Sharing Our Progress

July 1, 2022

Thank you

Thank you for sending in articles throughout the year. In reverse alphabetical order, please see the following submissions! Have a wonderful summer.

W.W. Moore

It’s finally the end of the school year. As we finish our SOLs and EOCs and wind down for the summer break, we like to think back on what we’ve accomplished, and look forward to what’s coming next. At WW Moore, that means we have a lot to think about.

We’re proud of our graduation rate in WW Moore, and we just recently celebrated another one. A Post-D student, who has been with us for a while, earned his GED in a record amount of time, but not without his fair share of hard work. His name joins the many others whom we’ve been proud to watch put on their caps and gowns and accept their diplomas. Of course, we’re also celebrating our students who passed their SOLs and EOCs over the past few weeks. Hopefully, Summer Enrichment will be a great reward for their hard work.

While we’re happy with what we’ve accomplished this school year, the future will need a different approach. We’ll be saying goodbye to our Post-D teacher, Mrs. Kimberly Toothman, who’s done a fantastic job no matter who ended up in her classroom. For us, this means that we’ll have to hope whoever picks up her mantle can do half as well as she has, and we all wish her the best in whatever she does next. Thank you, Mrs. Toothman, for everything you’ve helped us achieve, and for everything you’ve achieved yourself!

The faculty at WW Moore wants to wish all of SOP a good summer, and good luck for next school year, whatever it looks like.

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Virginia Beach

The Digital Campus within the Virginia Beach School Division recognized one of our students as an outstanding online learner. Earlier in the year, the student expressed interest in obtaining an advanced diploma. In order to help support his goals, he was enrolled in online Spanish. He successfully completed his requirements in record time. A special shout-out to those staff members that rallied around him to make this possible: Mrs. Ruth Reynolds, resource teacher; Ms. Neaves (science teacher but fluent in Spanish); and Mrs. Barbara Leopold, student support specialist.
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Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center


by Mrs. Monteiz Hicks

RJDC’s Education Program celebrates recent graduates.

On Thursday, May 6, 2022, the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center’s Education Program hosted graduation for five students; two earning their High School Diplomas and three earning their General Education Diplomas.

The students entered the gymnasium to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance being overshadowed by congratulatory responses from the crowd. Mr. Powell’s warm welcome and Ms. Sharp’s words of encouragement were the perfect foreshadowing of what was to follow next, the dynamic voice of RJDC’s own Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Jason Henry. Mr. Henry’s commencement speech focused on “Superpowers”. His powerful voice commanded the attention of the graduates as he acknowledged their struggles and encouraged each of them to identify and activate their superpowers- Courage, Resilience, and Foresight, just to name a few.

Dr. Janet Hodges, the program’s Administrator, presented graduation certificates; however, she appended the commencement speech with a discussion about individual responsibility, destructive thinking, and choices. After receiving their individual certificates, the graduates took the mic.

Two of the graduates spoke about their past experiences, and how they have grown. They offered thanks and gratitude to their Case Managers, teachers, and the RJDC staff. At the end of the celebration, RJDC staff and teachers celebrated, and some students celebrated with the graduates. It was a GREAT day here at RJDC!!

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Roanoke Valley

End of the Year Activities

Students/ Staff at RVJDC ended the 2022-23 school year with a host of activities during summer enrichment that included: a student's graduation, a teacher retirement ice cream social and a student/staff field day. Mr. King and the teaching staff celebrated a student's graduation by holding a small ceremony for the student's family and court service professionals. Next, RVJDC celebrated Ms. Lonker's (PE/Health) and Mr. Phillip's retirement with lots of ice cream and goodies. The two week enrichment concluded by a cook-out and field day celebration which featured RVJDC's own "slip and slide". So much going on and we all had lots to celebrate but looking forward to a relaxing break this summer.

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Piedmont Regional Juvenile Detention Center

A New Look at an Old Resource

In English class, finding relevancy for student skill building has always been a task for teachers. When using resources, students don’t realize that many times the included information in the boxes, graphs, and photos may be even more relevant to the reader than the text itself.

This year I combined two resources that enabled students to “see” what they were missing, but more importantly, allowed them to gain better access to the material they needed to understand. Foldables and Scholastic magazines became my focus for relevancy while introducing context clues, idioms, and cause and effect.

Using a power point presentation, I introduced the terms. Nothing different or usual about that. With the goal of students seeing elements of non-fiction texts in a new mindset, I wanted them to understand why context clues were important in determining word meaning, how idioms make our language fun and colorful, and to determine the cause and effect that they see so frequently on the state assessments. Even better, I wanted them to see that you actually can achieve a positive outcome (effect) just by thinking ahead a little bit.

The addition of colorful foldables to record, and thus reinforce meaning of the terms proved interesting. We went over each term as a class, and once we finished, they were at last able to stash the foldables into their folder to forget forever, or so they thought.

When students came into the English class the next day, I announced that they would be using their foldables to identify and label the non-fiction features we previously covered. They were not thrilled, to say the least. But a surprise awaited them! Instead of using one of the heavy textbooks normally used in class, I offered the latest issues of a variety of Scholastic Magazines. As students leafed through the magazines, I could actually hear their tension ease. My students actually saw students in the magazine that looked like them, possibly sharing an experience similar to theirs, or maybe sharing a new discovery through words on a page, but in ways that they could relate. It was as if they had experienced it themselves. Hence, the relevancy had been a success!

Now, we moved on to the concepts required for their state assessments! Each student was given a short stack of sticky notes on which to write the name of the identified feature. At first, there was the expected moaning, but it amazingly changed to positive comments. As students recognized and identified the terms from their foldable and were correctly labeling features in this “cool” magazine, they became excited. One student even said, “it’s kinda like finding Easter eggs.”

Students focused, and realized that “hey, I actually know some of this stuff.” But the magic for me happened when my most non-willing students asked me, “You gonna let us do this again sometime?” With a big smile, I exclaimed, “I’ll get back to you on that.”

Jackie Holland, English Instructor


Newport News

Opportunities are no Longer Beyond Their Reach, Making the Impossible, Possible!

Do you want to be exposed to all 17 Career Clusters during one school year? Do you want to lean about the many innovative jobs available when you finish high school? Do you want to learn about careers in manufacturing, marketing, architecture & construction, health sciences, and more? Well you’ve come to the right place! The students at Newport News Juvenile Detention School has embarked on another remarkable school year. We have explored, learned a lot, and can share our positive outcomes with others. We built a Solar City, marketed shoes & sneakers, built extreme homes and other structures, engineered candy dispensing machines, made mask for the homeless, battered women & children shelters, explored careers in the health sciences, dental hygienist, CNA, and phlebotomy career field just to name a few.

These learning opportunities extends beyond these four walls. The students are encouraged to find a career field that interests them and explore. For students who are interested in the field of dentistry, some of the hands-on learning looks like exploring dental hygiene with a 3D model while learning to clean and fill cavities on the 32 teeth of the model and they also learned how to identify each tooth.

Additionally, for students who are interested in the field of engineering , architecture & construction and other careers related to this field, the students are presented with construction kits and have to follow a design plan, create blueprints using “ , students also designed different types of bridges and learned the history of bridge building in Hampton Roads, and explored large building structures throughout the world. Many of the students designed building structures from scratch using wood blocks, screws, glue and a small hand drill. Students were also encouraged to use their own imagination and critical thinking skills to complete each project. For one of the initiatives this year, the students created extreme homes and engineered a Solar City.

For those interested in the field of health science, students work hands-on with equipment taking temperatures and blood pressure. These skills can lead to pursing a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification. Students also participated in a phlebotomy lab where they learned how to draw blood on a manakin.

For those who like designing and styling with fabric, students can create designs with the sewing machine. One project student created were the masks. These masks were then donated to the people in need. These are just a few of the many creative tasks the students explored while learning lifelong skills.

For those interested in designing, manufacturing, marking, finance, and business management, students were able to get an indebt understanding of the many careers associated with this field. Students learned about the history of manufacturing and explored how innovation, such as robotics has impacted the manufacturing industry dramatically.

Mrs. Monica Anderson

Post-Dispositional Teacher

Newport News Juvenile Detention School

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Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents

CCCA Steams Into Summer

By Robert Craft, History Teacher

Students at The Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents recently participated in project-focused STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) Day, where they learned about, built, and discovered simple and compound machines.

Staff at CCCA have planned and orchestrated several STEAM days during the 2021-2022 school year as a way for students to explore more about the things that they learn. May’s STEAM event was dubbed “Rube Goldberg Day,” alluding to the artist and inventor Rube Goldberg, who was famous for inventing and illustrating complicated machines to perform simple tasks.

Students initially broke into three groups to learn and explore before building their own simple machines. The first group served as an introduction to simple machines as students watched videos and built simple machines using Lego kits. Next was a group called “Breakout for the Crown.” Students in this group solved puzzles and discovered mystery clues that allowed them to unlock a series of boxes. Upon solving the final mystery puzzle, students were awarded origami crowns. The final group explored the idea of energy transfer using the GIZMO “Sled Wars.”

After exploring simple machines in their breakout groups, students were then given the opportunity to build their own contraptions using classroom materials and supplies. Students could work individually or collaboratively to first design and then assemble their own unique inventions. At the end of the day, the young inventors of CCCA were able to showcase their creative talents while having fun.

CHKD (Hospital School Program)

Congratulations to the CHKD Hospital School Program’s (HSP), Leslie Magee! Leslie is the HSP’s music therapist and was selected as their 2021-22 Teacher of the Year. She was then selected as one of Norfolk Public Schools’ Top 12 finalists for district-wide Teacher of the Year honors! It’s always great to see SOP staff recognized in their respective school districts for their hard work in serving students and families. Congratulations Leslie!

A big congratulations to Jan Teagle on her upcoming retirement! Jan has been in education for more than 40 years, both in the public and private sector. She started with Norfolk Public Schools in 1988 before joining State Operated Programs in 1994, serving the students and staff at the CHKD Hospital School Program (HSP). Jan began her HSP journey as an educational consultant, working in various CHKD outpatient clinics, including Pulmonary, Allergy, Immunology, Rheumatology, and Care Connection. In 2005, Jan transitioned to program leadership, becoming the HSP director and has been diligently leading the program ever since. Her focus on positive student outcomes, parent education, staff professional growth, and team building have been greatly appreciated and will truly be missed. Jan will be completing her many years in education and retiring on September 1, 2022. She and her husband, Fred, will then be moving from Virginia to begin their next adventure as Georgia residents! Jan is looking forward to moving into her Georgia home and being closer to her sister, who will only be minutes away. Please join us in sending well wishes to Jan as she looks forward to enjoying a well-deserved retirement!

Shannon Turner

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