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Virginia to restrict student cellphone use in K-12 public schools

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Virginia to restrict student cellphone use in K-12 public schools


Virginia is set to restrict the use of cellphones in schools, joining a growing list of states that are banning or limiting use of the devices in schools, citing concerns about students who are spending too much time in front of screens.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order Tuesday to establish “cell phone-free” classrooms in all Virginia K-12 public schools.

Executive Order 33 requires the state Department of Education to team up with partners to set guidelines for restricting phones in K-12 school classrooms by the fall, which would then be implemented by Jan. 1, 2025.

The executive order highlighted mental health concerns among adolescents, including anxiety and depression, as a main factor behind the decision, stemming in part from teens’ significant use of popular social media platforms, which, according to an American Psychological Association report published in April, is an average of 4.8 hours per day. The order also said students who use phones during school days tend to learn less and earn lower grades.

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Teens use phone in this undated stock photo.

STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

The order suggested the use of pouches or dedicated cell phone “lockers” as potential ways students can store phones during school days. It also doesn’t completely ban cellphones and stipulates that the education department needs to address processes for parents to communicate with their children in times of emergencies and for everyday issues, such as forgotten items and pick-up times.

In a June op-ed, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called for warning labels on social media sites, similar to warning labels on tobacco products, in order to address “the defining public health challenge of our time.”

Virginia’s executive order comes one month after the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school district, passed a ban on cellphones on June 18, which will take effect by the spring semester of the 2024-2025 school year.

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States like Florida, Indiana and Ohio have also passed similar laws, and several other states are considering doing the same with legislative proposals in the works.



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Virginia

99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia

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99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia


99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia – CBS Chicago

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Thousands of people gather in the water and on land every year on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to watch the ponies swim between islands.

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Midway Through 2024, Virginia Home Sales Activity Slightly Outpacing Last Year – Virginia REALTORS®

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Midway Through 2024, Virginia Home Sales Activity Slightly Outpacing Last Year – Virginia REALTORS®


 

According to the June 2024 Virginia Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, there were 10,018 homes sold across the commonwealth last month. This is 974 fewer sales than June of last year.

Despite this month-over-month decline, overall sales activity across Virginia this year is slightly outpacing the first six months of 2023. This has occurred even with mortgage rates being higher than they were the first half of last year. “This year’s rise in home sales could suggest that some portions of the buyer pool are getting more acclimated to the higher rate environment,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Ryan Price.

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In addition to higher mortgage rates, buyers continue facing the challenge of rising home prices. In June, the statewide median sales price reached $431,380, a 5% increase from the same time last year. This is an increase of more than $20,000, reflecting strong demand in the market.

Price growth trends are taking place across most of the commonwealth, with about 68% of Virginia’s county and city markets experiencing median price gains in June.

“Price growth continues to be a widespread trend in Virginia, and affordability challenges are brewing in some of our larger regional markets,” says Virginia REALTORS® CEO Terrie Suit. The largest median price increases in June were in the Southside region, parts of Northern Virginia, and the Richmond Metro Area.

“One bright spot for Virginia home buyers comes in the significant inventory gains we are seeing across the state,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2024 President Tom Campbell. “This growing inventory is providing more options for those buyers who are able to afford the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates.” In total, there were 18,340 active listings on the market at the end of June. This is an influx of 3,662 listings from this time last year—an increase of almost 25%.

Click here to view the full June 2024 Virginia Home Sales Report.

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Virginia Town Among 50 Best Places To Live For Families, New Fortune Ranking Says

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Virginia Town Among 50 Best Places To Live For Families, New Fortune Ranking Says


VIRGINIA — The best place in Virginia to plant roots for a lifetime is Chantilly, according to Fortune’s new ranking of the nation’s 50 Best Places to Live for Families.

In the analysis, Fortune said Chantilly, which has a population of about 25,000, was ranked third in the nation. Highlights of Chantilly mentioned by Fortune included the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Pleasant Valley Golf Club and breweries like Ono Brewing Co. to Honor Brewing Co. Fortune said while Chantilly is mainly a residential area, it offers plenty of restaurants and shopping.

“Chantilly is a serene escape just 24 miles west of the city and just seven miles from Dulles International Airport — convenient for family vacations,” the editors at Fortune said. “The community is largely residential … but there’s plenty to do. Along Route 50 you’ll find a number of eateries and bistros, and where it intersects with Route 28, there’s a ton of places to shop.”

Fortune said its list reflects qualities people look for when they decide where to raise families and retire.

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“A great place to live not only supports families in the present but also serves them in the long term. With a growing portion of Americans caring for both children and aging parents, more people want to live where multigenerational families can thrive,” the news outlet said.

Fortune said it analyzed more than 2,000 cities and nearly 200 data categories, which included livability, financial health, resources for aging adults, education and wellness.

The cities chosen, one for each state, are sustainable for both their youngest and oldest residents and include fast-growing suburbs and edge cities that find creative ways to improve people’s well-being, Fortune said.



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