Back To School

Families attend an open house at Bluestone Elementary School on Thursday. Each of the Harrisonburg City Public Schools were open most of the day on Thursday ahead of the start of the new school year on Tuesday.

HARRISONBURG — For Rockingham County and Harrisonburg students, this weekend is the last before heading back to the classroom on Tuesday.

Teachers went back to school a week ahead of time to get ready for the return of students.

Harrisonburg City Public Schools are budgeting for 6,100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2019-2020 school year. This is an increase just shy of 100 students over the 2018-2019 school year, said Patrick Lintner, assistant superintendent for instruction.

For each student enrolled, Rockingham County Public Schools receives approximately $6,000 from the state. While being off in predicting enrollment by a few students won’t have a huge effect on the budget, a large change can.

“For fiscal year 2019, we budgeted an enrollment of 11,107 and for fiscal year 2020 we budgeted an enrollment of 11,355,” said Cheryl Mast, chief financial officer for Rockingham County Public Schools.

The school division used the Virginia Department of Education projection based on the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia for last year’s projections.

There will be a number of assistant principal changes for Rockingham County Public Schools this fall, but there will be no new principals for the division’s 23 schools.

At J. Frank Hillyard Middle School, Assistant Principal Betty Emswiler has retired. The new assistant principal replacing Emswiler will be Amy Wouters. She is currently assistant principal at Wilbur S. Pence Middle School.

Replacing Wouters at Pence after she transfers to Hillyard, will be new Assistant Principal Teresa Shank. She is currently a reading teacher.

Mary Shifflett will be the new assistant principal at Mountain View Elementary. She is currently a third-grade teacher at the school. The assistant principal position was filled by a long-term substitute for most of the last school year.

Missy Hensley comes to Harrisonburg High School from Central High School in Woodstock and said she is excited to accept the opportunity and challenge of serving as the principal.

Hensley is taking the reins from Cynthia Prieto, who retired after 34 years in education with the last five as principal of HHS.

Mark Miller will be the new principal at Keister Elementary School, and Deb Cook will be the principal at Spotswood Elementary School.

Contact Megan Williams at 574-6272 or Follow Megan on Twitter @DNR_Learn

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