LOW MOOR — The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division is now part of “Engage Virginia” to help students recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning learning, attendance, and related issues.
Engage Virginia services are available to students, families and schools at no cost through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Graduation Alliance, a Salt Lake City-based education services provider specializing in online programs for students, as well as state and local education agencies.
The program will supplement efforts that are already underway in Alleghany Highlands Public Schools to meet the needs of students who are still struggling with academic, attendance, and mental wellness issues. AHPS will use Engage Virginia to assist students in grades 6-12.
“Chronic Absenteeism continues to be an ongoing challenge for AHPS students and families. It is our hope that through Engage Virginia, our students will make ‘connections’ that will help them get back on track and cross the finish line,” said Rose West, attendance officer and supervisor of customized learning for AHPS.
Student families who sign up for Engage Virginia will be assigned an online academic success coach. The coaches will help students navigate the program and access online and in-person services, including:
Referrals for community services.
24/7 academic tutoring.
Study and time-management skills coaching.
Feedback on resumes and cover letters.
Alleghany Highlands Public Schools opted-in to participate in Engage Virginia. Engage Virginia and the Graduation Alliance will soon be notifying parents of students who are eligible to participate in the program with further details. Parents also have the option to request that a student be selected for Engage Virginia. Parents who are interested in the program should contact the school their student attends.
“Engage Virginia will offer personalized contacts for involved students to support them with motivation, work habits, and related accomplishments. We are excited to be able to offer this additional layer of help to our students,” said Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of AHPS.
Engage Virginia was created through funding from the Virginia General Assembly. The 2022 General Assembly appropriated $3.5 million to the Department of Education to help school divisions provide support and coaching for students who are disengaged, chronically absent, and/or struggling with academics. VDOE contracted with the Graduation Alliance to create Engage Virginia with the goal of providing online support for up to 18,500 students statewide. AHPS is being allotted spaces for approximately 300 students.
With approximately 2,700 students, Alleghany Highlands Public Schools was created through the July 1, 2022, merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. The school division is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington.
AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchools, and the division website. The web address is www.ahps.k12.va.us.