ELEMENTARY: Frequently Asked Questions
Newport News Public Schools is committed to keeping families informed during the school closure. This webpage will address some of the questions NNPS has received from parents, students and the community. We will continue to provide necessary updates to the FAQs based on the feedback and questions that are received.
School Year Calendar
At this time there are no plans to change the 2020-2021 calendars that were approved at the March 24 School Board meeting. The District Calendar and the An Achievable Dream Calendar may be found at nnschools.org/calendars.
In accordance with the 2019-2020 NNPS calendar, the last day of school is slated for June 15.
Yes, NNPS will continue to support students and families educationally. Please see the academic plans below.
If you live in Newport News and have a child who will be 4 years old as of September 30, 2020, you may pre-register your child by going to the NNPS First Step website, completing the pre-registration form and providing income verification. Families may also call 757-283-7788 and leave a message. Your call will be returned.
Elementary Academic Plan
NNPS has developed a three part academic plan for elementary school students. The first component of the elementary academic plan includes providing continued instruction and feedback during the extended closure.
Up to April 27, 2020, students will continue with packets of learning assignments/activities for reading, writing, math and social studies/science based on standards that were taught prior to March 13. In addition, WHRO TV will air instructional elementary content from 1- 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Beginning April 27, 2-week instructional learning packets will be developed which may include new learning objectives for social studies and science and a spiral review of math and reading skills that had been introduced prior to March 13. In addition to those activities, there will be engaging lessons on components related to the 5 C's (critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship skills).
The second component of the academic plan is to invite students who were not able to receive instruction during the closure or who were not in good standing prior to March 13 to attend summer school. During summer school, students will be provided remediation covering needs students display from the 2019-2020 school year. This component will assist in making sure students who were at risk of being held back as of March 13 have an opportunity to move on to the next grade level.
Lastly, the third component of the NNPS academic plan is to incorporate learning modules into the 2020-2021 school year. The incorporation of these learning modules will address the standards not taught during the 2019-2020 school year for all students.
This three-part plan allows opportunities for students to receive instruction to reinforce skills that have been taught, remediate skills not yet mastered, and provide enrichment opportunities related to the 5 C's. The academic plan for this mandated closure has been designed to ensure all of our elementary students receive direct instruction to cover the necessary standards that will be missed this school year.
The instructional packets will be posted on the At-Home Learning website and available at all school sites and food distribution sites.
The elementary assignments in the At-Home Virtual Learning Packets are designed to facilitate discussion, exploration, and provide practice on key essential skills for each academic area. Student responses to assignments may vary based on student understanding. As teachers are providing feedback weekly, they can also assist students and families with strategies and supports that will allow all students to show mastery within the assignment. However, if there is a specific assignment in which an answer key would be helpful, parents may contact the teacher or the NNPS Curriculum and Development team.
Instructional Support for Students with Disabilities
The Special Education Department is working to assist teachers with supporting instruction virtually. Collaborative teachers should plan with general education teachers to organize differentiated instruction. A variety of online resources is also available to assist students and provide additional support for learning. Special education teachers are contacting students and parents directly to meet their individual learning needs.
For meetings, the division will be utilizing electronic signatures for IEP/504 documents. When appropriate, parents will be contacted and provided instructions for the online signature process. In addition, computer-based testing will be administered, as needed. If necessary, eligibility determination evaluations requiring face-to-face testing administration may be delayed with parental permission.
Special education teachers are providing work and communicating in the same manner as general education teachers to meet the needs of students. They are working with the general education teachers to provide strategies and accommodations to meet Student Learning Plans. IEP Progress Reports will be mailed with report cards.
504 case managers and general education teachers are providing specific accommodations for students with a 504 plan to meet the Student Leaning Plan.
Instructional Support for English Learners
English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers are providing work and communicating in the same manner as general education teachers. ESL teachers support English Learners through differentiated Language Support Menus that align with the new content in the elementary packets as well as virtual support. Newcomer students are receiving specialized instructional learning packets mailed to their homes. Current and recently exited Newcomer students also have access to Imagine Learning to support their continued growth in language and literacy.
General education teachers are continuing to provide accommodations as appropriate based upon each student's English Learner Support (ELS) Plan found in Ellevation. ESL teachers are also providing support to general education teachers in strategies and linguistic supports in order to make content comprehensible for students.
At the district level, all communications are transmitted in English and Spanish. In addition, the ESL Department will ensure families that understand another language receive a phone call with an interpreter via Voiance.
Meetings for English Learner Support (ELS) plans will be held in a virtual environment. As such, signatures will be captured virtually through Ellevation.
English Learner Language Progress Reports will be mailed with report cards.
New potential English Learners that enroll after March 13, 2020, will complete an over-the-phone informal language questionnaire to determine a temporary placement in ESL services. Within 30 days of schools reopening and social distancing being lifted, these students will be formally screened for future ESL services.
Although work is required to be submitted by students, traditional grades will not be given during the fourth quarter.
At the conclusion of the school year, teachers will report student's participation and completion of the learning packet assignments using the codes below:
TI - Turned In - Student has submitted the recommended number of assignments each week in the four core content areas and responded to feedback from their teachers.
NT - Not Turned In - Student has not submitted the assignments from the instructional learning packets.
Students in grades 1-5 can submit work to improve their third quarter grade through May 15. At the conclusion of the school year, a final grade will be given based on a student's cumulative grade for the first three quarters.
Students who did not meet grade level academic criteria based on information and data collected prior to March 13, will be recommended for summer school. This recommendation will be noted on the third quarter report card.
Report cards will be mailed to the student's address in Synergy (the student information system).
All elementary students who were in good standing as of March 13 will progress to the next grade level.
Elementary students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of curriculum content which was introduced from the start of the 2019-20 school year to March 13, 2020. For elementary students, the remaining course curriculum, which would have been introduced from March 16, 2020 to the end of the school year, will be incorporated into the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Students who were at risk of being retained will be invited to attend a summer program to address their specific learning needs. Those that are recommended for summer school will be notified on the 3rd quarter report card.
Teachers will contact parents with specific instructions on how their child’s packet work can be submitted. Teachers will ask parents to choose an activity that they feel best demonstrates what their child enjoyed and learned in social learning, literacy and math (science and social studies is covered in packet 2). Examples may include a photo or video of the child doing an activity, or a photo of the child's writing or drawing.
Elementary School Students (kindergarten - 5th grade)
Teachers will contact parents with specific instructions on how their child’s packet work may be submitted to them for feedback with suggestions for improvement for their child's third marking period grade.
Teachers will ask students to choose the activities that they feel best demonstrate what they have learned in reading, writing, math, and science or social studies.
Students should submit two examples of their work in each subject area:
- For reading, a written response to a piece of text or book, or a video of the student reading
- A writing assignment
- Math problem/task (which includes pictures, numbers and words)
- For science or social studies, a written response, scientific drawings or models, or a picture of a completed project
For elementary students, the remaining course curriculum, which would have been introduced from March 16, 2020 to the end of the school year, will be incorporated into the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
All elementary students who were in good standing as of March 13 will progress to the next grade level.
SOL testing will not take place this year. The Virginia Department of Education is submitting a waiver to the federal Department of Education to release students from taking mandated state testing.
Yes, report cards will be issued for students in all grade levels.
A plan is being developed and will be provided in the upcoming weeks.
Meal Service for Students
The Child Nutrition Services Department is providing meals-to-go for any student in need through June. The meals-to-go include a lunch and a breakfast snack for the next day and are available for pick up at 21 locations throughout the city each weekday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (updated 4/21/2020). Two new locations were added this week. View a complete list of our meals-to-go sites.
School Office Hours
Beginning April 15, all schools will have office hours every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents will be able to pick up medications and other essential items, and register and withdraw their children by appointment only. Parents may request an appointment by visiting the "contact us" link at the top of the school's webpage or by calling the school and leaving a message. A school administrator or office professional will contact the parent to set up an appointment time. Parents are asked to bring a photo ID to their scheduled appointment and should avoid coming to the school if they are ill.
Canceled Field Trips and Events
Parents and students should contact their school for information about refunds. Click on the "contact us" link at the top of the school's webpage or call the school and leave a message. Please be sure to include your name, your child's name and a contact number, and identify the field trip or event. A school staff member will contact you and provide you with additional information.
NNPS is currently developing a summer learning plan. This information will be shared in a future update.
The school division would like to continue to provide these valuable internship experiences for our high school students but is unable to make that determination at this time given building access restrictions and social distancing requirements. If the internship program and STEP are reinstituted for this summer, the information will be posted on the NNPS webpage in upcoming months.
Student Emotional Health and Well-Being
NNPS has created a Social/Emotional Support area within the COVID Academic Plan website. To assist in supporting students and families with additional mental health needs, contact information for social workers and psychologists is listed on this site as well as several activities individuals or families can do to assist with stress and anxiety. Please contact our professionals for assistance. Throughout the remainder of this virtual school year, this site will continue to be updated. For information, please visit bit.ly/2QSQKyT.
Contact us to submit additional questions and comments.
For timely, accurate information on the coronavirus, please visit:
- Centers for Disease Control COVID-19
- Virginia Dept. of Health (VDH) COVID-19
- VDOE: A Parent Guide for School-Aged Children
- Questions: Call the VDH Hotline, 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343).