Radford and Floyd County Public Schools Received a Total of $227,000 for Computer Science

New River Valley, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $1.3 million in state grants to support the implementation of Virginia’s Computer Science Standards of Learning. In 2016, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation requiring that the Standards of Learning include computer science and coding. The standards, which were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2017, are the nation’s first mandatory K-12 computer science standards. Funding will help increase access to K-12 computer science programs a prepare students for high-demand jobs

“Knowing the basics of computer science can open doors to virtually any career in our fast-growing 21st-century economy,” said Governor Northam. “We are working to expand career-connected learning and integrate computer science into the curriculum at every grade level. With these grants, we have a tremendous opportunity to put today’s students on a path to developing the key computer science and coding skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The 2019 General Assembly authorized up to $1.35 million in grants to provide professional development for teachers, create computer science curriculum, instructional resources, and assessments, support summer and after-school programs, and provide career exposure and work-based learning opportunities for high school students. The legislature directed that underserved students and schools performing below state standards receive priority in the awarding of the grants.

“Computer science is a core competency Virginia students need to succeed in the workforce, but educational inequities too often limit access to the resources schools can provide for students to receive a world-class STEM education. Through funding work-based learning, after-school programs, and other hands-on learning opportunities, with an emphasis on equity, these grants will catalyze a love of computer science within students across the Commonwealth.” – Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education

The grants were awarded as follows:

Floyd County Public Schools — $77,166 to provide interdisciplinary professional development in computer science and to integrate the Computer Science Standards of Learning into instruction with an emphasis on underrepresented student groups.
Radford Public Schools — $149,983 to integrate computer science in K-8 instruction and to create simulated work environments in partnership with Radford University and area businesses.
Virginia Beach Public Schools — $148,678 to create college-level computer science courses, extra-curricular computer science clubs, career labs, and regional partnerships to provide work-based learning opportunities for students.
Charlottesville Public Schools — $124,000 to create a partnership with the University of Virginia, Tech-Girls, and Computers4Kids to develop resources, train teachers, and engage K-8 students in computer science.
Cumberland County Public Schools — $99,800 to provide professional development in computer science for K-8 teachers in Region 8 and to create a career connections course incorporating robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles.
George Mason University — $125,000 to create a partnership between educational agencies and school divisions to improve the pedagogical practices and content knowledge of teachers and undergraduates in computer science and computational thinking.
Old Dominion University — $125,000 to develop a regional partnership between Old Dominion University, school divisions, and educational organizations to broaden teacher and student access to and participation in computer science learning by training teachers, developing classroom resources, increasing knowledge of computer science career pathways, and developing computer science micro-credentials.
Prince William County Public Schools — $125,000 to form partnerships with local institutions of higher education and local and state agencies, providing professional development opportunities for teachers and increasing awareness of the importance of computer science skills in a variety of careers.
Stafford County Public Schools — $118,481 to form a regional consortium to develop, disseminate, and evaluate computer science resources for grades 3-8 and create a partnership with other school divisions, institutions of higher education, military agencies, and educational organizations that will develop curricular resources, performance assessments, and lead professional development in effective computer science pedagogy.
University of Virginia’s College at Wise — $125,000 to support a collaborative effort between Region 7 school divisions and education agencies offering professional development in computer science, including workshops, conferences, and coursework for teachers in the region.
Virginia Commonwealth University — $124,922 to create a collaborative that combines teams from CodeRVA Regional High School partner school divisions to transform existing computer science courses into thematic online modules coupled with locally relevant and authentic student challenges, and to equip teachers with culturally responsive strategies for working with diverse students.

“The funded projects will equip our teachers to present the content of the Computer Science Standards of Learning in the context of real-life challenges and create school-to-work partnerships to connect students with career opportunities,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “It is truly exciting to see school divisions, colleges and universities, and the private sector collaborate to implement the standards in ways that prepare students for postsecondary and career success.”

There is no applicable Standards of Learning test associated with computer science instruction. These academic standards were developed to provide students with a detailed understanding of the study of computers, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Red Rooster Coffee Ranked Top 50 Coffee Shops in the United States in 2020

Floyd, VA – Big Seven Travel ranks Red Rooster Coffee at number 46, among best coffee houses across the United States.

From super Instagrammable cafes to those catering to digital nomads and straight through to the coffee shops serving up some world-class affogatos and nitro brew, you’ll find that the best coffee shops in the United States are just as wonderfully eccentric and unique as each state you’ll find them in.

The best coffee shops in the United States in 2020 are the ones committed to not only just the perfect pour but also ensuring that their processes benefit farmers at the source. Red Rooster is a company dedicated to roasting exquisite coffee while making an impact at origin and at home. And, it truly shows in their cafe culture and the quality of the beans they produce. In other words, the cafe’s trendy, the staff is friendly, and the coffee’s top-notch.

Find out who else made the 50 Best Coffee Shops list.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

best of blue ridge; new river valley; readers choice awards

NRV Wins Best of Blue Ridge Reader’s Choice Awards

New River Valley, VA – In the ninth annual Best of Blue Ridge Awards, readers voted on a variety of places in the New River Valley and several were featured as top picks.

Overall Winners

Chateau Morrisette – Best Vineyard/Winery
The Black Dog from Chateau Morrisette – Best Wine
FloydFest – Best Festival Overall
FloydFest – Best Kid-Friendly Festival

Runners-Up

Muddy ACCE Race – MudRun/Adventure Race
Floyd Yoga Jam – Retreat
Gillie’s Cuisine – Vegetarian Restaurant
FloydFest – Kid Friendly Adventure
Claytor Lake – Flatwater
In Balance Yoga Studio – Yoga Studio
FloydFest – Instagram Account
Cascade Waterfalls – Cascade
Shaena Muldoon, The Palisades Restaurant – Personality
Buffalo Mountain Ziplines – Zipline
Hotel Floyd – Budget Friendly Lodging
Blacksburg Pilates – Mind Body Studio

Find a full list of the Best of Blue Ridge categories and winners here.

Photo by Best of the Blue Ridge photographer winner Leslie Restivo.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Top Ten Posts of 2019

A lot of exciting things happened in Virginia’s New River Valley in 2019! Here are the top ten posts from the year. The following posts had the most page views online.

10.Virginia’s New River Valley Claims Top Trending Mountain Destinations

Two counties in the NRV were selected as the “Top Trending Virginia Mountain Destinations 2019” by Blue Ridge Country Magazine.

9.Blacksburg Mountain Bike Skills Park Now Under Construction

On February 18, Lynchburg-based Native Landworks began construction on the Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Skills Park located on the back four acres of Brush Mountain, off Meadowbrook Drive. The park is expected to be finished by mid-April.

8.1901 Group Officially Breaks Ground on Blacksburg Expansion

The VTCRC will be building 1901 Group’s 45,000 square foot EITOC to provide a state-of-the-art Operations Center to support 1901 Group’s continued growth of cloud, cybersecurity, and managed services business.

7. Blacksburg Named Top Ten Safest College Town

SafeWise names Blacksburg ninth safest college town in America.

6.Pulaski Has 8th Lowest Cost of Living in Virginia

Pulaski comes in with the 8th lowest Cost of Living Index (COLI) at 86 in the state of Virginia.

5.Volvo Group to Create 777 New Jobs in Pulaski County Expansion

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Volvo Group will invest nearly $400 million to expand its Volvo Trucks North America New River Valley (NRV) assembly operation in Pulaski County.

4.NRV to Be Home of First Commercial Drone Deliveries in US

Christiansburg is the first town in the U.S. where residents can have drone deliveries to their homes.

Drone Deliveries

3.Blacksburg Has the Shortest Commute in VA

The numbers are in and according to Business Insider, Blacksburg has the shortest commute time in Virginia. The average commute in Blacksburg is 13.9 minutes.

2.The Palisades Wins Restaurateur of the Year Award

Shaena Muldoon, owner and manager of The Palisades, received the Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year from the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA).

1.Christiansburg is 2nd Best City to Live in Virginia

Christiansburg is ranked as the second best city to live in Virginia by creditdonkey.com.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

nrv holiday; things to do; new river valley; holiday bucketlist

NRV Holiday Bucketlist

New River Valley, VA – Tis’ the season in the New River Valley. The holidays are always a great time to explore the region and participate in all of the festivities going on. Whether you want to attend a tree lighting ceremony or just drink some hot cocoa outside, the NRV has something for everyone!

1. Go to a Christmas Parade

Pulaski Aglow – December 5th
Rich Creek Christmas Parade – December 5th
Blacksburg Christmas Parade – December 6th
Radford Parade – December 6th
Pembroke Christmas Parade – December 7th
Floyd County Christmas Parade – December 8th
Town of Christiansburg Christmas Parade – December 13th

2. Attend a tree lighting ceremony

Tree Lighting at Radford Public Library – December 3rd
Winter Lights Festival in Blacksburg – December 6th
Christmas at the Market in Christiansburg – December 13th

3. Look at holiday lights in Randolph Park

4. Check out the Festival of Trees

5. Drink hot chocolate at A Very Narrows Christmas

6. Watch a holiday movie at The Lyric theater

7. SeeThe Nutcrackerlive

fall in the nrv

Fall Things to Do in the NRV

New River Valley, VA – Now that the weather outside feels like fall, here’s a list of fun things to do across the New River Valley to embrace the season of Fall. Adventure around the NRV with your friends or family and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Pumpkin Patches & Apple Picking

Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival
Thornspring Pastures Farm Fest
Crows Nest Greenhouse
Apple picking at Doe Creek Farm

Fall Festivals

Pearisburg Scarecrow Festival
Newbern Fall Festival
Draper Village’s Fall Festival
Narrows Annual Fall Festival
Randolph Park Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Radford Highlanders Festival
Smithfield Halloween 2019

Oktoberfest

OktoberFest in Floyd takes place on October 12th at Chantilly Farm. This Oktoberfest Dinner Show provides an evening filled with traditional German music, great food, and brews! Family-friendly fun for all ages.

Halloween-Themed

Haunted House: Slayhouse
Halloween Spooktacular: 3-D Drive-In Movie
Backwoods of Terror
Hexed Haunted Attraction

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Rural Floyd Enjoys the Flash of High Speed Internet

Floyd County, VACitizens Telephone Cooperative is utilizing $10 million in federal funding through Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM), to bring better internet access to the residents of Floyd County.

Citizens Telephone has served Floyd County for over 100 years and has stayed up to date with advances in technology. However, CEO and General Manager Greg Sapp says that “laying of fiber optic cable at 1G speed, one gigabit per second, will far exceed what many are used to, even for larger cities in the area.” Citizens plans to have 60% of the homes in Floyd County connected by the end of the year, with the goal of 97% being connected at the end of 2021. While they are unsure of the future of the ACAM after 2026, Sapp plans to have the work completed well in advance of the funding deadlines.

“So we’ve always been able to support people that are used to being in an urban area, but they needed the technology to connect them. In the past, people have tried to frame us into a little box based on the number of lanes of roads that come in here, but now through fiber and glass, it’s an unlimited connection to the world.” – Lydeanna Martin, Floyd County Community and Economic Development Director

The 1G broadband connections are creating positive outcomes not just for the residents and businesses, but also for the school systems. As a result of the improved wi-fi, Floyd County school district is pursuing a $17-million Collaboration and Career Development Center that will not only support high school students but will also offer evening courses for adults and expand to the elementary school curriculum. Additionally, with the improved connection, Floyd is attracting more individuals from the corporate world who are looking to semi-retire.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Loan Repayment

Student Loan Repayment Program to Attract Graduates to Floyd

Floyd County, VATalent Attraction Program (TAP) enables recent graduates to participate in a loan repayment program if they choose to reside in Floyd County. The purpose of the program is to encourage graduates from 2018 and later to live in the Tobacco Region and replaces the previous 4-year loan forgiveness program. By requiring specific credentials, community involvement, and jobs in fields that are currently experiencing a workforce shortage, TAP can better recruit talent to meet the needs of the community. TAP now provides larger individualized awards that provide up to $12,000 annually, with a minimum of a two-year commitment, and the opportunity for award renewal with the repayment funds maxing at $48,000.
“This is an excellent opportunity for recent college graduates from the region seeking jobs in these fields. It is also a great boost to new or existing businesses in Floyd County in attracting talent.” – Lydeana Martin, Community and Economic Development Director
Within the parameters of the program and specific to Floyd County, recent graduates can work for companies like:
  • Hollingsworth & Vose
  • Citizens Telephone Cooperative
  • Crenshaw Lighting
  • Wall Residences
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Tri Area Health Center
Other eligible work includes teaching in STEM or Career and Technical fields in Floyd County Public Schools, which is in the process of upgrading and reimagining the Floyd County Career and Technical Education Center for the New Economy as the Collaboration & Career Development Center. To read more about TAP and its eligibility requirements, click HERE.
###
Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.
RIDE Solutions

RIDE Solutions Launch in New River Valley

New River Valley – RIDE Solutions, a grant-funded program, provides alternate transportation options to those living in the greater New River Valley area.

RIDE Solutions is a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Agency “dedicated to expanding the efficiency and life of the roadway network and reducing the environmental impacts – air pollution – of vehicle emissions”. The ultimate goal is to connect individuals and businesses in order to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and support safer roadways. However there are many added benefits to those who participate such as social interaction, better quality of life, and increased job access.

RIDE Solutions

RIDE Solutions provides carpool matching, links to cycling/walking resources, and bus trip planners. Recently they launched a new mobile app which not only helps users better find and communicate with their ride shares but also allows them to receive points for logging their commutes. These points can be cashed in for over 2,000 different rewards at local and national retailers and restaurants. The new app even allows commuters to participate in long-distance, event, and one-time ridematching.

Not only is RIDE Solutions great for the environment, but it also helps you save money. For example, a commuter living in Blacksburg and working in Radford can easily save almost $2,000 each year by carpooling every day. Check out their map HERE to find out who is commuting near you. Plus if you use the app for events, like the upcoming Floyd Fest, you can save on gas and parking making your experience even better.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Floyd Fiber

Floyd to Be Most Connected Rural Community in VA

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Floyd County and Citizens received a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grant, which was announced last month. This grant is $348,018 to get high-speed internet to Copper Hill, a village in Floyd County, but that’s not where the connectivity ends.

At the end of the year, 60% of Floyd County will be connected to high-speed internet.

By 2021, 97% of Floyd County will be connected.

Citizens, Floyd Fiber

The gigabit internet Citizens plans to implement over the next 3 years will be about 1,700 miles of fiber-optic cable all across Floyd County.

Plus, Citizens’ internet speed will be about 40 times faster than what the Federal Communications Commission calls high-speed internet.

At the company’s public announcement event, Congressman Morgan Griffith said:

“Right now, in the commonwealth of Virginia, the most modern county is Floyd County. Welcome to gig country.”

For more information about this huge announcement, see coverage by Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”