Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 24

By Megan Schiffres

April 24, 2021

Virginia plans to eliminate some math courses, the zoo makes plans to open and a third community fridge opens in Richmond.

Daily Number

343 – That’s the number of people in Virginia who were not wearing a seat belt when they were killed in vehicle crashes last year. Governor Northam announced April is Highway Safety Month in Virginia yesterday. He says traffic safety protects everyone on the road.

“Whether you are crossing the street, on a bike, or behind the wheel, we all have a responsibility to make conscious decisions that will keep our highways safe and prevent injuries and fatalities,” said Northam. “Dangerous behaviors like distracted driving, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt and puts you and others at serious risk. Highway Safety Month serves an important opportunity to recommit to our shared goal of achieving zero deaths on Virginia’s roadways.”

Virginia Department of Education Plans to Eliminate All Accelerated Math Courses Before Grade 11

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is in the process of revising its mathematics requirements for schools in the Commonwealth. Those revisions include eliminating all accelerated math programs for students in the Commonwealth in grades K-10.

The Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) is a joint project among the VDOE, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and the Virginia Community College System. According to the VDOE< the initiative redefines mathematics pathways for students in the Commonwealth to “address the knowledge, skills, experience, and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the workforce and to be life ready.”

Under the VDOE’s proposed ‘math path,’ students in grades K – 7 will learn foundational mathematics concepts such as numbers, probability, and measurement. Students grades 8-10 will learn essential mathematics concepts including data analysis, algebra, and probability. When they do become available in 11th grade, students in their last two years of high school will have the opportunity to take advanced mathematics classes like trigonometry and computer science.

The first goal of the new program is to improve equity in mathematics learning opportunities, according to VDOE. The new model will also empower students to participate in a “quantitative world,” according to VDOE.

Under the initiative’s tentative timeline, these new mathematics requirements will go into effect during the 2025-2026 school year.

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 24
Source Virginia Department of Education

Smithsonian Makes Plans to Reopen

Once kids are out of school, it’s often time to plan that summer vacation. If you’re headed to Washington D.C., it looks like you’ll get a chance to actually walk through the Smithsonian museums again. For the first time in nearly a year, seven of the organization’s museums and the National Zoo will all be open very soon.

Museum officials made the announcement Friday, saying they planned to open up in stages. On May 5, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly will open back up. On May 14, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Renwick Gallery will all reopen. Finally, the National Zoo, National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of the American Indian will all reopen May 21.

Now yes, you will need to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times while inside any of these museums.

Third Community Fridge Opens in Richmond

A third community fridge is opening in Virginia’s capital city. These fridges, which have been popping up across the city since January, are free resources for community members to access nutrition.

A mutual aid organization called RVA Community Fridges are responsible for the fridges, which are often stocked full by community members. This one is located at 1311 Hull Street in Richmond.

Unlike the first two, this latest fridge is specifically asking the community for plant-based food donations.

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 24

If you’re unable to make a food donation, you can also donate money to the organization. Their Cash App username is $vacommunityfridges.

#ThisIsVirginia Continues For Dogwood Followers

Cicadas Arrive in Virginia

Friday’s Trivia Answer: The Foot

Shoe will never guess today’s trivia answer! It seems strange, but the foot contains 25% of all the bones in your body. That’s toe much for me, man.

GOP Rejects Republican Orthodox Jews Request for Absentee Ballots

According to reporting by The Washington Post, the Republican Party of Virginia is rejecting a plea from Orthodox Jews and others with religious obligations on Saturdays to allow them to vote absentee in the GOP’s election to nominate a candidate for governor.

Four rabbies petitioned Virginia’s GOP leadership last week for the accomodation. But according to The Post, the GOP rejected that request at a meeting Thursday night.

“My God, this is why people say we are not inclusive!” Thomas Turner, chairman of the Virginia’s Young Republicans and one of the committee’s few Black members, shouted during the debate according to The Post. “I’ve been fighting for inclusivity for the last decade in this party. . . . This is shameful. Let my brothers and sisters in the Jewish community vote. We talk about voter integrity and we’re trying to suppress the vote.”

The Virginia GOP will choose its gubernatorial nominee on Saturday, May 8.

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