NPS Now Newsletter
A Message From The Superintendent
This issue of NPS Now is our next-to-the-last newsletter as the end of the school year is quickly approaching. Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating reopening our schools on a traditional September schedule.
We began publishing NPS Now for two primary reasons: with school back in full swing, we knew we would have lots of important news to share; and we also knew much of that news would be celebratory since NPS has so many talented students and staff. This edition of NPS Now definitely hits both of those targets.
On the breaking news front, in this edition you will learn about a new federal program that offers very affordable Internet service; plans for a Faith-Based Partnerships 2022 Kickoff Summit; the beginning of kindergarten registration; and the fact that NPS is continuing to accept preschool applications.
Check out our good news too! For instance, Booker T. Washington High School Senior Ayana Askew is a 2022 Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate and Granby High’s Marjorie Cenese is Norfolk’s Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador. And while you are at it, be sure to click on the video link and see all the good things that happened at the annual Little Feet Meet, a Special Olympics-sponsored event that is sure to touch your heart.
Speaking of heartwarming news, Teacher Appreciation Week may have been May 2-6, but the truth is there is not a week that goes by that our teachers are not working diligently to inspire our students to succeed. So please consider taking a moment to thank a teacher who has made a difference in your child’s life.
Additionally, please be reminded that NPS has reopened its doors to volunteers! The end of the school year may be hurtling towards us, but there is still time for you to donate your energy, be that chaperoning a field trip, assisting with a school event, or helping out in a busy school office. The bottom line is we need you! Volunteering has the great potential to impact the life of a child, and you can be that volunteer who makes that all important difference.
Teacher Appreciation Week
We celebrate our teachers every day, and especially during TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK! Nearly 2,600 teachers make a difference in Norfolk Public Schools’ classrooms! Each of them brings passion, dedication, and a wealth of experience to instill the joy of learning into young and developing minds.
This month we also salute our Teacher of the Year winners from around the division! We’ve planned a special event to announce our overall, citywide NPS Teacher of the Year later in May. In the meantime, check out all the winners from individual schools. And be sure to take a look at the Excellent Educators series on WAVY TV10 News, which showcases teachers whose work has been a shining example of what makes NPS such an extraordinary place to learn!
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps families and households to afford Internet service. This new benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
All families in NPS qualify for this program because of our USDA Community Eligibility Provision!
It's easy to apply for this subsidy to lower your internet service bill! If you don't have Internet service, you can get it from this program.
You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP or by calling 877-384-2575.
Need help to sign up? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the hotline: 301-539-9192.
Community Partner Corner
The James E. Newby Jr. MD Foundation (Newby Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and funding of research aimed at cardiac disease and related chronic illnesses and to provide assistance to the citizens of Virginia who are in need, regardless of race, color, or national origin. The Newby Foundation has provided NPS students with two wonderful grant-funded programs that provide exposure to STEM activities and careers.
The first project allows students to learn to grow fresh, nutritious vegetables indoors using tower gardens. These vertical gardens, donated to Ingleside Elementary School, Southside STEM Academy at Campostella, and Suburban Park Elementary School, help encourage our young scholars’ interest in science, mathematics, and healthy eating.
At Granby and Booker T. Washington High Schools, five (5) graduating seniors are currently participating in a Sentara Scholars program. The six-week course will prepare students to graduate with an industry-recognized certificate/diploma/degree and gain employment in their field of study with no student loan debt. Thank you, Newby Foundation!
Norfolk Public Schools welcomes positive, collaborative, meaningful partnerships between our schools and our communities to enhance student academic learning and success. For more information on community engagement, contact LaEunice Brown, Community Engagement Coordinator, Office of Communications & Community Engagement, 757-628-3459.
Little Feet Meet
Hundreds of Norfolk Public Schools' students, volunteers, and community partners were on hand for the 13th Annual Little Feet Meet at Old Dominion University.
The event benefits Special Olympics Virginia and it sure was good to be back in person! Superintendent Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong and organizer, Candace Delpino, kicked off the festivities with heartfelt enthusiasm!
This year's Little Feet Meet was a great cap to Disability History and Awareness Spirit Week at NPS.
We thank everyone who came out in support, and we look forward to doing it again next year!
Norview High School welcomes a new Head Football Coach. Herbert D. Lawrence, a Norfolk native and Booker T. Washington graduate, comes in with an impressive and an extensive resume. Lawrence who has been employed by Norfolk Public Schools for 20 years, is also an employee in the Guidance Counselor's office at Norview High School.
"My commitment as the Varsity Football Head Coach of Norview High School is to instill good sportsmanship, knowledge, loyalty to the players’ education, football organization along with dedication, dependability while stressing the importance of hard work on and off the football field, " Lawrence said.
NPS Debuts Food Truck, Serves Hundreds of Area Children
Norfolk Public Schools’ Department of School Nutrition debuted its food truck on April 13, 2022, during Spring Break.
The team parked within the vicinity of Crossroads Prek-8 School and served a variety of nutritious foods and beverages to include chicken wings, fresh fruits and vegetables, educational snacks, and milk to 222 children at no cost.
We would like to take another opportunity to thank everyone who had a hand in making the food truck debut so special!
We are already planning for the next event!
Stay up to date with the latest School Nutrition happenings here.
Watch for updates to our website
NPS’ Department of Communications and Community Engagement has been diligently working to improve your experience on npsk12.com.
Later this month, please take a moment to visit the homepage for a cleaner, brighter layout, new features, and to test out its improved navigational features.
The Communications Team will continue to make improvements to pages throughout the website and to prepare each school page for a fresh launch in August, just in time for the start of 2022-2023 on Tuesday, September 6! Updates will also include a resourceful and robust cell phone application, as well as additional ways to stay connected with Norfolk Public Schools.
National Spotlight Shines on NPS’ Music Education Program
Norfolk Public Schools’ Music Education Program has received the “2022 Best Communities for Music Education” distinction!
The distinction is awarded through the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation and given to divisions that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
Zach Rooksby, Senior Coordinator of Music Education, assembled a detailed account of NPS’ comprehensive music program and entered the report earlier this year. It was verified and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“Being designated a 2022 Best Communities for Music Education is the result of the incredibly hard work our music teachers do on a daily basis,” said Rooksby. “It also reflects the immense support that Norfolk’s community organizations, citizens, parents, and guardians show in prioritizing a strong music education for children in our school division.”
NPS’ Music Education Program offers a well-rounded experience for students from kindergarten through grade 12. Every school offers music instruction, and students can participate in chorus, band, and orchestra, while electives include music theory, guitar, and electronic music. The music program also boasts strong community partnerships with area arts and music organizations steeped in advocacy for music education.
Poet Laureate candidates
NPS Student Named One of Two Youth Poet Laureates for Hampton Roads, Another NPS Student Chosen to be Norfolk Ambassador
Booker T. Washington High School Senior Ayana Askew will serve as a 2022 Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate. The announcement was made on April 24, 2022, during a celebratory production performed by Teens With a Purpose, which also named Granby High’s Marjorie Cenese as Norfolk’s Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador. The two NPS students, along with Granby High’s Shawna Alston, were amongst 10 candidates competing for the top honor that Ayana will share with another area student. Ayana now has an opportunity to become the next National Youth Poet Laureate! This was the first time in the program’s history that there was a tie between contestants, resulting in two Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureates.
Teens With a Purpose (TWP) is a Hampton Roads non-profit Creative Youth Development organization located in Norfolk. TWP was one of the first organizations in the nation to form a Youth Poet Laureate Program for this region and is a local affiliate of The National Youth Poet Laureate Program.
Norfolk Public Schools Welcomes Back Volunteers and Seeks Additional Partners in Education
Norfolk Public Schools reopened its doors to volunteers during National Volunteer Month in April!
Health mitigation efforts halted volunteers and others from entering schools during the pandemic. During that time, NPS’ Office of Community Engagement implemented changes to the volunteer system that streamlined the application approval process.
Former volunteers and those interested in partnering with NPS are now able to use the new Raptor Online Visitor Management System to register as a volunteer.
The application can be found on the Community Engagement website. Both past and new volunteers will need to visit npsk12.com/volunteer to create a personal portal and complete the NPS online volunteer application.
Volunteers can use the portal to sign up for various volunteer opportunities, which include sports, activities, events, and division initiatives. They will also be able to track their volunteer hours and communicate with a school-based volunteer liaison.
“We have used this time during the pandemic to strategize and put a system into place to ensure that Norfolk Public Schools is able to increase its partners in education,” said LaEunice Brown, Community Engagement Coordinator. “This community has so much to offer our scholars, and we want to make sure both sides are able to benefit from the value of these partnerships.”
NPS to Host Faith-Based Summit and Community Kickoff
Norfolk Public Schools is excited to host its Faith Based Partnerships 2022 Community Kickoff Summit on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at Norview High School.
The Faith Based Partnerships Committee, comprised of NPS staff and members of area faith-based organizations, decided to host a summit to provide an opportunity for faith-based organizations to learn about partnering with NPS.
Educating and raising the next generation is a shared responsibility. When schools and faith-based organizations collaborate, students find more success and the entire community benefits. Partnerships provide opportunities for community outreach, promote generosity, and encourage membership engagement while providing students with invaluable skills to build value-based character so they may become positive role models in our community. Faith-based partners work together with NPS to maximize resources and relationships that foster growth and success for all students.
Click here to learn more about Faith Based Partnerships and how to get involved.
Kindergarten Registration has Begun!
If you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 30, 2022, NPS welcomes your student to kindergarten!
Find all the information you need to register, including all required forms, on our Student Support Services page.
The Department of Early Learning and Title I continues to accept preschool applications for the 2022-2023 School Year.
Do you have a child that will be 3 or 4 years old by September 30?
Norfolk Public Schools offers high-quality preschool for qualifying children.
Preschool classes are free, in-person, and five days a week.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see if you qualify for this important first step in your child’s education because preschool matters!
To apply for NPS’ preschool programs, visit the Department of Early Learning and Title I webpage.
NPS Gets Tip Reporting Service to Report Bullying and Other Safety Concerns
NPS has partnered with VectorSolutions to provide students, parents/guardians, and staff a safe way to report bullying and student-related matters anytime, anywhere, on any device through the Vector Alert Tip Reporting System application.
Text us, call us, e-mail us, or report it through the website, while remaining anonymous. As always, every tip is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
The app is available now to download to your device. To learn more, please visit https://nps-va.safeschoolsalert.com.
Check out NPS en Español
NPS now has an entire Facebook page en Español! Be sure to stop by and give Norfolk Public Schools en Español a like!
NPS will be closed for an extended Memorial Day Holiday
Schools are closed May 27-30, 2022, for an extended Memorial Day Holiday weekend.
We look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, for a strong finish to the school year!
For a printable version of this year’s recently updated Academic Calendar, click here.
2022-2023 NPS Academic Calendar Approved, Posted
The School Board voted on March 16, 2022, to approve Academic Calendar Option “1” with a modification to move a holiday scheduled for Monday, January 2, 2023, to Monday, March 13, 2023. The NPS Academic Calendar for the 2022-2023 school year is available online here.