Non-Traditional Program Development

Initiative Purpose: 

Public schools have the responsibility to create environments where all children can learn and prepare for responsible, productive citizenship as adults.  While the majority of students find success and enjoyment in our traditional schools, some students need a different program to achieve those experiences.

Initiative Description:

Created just before the opening of school in fall 2006, The Department of Nontraditional Programs serves as testimony to the strong commitment to addressing the needs of all learners in Henrico County Public Schools. 

Existing alternative programs within the Department of Nontraditional Programs include an array of resources that serve many students.   The work of the Department includes research and development of models that will extend and enhance nontraditional offerings.  A visual representing this work and dialogue may be found by clicking here.

Timeline for this Initiative:


  • Enhanced student identification for nontraditional programs
  • Focused system of support for New Bridge and Mt. Vernon Schools that included teacher observation, professional development, curriculum development, assessment alignment, schedule and staff modifications, community resources, tutoring support, and additional instructional materials
  • Ninth Grade Academy at Virginia Randolph Community High School – A pilot program for overage middle school students that served as an opportunity for the students to experience academic success in a setting with age appropriate peers, intensive literacy support, and exploration of career and technical course offerings
  • Elementary Conduct Academy – A pilot program that served as an alternative to long-term suspension for elementary students with severe misconduct focusing on the development of positive social skills and behavior as well as academic achievement. 
  • Implementation of zone GED programs at Varina, Henrico, Tucker, Hermitage, and Virginia Randolph Community High School that provide Pre-GED, GED, and Fast Track ISAEP programs
  • Formation of a framework for implementation of Communities-In-Schools at Wilder and Mt. Vernon Middle Schools
  • Attainment of computers, software, online resources, and staff training to provide instructional resources to students in Basic/New Start.
  • Execution of site visits and research relating to best practices and programs for nontraditional learners
  • Evaluation of existing nontraditional programs to determine effectiveness
  • Analysis of needs assessments, data, and stakeholder surveys to guide the creation of new programs

2007-2008 – A Year of Pilots and Additional Program Audits and Research

  • Implementation of 4x4 block schedule and longer school day at VRCHS
  • Integration of key components of the ninth grade academy into VRCHS
  • Pilot program for expelled and long-term suspended students
  • Interdisciplinary model of instruction for Mt. Vernon and New Bridge Schools to include Greenhouse Micro Society
  • Behavior management training and character education for alternative schools
  • Continuation of facilitation of Communities in School for Wilder and Mt. Vernon
  • Continuation of focused monitoring and support for alternative schools
  • Expansion of Basic/New Start
  • Continuation of elementary conduct academy
  • Convocation for department members, Dr. Crystal Kuykendall
  • Development of a system of integrated services support
  • Establishment of an advisory group