Britton Wilson breaks another national record:
Junior Britton Wilson raced in the Virginia Showcase in Lynchburg on Jan. 20, beating her own record for the girls invitational 500 meters. Once again improving the nation’s fastest time, Wilson finished at 1:12.28, improving her previous time by 1.05 seconds.
Wilson’s biggest competition was Nyjari McNeil of Franklin High School in Maryland, who finished the race with a time of 1:12.39.
Wilson also won first place at the same competition in the 300-meter invitational with a time of 38.38 seconds.
“I was looking forward to having some heavy competition and I think [the race] showed me that I’m stronger than I think and I can push myself harder” said Wilson on her recent success.
Administrators consider changes to lunches in coming years
Students could potentially see big changes coming to lunches in upcoming years. Godwin administrators are considering hour-long lunches based on the system currently in place at Deep Run High School.
The Deep Run lunches last approximately 60 minutes, with all of the students taking lunch at the same time. The longer time frame allows students to eat, socialize, and meet with teachers for tutoring or making up assignments.
Administrators and teachers have been observing the lunches at Deep Run in recent weeks to make a decision about this policy for future years. No official changes have been made at this time.
General Assembly proposed laws that could affect public schools
The Virginia General Assembly is back in session and on its agenda consists a multitude of bills and proposals relating to public school facilities and education.
Henrico County Public schools have planned the installation of synthetic turf starting in the spring of 2018.
However, now the General Assembly wants to put a halt on that installation. The General Assembly wants the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to analyze the potential hazardous health effects of synthetic turf before the installation process begins.
The departments must report findings to the Assembly no later than July 1, 2019.
Since 1986, Virginia school calendars have been dictated by The Kings Dominion Law, a law that restricts Virginia counties from opening schools prior to Labor Day to provide Virginia with an extra week of tourism at amusement parks like Kings Dominion.
The Virginia General Assembly has proposed a bill that would allow local school boards to determine their own calendar and eliminate the post-labor day opening requirement.
Schools would still have to give students Thursday and Friday before Labor Day off.
However, with a change in the calendar, this could be a substantial benefit to students in Advanced Placement level-courses, allowing them more time in the year before AP tests in May.
Influenza breakout across U.S.
Every year, flu season impacts thousands of Americans, with children and the elderly having the most victims. This season, however, is the most intense strand of flu since the rampant 2009 swine flu, according to federal health officials.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 37 total pediatric deaths this season, which is similar to that of 2014-2015. People over the age of 65 are also the most likely to be hospitalized, similar to previous years.
Yet, ages 50 to 64 take the place of second-most hospitalizations, a place that infants usually hold.
The virus responsible for this year’s illness, H3N2, has been in circulation since it emerged as the “Hong Kong flu” in 1968, and has always been accounted as one of the most lethal strands.
Godwin nurse Jennifer Sharpe said, “At Godwin, we have only had about three students that we thought were flu-like, but we don’t know how that could change, even in the next week.”
U.S. gymnastics doctor charged on counts of sexual assault
Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on Jan. 24, 2018. Nassar was the former doctor for the American gymnastics team as well as a faculty member of Michigan State University.
Over 150 women confronted Nassar at a seven-day hearing, including members of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team McKayla Maroney and Jaime Dantzscher.
Many resignations followed the hearing for Nassar, including the Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon and many members of the U.S.A. Gymnastics board, with more members expected to resign.