Henry County makes security upgrades and renovations ahead of school year

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 6:04 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Henry County Schools is preparing to welcome students back next week with some new renovations and security measures in place.

The parents and students who attended the open house Wednesday got a first look at the new changes. All the elementary schools have new colorful furniture, and some have fresh paint jobs.

“When school is a place you want to be, where it’s a fun place to be, a safe place to be, that’s when our students are going to know, ‘hey, school is where I want to be, this is where I need to be,’ and that’s what we’re working towards,” said Dr. Amy Blake-Lewis, Henry County Superintendent.

They are also working toward increasing safety for students and visitors by implementing metal detectors for after-school events at the middle and high schools.

“We’re first going to start these at possibly our winter sports, to start screening folks as they come into our buildings to make sure that there aren’t any items that could possibly cause a problem or be used as a weapon. Then, we’re going to be working on developing a plan for how we can leverage those for our ongoing school security as well,” added Dr. Blake-Lewis.

There will also be a school resource officer in each Henry County school starting this year.

“That is definitely going to be a layer of security and a layer of comfort and calm in each of our buildings to know that there is a school resource officer available to make sure that things are going well in our buildings,” said Dr. Blake-Lewis.

The new superintendent plans to make monthly visits to each school to build relationships with the teachers and better understand the needs of the students.

“I want to walk the buildings with them. I want to visit classrooms. I want to sit down and listen to that lesson. I want to talk with students in the cafeteria. I want to be present in their building so that I can report back to the community that I serve, and to the board that I serve, exactly what’s happening in our schools,” explained Dr. Blake-Lewis.

They are looking to hire an assistant superintendent. Interested individuals can apply on the Henry County Schools website.

They recently filled a new position called the communication and compliance coordinator who will help lower truancy rates in the county.