Secretary Miguel Cardona stops in Harrisonburg for Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour

Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour
Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 4:48 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona continued his Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour in Shenandoah Valley visiting schools across the country to better highlight what school districts and universities need and have done to support students through the pandemic.

“For the last two years, we heard the challenges we have had in communities. It is important to roll up our sleeves and work hard when we have to but schools like this that have inclusivity, welcome environments and a sense of belonging as their core are schools that succeed,” Cardona said during his visit to Bluestone Elementary in Harrisonburg.

Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour
Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour(WHSV)

After visiting students in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Cardona sat down for a roundtable discussion. Members of Harrisonburg City Council, the president of James Madison University, parents and families and more joined in on the conversation.

“We are a community that is all in for public education,” Dr. Michael Richards, HCPS superintendent, said. “As you can see our demographic matches America, now and in the future.”

Cardona heard from city and district leaders about the programs that have succeeded when it comes to special education and English language learners.

“We know that when the pandemic happened, we had a lot of academic needs, social-emotional well-being,” Cardona said. “When our kids came back it was that sense of community that our kids missed the most. Whether in the cafeteria or outside, I sense here that you have taken that to another level.”

Parents, school liaisons and district leaders spoke on the struggles students faced during and before the pandemic.

“If we do what we have done we are going to get what we have gotten in this country,” Cardona explained. “The pandemic forced us to stop and reexamine but we have to come back better and we have to engage families. There were achievement disparities before the pandemic and we have to address those. Another thing we have to address is the fact that most persons in our country were monolingual.”

Cardona praised the HCPS for the work they have done during the pandemic and emphasized the importance to continue to support students and staff in the future.

For more information on the Road to Success Back to School Bus tour, click here.