Friday, July 18, 2014

Henry County Public Schools is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. We are blessed with beauty, natural resources, a moderate climate, and terrific location.

The 7,468 students in our two high schools, two middle schools, and ten elementary schools enjoy a variety of opportunities as they explore innovative curriculum based on the four C's: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The school district is proud to be the largest employer in Martinsville-Henry County, with 1,150 full-time and 450 part-time employees. Over 40% of teachers possess an advanced degree and/or additional certification (including National Board Certification, SACS accreditation, and industry certifications and licenses). 

Points of Pride: In 2011, Rich Acres Elementary School was named one of six Virginia Blue Ribbon Schools. The district partners with Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Patrick Henry Community College, and New College Institute to extend the opportunities of HCPS students.

HCPS has the largest mobile device initiative in the state of Virginia. In the 2017-2018 school year, students in grades 3-9 have a 1:1 iPad ratio (the district-wide device ratio is 1:1.4). The school system also boasts the largest e-textbook initiative in the region and has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program, hosting two annual National Apple visit days.

In addition to student iPad use, each high school participates in a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) technology program. Students may register their personal devices on the school wi-fi system for use in the classroom and for recreational purposes in designated common areas. This program serves as a complement to district-provided laptops and MacBooks, personal response devices, Apple TVs, and SMARTBoards in the classroom.

Each of the fourteen Henry County Public Schools has earned EnergyStar certification due to the combined conservation and efficiency efforts of students, faculty, and staff.

In 2013, Magna Vista High School was one of two Virginia schools recognized as one of the US Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools. In 2015, Bassett High School earned the Green Ribbon Schools distinction as well.

Because of student's opportunity to participate in and assessed performance in Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses in 2016, Bassett High School #43 on the US News & World Report list of the 113 Best High Schools in Virginia (more than 21,000 US public high schools in the US were evaluated for ranking). 

HCPS was most recently honored to be recognized as one of the newest members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. This network of school districts from around the nation works to improve student outcomes and encourage growth, a model that HCPS teachers follow each day. As one of only five districts in Virginia to have earned acceptance into the League, HCPS will serve collaboratively to enhance instruction across the state.

Innovation in Education:

Bassett High School is home to the nationally acclaimed Bassett High School Band. A rich history of quality performance and creative artistry is the legacy carried on with the marching Band of Distinction field show. Numerous BHS band graduates have been named to the Army All-American Band and have been selected for collegiate and Drum Corps International performance.

HCPS is home to Virginia's only New Tech Network STEM academies, Warrior Tech Academy and Bengal Tech Academy
6 hundred students participate in the rigorous project-based curriculum of study and practice the engaged learning culture expected of 21st Century learners. The academy, in its second year, hosts visitors from around the country at its school-within-a-school.

Students in Bassett High School's award-winning Health Occupation Students of America medical sciences training and certification program participate in both virtual and practical application of medical practices under the supervision of a professional nurse. Students competing on the regional, state, and national level have earned a wide variety of awards for their knowledge and skill in the medical sciences.

Students in Magna Vista High School's award-winning horticulture program have the privilege of working in the largest high school greenhouse facility in the nation. The technology in the greenhouse allows the students to create and compete on a national scale. The MVHS greenhouse is the favored purchasing venue for most local residents, affording students the opportunity to practice business skills as well.

Middle school students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of exploratory courses, including a leadership course and a robotics technology course, to practice diverse skills and to determine their career and technical interests in order to hone them as they progress through school. Students apply the problem solving skills they learn in these courses in all areas of study.

Students in grades 4-8 have several opportunities for extended learning during the summer months. Two hundred students attend HCPS's free Explore Camp and Summer Fun Camp. Explore Camp guides students in a variety of activities related to careers in their areas of interest. Summer Fun Camp provides students time for physical activity and encourages the development of relationships with adult mentors.

Elementary school students learn via a wide variety of differentiated experiences. Math may center around a concept, such as planning the details of a trip using an assigned budget; writing may require students to incorporate writing into a developed project, such as creating a comic book; these activities are then combined into a larger joint activity: the math students may stop at a Comic Con on their journey and the writing students are tasked with discussing their publications with visitors. This type of integrated learning demonstrates understanding on a variety of levels and shows students the practical application(s) of their lessons.

Teachers work with students in large group, small group, and individual settings to meet the needs of each child's learning styles and differences. Through support on a variety of levels (including peer tutoring), every student has the opportunity to learn in a manner that is specialized specifically to his/her own needs, talents, and skills.

Teachers in schools at every level work closely with families. One of the strengths of the ELL (English Language Learners) program is the series of events hosted for families to ensure teamed support and encouragement for students and their families as they acclimate to a new culture and to the rigorous standards of quality and learning.

Because there is a preschool program at each of HCPS's ten elementary schools, participants and their families have the opportunity to become part of their school community in the earliest stages of literacy and social development. Teaming families and schools at this stage helps to promote healthy students who are equipped with the necessary skills to be successful.

Interested in learning more about Henry County Public Schools? 
Contact Monica Hatchett, Director of Communications and Organizational Learning, to arrange a visit (phone: 276-634-4766 or 276-252-9792, e-mail:

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