henricoschools.us.