Author: Haley Thomas

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Residents and teachers vent to school board about controversial issues and educators being stretched too thin

More than two hours of public comments dominated Tuesday’s Harrisonburg school board meeting as about 20 speakers voiced opinions on several different issues. The jumbling of topics — where one person would talk about working conditions at elementary schools while the next speaker addressed higher suicide rates among LGBTQ+ students followed by another person playing a gospel song to punctuate her point — gave the meeting, at times, the feel of a local political fever dream.

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Transgender policies and removing books from schools stoke public debate at meeting

Hours after the first hearing of a lawsuit against Harrisonburg City Public Schools in connection to the district’s policies regarding transgender students, more than 20 Harrisonburg residents passionately expressed support and opposition at the school board’s meeting Tuesday.

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City schools aim to increase inclusivity for students with disabilities, equity with internet access

With new goals and a strategic plan, the Harrisonburg City Public School district is working to build an inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities.

Travel policy and a parent’s comments make for a testy school board meeting

A debate over the school board’s professional development and travel policy and a parent’s public comments about school library books marked a lively — and sometimes contentious — meeting Thursday. 

Tom Domonoske is being sworn in

City school board picks Domonoske for open spot

The Harrisonburg City School Board on Tuesday appointed Thomas Domonoske to fill the open school board position until a special election is held in November 2023. Domonoske, an attorney who twice before served on the school board, replaces Nick Swayne, whose resignation last month to become a college president in Idaho came too late for a special election this fall. The appointment was the only item on the agenda at a special meeting held early Tuesday evening at the school board office.  

In a group job interview, school board asks candidates to outline priorities and views

Two former school board members and one newcomer fielded questions from the Harrisonburg City Public Schools’ board Tuesday as each made a case for being the one to fill the seat of Nick Swayne, who resigned last month after taking a job in Idaho.  

First group of high school nursing program grads set a high bar

Johana Alvarenga’s first hands-on experience in health care involved taking patients’ vital signs, getting them dressed and helping them eat — personal care, which she said we too often take for granted. Her first patient reaffirmed her passion for nursing.

Swayne’s resignation sets up interim appointment to school board; Virginia sends district $2.5 million in construction funds

Nick Swayne, the longtime city school board member who had been the board’s chairman, officially resigned, setting off a chain of events to fill his seat until a special election in November 2023. 

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