Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Now Accepting Applications for 2019 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, anything you can dream…) Grants up to $1,000 are awarded each year to Warren County women to help make their dreams come true. The Dare to Dream grants are available to women living in Warren County, ages 18 years and older, not currently enrolled in high school.
Application deadline is January 18, 2019. Recipients will be announced in March 2019.
Applications are available at Samuel’s Public Library and The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center at 27 Cloud Street, Front Royal. Applications are also available on the website: www.frwrc.org or by calling or emailing the office at 540-636-7007, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Front Royal Christian School Warriors split games with Fresta Valley Christian School
Front Royal Christian School Warriors boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Fresta Valley Christian School Thursday, January 16, 2020. FRCS middle school boys defeated Fresta Valley Pioneers 43-17, with Braeden Majors scoring 10 points and George Kassel scoring 9 points. The FRCS middle school girls lost 11-16, with leading scorers being Emma Tutton and Mary Lindsey.
“The boys rallied with good team effort and ball movement, with a lot of hustle” said FRCS Warrior Coach Bear Campbell. “Ethan Frost and Brady Knight led the offense, while Braeden Majors and George Kassel led the defense.” Emma Tutton was identified as the MVP for the girls game by FRCS Warrior Coach Scott Babcock. “Tutton was one of the leading scorers and strongest on rebounds.” Next FRCS middle school games are January 17th, starting at 4:15 p.m at Wakefield Country Day School.
Front Royal Christian School is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school in Front Royal, Virginia, that fosters your student’s innate learning potential. From special needs to gifted, FRCS is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of its students and mediates a sense of competence, confidence, and belonging. FRCS provides the 21st-century learner, exceptional and challenging educational experiences, including college preparatory courses with a dual enrollment program with LFCC, performing arts, life skills, and athletics. For more information, call the school at 540-635-6799 or visit www.FrontRoyalChristianSchool.com.
Cost of retirement: More expensive than you might think
The cost of retirement can vary dramatically depending on where you live and what choices you make before you retire.
Ideally, you want to have enough social security and investments to maintain your current lifestyle.
While investment advisors routinely say $1 million in investments will ensure a happy retirement, this is not necessarily true. In high-tax states with high cost of living, a big retirement pot is probably essential. But, in lower tax states with lower cost of living, retirees might need about a fourth of that amount.
The key question is how you prepare before retirement.
– Run the numbers. Check with Social Security for an estimate of retirement income. But, remember your medicare and taxes will be deducted from social security, so that number will be lower.
For other income, you will be paying cash for taxes. Look at all your expenses. Medicare plus supplements and prescriptions could run more than you think. For example, some prescriptions could cost $100-$300 per month, even with a prescription plan.
– Get out of debt. The best strategy is to be out of debt before retirement. Aim for zero credit balances.
– Pay off the mortgage. In some cases holding a mortgage might be financially wise, depending on how much your investments are making as opposed to the interest rate on your mortgage. But good general advice is to pay off the mortgage before retirement.
– Transportation. Plan to have a late model car that is paid off before retirement. A car payment soaks up retirement funds.
– Emergency fund. Build one with at least 3 to 6 months of expenses. Emergencies won’t stop just because you are retired and you won’t have money coming in. You must avoid credit card debt.
– Long-term care insurance. Plan early to buy long-term care insurance when prices will be lower.
The AEB system: tomorrow’s must-have car safety feature
The most important innovation in automotive safety technology in recent years is the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars with this feature are in half as many rear-end crashes as other vehicles.
The ABCs of AEB systems
Thanks to sensors, radars and cameras, an AEB system is able to detect objects in front of the car and automatically apply the brakes when a collision is imminent. AEB systems generally include one or more of the following features:
• Dynamic brake support (DBS), which enhances a drivers’ braking when they aren’t pressing the brakes firmly enough to avoid a collision.
• Crash imminent braking (CIB), which automatically applies the car’s brakes when the driver has failed to take action to avoid a crash.
• Forward collision warning (FCW). This feature alerts drivers of an imminent collision with beeping, a flashing light in the instrument panel or by tightening the seat belt. If the driver fails to brake despite the warning, the CIB system (if included) kicks in.
Some but not all AEB systems are able to detect pedestrians as well as cars.
Availability of AEB systems
In 2018, 30 percent of new vehicles came standard with AEB systems, while 40 percent more offered them as an option. By 2022, virtually all new cars sold in North America will come standard with AEB systems.
AEB systems are meant to be a safeguard against distracted driving, which has become a serious problem on our roads. However, it’s in no way a substitute for an alert, conscientious driver.
4 tips for a hassle-free holiday
Are you planning a trip? If so, here are four things you can do to ensure your holiday goes smoothly.
1. Book everything early
Reserve your hotel, motel or campsite as early as possible. The same goes for all plane tickets and car rentals. By booking things in advance, you guarantee that you have the best possible experience at the lowest possible price.
2. Double-check your documents
Make sure your driver’s license, passport and travel insurance are all up to date and won’t expire any time soon.
3. Think about your health
Visit your doctor to make sure you’re healthy and in good enough shape to travel. Depending on your destination, you may need to get one or more vaccines to protect yourself against foreign pathogens. Also, it’s imperative that you have enough medication for the duration of your trip.
4. Make sure your home is safe
While you’re away, mitigate the risk of your home getting burgled. Put your lights on a timer and have someone pick up your mail and perform basic upkeep so the place looks inhabited. Alternatively, you can get someone you trust to housesit. You should also avoid sharing information about your trip on social media until you’re back at home.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Richmond Circuit Court upholds Executive Order Forty-Nine
RICHMOND—The Richmond Circuit Court today upheld Governor Ralph Northam’s decision, outlined in Executive Order Forty-Nine, to temporarily ban firearms on Capitol grounds from 5:00 PM on Friday, January 17, 2020 until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Governor said that law enforcement intelligence analysts had identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.
Governor Northam issued the following statement:
This is the right decision. I took this action to protect Virginians from credible threats of violence. These threats are real—as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested this morning after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms.
I’m grateful to the Circuit Court for recognizing the seriousness of these threats, and for upholding this reasonable, legal action to protect all Virginians, including demonstrators and policymakers. I will continue to do everything in my power to keep Virginians safe.
Skyline High School continues to fight chronic absences
FRONT ROYAL— With schoolwide chronic absences reaching almost 30 percent last year, the administrators at Skyline High School (SHS) have had to come up with some creative solutions.
One of the most effective practices currently being used at SHS has been an administrator’s knock on the door at the home of a regularly absent student.
“We have gone to several homes of students who don’t want to come to school after we’ve called the parents, who say they just can’t get them there. So I said, ‘Do you mind if I come to your house?’” SHS Principal Michael Smith explained to members of the Warren County School Board during the work session portion of their January 15 regular meeting.
“It’s been pretty effective because the principal is standing there at the front door, almost at their bedroom door, opening it up and asking, ‘Why aren’t you at school?’ The parents get a good kick out of it and it works for the kids; they don’t want us coming back to their house,” said Dr. Smith.
“Whatever works,” he added. “All of my administrative staff has had to do that, so we’re doing everything we can to get them to school.”
During his presentation to the School Board, Smith said that SHS had an academic review on November 6, 2019. The overall findings and problem identified during the review was that chronic absenteeism at SHS received a Level III performance standing, meaning accredited with conditions, he said.
Melody Sheppard, interim superintendent for Warren County Public Schools (WCPS), told School Board members on Wednesday night that SHS is one of the school district’s two schools dubbed accredited with conditions, and the board next month will hear from Principal Shane Goodwin about similar efforts under way at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School to curb chronic absenteeism.
Following the academic review, Smith said the subsequent SHS corrective action plan was submitted to the Virginia Department of Education on November 18, 2019, while essential actions to improve the chronic absenteeism rate have been added to the SHS school plan for the 2019-2020 school year.
Additionally, attendance expectations for accurate reporting of attendance were added to the staff handbook; an annual staff training was conducted on the attendance protocol; and attendance data will be reviewed monthly to identify students on track to be chronically absent and to prioritize students requiring Tier 2 and Tier 3 levels of support, he said.
Tier 2 level students are those who have missed nine days at the mid-school year point, while Tier 3 level students are chronically absent from school, said Sheppard, who noted that students are allowed a total of 18 excused absences in a school year.
And according to WCPS attendance policy, absences are excused for a funeral, illness, injury, legal obligations, medical procedures, suspensions, expulsions, religious observances, and military obligations that parents are aware of and support.
In addition to the impromptu at-home visits, Smith said another current practice is to assign teacher mentors to Tier 2 and Tier 3 level students for daily and weekly contact. “It’s usually their first block teacher or another teacher they’re comfortable with,” he said, adding that the goal is for the teacher mentor to get information from the student about why he or she isn’t attending school.
The subsequent data that the teacher mentors put into an online Google form describes when they met with students, what they talked about, and what they determined were some possible solutions. Smith said this data also provides useful evidence for future decision-making around making individualized attendance plans, for example.
Smith outlined several other current practices that are ongoing at SHS to stem the chronic absenteeism problem.
Every Sunday, for instance, Smith sends out a weekly phone blast to relay pre-recorded information about the upcoming week, as well as the importance of regular attendance.
Other practices include what Smith called “simple things,” such as teachers greeting students as they enter the classrooms and administrators greeting students in the morning as they enter the school building. These are county-wide policies aimed at fostering positive relationships across an entire school, he said.
“I actually have two assistant principals at the entrances to the school,” Smith told School Board members. “They open doors and greet every single kid who comes into the school.”
There also has been an attendance committee with parents developed at SHS that already has met twice. “Parents were surprised at the number of students who miss substantial amounts of classroom time,” said Smith.
During the attendance committee meetings that Smith holds with students and their parents, they develop an Attendance Success Plan for each student. He’s so far held 66 meetings.
Second attendance meetings also are held between Smith, the parents, students, and the SHS truancy officer, with 15 having been held thus far. “It’s nothing punitive, it’s just about getting students to realize the importance of what they’re missing when they’re not in the classroom,” said Smith.
Smith also sent out 890 letters to every SHS household asking parents to come in and discuss the chronic absenteeism situation. The parents who did respond to the letter, he said, were the ones whose kids regularly attend school, but who said they wanted to learn how to share the value of coming to school with other families and students.
Additional current practices include a Principal’s Cabinet that consists of class officers who discuss the atmosphere of the school and what incentives might help improve attendance.
During the last meeting, Smith said cabinet members commented that for those students who regularly miss school, they likely wouldn’t attend “no matter what incentive we have.”
The SHS attendance secretary also notifies parents every day to determine why students are absent.
Going forward, Smith told School Board members that SHS will continue to: run the teacher mentor program; meet with students and parents; and send the Sunday phone blasts.
Warren County School Board Vice Chairwoman Catherine Bower asked what the most common reasons are for the chronic absences. Smith said there’s a wide array of excuses.
For instance, many students say they just don’t want to get out of bed or that they’re bored at school, which essentially relates to instruction, said Smith.
Sheppard pointed out that all the current practices at SHS to fight chronic absenteeism are evidence-based practices. “It’s all about building positive relationships with kids,” she said. “Whenever a student comes to school, they have somebody there that they can have a conversation with and not feel uncomfortable.”
“It is about the relationships, the rapport and the trust,” agreed School Board Chairman Arnold Williams Jr., who told Smith to “keep doing what you’re doing. Keep moving forward. I know you can get there.”
“We will,” Smith told him, noting that last year, SHS was at 29 percent chronic absenteeism and this year’s goal is to reduce that mark to 24 percent. “If we can get there, that would be a huge decrease.”
Watch the latest Warren County School Board work session where SHS Principal Michael Smith discusses this problem with the board: