Author: Randi B. Hagi
The five police officers stationed in Harrisonburg City Public Schools will be charged with focusing only on protecting schools and the people in them as opposed to monitoring student culture or “morality” this academic year, as the division works to revise its memorandum of understanding with the Harrisonburg Police Department.
Many Harrisonburg families are trying to figure out where their children will spend their school days now that the district plans to start the fall with online learning for most students. This has set into motion a massive revamping of not only how teachers will deliver lessons but of the entire school-day scheduling process. District leaders, such as the superintendent, have been negotiating with child care providers and non-profit organizations to find places — and funding options — for children of working parents to go and learn during the day while staying safe. Meanwhile, parents and guardians are having to get creative to ensure their children have structure and supervision during the school days.
A recent lawsuit and public records through the state board that regulates veterinarians reveal how the Harrisonburg Emergency Veterinary Clinic and its owner have come under scrutiny.
When pressed earlier this summer to release data about how people of different races are prosecuted locally, Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst publicly committed to greater transparency on that issue. Her ability to provide that information hinged on a new case management system her office was supposed to get this summer, but, as it turned out, was scuttled soon thereafter by budget cuts.
A valley between them: While one group has brought signs to local racial justice rallies, another carried guns
A few hundred people knelt in silence in Heritage Park in Broadway earlier this month. Drops of sweat beaded on their brows amid the muggy early evening air as eight minutes and 46 seconds passed quietly. The silence was meant to honor George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis and whose death has sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the globe. It was interrupted by a counter-protester on the ridge overlooking the park.
Instead of requiring students to attend school a couple days a week this fall, the latest plan for the Harrisonburg City Public Schools will be to require most students to learn from home virtually five days a week, as a result of the discussion during Tuesday’s school board work session.
Purchasing school technology for online learning, providing relief for local businesses and residents and covering some costs of delaying construction on the second high school are at the forefront of the draft for how the city could spend $4.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds.