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In this issue:
- Aviation Academy students aim high
- "Bring Your Own Device" pilot program at three schools
- Teachers earn certification
- NNPS PSAT scores earn notice
- NNPS All-City Science Fair Winners
- Students take aim in NNPS Archery Tournament
- News & Notes
- Mark your calendar
You might expect that high-school students in a career-oriented magnet program would be all business when it comes to their studies. And, students at the Aviation Academy take higher education very seriously. Then, again, their curriculum does cover real, life-or-death issues like navigation and air-traffic control. And the students rub shoulders regularly with industry professionals.
As students trickle into Dhyronn Goggins' Aviation Technology II class, they get out their projects, put on safety glasses and get to work. Megan McLean, a 10th-grader wearing an animal print top and an impeccable manicure, squeezes a hand riveter with both hands. Fellow student Ryan Rhodes stands behind her, coaching, as she propels a rivet through a piece of sheet metal.
Later, during William LaManque's Aviation Pilot Training class, students inspect each rivet on a small plane parked outside their classroom at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport. As they run their hands over the plane, checking its ailerons to ensure they move smoothly and opening the engine hood, a cargo plane taxis down the runway for takeoff. Although their donated Cessna isn't flown any more, the students practice taxiing in the plane, and they connect their studies to the activity on the runway and take the preflight check very seriously. Read more...
Three Newport News Public Schools are part of a pilot Bring Your Own Device program that lets students use familiar technology to make learning more immediate, interactive and fun. The project is being tested at Crittenden Middle School, Heritage High School and Point Option. Its aim is to take advantage of the gadgets – smart phones, laptops, tablets or handheld gaming devices – many students already own and harness them for learning. Read more...
Four more Newport News Public Schools teachers have completed the process of earning National Board Certification in their respective specialties. The demanding National Board Certification process can take up to three years. It requires more than 300 hours spent putting together a "career portfolio" of teaching materials, student work and multimedia examples. A reflective written component looks at teaching goals, methods and results. The candidates also have to undergo an assessment.
Teachers need three years of experience and a valid Virginia license before applying. (The program does not replace the state licensing program.) NNPS now claims 65 national board-certified teachers.
The newly certified teachers are: Melinda Hodgkiss, Hilton Elementary School, Middle Childhood Generalist; Patricia McNichol, Hidenwood Elementary School, Early Childhood Generalist; Paige Randall, Palmer Elementary School, Early Childhood Generalist; and Wade Wooley, literacy instructional coach, Early Childhood Generalist.
The NBCT credential is valid for 10 years. Rachel Swords, an interventionist at Sanford Elementary School, has renewed her certification as an Early Childhood Generalist.
Hodgkiss says she was inspired to become a teacher by her seventh-grade science teacher. "I could always tell that she wanted her lessons to be meaningful and memorable. She also showed an active interest in her students as individuals. She supported us in class and at after-school functions."
McNichol says the process helped her understand what she doesn't know: "I have a lot to learn and need to always look for new ways to improve how I teach."
Randall calls certification "challenging, but a very powerful learning experience."
Wooley would advise teachers considering certification to
try it, saying, "You have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Fifteen Newport News Public Schools students have been recognized by the National Merit and National Achievement Scholarship Programs and the National Hispanic Recognition Program. The students are among those receiving the highest scores nationally on the 2011 Preliminary SAT.
Warwick High School student Elizabeth Harrington is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and Warwick's Bishop Clarke is a National Achievement semifinalist.
National Merit Commended students include Monica Cronin, Brandon Dean and Collin Taylor from Menchville High School and Warwick students Cameron Blandford, Edward Hernandez, Christian Richardson and Susan Roenne.
Denbigh High School's Sierra Asbury, Heritage High School student Amber Gardner, Warwick's Desmond Green and Woodside High School students Allegra Mosley and Aimee Terrell were named National Achievement Program Outstanding Participants.
Woodside's Pablo Rodriguez is a National Hispanic Recognition Program Honoree.
Students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by
taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during
their sophomore year. The semifinalists are the highest-scoring students in
each state. Approximately 16,000 students nationally are named semifinalists. The
non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corp. was founded in 1955. It partners
with colleges and businesses to reward academic achievement and promise.
Here are the winners from the Newport News Public Schools
All-City Science Fair, held Jan. 12. A total of 300 students competed in the
event. First-place, second-place and third-place finishers are eligible to
compete in the Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair, to be held March 16 at
Old Dominion University. Read more...
View the top finishers in the NNPS National Archery in the Schools Program tournament. The team winners all successfully defended their 2012 titles: Richneck Elementary School, Gildersleeve Middle School and Warwick High School.
Dutrow Elementary School finished second and McIntosh Elementary School was third in its division. Booker T. Washington Middle School was second in its division, followed by Hines Middle School, Crittenden Middle School and An Achievable Dream Middle School. Menchville High School was second in its division, followed by Denbigh High School and Woodside High School. Students from Point Option also competed in the all-city tournament. Overall, there were 276 competitors.
The state tournament will be March 16 in Doswell. Warwick
has won the state title three times. This is the fifth year for the city
tournament. The National Archery in the Schools Program is a joint venture
between the state departments of Education and Game and Inland Fisheries. The
program promotes student education, physical education and participation in the
lifelong sport of archery.
On Oct. 26, the Denbigh High School Patriot Battalion participated in a Fort Eustis career exploration field trip, which was "a very good, educational trip," said Cadet Battalion Executive Officer Alton Hampton. The JROTC cadets learned how technology has influenced the military. Shakieyah Caldwell saw it as a "learning experience," especially the helicopter simulation.
During the holiday season, Denbigh's Key Club sponsored a "Giving Tree" for the Menchville House. Thanks to the generosity of students and staff, many wishes were granted. Romonia Lynch
Denbigh's guidance counselors went to First Baptist Church of Denbigh on Dec. 11 to talk with students about college readiness. In February, Denbigh administrators and teachers will return to First Baptist Church of Denbigh and Grace Church to conduct a parent SOL night about SOL tests in Math, English and Science. Particular attention will be given to the new, technology-enhanced items that have been added to the tests. Anthony Vladu
Students and staff members at Lee Hall Elementary School pooled their efforts to provide a Thanksgiving meal for 22 families. Principal Kimberly Dunn, Military Support Counselor Alicia Lightell and S.A.F.E. Liaison Phil Harris coordinated a food drive. Students and employees donated a variety of non-perishable foods and decorated boxes with messages of thanks and encouragement. The faculty and staff helped prepare the boxes and delivered them to the families. Turkeys also were provided. A special thanks to all the hands behind the scenes that made the project a success: Karen Shelton, Saphronie Harrell, Richelle Hodge and Joan Wickham. Andy Robidas
The staff at the Gatewood Program for Educating Exceptional Preschoolers (P.E.E.P) put together holiday meals for 25 families, helped by a donation of turkeys from Langley Federal Credit Union. Staff members contributed non-perishable items, and school social workers and employees organized the drive. P.E.E.P. students were visited Dec. 7 by sailors from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, who brought small gifts for students and read to them. Sunni Jones
On Dec. 3, members of the Heritage High School Man-Up group served as greeters and servers for the East End Neighborhood Association of the Peninsula's 12th annual Community Awareness Program at the First Church of Newport News. Principal Michael Nichols and Student Support Assistant Carl Chandler assisted Guidance Director Rick Watson as chaperones. The program was well-attended. Superintendent Ashby Kilgore and School Board Chairman Carlton Ashby represented NNPS. Rick Watson
Third- through fifth-graders at Sanford Elementary School are learning the rules of etiquette at a monthly Etiquette Club meeting facilitated by teacher Melene Skeeter. During a focus on table etiquette, students were taught how to set a table, when and how to use eating utensils and how to converse during a meal. Students had the opportunity to put the lesson into practice on Dec. 13, during a spaghetti dinner. At their January club meeting, the members learned about telephone etiquette. Marcia Binns
Warwick High School's NJROTC collected more than 50 toys and $150 in donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. The NJROTC Cadets have participated in the program for seven years under the command of Kevin Wilson, ROTC instructor at Warwick. The cadets also volunteered to serve as road marshals for the annual Toys for Tots 5K and 10K races at the Mariner's Museum Park on Thanksgiving.
Warwick High School students and faculty volunteered with the Salvation Army Bell Ringing community service effort during December. The volunteers helped to raise nearly $800. Louisa Slagle
On Dec. 14, fourth-grade students at B.C. Charles Elementary School participated in a "We All Live Downstream Awareness Day" in an effort to educate the community on our positive and negative impacts on the Chesapeake Bay. Students created independent projects or worked in focus groups to bring information to students and the community on ways they can assist in minimizing pollutants that enter the watershed. Katrina Mills' class was awarded an HR Green Mini Grant to place 40 storm-water drain medallions on storm drains near the school. Wenda Bransford
The Lambda Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Community Services Committee donated 30 books to Newsome Park Elementary School Library to support their in-school "Battle of the Books" program. Students Kiara Moore and Alicia Murillo accepted the books from Lambda Omega Chapter members Vanessa Whitaker, Rhonda Dennard, Carolyn Lyons-Smith, Hardenia Watkins, Lois Parker and Betty Incorminias. Librarian Tricia Hoff, was grateful for the book donation and support for reading at Newsome Park. Jocelyn Morant
Kiln Creek Elementary School held a canned food drive from November through January. The slogan, "I Can, You Can, We Can Help" motivated students to collect more than 1,000 cans of food. The school donated the items to The Need Network on Jan. 16. Nickie Hinton
Jaelen Franco, a fourth-grader at Lee Hall Elementary
School, introduced Jill Biden, second lady of the United States, at the Kid's
Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19. Last April, Biden visited Lee Hall for a Joining
Forces anniversary event to highlight the importance of understanding the needs
of military-connected children in schools.
Newport News Public Schools First Step preschool screening appointments are now available for the 2013-14 school year. Go online to make an appointment or call 283-7788, ext.12183, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., if assistance is needed. Classes begin September 3.
Megagenesis, a one-day program for students that focuses on encouraging and preparing them to attend college, will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at Woodside High School. The program includes a motivational speaker, workshops, college recruiters and exhibits about careers and college majors. Students in middle and high school are invited to attend. Register online.
Newport News Public Libraries offer a variety of events, classes and programs for adults and children of all ages. The system will offer free film screenings in February for Black History Month. The screenings are open to the public, and no registration is required. The schedule:
- "Their Eyes Were Watching God," 3 p.m. Feb. 15, at West Avenue Library, 2907 West Ave., 247-8505; 3 p.m. Feb. 16, at Main Street Library, 110 Main Street, 591-4858.
- "The Color Purple," 3 p.m. Feb. 16, at Grissom Library, 366 Deshazor Drive, 369-3190.
- "Dreamgirls," 3 p.m. Feb. 23, at Grissom Library.
See the website for information about other events at the different library branches.
Bon Secours Family Focus provides an array of services to families, which include parent education classes, support groups for parents and caregivers, the Al's Pal's preschool program and parent-child interactive learning groups. Additional programs are available for Hispanic parents, (Circulo de Padres Hispanos at First Baptist Church and St. George's Episcopal in Newport News). The programs and activities are designed to reduce parent isolation by increasing parent-to-parent support and linking families to valuable community resources, to increase parents' knowledge of childhood behaviors and development through parent education and to promote positive, nurturing parenting practices. See the Family Focus website for more information and a schedule of offerings.
NNPS Calendar and Events
NNPS school calendars and marking periods can be viewed at www.nnschools.org/calendars.
- Feb. 18: President's Day (school closed; offices open)
- Feb. 19: School Board Work Session at 5:30, Meeting & Budget Hearing at 7pm
- Feb. 21: Extended High School Counseling Hours
- Feb. 23: Megagenesis, Woodside High School, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
- Feb. 26: School Board Work Session, Operating Budget, 5:30 p.m.
- March 8: Students dismissed half-day
- March 12: School Board Budget Hearing, 7 p.m.
- March 19: School Board Meeting (Budget Approval), 7 p.m.
- March 21: Extended High School Counseling Hours
- March 29: Students dismissed half-day, teacher workday
- April. 1-5: Schools and offices closed
NNPS NEWSLines is published by Newport News Public School Office of Community Relations, 12465 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606. Director, Public Information and Community Relations: Michelle Price. NEWSLines Editor: Marguerite Hargreaves.