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In The News

Legislators Go Back to School In Newport News

(12/05/2016) - State legislators were invited back to school to see how Newport News Public Schools is preparing students to be college, career and citizen-ready. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe proclaimed November "Virginia School Boards Association Take Your Legislator to School Month" and Newport News Public Schools hosted a bus tour on November 30 for local legislators who represent the city.

Accompanied by members of the Newport News school board, legislators and staff members representing four districts, the city council and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott's Office began their visit at Denbigh High School's Aviation Academy, where students introduced them to the magnet program's curriculum in piloting, aircraft maintenance, engineering, and aviation security and safety.

Legislators boarded one of the school division's newest ventures, a propane powered bus, to learn more about the school district's curriculum, youth development and service learning initiatives and the many options and opportunities available to students in Newport News public schools. The sightseeing and visitation tour took legislators by twelve schools and on three school tours; along the way, guests learned more about NNPS from students at all grade levels.

Participants also received a tour of the new Discovery STEM Academy courtesy of two third-grade students. The Discovery STEM Academy, which opened in September, features 36 classrooms, collaborative learning zones for each grade level, a nutrition lab (kitchen and dining area), a fitness lab (gymnasium), an art room, a two-level media center with a project-based learning area, a community resource area, a courtyard with outdoor learning spaces and an amphitheater with a stage that connects to the fitness lab for indoor and outdoor performances.

Legislators and NNPS staff pose for a photo during the bus tour.
Legislators and NNPS staff pose for a photo during the bus tour. Pictured left to right: NNPS Director of Governmental Relations Patrick Finneran; NNPS Chief Academic Officer Brian Nichols; State Senator-Elect Monty Mason; State Delegate David Yancey; State Senator Mamie Locke; School Board Chairman Jeff Stodghill; Congressman Bobby Scott Legislative Assistant Demontre Boone; State Delegate Marcia Price Legislative Assistant Tempestt Boone; School Board Members Shelly Simonds, Carlton Ashby and John Eley; and NNPS Superintendent Dr. Ashby Kilgore.

The eighth-grade band at Gildersleeve Middle School welcomed the legislators with a musical tribute.
The eighth-grade band at Gildersleeve Middle School welcomed the legislators with a musical tribute.

Legislators learned about the curriculum and the options and opportunities available to NNPS students.
Legislators learned about the curriculum and the options and opportunities available to NNPS students.

Third-grade Students Maurikus Banks and Chauncey Branch led the legislators on a guided tour of Discovery STEM Academy.
Third-grade Students Maurikus Banks and Chauncey Branch led the legislators on a guided tour of Discovery STEM Academy.

Crittenden Middle School Students share their school experiences with tour participants as their principal looks on.
Crittenden Middle School Students Kailey Brown, Jordan Moody and Cole Mathes share their school experiences with tour participants as their principal, Felicia Barnett, looks on.

Aviation Academy Senior Noah Harvill explains the process of building an airplane.
Aviation Academy Senior Noah Harvill explains the process of building an airplane.

Aviation Academy Senior Cameron Jones talks with School Board Chairman Jeff Stodghill during the tour.
Aviation Academy Senior Cameron Jones talks with School Board Chairman Jeff Stodghill during the tour.