Curious what the new high school and its grounds will look like? Take the tour.

By Randi B. Hagi, assistant editor

The Harrisonburg City School Board got a three-dimensional glimpse at the future high school on Tuesday evening through a video tour of the grounds produced by Valley Engineering. 

It shows the building’s exterior, athletic fields, a nature garden, and courtyard spaces with landscaping and and a shade structure. Check out the video here:

Commonwealth might fund additional school counselors

Superintendent Michael Richards announced at the meeting that the General Assembly is considering legislation to improve counselor-to-student ratios at public schools. If the bill is adopted, it could lead to enough funding for Harrisonburg to add two to four more counselors to the district.

If it is passed, “we would get more funding for those SOQ positions,” Richards told The Citizen after the meeting. SOQ stands for Standards of Quality, the metrics by which the Virginia Department of Education assesses instructional programs and support services in schools. 

Patrick Lintner, chief academic officer for the schools, said getting more counselors into schools is “a priority of the governor’s.”

Also at the meeting:

  • The school board unanimously approved a supplemental appropriation of more than $568,000 to include local, state, and federal grants the district has been awarded in its current budget. The funding includes $181,000 under the U.S. Department of Education Title I, part A, which provides financial assistance to schools with high numbers of children from low-income families. The appropriation also includes $112,100 from a federal School Improvement Grant, and $113,000 from a state grant for early childhood education through the SMART Beginnings program.
  • School board member Obie Hill, who serves as a board delegate to the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, announced that the commission will hold an open forum for the public to discuss the Heritage Oaks golf course at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center.
  • The school board gave certificates of recognition to the 57 teachers who provide instruction in English and Spanish for the dual language program, which starts in kindergarten. The program currently runs through ninth grade.
  • The board also praised the Small Good News publication project, produced by high school English teacher Mary Strickler’s honors class. The hardcover book, full of inspirational writings and memories from the students, is available at the Massanutten Regional Library and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.
  • Student actors from the Harrisonburg High School production of “Hairspray” invited the community to their evening and Sunday matinee performances on Feb. 19-23. Tickets are available online.

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