2017

Henrico County received 28 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which is the most of any Virginia locality in 2017.

Virtual Town Halls: Government at Your Fingertips

Board of Supervisors/County Manager’s Office

***Recognized by NACo as one of 2017’s 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work***

Regardless of schedule or internet access, a citizen should be afforded the opportunity to obtain public information. To make a personal connection while informing the public, governments host public meetings or town halls. However, this method is only limited to a certain segment of the population. Furthermore, this method does not incorporate or embrace technology readily available to both the public and government.

Thus, Henrico County combined interpersonal and digital communication efforts into one public meeting. The presentations and question and answer periods were live-streamed at two magisterial district town hall meetings, and online participants submitted questions and feedback through social media or email. This allowed for in-person and virtual attendees to become informed and fully participate in the discussion. Additionally, the video stream was archived allowing citizens to access the town hall meeting anytime. Instead of the usual ten to twelve attendees at a public meeting, 177 people participated in the live feed or watched the archived public meeting.

Local Government 101: Youth Educational Program

County Manager’s Office

To expose and educate the youth in the central Virginia region about the impact of local government, the County Manager’s Office hosts a brief seminar to explain the structure and functions of Henrico County. The seminar includes an interactive presentation, hands-on experience in civil responsibilities, and a public meeting. The children and teenagers engage in outlining the County Manager Form of Government during a brief presentation and participate in activities demonstrating the wide array of services provided by Henrico County. At the conclusion of the seminar, they are encouraged to stay for a regularly occurring public meeting convening immediately afterwards.

The first Local Government 101 program was held in the spring of 2016. A total of six sessions have been held with an aggregate attendance total of 122. Youth attend to satisfy requirements for a scouting badge, obtain extra credit for class, or for general interest. The age spectrum ranges from five years old to 18 years old. Additionally, the program is not limited to Henrico residents. Thus, we have hosted participants from almost every surrounding locality. This program has led to a closer relationship with the Heart of Virginia Council Boy Scouts, the adult chaperones, and it has created another opportunity for government and elected officials to proactively interact with the public, as well.

Streamlined Business Tax Non-Filer Resolution Process

Department of Finance – Business Section

Henrico County’s Business Section within the Finance Department balances customer service, compliance, and revenue generation by administering business license and other local taxes. These taxes represent approximately $90 million of annual, local revenue. Each year, approximately 5,000 entities, of which 1,100 are small, home-based businesses, do not file business license renewal forms, and staff must quickly bring these non-filers into compliance. While legally obligated to file, these businesses owe no taxes yet require much staff assistance to gain compliance. Past efforts to contact this group resulted in an average live response rate of 15%.

With limited resources, the Business Section created a program to streamline the business tax non-filer resolution process. The new program utilized existing resources and included an automated outbound messaging system to reach small, home-based businesses. The process was added to an existing contract for printing and mailing tax returns and reminders for non-filers. Messages were personalized for each business and were scheduled at specific times to allow for maximum response. The messages were also staggered over a three-day period to improve customer service. A call status report was used to ensure completion of the process.

The program results were an increased live response rate of nearly 300%. This increase enabled staff to dedicate more time to resolving non-filers owing taxes. As a result, revenues from non-filer activities increased by over $100,000 from the previous process. The new program saved staff over 200 hours and reduced operating costs by over $4,000. Printing and mailing costs were also reduced by over $1,000, which covered the new project cost of $760. Due to the number of positive results, the methods behind the Business Tax Non-Filer Resolution Process have been utilized with other non-filer notification projects within the division.

Fire Apparatus Diesel Particulate Filter Reprocessing

Division of Fire

In 2016, the Henrico County Fire Apparatus Shop began to explore how to reduce downtime and save repair expenses on annual vehicle servicing. One avenue explored was to decrease the amount of time units spent at commercial vendors for repairs and services. The Fire Shop decided to experiment with an aftermarket cleaner of the diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems on our ambulance fleet. After a test of this system, it was decided to purchase this machine and perform this service in house on all of our ambulances. Since that time, only one vehicle has been sent to a local dealer for DPF service; previously, approximately ten trips a year were made to the local dealer.

Fire Command Officer Exchange Program

Division of Fire

Benchmarking and learning from others are important activities for organizations engaged in continuous improvement. Working collaboratively with the Fairfax County Department of Fire & Rescue, the Henrico County Division of Fire has developed a Command Officer Exchange Program to allow chief officers from both departments to experience an internship in the partner organization. In addition to providing networking opportunities with the partner agency, participants have an opportunity to learn how others approach common problems and exchange ideas for improvement back home.

Residential Fire Risk Identification

Division of Fire

Often, localities can fail to utilize the many information-gathering opportunities provided by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) resources. The Henrico County Division of Fire sought to utilize various GIS resources to enhance the Division’s efforts toward Community Risk Reduction. As a team, we successfully identified residences within our community at risk for fire by pairing and visualizing census, real estate, utility, and fire incident data. We now have an effective tool, the Residential Fire Risk Identification Program, to provide education and free smoke detectors to those in immediate need.

Employee Academy: Engaging Employees at All Levels of the Organization

Department of Human Resources

When Henrico’s county manager was appointed in early 2013, he shared his vision of an engaged workforce comprised of employees taking initiative to resolve customer concerns at all levels of the organization. To meet this goal, employees would need to understand the county’s operations and priorities and to expand their appreciation for how various departments work together. They would also need to broaden their networks to reach subject matter experts from other departments to assist residents with inquiries spanning various functional areas.

Henrico County’s Employee Academy fills these needs by connecting employees with one another and giving them rare insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of diverse county departments. Each Academy session includes tours of three different sites, and, in keeping with the County Manager’s vision of “Leadership at all Levels” of the organization, tours are conducted not by top agency heads but by employees occupying diverse roles within each department. Cohort groups of ten employees tour various sites successively, which provides them time not only to learn about the divisions they visit but also to get to know one another and enlarge their professional networks.

Fifteen different sites have been included in five Academy sessions thus far, with additional sites planned for the future. Employee response has been overwhelmingly positive. To date, 234 people have registered for the Academy, and evaluations have indicated a 98% approval rating. With the program in its third year, its positive reputation is spreading, and demand is high.

The impact on participants has been profound. In post-session surveys, employees have revealed that they now understand how other departments work and, more importantly, how their own department fits into the county as a whole. They have also created robust professional networks and have increased their own engagement – and excitement – as Henrico County employees.

Unified Workforce Environmental Awareness Training

Department of Human Resources

With the heightened focus and support from the public toward environmental stewardship and enhanced regulatory compliance, the Henrico County Department of Human Resources’ Division of Risk Management and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) division leaders collaborated with multiple agencies during the past two years to develop a comprehensive and unique approach to Environmental Awareness training. This approach unifies and streamlines the efforts of all county agencies, to ensure employees are exposed to a uniform, step-by-step model of environmental stewardship that could positively influence behaviors and actions, both on and off the job. The training outreach disseminates this message effectively throughout a workforce exceeding 10,000 employees in over 35 departments and 100 facilities.

First, twelve Environmental Standard Operating Procedure (ESOP) documents were developed by the county for application to all county agencies. These procedural documents tailor the approach by county agencies to satisfy environmental regulatory requirements, and promote adoption of best management practices. Second, four training videos were designed, produced and directed. Recognizing that in order to reach the broader, diverse functions of all employees within the county and to maximize interest and retention of information, the training videos were designed to feature actual county employees at various county agencies and facilities performing common work tasks in the most environmentally responsible manner. Customizing the training video series increased the likelihood of employees retaining the information and modeling the behavior, with an added benefit of introducing employees to the abundance of environmental safety resources and facilities available throughout the county. Finally, a web-based program was launched to both county and school division employees. The program uses an entirely paperless process to host the videos, track training participation, measure and record competency, and alert employees when refresher training is due.

Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Henrico County Public Library

***Recognized by NACo as one of 2017’s 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work***

Neighborhood Collections are a new way of organizing materials that is more responsive to the way that children and teens look for books. The program began in Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL) in 2012, when Erin Lovelace, a Children’s Librarian in the county, noticed a need for children’s books to be organized by subject to improve ease of access. The first Neighborhoods were created for children, and the subjects were Dinosaurs, Transportation, and Farms. Each of these Neighborhoods included both fiction and non-fiction titles for preschool to early elementary children. The program was then expanded to encompass teen literature, and teen books were grouped into Neighborhoods based on emotion and mood. After assessing the program, both the Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections added to the customer experience and improved circulation of materials.

Community Authors Showcase: Library Promotes Local Authors With “Self-Serve” Events

Henrico County Public Library

The Henrico Community Author Showcase is a public library program which allows local authors to present and promote their books and discuss and connect with other writers and readers in the community at a Henrico County Public Library (HCPL). A unique feature of this program is that it operates as “self-serve.” The program allows local authors to sign-up and share their books during a 90-minute evening time slot at an area library. Authors can read, discuss their writing process, sell, sign, and promote their book. The program enables authors to donate a copy of their book to the library’s collection for checkout and to make an optional donation to the Friends of the Henrico County Public Library.

The program is mutually beneficial to authors and libraries. Local authors are happily accommodated and achieve their goals for promoting their books at libraries. Library staff can welcome local authors instead of denying their requests as was done in the past. As a partner, the Friends of the Library receive monetary donations through a new revenue stream. Meeting room and library use increase. Free books are added to the library’s collection. Attendees and authors become more engaged at the library and build a community of writers and readers. The Henrico Community Author Showcase meets all three key points of the library’s mission via this program: promoting reading, connecting people with the information they need, and enriching community life.

Heritage Wall: A Personal Interaction with Local History

Henrico County Public Library

The Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) opened its new Libbie Mill Area Library in October 2015. The Library wanted to tie in the rich history of the county with its new, modern building. Henrico County is over 400 years old and is rich with history that is unknown to most residents. The new library space provided an opportunity to bring light to this history.

The Heritage Wall Interactive project was accomplished by a team consisting of members from HCPL, the Department of General Services, and architectural firms BCWH and Tappe, as well as the Department of Recreation and Parks, working to create the infrastructure and gather historical research. The team worked with Second Story, a firm specializing in experiential video installations, to create an immersive and engaging visual learning experience for patrons that they would not have anywhere else. The Heritage Wall is a museum-quality, visually stunning, and highly informative representation of Henrico County’s rich historical record, situated in an accessible location in a neighborhood library.

Nature Study: Connecting Families to the Outdoors Through the Public Library

Henrico County Public Library

Public libraries continue to stay relevant in a fast-paced, highly technological world by offering new and innovative programming. The Nature Study Series at Henrico County Public Library provides environmental education programs that begin in the library, and then explore surrounding outdoor natural areas. The Nature Study Series of programs began at the Libbie Mill Area Library in June 2016, as a partnership between Henrico County Public Libraries and Gumenick Properties, the developer of the placemaking complex that surrounds Libbie Mill Library.

Each Nature Study Program blends literature, nature, science, storytelling, exercise, and outdoor adventure in a manner designed to inspire curiosity in Henrico County families and to show off the practical use of the library’s collection.  The four themes covered during the summer and fall of 2016 included Incredible Insects, Animal Signs, Stream Ecology, and Intro to Birdwatching.  These library programs are unique in their content and format and use the resources found inside and outside of the library, including Jordan’s Branch Creek on property adjoining the library owned by the developer. From the original Nature Study Programs at Libbie Mill Library, the program expanded to include three additional libraries.

The Nature Study Programs are attended by entire families while reaching the intended audience of four- to twelve-year-olds. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, and younger siblings become involved while taking part in these hands-on, immersive science programs. Families feel empowered after attending these programs to take children on walks in the natural areas adjoining their local library. They gain the ability to identify species and use field guides to research natural discoveries. The Nature Study Series will be offered annually and will continue to expand its reach and scope of natural topics through development of additional programs and offering them at more library locations.

Crisis Intervention Team Mentoring Program

Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

Henrico County’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) developed a formalized CIT mentoring program in 2012, predicated on a long history of collaborating with CIT programs throughout the Commonwealth. Henrico County’s CIT staff has been committed to offering support to other programs since the inception of Henrico’s CIT program. Henrico’s CIT Mentoring Program was formalized in 2012, and received state recognition and funding in 2014. This codified program has allowed Henrico CIT staff to assist over 35 departments and agencies including Community Service Boards (CSBs), law enforcement agencies, fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) departments, many federal agencies and several state agencies including the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

Henrico’s commitment to mentoring other programs began as an informal process springing from a countywide value to be helpful to others when we have the tools and resources to do so. This process was formalized in early 2012, with efforts to work closely with a neighboring county to aid in the development of a CIT program that was tailored to meet the needs of their community and based upon the strong foundation of Henrico’s CIT program.   This led to assisting with the coordination and implementation of our neighboring county’s first CIT Train the Trainer (TTT) in May 2012, and first CIT Basic training class in June 2012.

Henrico County’s CIT Mentoring Program has since provided assistance to close to 50% of the Commonwealth’s CIT programs and staff from over 50 counties and cities.

Client Art Project—An Initiative of the Health and Wellness Committee

Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

“An intelligently-curated art collection can reflect a company’s history and demonstrate its character, style, and spirit to employees, clients, partners, and prospects.”

-Jamie Livingstone

The Client Art Project is the product of a strategic agency initiative focusing on health and wellness. The Health and Wellness Strategic Initiative began in late 2014. A committee was formed with cross-agency representation including peer specialists. The goal of the initiative was to create a culture within our agency that supported wellness and recovery for our clients and staff.

Particular emphasis was placed on creating an environment that was warm and inviting for our clients, especially those with a history of trauma. Research has shown that between 34% and 53% of people with a severe mental illness report childhood physical/sexual abuse, and numbers for individuals with substance use disorders are similar. Trauma Informed Care emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for clients and staff. The committee identified creating a trauma-informed physical environment as a priority. Displaying client art was a way to reshape our physical environment to be more welcoming, and it provided an opportunity for clients to be an integral part of creating our agency’s physical environment. The art was not only decorative but provided an opportunity for clients to tell their stories through visual images.

Displaying our clients’ art work conveys our respect and our recognition for their contributions. Their creations are important and valued. We planned on incorporating 40 pieces in our three largest sites, and 20 pieces in a smaller office. Many felt that this was an ambitious goal; however, we now have 140 pieces of client and staff art displayed in four locations, and we are expanding the program due to the positive response.

Pre-Sentencing Jail Diversion Program

Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

In September 2014, Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services (HAMHDS) sought and was awarded a grant from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to develop a Jail Diversion Program. The target population for the Jail Diversion Program is incarcerated individuals who have been identified as having a mental illness. The primary goal of the Jail Diversion Program is to identify these inmates after they have been booked but before sentencing so that staff can work with the inmate to develop a release plan. The release plan is presented to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Judge for approval. As a result of this intervention and planning early in the inmate’s incarceration, these individuals with mental illness will have:

  • the opportunity to return to the community with wrap-around treatment services to ensure their success;
  • experience reduced jail times (resulting in significant cost savings); and,
  • have reduced recidivism rates.

Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive Transportation Report Process Improvements

Department of Planning

The Henrico County Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive (3-C) Transportation Report Process Improvements Program is an analysis and upgrade of the methods used to produce an annual report conducted by the Department of Planning. This report forms the basis for federal highway and transit assistance in urban areas. In the spring of 2015, after completion of the 2014 report, Planning staff thoroughly examined both the methodology and base data within the program and identified process inefficiencies and opportunities for greater data accuracy. By bringing together the expertise of staff and new tools (for this assessment and redevelopment of the report), a new, practical process was implemented in the fall of 2015, and new base data was utilized. The new process realized a savings in time and money while providing greater accuracy of data.

A Focus on Customer and Employee Safety – Critical Incident Response Program

Division of Police

The Critical Incident Response Program is a three-tiered practical and training approach: to create a safer work environment for our employees, to train our employees on response to critical incidents, and to promote and provide an external training program for our residents and visitors.

The program began as an opportunity to conduct a serious examination of our security infrastructure following the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California in December 2015. A collaborative team was established consisting of the Divisions of Police and Fire and the Department of General Services, which is tasked with site administration and management of the organization’s physical buildings. The team conducted site surveys at those department buildings that were determined to be most at-risk and presented those findings to the affected department heads, Police and Fire Chiefs, and the County Manager’s staff.

Based on these surveys and further discussions, the team developed an internal training program for over 4,000 county employees. This program was first presented to department heads and key officials and later delivered electronically to all county employees. The training program focused on response to active shooter incidents, suspicious packages, vehicles, and persons, and the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.

The county also produced a training video for our residents and visitors covering the same material. The video has been aired on the local cable-access channel and has been presented in a training format to over 25 businesses and community groups thus far.

Lastly, the public-safety team has worked collaboratively with Henrico County Public Schools’ (HCPS) administration to improve the collective response to critical incidents at schools. This partnership has resulted in the development of improved procedures for Fire, Police, and HCPS to include a full implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS) for all responding agencies.

Creating a Culture of Leadership: Public Works Leadership Discussion Group

Department of Public Works

The world of work is changing. Gone are the days of top-down leadership, with strict hierarchical structures and one-way information flow. Gone too is the image of ponderous, “red-taped” interactions between citizens and local government. Instead, top counties need to proactively anticipate customer needs and communicate fluidly with one another to quickly respond to constituents.

To create this level of agility, it is imperative that leaders talk to one another regularly and develop relationships of trust and rapport. The Department of Public Works (DPW), in collaboration with the Department of Human Resources (HR), created the DPW Leadership Discussion Group to facilitate ongoing knowledge sharing and development for DPW supervisors. This group, which includes the director and assistant director of DPW, has met consistently since 2014 and focused on a wide range of leadership topics. Just as important as the topics has been the opportunity for informal, safe, and open discussion, regardless of participants’ title or rank. Members actively ask questions and draw upon one another’s insights, creating professional networks from which to draw support back on the job.

The results have been clear and powerful. Leaders ranging from Road Maintenance foremen to division directors prioritize these meetings, carving time from their busy schedules to discuss leadership concepts and application. Public Works Leadership Development Program (LDP) participation has increased from two to 22 participants, an increase of 1,000%, and 15 have achieved levels in the five-level LDP since 2014. HR leaders helped kick off this initiative, and have actively supported it through facilitating some of the conversations and by working individually with participants in LDP. The most powerful results have been the networking, collaboration, and support participants have fostered together, encouraging DPW supervisors to take a big picture view of their responsibility to DPW, and the county, as a whole.

The Zika Working Group and Pick-a-Day to Fight-the-Bite Initiative

Department of Public Works

The 2014-2015 emergence of Zika virus in South America was recognized by the Henrico County Standing Water Initiative (SWI) and the Henrico County Health Department (HCHD) as a potential health threat to Henrico residents. In February 2016, a partnership was formed between the SWI, HCHD, and the Henrico County Division of Fire (DOF) to share information and updates and to increase situational awareness about Zika. As Zika transmission spread through Central America, so did Henrico’s Zika preparations. Bi-weekly meetings between the SWI, HCHD, and DOF expanded to incorporate a total of nine Henrico County departments. Eventually, representatives from the City of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield and Hanover were incorporated. The newly formed Zika Working Group (Working Group) developed a Henrico Zika Preparedness and Response Plan to promote active Zika awareness and education among all residents in the Central Virginia area.

The Working Group established a Unified Command structure using Incident Command System templates and guidance from the DOF; created and organized sub-committees based on technical and functional capabilities; developed and disseminated educational materials that focused on a unified message of “Pick-a-Day to Fight-the-Bite”; trained community instructors and volunteers; and organized (and staffed) numerous outreach programs. The implementation of a formal Response Plan, a Unified Command structure, and community outreach effectively increased awareness about and may have mitigated the potential for local Zika virus transmission.

Coding for Success: Web Development and Programming Collaboration

Henrico County Public Schools

Web Development and Programming at the Advanced Career Education (ACE) Center at Hermitage High School in Henrico County is a two-year program that focuses on the infusion of critical thinking, problem solving, logic, and collaboration within computer science. The curriculum requires an intensive hands-on approach to learning through guided and practical problems to build and hone inquiry skills. As computer science is the fabric of technological advancements today, it is imperative to teach students not only technical skills but also collaboration skills. Students are given a wide range of opportunities to work with other students from various backgrounds and to work remotely and with others using different curricula. Student collaboration ensures a classroom-learning environment equitable to the unique talents and strengths of each student.

Website development for CodeRVA, a new computer-science themed high school, offered a project-based learning opportunity in 2016, for students enrolled in Hermitage’s Web Development and Programming. Students built a website as a communication tool to advertise and inform people about the innovative school. CodeRVA was established to meet the growing demand from Virginia businesses for people skilled and knowledgeable in computer science.

Subsequently, this project required students to work collaboratively in teams using the Scrum Agile project management method to build the initial prototypes of the websites. These teams’ websites were then presented to the CodeRVA Admissions and Student Support Committee, which chose between the two prototypes. Based on committee feedback, one website prototype was selected and is being used for the school. Students who developed this site used the Bootstrap framework for design and responsive features and their curriculum knowledge to modify the layout, to organize the code, and to frame the information architecture.

Digital Citizenship Program

Henrico County Public Schools

Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) is committed to the right to achieve and the support to succeed for all students. This commitment includes providing opportunities for our students to develop life skills that will ensure individual success in a connected world. We live in rapidly changing times, with online opportunities and risks for all users, especially young people. A variety of powerful technologies means information is readily communicated, acquired, shared, modified, and posted. HCPS realized the need to help guide and empower students to take advantage of digital opportunities while simultaneously mitigating inherent risks in becoming digital citizens. For this reason, the Digital Citizenship Program was created and implemented by the HCPS Division of Instructional Technology.

Field of Dreams

Henrico County Public Schools

The stated purpose of the Field of Dreams program is “Renovating Richmond’s Recreation” and ultimately involves renovating Richmond’s inner-city youth baseball facilities. The initiative enhances the baseball experience for young people within the City of Richmond, so they can benefit from the many lessons that America’s pastime has to offer. As part of this project, the Advanced Career Education (ACE) Center at Highland Springs High School in Henrico County, Virginia had an opportunity to join forces with the Barton Malow Foundation, the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball team, and the Richmond International Raceway. The students enrolled at the ACE built and installed benches in various dugouts around the area that were in need of many improvements.

Loving: A School’s Behind-The-Scenes Role in a Major Motion Picture

Henrico County Public Schools

Schools must do more than just teach students; they must be able to provide experiences that can enrich students’ lives. The partnership that developed between Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) and the Loving Production Company led to such an enrichment opportunity for the students of the Academy at Virginia Randolph.

The Loving Production Company filmed parts of the movie Loving in Henrico County and the surrounding area. In order to add authenticity to the film, the main character needed to develop and exhibit credible onscreen masonry skills. The production company reached out to HCPS for assistance, since the division’s Department of Career and Technical Education offers masonry programs for students. Using the school’s facilities, HCPS instructor Chris Simmons gave Joel Edgerton, the film’s male star, the skills allowing him to fulfill the role as a credible mason. Students from Virginia Randolph had opportunities to interact with Edgerton, to visit the set, and to serve as extras in the film.

The partnership not only allowed the students the chance to see how major motion pictures are made but also provided them an opportunity to learn about a key event in American legal and civil rights history.

The “One Lunch” Menu: Improved Learning, Collaboration and Community

Henrico County Public Schools

The One Lunch program at Deep Run High School in Henrico County, Virginia allows all students to have access to a 65-minute multipurpose lunch period. During lunch, students may eat, get remediation help, attend club meetings, complete makeup work, and participate in intramural sports. Teachers have an opportunity for inter/intradepartmental common planning.

This model is much different than the traditional lunch period that is common in most comprehensive school settings. The change has altered the culture of the school by allowing more time for students to gather and collaborate in an environment resembling a workplace or college campus.

This program enhances 21st-century skills in a variety of ways. The program enhances students’ skills in the areas of responsibility, time management, collaboration, communication, grouping, soft skills, and more. One Lunch better prepares students for life beyond high school. It also increases relationship-building amongst the faculty, staff and students.

The Role of the LPN in Community Education

Henrico County Public Schools

Henrico County-St. Mary’s Hospital School of Practical Nursing seeks to continually “provide a quality program of nursing education designed and committed to preparing practical nurses to provide safe, effective, and culturally competent nursing care to individuals across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings of the 21st century.” As faculty members continually reflect upon the role of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and the shift from acute care to chronic care, the program has created a stronger emphasis on community-based efforts, targeting prevention of illness, care of patients with chronic conditions, and public education.

In 2012, the practical nursing program restructured the course Leadership and Management. The changes included a focus on student-led education presentations and revising clinical experiences that more fully reflected the changing role of the LPN. The initiative began with classroom presentations on topics such as smoking cessation, oral care, hypertension, and diabetic care to students, faculty, and other building administrators. It has grown to include staff development opportunities in assisted living facilities; the current structure includes almost weekly educational experiences that involve the community and reach a wide variety of participants in age, gender, ethnicity, and lifestyles. Topics have expanded to exercise and weight loss, self-breast examination, HIV 101, preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and heart-healthy diets. The success and continued growth speak to the commitment of Henrico County Public Schools to provide continued efforts towards excellence in education and to prepare a new generation of licensed practical nurses.

Schoology

Henrico County Public Schools

Managing change can be challenging for school districts. The Schoology initiative at Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) focuses on the process of identifying and implementing a new learning management system in a school division with more than 5,000 staff members, 50,000 students, and their families. Key elements of the program included developing a shared vision; improving the abilities, skills, and expertise of educators; professional development; and change management.

Springer Preschool Academy: Summer with Friends

Henrico County Public Schools

Springer Preschool Academy is a high quality, full-day preschool laboratory operated in conjunction with the Early Childhood Education program at Highland Springs Technical Center within Henrico County Public Schools. The Early Childhood Education program is designed for high school juniors and seniors interested in careers working with young children. The Springer Preschool Academy opened its doors for the first time during the 2007-08 school year. Henrico County Public School employees can choose to enroll their preschooler in this academy just as they would another local preschool program.

The “Summer with Friends” program began in the summer of 2013, as a way to continue to provide our families with extended summer care. The Summer with Friends program was developed so that current preschool clients could receive child care for an additional four weeks after the regular school year while parents worked summer school positions. Parents appreciate this program because they are relieved of the pressure to find child care for only four weeks and because the program is a trusted, familiar place where their children can enjoy spending an extra month with their preschool friends

Students Giving Back: Technology Training and Refurbishment Program

Henrico County Public Schools

The students in the specialty center at the Henrico County Public Schools’ (HCPS) Center for Information Technology at Deep Run High School began working with the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program to help families in need of technology. This program is a statewide program that trains students to refurbish surplus computers from government agencies and other companies. Students at Deep Run not only help the community by providing them with access to computer technology but also learn more about computer hardware and software and about teaching others. In the 2016-2017 school year, Deep Run students donated a total of 45 refurbished computers to Ratcliffe Elementary School, which is also located in Henrico County, and some of its underprivileged families.