Author: Haley Thomas

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Return of the new school day: Superintendent suggests new approach for adjusting school start and end times

After the collapse of an effort to change city schools’ start and end times, Superintendent Michael Richards unveiled his plans for a sequel: one he hopes has a better ending. 

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City schools implement restorative approaches to move beyond detention and discipline

With student behavior remaining a key factor in teacher morale, Harrisonburg city schools’ Restorative Practice Coordinator Isaiah Dottin-Carter said Tuesday he’s trying to use restorative approaches to address conflicts while ensuring that all voices are heard.

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Proposed new school start times get scrapped … for now

The Harrisonburg City School Board voted unanimously to ditch proposed new start times for the city’s school district after weeks of deliberation and data collection revealed what board member Kaylene Siegle called “a contrast between the science and what the community and students want.”

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Survey reveals ‘vibrant’ opposition to proposed school schedules

As the Harrisonburg City School Board considers new school day times, the early returns from a survey of the district’s staff and community members show that a lot of people aren’t fans of the proposal. Board members said the pushback wasn’t a surprise, but when presented in color, the strength of that opposition was striking. 

Earlier elementary school hours and later middle school times among suggested changes; Rocktown High’s staff list starts coming together

It might only be the third week of 2024, but Harrisonburg City Public Schools faculty and staff are already looking ahead to the fall – and changes are on the horizon.The district is already looking ahead and moving teachers and staff to the new Rocktown High School, which is scheduled to open for the 2024-25 school year. And changes don’t stop at staffing — the School Start Times Task Force has proposed new start and end times for every school in the district by suggesting early start times for younger students and later starts for middle schoolers.  

School board elects Kohen as chair and Phillips as vice chair for 2024

With the start of a new year comes new leaders of the Harrisonburg City School Board. During its meeting Tuesday — which lasted less than half an hour — the board unanimously elected veteran school board member Andy Kohen to serve as the chair this year. Emma Phillips, who is starting her second year on the board, will be the vice chair throughout 2024. 

‘When you see it, you think of Rocktown’

Rocktown High School has its official logo thanks to the combined efforts of students at Harrisonburg City Public Schools and James Madison University students and a professor from JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design. 

City school district considers changes to its school resource officer program

Harrisonburg City Public Schools will consider ways to improve school resource officer (SRO) relationships in schools, including introducing annual “check-ins” with facilitated dialogue, adding language to a policy that aims to protect students and expanding the group tasked with providing oversight of the program. 

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