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We know that you may have many questions about graduation, from requirements to commencement exercises. Last week, Dr. Gill sent out the following information to these questions that we hope will help to ease and address many of your concerns.

Graduation Requirements:

The Superintendent of Public Instruction has shared with us his commitment that students on-track for graduation prior to the closing of schools will graduate. More specific details are included below. In addition, please note that all students, including seniors, are expected to complete all Learn-from-Home assignments for the remainder of the school year. More details regarding these requirements are forthcoming.

The following graduation requirements can be waived:

  • Students currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate;
  • Students who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit;
  • Students who have not completed the student-selected test;
  • Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but have not yet earned the credential.

The Code of Virginia outlines several credit-based graduation requirements. We are working diligently with the Virginia Department of Education to ensure we adhere to the processes necessary to request a waiver to the following requirements:

  • Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course;
  • Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course;
  • Students in the second of sequential courses;
  • Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course.

The following graduation requirements will require action by the General Assembly in order to be waived:

  • Students who have not completed training in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and
  • Students who have not completed a virtual course. (This does not include the Learn-from-Home initiative currently being offered by HCPS.)

If you have concerns about whether or not you/your students are on-track for graduation, please contact your school counselor or administrator who can assist you in reviewing your progress and help you finish strong.  We are eager to work with individual students and families who have concerns about fulfilling graduation requirements.

Graduation Ceremonies:

We are committed to celebrating the accomplishments of our senior class. Our sincere desire is to hold traditional graduation ceremonies for all four high schools. While we cannot predict when the Governor will lift the current restrictions on large gatherings, we are still maintaining our reservation at the VCU Siegel Center for Saturday, June 13.

If this is not possible, we hope to hold ceremonies later in the summer, if permitted. However, if restrictions remain in place longer than anticipated and in-person ceremonies are not possible, our team is already actively exploring all possibilities to honor and recognize our graduates. We will share further details as we know more.

We hope these updates will help to address the many questions and concerns you may have regarding graduation. We will continue to provide you with regular updates regarding graduation and a variety of other topics as they become available. If you have additional questions that were not addressed, please contact your school counselor or administrator. Please also visit the school division’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Keep It Safe!

 

Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Mar 29, 2020 at 3:53 PM
  

If you were unable to pick up the educational resources provided by the county, we still want to find a way for you to access them. Materials and resources will remain available digitally through each classroom teacher's Schoology site and on the school division's website.

We want to ensure that all students continue to have access to Learn-From-Home instructional materials. If you were unable to pick up the instructional packets this week, please complete the Google Form and pick a time frame you can come to Lee-Davis on Monday.

If you have any questions or if we can be of any further assistance please contact Mr. Charles Stevens, Principal at cestevens@hcps.us.

Keep It Safe!


Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Mar 20, 2020 at 1:17 PM
  

As you know, Hanover County Public Schools has gathered a collection of educational resources compiled by curriculum specialists, teachers, and administrators to support student learning during our extended closure. Below you will find specific guidance and information about accessing these resources. In addition to tapping into these resources, we strongly encourage students at all levels to engage in reading - books, magazines, digital materials, or anything else around the home.

There are two options:

Option #1: Digital  

Yesterday, teachers used Schoology to provide students and families with a link to digital resources created by the division.  The link to work will also be available on the county website at http://bit.ly/2U9XI3v.

Option #2: Paper Packets

We will have the following pick-up hours for tomorrow:

  • Thursday, March 19: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  

When you arrive at Lee-Davis, please park in our Front Lot. Members of our administrative team will be ready to assist you from our Attendance window from the main lobby (signs will be posted). We will greet you and collect your information (ie: student name, student ID, person picking up work).  We will then distribute the paper packets for each of the student’s classes based on his/her schedule. Out of safety and protection of our staff and community, we are asking all parents/guardians and students to be mindful of the number of people who may be waiting to retrieve work and remain at a social distance from one another.

Please understand that division resources are limited right now, and only families that cannot access resources through the internet should plan to pick-up paper packets.  Additionally, please note that Lee-Davis High School offices will not be open for other public business, only instructional packet pick-up. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning on coming to Lee-Davis High School to collect documents and resources for your students, please fill out the Google Form for each student to pre-order your student's materials so that we can prepare materials ahead of time.  Pre-ordering will greatly reduce your wait time.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students connected to our programs, healthy, and safe. We will continue to provide updates as needed. If you have any questions you may contact me or your assigned administrator.

  • Charles Stevens, Principal, cestevens@hcps.us
  • Mrs. Williams, Assistant Principal, kawilliams@hcps.us (9th grade, 10th grade with last names G - O)
  • Mr. Canady, Assistant Principal, bcanady@hcps.us (11th grade, 10th grade with last names A - F)
  • Mr. Bowman, Assistant Principal, rbowman@hcps.us (12th grade, 10th grade with last names N - Z)
  • Mrs. Edmonds, Senior Teacher for Special Education, kedmonds@hcps.us (for special education related questions)

Keep It Safe!

Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Mar 18, 2020 at 6:18 PM
  

 I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Jordan in 1985 at UNC basketball school. I believe his journey in basketball and in life speaks to the very essence of confidence, our character trait of the month for March.


The year was 1978, Michael Jordan tried out for his high school’s varsity basketball team, but at 5’11 he was told he was too short to play at that level as a sophomore and remained on junior varsity. He worked constantly on his game to improve his skills and during his JV season would score 40 or more points in several games.


Over the next summer, he would grow four inches. He spent countless hours working on his basketball skills. The next two years of high school he would average over 25 points per game, over 12 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. He was named a high school All-American and played in the annual McDonald’s All-American game where he scored 30 points.


He was highly recruited by several major universities with prominent basketball programs such as Duke, Syracuse, and Virginia, but ultimately landed at North Carolina.


He had a phenomenal freshmen year. He would hit the game winning shot against Georgetown in the national championship game and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. The work he put in to honing his skills is what gave him the confidence to take that monumental shot against Georgetown. Jordan later described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career.

Never being satisfied, Jordan continued to put in the work to get stronger and more consistent in overall skills. The next two years, he was selected to the NCAA All-America First Team. He would be honored with the Naismith and Wooden awards in 1984, his last year of college basketball.


That same spring Jordan was selected as the third pick in the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He would go on to a storied career in the NBA winning 6 NBA titles with the Bulls and several Player of the Year awards. He is arguably the greatest player of all-time or GOAT for short.


What separated Michael from other players was the level of confidence he developed. He worked constantly on perfecting his skills, growing his knowledge of the game, and enhancing his thought processes. Because he had worked so much on his game, he knew he was going to make the next shot or make the next stop against an opposing player. He learned to turn failures into positives. One of his most notable quotes describes how he thinks, “I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” He developed a perspective that his failures were really stepping stones to another level of success and his confidence grew as he overcame his setbacks and failures. 


What we learn from Michael is that confidence is linked to the actions we take in developing and enhancing our skills. Regardless of what skill sets you’re trying to develop, it will take real concerted and consistent efforts on your part to develop that kind of confidence. It will take overcoming setbacks and delaying gratification for better results and ultimately greater success.


Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Mar 01, 2020 at 2:07 PM
  

This month our character focus is on Initiative which means we seize the opportunity to independently act or take charge. This includes creating new ideas, anticipating the needs of others, and seeking leadership opportunities.


We generally think of initiative as recognizing and doing what needs to be done before being asked. And that's true. But initiative is so much more. Initiative believes in the possibilities of opportunity; it sees opportunity where others see barriers. Initiative means going the extra mile.


The following story is a great example of how taking initiative can change the course of one’s life and the lives of others.


The year was 1949. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan became the first African American supervisor at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the predecessor of NASA) when she was promoted to manager of the West Area Computers. This work group was made up mostly of African American female mathematicians who worked at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Vaughan’s title opened the door for her to collaborate with other well-known computer operators and gave her access to see future plans of the organization. 


In 1958, the NACA officially became NASA. During that time, Vaughan realized that NASA was going to move into machine computing with computer programming. They began bringing in large computers from IBM. Seeing that these computers would likely replace her and her team of mathematicians, she took the initiative to learn FORTRAN programming language. She not only taught herself this complex language, but she also took the time to teach her team.


In 1961 she officially became supervisor of the digital programming center and brought her team with her. She made such significant contributions to the space program through her work on the Scout Launch Vehicle Program and the launch of John Glenn into orbit. Had Dorothy Vaughan not taken the initiative to teach herself and others this new language, she and her team would have been fired. The Scout Launch Vehicle Program may have taken longer to get off the ground. It may have taken NASA longer to get man into orbit. Her initiative changed the course of her life, her team, and essentially that of the NASA space program.


Vaughan’s work and the work of Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson were featured in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures


What can we learn from Vaughan’s story? She saw an opportunity and seized the moment by taking initiative. She saw possibilities where others may have seen barriers and she went the extra mile to affect change. As I mentioned earlier, there are four and half months until the end of the school year. I know I’m stating the obvious, but seniors this is your final four and half months of high school. As you all work toward the end of the year, think about where you can take more initiative either in school or in life. See the possibilities, work to overcome your barriers, and go the extra mile to set yourself up for success.


Reflect on this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have mastered, you will never grow.” 


Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Feb 01, 2020 at 3:57 PM
  
As I was researching for today's blog, I came across the blog below that provides both perspective and strategies to take more responsibility for your life and essentially your future.
https://thriveglobal.com/stories/9-ways-to-take-responsibility-for-your-life/

Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Jan 19, 2020 at 3:57 PM
  
Take a moment with your teenager this week to share and discuss the following quote by John C. Maxwell, leadership coach and author of over 70 books on leadership.

"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up."

Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Jan 12, 2020 at 4:59 PM
  

The year was 1912 and all the talk in the world, especially in Europe, was about the Titanic, a luxury ship designed to ferry people back and forth across the Atlantic. However, on its maiden voyage, the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg just before midnight on April 14, 1912 and would subsequently sink to the bottom of the Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. on April 15. There were 2,224 passengers on board with over 900 crew. However, there were only enough lifeboats to carry about 1100 people. The decision-makers for Titanic irresponsibly decided that because the ship was considered unsinkable, they didn’t need as many. They opted for more deck space rather than keeping the safety of all passengers and crew in mind. That decision cost lives as over 1500 people perished that night.


Of the 900 crew members, 25 of them were engineers responsible for maintaining the inner-workings of the ship including the pumps designed to control any possible flooding. 

As the Titanic was sinking, passengers were being loaded onto the lifeboats by the deck crew. During this time, the engineering crew remained at their posts to work the pumps, controlling the flooding as much as possible. Their actions ensured the power stayed on during the evacuation and allowed the wireless radio system to keep sending distress signals.These men bravely kept at their work as it was their responsibility. They helped save more than 700 people even though it would cost them their own lives.


This story shows how irresponsible decisions can negatively impact not only your own life, but the lives of others. The story also demonstrates how following through on your responsibilities can make a major impact, especially when you are putting the welfare of others above yourself. As we begin a new decade, take time to talk with you teens about their roles and responsibilities within your family structure. Talk to them about how their responsibilities may evolve over time and the importance of following through. Happy New Year and New Decade!

Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Jan 02, 2020 at 1:43 PM
  
I saw a news segment this morning on NBC12 about a father from Louisa County who had been deployed with the U.S. Army for over a year. Mr. Torbush, an Army Sergeant, was able to surprise his kids who were at Louisa County High School yesterday (Dec. 14, 2019) for a wrestling tournament. His two boys were on the wrestling team and were quite surprised when the coach announced their special visitor. His two daughters also ran out on the mat to greet their dad. It was quite a moving story.

The story made me think of the word honor. In this instance, it's the way we show respect and admiration for someone. The kids honored their mother and father by the way they embraced their dad. In a blog on Honor Lessons by Scott Turansky on imom.com, he states that children learn honor from their parents. The way Mom and Dad treat each other, even in disagreements, is an example to children of how they should treat others. 

Mrs. Torbush stated in the news segment how difficult life had become without her husband around, but based on their reunion one could only conclude how diligently she "kept the home fires burning" during his deployment. 

It's in the daily routines and actions where our kids will learn honor. What we instill in our kids every day is what they will eventually instill in theirs.

"It is not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind." - Branch Rickey.
Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Dec 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM
  

The year was 1854. Jacob Hamblin was a Mormon pioneer sent from Illinois to help settle southern Utah. Hamblin quickly developed a friendship with the Native Americans who lived there. He did business with them regularly and they knew they could trust him to treat them honestly and fairly. He was known as a man of integrity by his new friends because of his consistent actions.


One day he sent his son to obtain blankets from a Native American man, in exchange for a pony. The man offered a pile of blankets after examining the pony, but the son, wanting to prove what a good business man he could be, refused the offer, saying he wanted more. 


The man continued to add blankets to the pile until the son agreed to the trade. However, when the boy returned home, he found his father was not proud of his business skills. The boy had taken more than the pony was worth, and he promptly sent the son to return half the blankets.


The Native American man, when the boy explained sheepishly what he was there to do, laughed. He had known Hamblin would make his son return the extra blankets. 


You see integrity is actionable. It’s not just based on your words, but also your actions. If you want to become trustworthy, you must do things that build trust with others consistently over time. And that is the essence of integrity.


Posted by cestevens@hcps.us  On Dec 08, 2019 at 2:30 PM
  
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