Author: Julie Hagy
Local organization advocates for sex-trafficking prevention curriculum in local schools
Sex trafficking occurs in towns and cities all over the United States, and in 2018, the Human Trafficking Institute found that Virginia ranked 6th in the nation for cases of human trafficking. Statistics are hard to come by – oftentimes victims are moved from place to place, or it may be termed prositution if a link to a trafficker cannot be made – advocates say there’s no doubt it is a problem in Harrisonburg as well.
HCPS to offer free meals to all students during virtual instruction
For the first time, free breakfast and lunch will be offered at no cost to all HCPS students this school year. During virtual instruction, the meals will be distributed through pick-up and delivery options. Because the program is funded through reimbursement for each meal provided, the district is hoping for a high participation rate from students during the virtual phase of instruction.
After city council elections, school board setting groundwork for new high school to open one year earlier than previously decided
Although the school board had originally presented plans to open a new high school by 2021, city council voted almost a year ago to take a slower approach, opening in 2023.
But after Sal Romero and Chris Jones––Democrats whose campaigns supported earlier construction of the high school––won the city council race in November, the school board has begun behind-the-scenes work to make that possible.
Bluestone Elementary’s learning-friendly design racking up awards
Amelia, a first-grader, navigates the lunchroom of Bluestone Elementary School. Through its floor-to-ceiling windows, the snow-covered valley is visible beyond the playground featuring local rocks for climbing and garden beds watered by cisterns. Inside, in the school lobby, a grand piano sits within listening distance of the open-walled cafeteria, gym, and classrooms. Natural sunlight filters into the building through solar tubes, while exposed geothermal pipes provide impromptu learning opportunities for Amelia and her peers.
Public Input Drives Superintendent Search
Approachability, transparency and trustworthiness are some of the qualities that residents of Harrisonburg are looking for in the next school superintendent.
B.W.P. & Associates, the recruiting firm hired by the city to spearhead the search, is compiling a “Leadership Profile” to direct the vetting of applicants. It details attributes and skills the public has identified as essential to the position.
The profile, released in draft form this month, is now available on the Harrisonburg City Public Schools website. Board members agree that the document has given them clear direction on what the community is looking for in this leader.
By speaking out, a domestic violence survivor finds joy upon her return to the courthouse
Joy is not the emotion Orpha Peachey expected to feel as she stood on the courthouse steps last Thursday, sharing her experience of surviving domestic violence.
Citizen groups to ask local government to hire a ‘justice planner’
Community members seeking criminal justice reform are asking the city to create a new government position: Community Justice Planner. The Community Justice Planner would be a government official whose job it is to gather data and give elected officials informed advice on how to improve the way the criminal justice system works.