Halifax County High School has received a grant as part of the Design Virginia High School Innovation Network.

The network, which is comprised of Halifax, Henrico and Mecklenburg counties and Charles City, focuses on college, career and community readiness to prepare students for post-secondary experiences.

These four entities are splitting $50,000, and Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg is “thrilled.”

“It matches our strategic plan focused on college and career readiness,” the superintendent said.

Now he’s working with experts from these counties and city to make sure Halifax students are ready for college or joining the workforce.

They’re working to figure out how to get businesses more involved in their curriculum for things such as workforce development or internships.

“We’re looking at a futuristic model for the high school that isn’t focused on the old age of testing centered around Standards of Learning tests,” said Lineburg.

He’s working hard to ensure Halifax County Public Schools are “cutting edge,” and he’s grateful to have help from the other schools.

“We’re real excited to share and move forward together,” said Lineburg.

This grant was one of the planning grants announced by Governor Ralph Northam on Tuesday.

He announced 13 school divisions would receive these grants to develop or implement programs that promote Virginia’s 5 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship while preparing students for careers and postsecondary education.

The grants are for the 2019-2020 school year.

Eight school divisions received initial planning grants, while five divisions were awarded funding to support implementation this fall of previously planned innovative programs.

“Modernizing instructional approaches in our schools helps to improve educational outcomes and adapt to the needs of a 21st-century economy,” said Northam. “These grants will allow our teachers to design innovative programs that pair classroom learning with the professional skills and experiences required for success after high school, regardless of whether Virginia students are college bound or plan to enter the workforce.”

The 2018 General Assembly authorized up to $500,000 in competitive grants in 2019 for school divisions to plan high school program innovations approved by the Virginia Department of Education or to implement previously approved plans.

The legislature defined the essential elements of high school program innovation as including the following: student centered learning, with progress based on proficiency; “real-world” connections aligned with local workforce needs and emphasizing transitions to college or career or both; and varying models for educator supports and staffing.