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Dr. Joseph Warren plaque unveiled at Town Hall

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Town Council accepts the Dr Joseph Warren plaque to be displayed in Town Hall. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Mayor Eugene Tewalt got his first official meeting off to a colorful start with the presentation of a Dr. Joseph Warren informational plaque for Front Royal Town Hall, commemorating the Revolutionary War figure for whom the county is named. As noted by Larry Johnson in prefacing the presentation, similar plaques have been placed in all nine county public schools as an educational initiative and at the Warren County Government Center.

“Liberty Man Abel Johnston’s” pitch for a Joseph Warren plaque in Town Hall

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Warren County fall reopening plan approved with in-person, virtual class schedules

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The Warren County School Board last night unanimously approved the school year 2020-2021 reopening plan for Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, instituting both a hybrid model that provides a combination of in-school and virtual instruction and a full virtual instructional model.

What that means is students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade will begin attending school on August 27 for in-person instruction four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). On Wednesdays, all PreK-5 students will have virtual instruction. All students will receive laptops or tablets.

Fifth-grade students at E. Wilson Morrison, Hilda J. Barbour, and Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary Schools will report for in-person instruction at identified middle school buildings. Fifth-grade students at A. S. Rhodes and Ressie Jeffries Elementary Schools will continue at their own elementary schools. Classes will be taught by elementary teachers from their home schools.

For grades six through 12, students will attend in-person instruction one day per week and work remotely four days per week.

When receiving in-person instruction, each school day will consist of five and one-half hours of instruction at the elementary level and six hours at the secondary level. Specifically, in-person instruction will be provided from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for students attending E. Wilson Morrison, Leslie Fox Keyser, and Ressie Jeffries Elementary Schools. Students attending Hilda J. Barbour and A.S. Rhodes Elementary Schools will receive in-person instruction from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. High school and middle school students will attend in-person from 9 a.m. until 3:05 p.m.

WCPS Superintendent Chris Ballenger told School Board members during their Wednesday, August 5, regular meeting that bus transportation limitations were “a driving force” behind many of the scheduling decisions.

“We had to be creative with the schedule,” he said. “There was really no way we could increase the numbers on our buses in order to equalize when school started so we had to be flexible to make sure we could maximize the number of students that we could put on a bus and get them in the classrooms.”

Due to the nature of certifications within the programs offered through the Blue Ridge Technology Center (BRTC), Ballenger said that WCPS now is exploring various options for instruction.

Currently, it has been decided that year two and year three students will drive to BRTC on scheduled days. Year one students will be transported to BRTC on Wednesdays.

Mountain Vista Governor’s School begins online instruction on August 24 and will provide virtual instruction to all students for the first quarter.

Here is the WCPS schedule for in-person instruction:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
PreK-5 in building PreK-5 in building Remote learning for all students PreK-5 in building  PreK-5 in building
Warren County Middle School ‘A’ Day in building Warren County Middle School ‘B’ Day in building Remote learning for all students Skyline Middle School ‘A’ Day in building Skyline Middle School ‘B’ Day in building
Warren County High School ‘A’ Day in building Warren County High School ‘B’ Day in building Remote learning for all students Skyline High School ‘A’ Day in building Skyline High School ‘B’ Day in building

Full virtual option available

Additionally, because some families may feel apprehensive concerning the opening of schools while there is no vaccine for COVID-19, Ballenger said that WCPS will offer a fully virtual option through each school site for all grades.

“This virtual option is available to all students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12,” according to the reopening plan. “Students will be assigned to a WCPS teacher and receive a learning device that will enable students to access the division’s learning management systems. Teachers will provide daily instruction via a learning management system so that students are provided quality instruction. Teachers will also assign daily/weekly lessons through the learning management system and support students through in-person and virtual meetings.”

Students who receive either the hybrid model of instruction or full-virtual students all will have access to new instruction, identification of instruction gaps, learning management systems, a laptop or tablet, and will remain eligible for participation in extracurricular activities, VHSL teams, and food services, said Ballenger.

Internet access variables

And while internet access continues to be a barrier for some families in Warren County, Ballenger said WCPS staff are working to provide potential solutions. Families who do not have internet access will receive their instruction through jump drives or packet-based instruction, he said.

“There was a lot that went into developing our reopening and instructional plan,” Ballenger said. “We had to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education.”

Additionally, WCPS had to take numerous items into consideration when developing its plan, including social distancing, face coverings, and daily health screenings for students and staff, among others, said Ballenger.

“As a division, we are going to recommend that students in grades six through 12 wear a face covering all day long – both students and teachers,” he said. “For elementary school students … we recommend that when they walk into the building or are in transition [in the hallways, for instance] that a face covering is on. But while the student is seated at their desk, they may be able to remove that face covering.”

Ballenger said WCPS also realizes there has been what is now being called “the COVID slide,” which relates to learning gaps that have developed during the last six months of pandemic quarantine, while also being concerned about students’ social-emotional learning and ongoing need for local, state and federal social services.

Nearly 3,360 parents responded to a recent WCPS survey on choosing an instructional model, while 498 staff members responded. In total, 60 percent of parents chose some type of in-person instruction, while 53 percent of staff opted for a virtual start to the 2020-2021 school year, said Ballenger.

Reopening details

According to the reopening plan, students in grades 6 through 12 are required to wear a face-covering at all times during the school day.

Students and staff must maintain the 10-feet of social distancing during physical education and recess. The mixing of different student groups will be avoided as much as possible. Playground equipment will not be used during recess at this time.

Temperature checks will be part of the daily routine. The temperatures of all staff, students, and visitors will be taken before entering the school building. Non-contact thermometers will be used at each location and school nurses will train personnel in temperature-taking procedures, as well as, what to do if the temperature is above 100.4°F.

All students will be required to complete work assignments and participate in class activities, regardless of hybrid or distance learning choice. Participation in school, no matter the mode of instruction, is required. Participation and attendance will be monitored.

Regarding student and parent technology support, Ballenger said that WCPS is developing a one-to-one initiative for all students PreK through grade 12 to have technology devices for home instruction.

“As we move to the possibility of virtual instruction for students, support for families will be necessary,” according to the plan details. “Our technology staff is in the process of developing online modules to help families understand the division’s Learning Management Systems (LMS), as well as the operation of the devices.”

Ballenger said that schools also will plan “Technology Sessions” so parents may meet in small groups to have hands-on training. In addition to learning how to operate the devices, parents will learn how to communicate with school staff using the LMS.

Special education services for students with disabilities may include increased time for face-to-face learning or/and direct instruction, as determined by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Instructional delivery will be designed to ensure the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as required by their IEP and IEP teams will review individual student data to determine the need for supplemental instruction. Students will continue to receive access to instructional materials for use at home, as needed, including assistive technology tools.

Solutions for childcare and after-school care are currently being explored, Ballenger said.

Transportation guidelines

Transportation face coverings are required for students to ride on the bus and parents and guardians should not send their children to their bus stop if a child has a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or feels ill. “This will lessen the chances of an entire busload of children and bus driver being put at risk,” Ballenger said, noting that parents also should discuss bust stop social distancing with their children.

If a student refuses to wear a mask, Ballenger said that student will not be allowed to use the bus for transportation to school.

When the bus arrives at the bus stop, students must enter one at a time and load to the back of the bus first; vice versa once the bus gets to the school, where students will be unloaded or loaded one bus at a time.

Each bus will have a seating arrangement and students will sit in the same seat every day. Only one student per seat is permitted unless students are siblings or live in the same household; they may sit three to a seat.

Buses will be sanitized after each run and at the end of the day. Schools also will follow that protocol, with deep cleaning and sanitization scheduled for Wednesdays when all students participate in virtual learning.

Unanimity for plan

Following Ballenger’s presentation and comments and questions from the Warren County School Board members, the board voted unanimously to accept the WCPS reopening plan, with School Board Chairman Arnold Williams, Jr.; Vice Chairwoman Catherine Bower; and members Kristen Pence, Ralph Rinaldi, and James Wells voting aye.

“What we do is because of the students. That’s our future; that’s who’s going to be pushing my wheelchair one day and I want to make sure they’re educated,” mused Williams, who, on a more serious note, acknowledged the health concerns voiced by teachers.

“I understand health issues, trust me, everybody in this room does,” said Williams.

Bower and Pence said it is a well-developed reopening plan.

“I think our elementary school students especially need to be in the classroom,” Bower said. “They need the two meals they may not be getting at home, they need the support of teachers and staff,” and they need access to Child Protective Services.

Rinaldi agreed, saying the high schoolers and middle schoolers are likely better able to acclimate to online learning compared to the younger students.

“It’s an overwhelming job and it’s not one that we’ve seen in our lifetime,” said Wells. “You can’t believe how people will appreciate what you’ve done this year and in years to come – you’ve kept it rolling.”

Kim Oakland, president of the Warren County Education Association and a teacher at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School, apologized beforehand to the School Board members during the community participation portion of their meeting, noting that not everyone is going to be happy with the newly approved reopening plan. And Oakland said she was sorry that every WCPS student cannot be in school every single day without restrictions.

“So, thank you – thank you for being willing to make the hard decisions,” Oakland told the School Board members. “Thank you for caring about the well-being of our students and staff. Thank you for wanting to ensure teachers have the tools and the training they need to meet the challenges of this year. Thank you for ensuring our students have the resources that they need to be successful. And thank you for being the cheerleaders of our schools and not just fair-weather fans.”

“We, the teachers, will do what you ask of us,” added Kim Oakland, president of the Warren County Education Association

To read the full WCPS reopening plan, go online to:
https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/warren/Board.nsf/files/BS7R546C4277/$file/WCPS%202020-2021%20Reopening%20Plan.pdf.

The Royal Examiner filmed the entire School Board meeting and you can watch it below:

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Traczyk, Wiley jockey for Republican 29th District nomination

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This Saturday, August 8, 2020, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Republicans will hold a FireHouse Primary at the Millwood Station Banquet Hall located at 252 Costello Drive, Winchester, Virginia. (Located across from the COSTCO).

District 29 includes the northern part of Warren County, which includes a small part of Front Royal, Winchester, and Western Frederick County. The winner of this primary will face the Democrat candidate Irina Khanin in the November 3rd election. That winner will be our new delegate in Virginia.

Bill Wiley and Richard Traczyk are in the race for the Virginia 29th District House of Delegate’s seat recently vacated by Delegate Chris Collins.

Richard Traczyk

“I’m running for Delegate because we need someone in Richmond who will stand up for the citizens of the 29th District. We’ve had enough of Richmond’s liberal politics and it’s time to fight back on the unconstitutional overreach pursued by the Democrats who currently control the legislature,” said Richard Traczyk, former Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, and current resident of Frederick County,

Traczyk says that when he stepped down from the Board of Supervisors in 2015, “I thought I was done with politics; but now I’m seeing more than ever that we need representatives who care more about the citizens than about themselves. We need a representative who is not afraid to speak the truth and do what is right.”

As a pro-life advocate, Mr. Traczyk will oppose any law that would undermine the right to life, from conception to natural death. He will oppose raising taxes on Virginia’s families and push for laws that will once again make Virginia a great place to do business. “We stand at a cross-road of history and it’s time to choose the right path forward,” says Traczyk.

Bill Wiley

Bill Wiley is a current member of the Winchester City Council. He was first elected in 2014. Wiley also served on the Winchester Planning Commission for five years and was the Chairman for three of those years. He is the business development manager for Howard Shockey and Sons, Inc. and an associate real estate broker at Oakcrest Commercial Real Estate.

“I will fight for our fair share of tax dollars from Richmond, work to create a better job climate, and push for common-sense policies to make the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family. I will oppose any new tax increases and will fight to protect our Right to Work status,” said Bill Wiley

He went on to say, “I will oppose planned parenthood and other special interest that believe taxpayer-funded abortion and abortion in the 3rd trimester should be legal. I will always support our Law Enforcement Officers and I will NOT support any attempt to defund our police. I will fight for our fair share of tax dollars from Richmond, work to repeal unfunded mandates on our localities, create a better job climate, and push for common-sense policies that will make the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Both candidates support Second Amendment Rights and will not support legislation that infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms and protect your family.

FIRE HOUSE PRIMARY

Election Date: August 8, 2020

Election Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: Millwood Station Banquet Hall
252 Costello Dr, Winchester, VA 22602

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Virtual GIVEnation.world Compassionate Kids Academy starts Monday, August 10th

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WHAT MATTERS Warren — In this ZOOM interview, meet Arnaud Saint-Paul, Chairman of GIVE Nation, as he invites families to encourage children aged 5-18 to participate in a free 12 week virtual “Compassionate Kids Academy” beginning Monday, 8/10. GIVE NATION IS TEACHING CLASSES ON HOW KIDS CAN BETTER IMPACT THE PLANET AND HELPING TO DESIGN A VIDEO GAME BASED ON ALTRUISM!

COMPASSIONATE KIDS ACADEMY DETAILS:

  • FREE 12 WEEK COURSE
  • BEGINNING AUGUST 10
  • MONDAYS, AUG 10 – OCT 26
  • 12PM – 1PM
  • COMPLETELY VIRTUAL
  • FOR AGES 5 – 18
  • KIDS SAFELY INTERACT WITH KIDS AROUND THE WORLD
  • FRIENDLY INSTRUCTORS

Register Your Kids Today!


From the givenation.world website:

THE WORLD IS CHANGING, CREATIVE LEADERS MUST UNITE!

Not only schools, but the entire world suddenly evolved into something humanity never expected… Contrary to recent events, millions of children were not yet receiving quality education and more lacked in financial literacy and soft skill development.

Despite uncertainty, there will always be a need for children to have access to sustainable literacy and learn the importance of kindness. Ensuring a sense of peace during times where panic and fear exist while rewarding humanitarian acts is a great start to building a better tomorrow. GIVE Nation is here to support kids. So, we are responding to you and your children’s needs with free virtual classes covering a wide range of fun but lighthearted topics.

GIVE Nation is a global social impact project with the goal of making a positive impact for a better human existence. It started as an inspiring dream from the Heartfulness Movement, led by the Public Benefit Corporation, HealThruWords; known for inspiring more than fifty million people with positive energy through mindfulness, gratefulness, exercise and the use of positive affirmations. It was in November 2017, the concept of GIVE Nation was introduced. Sponsorship was given with the statement, “Philanthropy shows commitment and selflessness, which are highly sought after characteristics for all humans. GIVE Nation brings love, education and improves the planet by means of giving.”

GIVE Nation provides support to empower children so they can take part in crafting a better tomorrow. Our mission for change is achievable by partnering with advanced technology, leading educational programs, moral businesses, transparent charities, and kids that want to ‘get ahead’.

Encourage your children to use the GIVE Nation mobile application (on Google Play and Apple Store) and share it with your community to get rewards for giving today! Find them on Facebook.


WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – August 5, 2020; rapid testing, Tropical Storm Isaias, restrictions in Hampton Roads area

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Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here are the highlights:

  • COVID-Wise app to send alerts to those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app is free, and voluntary, to download and use.
  • Joining 7 states to expand the use of rapid antigen testing.
  • Feds to continue to fund the majority of the National Guard’s presence in Virginia in response to both COVID-19 and tropical storms such as Isaias.
  • Increased restrictions remain in place in the Hampton Roads area.
  • Case counts have begun to slowly rise throughout most of Virginia, with a sharp rise in the Eastern Region. Seeing about 1,000 new cases per day, which is similar to the number of new cases per day at the peak. Averaging, statewide, between 15,000 and 20,000 tests per day. Statewide percent positivity is 7.2%.
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Fauquier Health Wellness Center set to re-open August 17th

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Wellness Center Rehabilitation Patients Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.

Fauquier Health is excited to share that the Wellness Center Gym will begin it’s phased reopening on Monday, August 17, 2020. This includes the Diabetes Education and Massage Therapy.

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center is located at 419 Holiday Ct, Suite 200 in Warrenton, Virginia. The Wellness Center initially closed its doors on March 19, 2020. Around late June of 2020, the Wellness Center resumed Cardiac Rehabilitation and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for patients in need of these vital services. The key to ensuring the safety of patients was by implementing proper social distancing of all equipment and following all of the necessary cleaning and disinfection protocols.

It would be an understatement to say the members missed the gym. We received several comments from community residents that they really missed being there. When asked about the re-opening, Julie Ross, Director of Orthopedics and Ambulatory Services, said, “We are excited to welcome our members back! Social distancing guidelines have been put into place to ensure continued safety of rehabilitation patients and members. Overall gym capacity will be monitored closely to ensure we do not exceed 75%, in keeping with the phase three orders from Governor, Ralph Northam.”

Wellness Center Rehabilitation Patients Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center will open for independent exercise during the hours below:

  • Mondays: 4:30 – 8:30pm
  • Tuesdays: 6am – 8pm
  • Wednesdays: 4:30 – 8:30pm
  • Thursdays: 4:30 – 8:30pm
  • Fridays: 6am – 8pm
  • Saturdays: 8am – 2pm

No group classes will be offered initially; however, that decision will continually be reassessed. We appreciate the support and cooperation from all of our members.

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LFCC receives significant funding from Claude Moore Charitable Foundation

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LFCC is pleased to announce that the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF) has approved $817,050 in grant funding, which will allow the college to greatly expand its health education offerings to area high school students.

The first grant, for $448,529, will benefit nearly all of the college’s service regions through:

  • Allowing the college to start offering an emergency medical technician (EMT) program at the Fauquier County Campus;
  • Buying equipment for anatomy and physiology labs in Clarke and Shenandoah counties;
  • Starting a pharmacy technician program for Fauquier County students;
  • Upgrading the patient care technician program in Warren County;
  • Creating a sports medicine credential program in Frederick County.

A separate grant from the CMCF is for $368,521 and will benefit the Luray-Page County Center currently under construction. It will be used to provide equipment for the health science lab and the general science lab in the new center, called Jenkins Hall, which is on track to open for the spring 2021 semester.

Students studying in one of the allied health programs at Jenkins Hall will be known as Claude Moore Scholars. The health courses that will be offered there include anatomy and physiology, nurse aide, registered and practical nursing, phlebotomy and physical therapy assisting.

LFCC sought the grants due to the need to prepare high school students for jobs in various health fields. Providing opportunities for them to dual enroll in LFCC and gain certifications and credentials will provide them the foundation to get stated on a career pathway. This will lead them to postsecondary education and employment, and can be built upon with more certifications and credentials.

“The LFCC community, including our secondary partners, is grateful to the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation for their support in enabling the region to create pathways for students to pursue health education programs,” LFCC Early College & High School Partnerships Dean Brenda Byard said. “LFCC works closely with healthcare employers and secondary partners to create programs that will meet local, regional, and statewide workforce needs.”

Buying Anatomage tables, or virtual dissection tables, for Clarke and Shenandoah counties will provide greater opportunities for the public schools’ Biomedical Academy, nurse aide, medical system administration, EMT, sports medicine and other pathways.

In Warren County, students can earn their nurse aide certification as juniors, and the grant will allow them to participate in the Patient Care Tech program, which will send them into the workforce with certifications in phlebotomy, EKG and patient care technician.

The grant will also allow the college to expand its EMT Academy to the Fauquier Campus, where students from Fauquier and Rappahannock counties can benefit.

Some of the grant funding will be used to establish an EMT program for high school students in Fauquier County.

Additionally, Fauquier County Public Schools will be able to start a pharmacy technician program that enables students to apply to Shenandoah University’s Pharmacy program after completing a science degree with 63 credits from LFCC. Many of the courses in the science degree are able to be dual enrolled.

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation was established in 1987 by Dr. Claude Moore, a successful physician and Northern Virginia landowner who left most of his fortune in trust for the purpose of enhancing educational opportunities throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Dr. Moore left his estate to the Foundation to increase its capacity for philanthropy.

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