Elementary Education

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Elementary education in Newport News Public Schools is offered in schools with grades K-5. Elementary school focuses on the basic skills that students need in the early years as they learn how to learn. Children study Integrated Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), math, science, social studies, health and physical education, art, and music at one of the city's 24 elementary schools. Bus transportation is provided for all students.

A Gifted Services program is offered to students in grades three through eight. Students qualify based on tests given in second through fifth grade, teacher recommendations, classroom performance, and standardized test scores.

An Achievable Dream Academy helps third- to fifth-graders gain the confidence, discipline, and academic skills they need to succeed in school.

In most cases, elementary school students attend the school closest to their home. Parents also have the choice of applying to one of the division's magnet schools. Students must apply to magnet programs, and there are criteria for entrance to academy programs. Elementary magnet programs are:

  • Deer Park: Environmental Science Magnet
  • Discovery STEM Academy: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Magnet
  • Dutrow: Global Studies Magnet
  • Hilton: Communications Arts Magnet
  • Newsome Park: Math, Science & Technology Magnet

Important Elementary School Information

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Conferences between parents and teachers play an important role in students' success in school. Conferences may be held before or after school. To arrange a conference, parents should send a note to the teacher or call the school office to arrange a mutually convenient time. Please try to arrange a conference before or after the regular school day.


Schools furnish textbooks free of charge. If books are damaged or lost, students must pay for them. Parents should see that their child's name is written on the slip in the front of each book. Each book has a serial number which is recorded on a form.

Library Centers

Students will be able to borrow books and magazines for one week. Records, tapes, encyclopedias, and other reference materials are checked out for one night. It is the student's responsibility to care properly for materials on loan. Payment for lost or damaged books and other items is required.

Homework Policy

Homework is an important part of the educational experience, serving to:

  • Strengthen skills already taught
  • Increase learning time
  • Provide enrichment opportunities
  • Promote creativity, responsibility and independence
  • Develop good work and study habits
Average Homework Timelines

Average homework timelines are recommendations. They are not meant to be minimum or maximum quotas. Some students may need more time and some less time to accomplish an assignment. The complexity of honors level work may require additional time.

  • Grades PK-1: 15-30 minutes per night
  • Grades 2-3: 30-40 minutes per night
  • Grades 4-5: 40-50 minutes per night

Standards of Learning (SOL)

SOL assessments required by the State of Virginia are administered in late spring each year. Students in grades 3, 5, and 8 are administered tests in English, Mathematics, Science, History and Social Science. The English tests for grades 5 and 8 include a direct writing sample. In addition, a computer technology test is given to students in grades 5 and 8. End-of-course tests are administered in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, English II (including a direct writing sample), Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, World History, World Geography and U.S. History. As required in the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, schools use the SOL test results as part of a multiple set of criteria for determining promotion or retention in grades 3, 5, and 8. Each in middle and high school who earns a passing score on an end-of-course SOL test is awarded a verified unit of credit in that course. More information about SOLs at Newport News Public Schools

Promotion and Retention

Promotion or retention of students is based on the teacher's and principal's judgment of what best serves the education welfare of the child. Parents will be informed early in the second semester if there is a possibility that placement will result in retention. This information will be conveyed to the parents through a conference and in writing.

Change of Address

Please inform the school office if you change your address, telephone number, or any emergency information.

Taking Student Out of School During School Hours

All children are expected to stay in school until dismissal at the regular hour. No child is allowed to leave school early for any reason unless it is first cleared through the office. To leave school before the regular dismissal hour, a pupil should have a note from the parent stating the time the parent will be in the office to get the child. For the child's safety, the child should not wait outside to be picked up. You will need to sign your child out in the office where he/she will meet you. Unless the school receives notice in writing from you, only those listed on the emergency data card will be allowed to sign out your child. Identification may be required.

Emergency Procedures

Each school has an emergency operations plan to cover both natural emergencies (tornadoes, hurricanes, snow, icing, flood) and man-made emergencies (fires, bomb threats, civil disturbances, serious injuries, utility emergencies). This plan is available from each teacher and will be reviewed with students during the first week of school each year.