The education stories that kept us informed this year

You’re never too old to rethink how things are done or to learn something new.

1. Everyone loves a nice feel-good, warm-and-fuzzy story. So it should come as no surprise that the best education story of 2017 was one that involved two West Springfield students mimicking 3 Musketeers’ #ThrowShine video at their own high school. Impressed by how Rodney Wrice and Audrey Wever started a pay-it-forward movement featuring the company’s candy bar, 3 Musketeers donated 2,400 bars to the student body.

West Springfield students aim to make high school a little sweeter

2. This story, and those related to it, dominated Northern Virginia conversations this year. The debate surrounding Confederate monuments and the buildings/roadways boasting their namesakes carried over into the local education scene with schools like J.E.B. Stuart High School and Washington-Lee High School voting on whether or not they should likewise make some changes. On Oct. 26, the school board decided to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School to Justice High School.

Local schools question keeping their Confederate namesakes

3When Betsy DeVos became the secretary of education, many were divided on whether or not she was an appropriate fit for the position. This article highlights some the tumultuous times of her first term and reveals local educators’ responses.

Educators learn lessons about uncertainty

4. In other education news, T.C. Williams students interested in pursuing a future in the health care industry will be able to start working toward college credits via the school’s soon-to-come Academy of Health Sciences. During the 2018-2019 school year, thanks to a collaboration between Alexandria City Public Schools and George Washington University, students will be able to earn up to 22 college credits and gain training experience early.

Medically minded T.C. Williams students will get a head start on college

5. Deciding where to send your child to school is a big decision, one made easier by checking out this year’s top schools. Broken down into day cares and preschools, elementary, middle and high schools, we not only created a directory, we also organized the best by county and by those that ranked in the top 25 percent.

2017 Top Schools in Northern Virginia

6. No matter where you decide to send your child, a little academic stress isn’t uncommon. But just because it’s the new normal doesn’t mean that stress is a-OK. The schools featured here shed light on what they do to ensure that their students have a better educational experience.

NoVA schools seek to alleviate student stress and build creativity

A few other favorites include:

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