Furever Friday – Meet Kevin

Kevin loves lounging on the bed in the living room here at the shelter but he’d much rather be cuddling with you on your bed in his furever home. Kevin has been at the shelter for 390 days and is still just as happy, goofy, playful and loving as the first day he got here. He doesn’t know why he’s here but he has made the best of it. We love him for that. We know you would too. He is about 9 years old and a lab mix. Apply today on our website or give us a call at 540-635-4734 for more information.



Proudly Sponsored by Shear Elegance Pet Boutique Visit them on Facebook or John Marshall Highway Front Royal

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

All Frederick County Public Schools Accredited for 2022-23

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has announced that each of Frederick
County’s public schools has been accredited for 2022-23. Apple Pie Ridge, Armel, Bass-Hoover, Evendale, Gainesboro, Greenwood Mill, Indian Hollow, Middletown, Orchard View and Stonewall elementary schools; Admiral Richard E. Byrd, James Wood and Robert E. Aylor middle schools; and James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando high schools are all Accredited.
Jordan Springs and Redbud Run elementary schools as well as Frederick County Middle
School are each Accredited with Conditions.

School accreditation ratings are based upon the Virginia Board of Education’s school
accountability system. The system provides a comprehensive view of school quality while
encouraging continuous improvement for all schools and placing an increased emphasis on
closing achievement gaps among students.

This year marks the first time in three years the VDOE has released school accreditation
ratings. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on school
operations, school accreditation was waived for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. The
accreditation rating assigned to all schools in 2020-21 and 2021-22 was Accreditation Waived.
Interim Schools Superintendent John Lamanna says, “After enduring the many
challenges associated with the pandemic the past two years, our teachers, administrators and
support staff are to be commended for their contributions to having all schools accredited for the
2022-23 school year.

Accreditation ratings are just one measure of school quality, but having
every school accredited represents an achievement in which our students, staff and community
should take great pride.” Virginia’s accreditation standards measure performance on multiple school-quality
indicators, not just overall student achievement on Standards of Learning tests.
All schools are evaluated on the following school-quality indicators:

• Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing achievement (including
progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency)
• Overall proficiency and growth in mathematics
• Overall proficiency in science
• English achievement gaps among student groups
• Mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
• Absenteeism
In addition to the school-quality indicators noted above, high schools are evaluated on
the following school-quality indicators:
• Graduation and completion
• Dropout rate

• College, career and civic readiness (beginning in 2023-24)
Performance on each school-quality indicator is rated at one of three levels:

• Level One: Meets or exceeds standard or sufficient improvement
• Level Two: Near standard or making sufficient improvement
• Level Three: Below standard
In order for a school to be Accredited, all of the school quality indicators must be at
either Level One or Level Two. Schools with one or more school-quality indicators at Level
Three are Accredited with Conditions. Schools that fail to adopt or fully implement required
corrective actions to address Level Three school-quality indicators are denied accreditation. A
school that is denied accreditation may regain it by demonstrating to the Virginia Board of
Education that it is fully implementing all required corrective action plans.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Jim Angelo says, “We are very pleased to
continue to have all of our schools accredited. Jordan Springs and Redbud Run elementary
schools narrowly missed achieving full accreditation and were Accredited with Conditions due to
overall proficiency in science.

Frederick County Middle School was Accredited with Conditionsdue to achievement gaps.We will continue to focus on building upon our success in all schools through research, data analysis and professional learning in order to help students continue to grow and achieve at high levels. By focusing on each and every student we will continue to
make progress toward not only having all of our schools fully accredited, but more importantly,
fulfilling our mission to nurture all learners to realize their dreams and aspirations.”

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.



Eleanor C. and William A. Hazel Hall dedicated on Fauquier Campus

Logo used by permission from Laurel Ridge Community College

Hazel Hall, a 40,000-square-foot building on Laurel Ridge Community College’s Fauquier Campus that houses science, health professions and engineering classrooms and labs, a makerspace and conference center, was formally dedicated on Wednesday.


In 2013 – the same year that the Fauquier Campus celebrated its 25th anniversary – the family of the late Eleanor C. and William A. Hazel announced a $1 million gift in support of a new building campaign. William Hazel was a Northern Virginia contractor who prized education, giving generously to numerous scholarships and educational organizations throughout his lifetime.


“Because of that gift, our vision of being able to expand the offerings here at the Fauquier Campus actually had a chance to become reality,” Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser said. “We were so excited to be able to start fall classes here this semester. Hazel Hall is transformational for our campus and for our community.”


The PATH Foundation furthered the project along when it made a $1 million gift to the project in 2016. In addition to state funding, many generous donations from community members have made the innovative building possible.


Laurel Ridge engineering, science, and health professions students, including those in the nursing and surgical technology programs, are able to use the academic building’s state-of-the-art classrooms, which include labs for nursing skills, chemistry, engineering design, physics, biology, microbiology and anatomy and physiology. The much-needed space means the college can expand programming in these high-demand fields.


Additionally, the facility houses a makerspace and observation rooms for faculty members to assess students as they perform labs in hospital simulation rooms. Mountain Vista Governor’s School students use the classrooms and labs daily. There is also the Barkman Family Conference Center, which can be used by community organizations.


“We’re a community college – we’re really looking forward to sharing these spaces with you,” Dr. Chris Coutts, vice president of communications and planning and provost of the Fauquier Campus, told the gathered crowd of more than 200 community members, donors, students, faculty, staff and government officials.


He described Hazel Hall as a “gamechanger” for Laurel Ridge.


“We’re motivated by what’s possible and what we haven’t had before on this campus,” he said.


Two Laurel Ridge alumni spoke to how the college had set them on the path of vital, fulfilling careers. 2020 nursing graduate Shannon Weisbrodt is a registered nurse in the oncology department at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and recently earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Virginia.


As the mother of five children, Weisbrodt had worried she had neither the time nor the money to attend college as an adult, but after attending a nursing information session, her drive was “rekindled.” She benefited from several scholarships, including the Eleanor C. and William A. Hazel Family Endowed Scholarship.


“With this building, we can offer more spots and bring more nurses who are local into the nursing program,” said Weisbrodt, who said she sees the effects of the nursing shortage every shift. “I get to do my part to alleviate human suffering every night I work. We desperately need nurses.”


A 1983 graduate, Dr. Carla Dove is the program manager for the Feather Identification Lab at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. A first-generation college student and a lover of the outdoors, she had “no idea” what she wanted to do when she started attending Laurel Ridge. But then she took numerous classes with now-retired Biology Professor Rob Simpson.


“Rob’s passion was birds, and that rubbed off on me,” said Dr. Dove, who is a forensic ornithologist whose work includes studying bird strikes on aircraft engines.


Professor Simpson encouraged her to continue her education, suggesting she attend the University of Montana, which would accept all of her credits, to earn her bachelor’s degree. Dr. Dove took him up on that offer, saying her trip to Montana was her first time on an airplane. She later earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at George Mason University.


“It was just a wonderful experience to have such inspirational mentors,” she said. “I’m really excited that the local students – and even the regional students – have a place like this where they can get a quality education and have wonderful teachers.”


PATH Foundation Board Member Raymond Knott, who is also the chair of the GO Virginia Region 9 Council, spoke as well. He said the college actually requested less money from the PATH Foundation, but the foundation felt so strongly about the project, it increased its grant to $1 million.


“This was the largest grant at that time that we had made,” Knott said.


Before introducing Dr. William A. “Bill” Hazel Jr., President Blosser spoke about his parents, Eleanor and William Hazel Sr.


“He was one of our most generous benefactors,” she said. “Mr. Hazel once said that education is the beginning of everything. Our college provides students a path to the American dream. Mr. and Mrs.  Hazel achieved that dream, and they wanted others to have the same opportunity.”


Dr. Hazel introduced his family members who attended Wednesday’s ceremony.


“On behalf of the family, we’re thankful,” he said. “We all choose to do this together. Mom and Dad wouldn’t have their name on things generally….But I think it’s appropriate to recognize them here, and I think they would be proud of this particular building because of the programming. The programs here provide opportunities for life success.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Governor Youngkin’s K-12 Digital Mapping Program Supports Best in Class Technology to Protect Virginia Schools

Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced over 1,000 schools and 85 school divisions have participated in the K-12 Digital Mapping Program, originally announced on April 25, 2022. The Department of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) is coordinating this first in the nation, top-down approach to protecting students and staff.

Virginia K–12 public schools who opt into the mapping program are required to share the digitized maps with local and state first responders to aid the response in the event of an emergency or crisis. Mass casualty events across the nation have underscored the importance of communication and collaboration with first responders prior to an incident. Accurate floor plans, high-resolution imagery, emergency response pre-planning, and true north gridded overlay in one map will enhance response time and eliminate confusion in a multi-agency response.

“Our children’s safety is the utmost priority and I’m pleased that my administration is taking key steps to enhance school safety. Virginia is the first state in the nation to execute a state initiative to standardize maps for all public schools.” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “New Jersey followed our lead by adopting this same approach and several other states are rushing to address this vital issue as well.”

“The goal is simple. We want to ensure that every public safety professional has access to the most up to date facility information in an emergency, because every second matters,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier.

“As a parent, former police officer and legislator, and now director of DCJS, I am honored to support our public schools in this manner” said Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services Jackson Miller. “DCJS is committed to strengthening and enhancing the collaboration between schools and first responders.”

Out of the $6.5 million dollars allocated for this unique program, $3,332,000 has been approved for schools to have their schools mapped with Collaborative Response Graphics® (CRGs®) technology. CRGs are simple visual communication and collaboration tools, usable under stress, to coordinate emergency response both outside and inside a building. CRGs enhance response time and improve command and control during an incident.

The Digital Mapping Program for Virginia K–12 Schools will fund up to $3,500 per public school. DCJS staff continues to work with local school divisions to answer questions and to facilitate the progress with the digital mapping. On August 15, 2022, DCJS staff held a webinar to discuss the digital mapping process. Here is a link to that webinar that details the mapping, application process, and reimbursement procedures: Digital Mapping Webinar

More information about the Digital Mapping Program for Virginia K–12 Schools can be found here.


For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

River Report: 9-23-22

In this edition of the Shenandoah River Report, Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf ushers in Fall with a report on the Smallmouth Bass population. Brought to you by Front Royal Outdoors. Some Autumn adventure awaits you on the South Fork, so call on Don Roberts to help you plan the details! Visit https://frontroyaloutdoors.com