Director of Public Information and Community Involvement
In The News
NNPS Earns Two First Place Awards from the National School Boards Association
(May 18, 2012) - Newport News Public Schools is the only district in the nation that is recognized with two first place awards in the American School Board Journal's 18th annual Magna Awards program. NNPS received awards for two successful programs: the Dropout Prevention and Recovery Program and the "Spring Break: Make it Work!"
The school district established a Dropout Prevention and Recovery Program that turned school and central office staff into a team that created an array of services to help students graduate on time. The program has high school graduation coaches who identify, assist, and encourage students at risk of not graduating. It also has an evening high school program, two dropout recovery centers for adults, and numerous locations throughout the city that offer GED preparation and testing. Since the program's inception in 2008, the high school completion rate has increased from 78.7 percent to 87 percent and the dropout rate has been cut by more than half, from 14.3 percent to 6.9 percent in 2011.
Newport News Public Schools also was honored for the "Spring Break: Make it Work!" program, which matches high school students with local businesses and organizations that offer paid or unpaid work to students during spring vacation. About 50 students participate in the program each year, gaining valuable workplace experience. The program also shows employers that district students are capable of high-level work. Because of the program's success, more employers are offering internships.
The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.
NNPS was honored during a special presentation at the National School Boards Association's annual conference in April 2012.
"The Magna Awards exemplifies strong school board leadership, creativity, and commitment to student achievement in public education," said Anne L. Bryant, the American School Board Journal's (ASBJ) Publisher and Executive Director of NSBA. "This year's Magna Awards recipients truly showcase the best practices and innovative school programs that are advancing student success."
ASBJ initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from 300 submissions. This year's nominations came from 44 states.
The 2012 winners are highlighted in a special supplement to the May issue of ASBJ and the school district's winning entry is posted on the Magna Awards website and added to the program's searchable best practices database. Both can be found at www.asbj.com/magna.