Tag: Superintendent Michael Richards

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Officials investigate ‘non-credible’ threat at high school; Board explores ways to improve teacher morale

School officials and police determined that a threat of a student bringing a gun to Harrisonburg High School on Tuesday morning was “non-credible,” but not before it caused “disruption”and “nervousness,” Superintendent Michael Richards said. Also at Tuesday’s school board meeting, district leaders outlined six ways to help address issues that have sunk teachers’ morale.

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New school board picks familiar faces as leaders, while superintendent lays out goals for 2023

Harrisonburg’s school board will revise its public comments process in 2023 and draft programming for Rocktown High School. Meanwhile, the board unanimously elected Deb Fitzgerald as chair and Andy Kohen as vice-chair Tuesday night at their yearly organizational meeting at Harrisonburg City Hall.

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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.

Harrisonburg schools to make masks optional for students; Board moves toward naming new high school

Masks will be optional for students in Harrisonburg City Schools starting March 1, Superintendent Michael Richards said Tuesday.

Decision to pull graphic novel from school library now under review

After removing the graphic novel “Gender Queer: A Memoir” from Harrisonburg High School’s library shelves last week, Superintendent Michael Richards said he is assembling a special committee to review his decision.

Amid controversy, superintendent pulls graphic novel from school library

Harrisonburg City Public Schools Superintendent Michael Richards removed the graphic novel “Gender Queer: A Memoir” from the high school’s library this week after people raised concerns at last week’s school board meeting — and following similar objections in school districts in Texas and Northern Virginia. 

School board seeks to make sense of divided recommendations on school resource officers

After the Harrisonburg School Resource Officer Task Force members split over their recommendations regarding police officers assigned to schools, the school board on Thursday decided to extend the current agreement with city police for another month to allow board members more time to decide what’s next.

‘There is no need for your student to quarantine at this time’ … or is there?

When someone tests positive for COVID-19 in Harrisonburg City Schools, it starts a chain reaction in which the schools, relying on contact tracing, notify the families of students who might have been exposed or in close contact. But that process isn’t always perfect, as one parent found out.

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