Student Empowerment

We believe that students are invaluable resources who are capable of leading in our schools and the community.

Student empowerment opportunities are designed to build college, career, and citizen-readiness in all students. Newport News Public Schools encourages students to design and lead clubs, projects, and activities which not only provide an opportunity for self-development, but which also promote a positive school culture and discourage harassing behaviors.

Questions? Contact Bridget Adams, Supervisor, Youth Development at (757) 283-7850 x.10318.

Expect Respect

Expect Respect is a bullying and harassment prevention initiative which establishes a school-wide expectation for common respect, teaching what that means, and ensuring that students and staff share in the responsibility of creating positive school environments. Student-led Expect Respect teams train teachers and students on the process of addressing disrespect using a common "Stop" word or phrase to alert everyone that inappropriate behavior is occurring. Expect Respect is an important strategy in our efforts to promote positive school culture and to discourage harassing behavior. The primary goals of Expect Respect are:

  • To create an environment in which everyone feels safe from bullying and harassment.
  • To teach everyone to stand up for themselves and others against bullying and harassment.
  • To make it easier for students to communicate clearly, with other students and staff, when they are not feeling respected.
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RISE! Male Empowerment Conference

Newport News Public Schools presented the RISE! Male Empowerment Conference, "The Power of HIStory," on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Heritage High School. The purpose of the conference was to provide information and resources that will equip male students for emotional, social, academic, and future success. NNPS students in grades 8 through 11 were eligible to participate in this experience. Graduating seniors assisted with planning, logistics, and facilitation of programming before and during the conference. The one-day conference included dynamic presentations, a panel discussion, breakout sessions, and more for students, as well as informative workshops for parents.

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Bloom is a division-wide student led empowerment initiative, designed to equip promising female middle school students with the information and resources essential for their development as global leaders, destined to make an impact in their schools, community, and the world! Newport News Public Schools High School students partner with students from local colleges and universities and community partners to serve as "Empowerment Coaches."

In addition to an annual conference, Bloom organizations in each middle school meet regularly to address topics such as self-discovery, positive relationships, and health and wellness. Bloom participants also experience an annual leadership institute and college and career exploration opportunities, conduct social entrepreneurship and service projects, and learn valuable skills, such as public speaking and project management.

Elementary School

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In elementary school, NNPS students develop an AWARENESS of Youth Development practices which are embedded in the I.C.A.R.E. curriculum and classroom practice. Students also lead in other positions, such as student ambassadors, Safety Patrol, and Student Council Association members.

Middle & High School

Middle and high school students have dozens of opportunities to lead in their schools, daily. Whether serving as an anchor on their school's morning broadcast, serving as a club officer, inspiring as an athletic team captain, or serving in the community, NNPS students learn important skills, such as critical thinking, relationship building, and team work.

The Big Give Back connects Newport News Public Schools high school students with opportunities to volunteer in the community and across the school division.

City-Wide Student Government is the division level high school student government organization which aims to increase student involvement and leadership opportunities to promote school spirit and positive school culture, as well as, discourage harassment among peers.

Principal's Advisory Group members serve as the voice of their peers in regular meetings with school administrators.

Project Inclusion teams in each high school implement action plans to ensure that their schools are inclusive and a place in which all student feel that they belong.

Superintendent's Advisory Group on Education (SAGE) members meet regularly with the Superintendent to review and address issues of importance across the school division, including academics, student life, planning and policies.