Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

FAQ: Counseling for Preschool

Posted: September 28, 2020

School counselors are available to assist students and their families. Refer to the School Counseling Directory for contact information.

What is the purpose of First Step?

The NNPS Preschool Program is a voluntary program which provides innovative early childhood instruction for 4 and 5-year olds. It is designed to help four-year-old learners gain an understanding of their world through joyful, developmentally appropriate experiences.

Is preschool a daycare center?

All Early Childhood Centers host a full day program, using the same curriculum, materials, and instructional strategies.  Literacy instruction follows a continuum that builds on the child's need to communicate through meaningful and authentic activities in oral language, reading, and writing.  Our students gain mathematics concepts through questioning, problem solving, persistence, and communication.  Units of study based on science and social studies concepts provide opportunities for students to understand themselves, friends, families, communities, and the larger world in which they live through inquiry and daily experiences.  Students have daily art, music, and physical activities to develop the whole child.

Can my child go to any preschool program?

School assignments must be based on the home address of the child's parent/legal guardian.

How many students are in each class?

A teacher and an instructional assistant have about 18 children in each class.

Is there a charge for the preschool Program?

There is no charge; the program is free.

Will transportation be provided?

Transportation is provided to and from school, based on the home address of the child's parent/legal guardian.

Where does my child go after First Step?

First Step students enter kindergarten the following school year.

How do I register my child for the preschool program?

During these unprecedented times, NNPS is going to pre-register students for pre-K virtually. View more information about registering for preschool.

How do I know if my child is eligible for preschool?

To be eligible for the 2020-2021 preschool program:

    • The child must live in a Newport News Public School zone.
    • The child's birthday must be between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 to be eligible to participate for the 2020-2021 school year.  Based on available space.
    • Meet State requirements for eligibility. (Based on parental income, education, homelessness and special education needs services.)
    • Your child must have immunizations unless there are medical reasons shared by a letter from a certified physician.


How old does my child have to be to attend the program?

The child's birthday must be between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 to be eligible to participate for the 2020-2021 school year (based on available space).

Where can I find the pre-registration form?

If your child meets the eligibility guidelines, please complete the pre-registration form and submit via one of the three options below:

    1. Complete the form online and email it along with income verification to [email protected].
    2. Print the completed form and send it along with income verification through postal mail to:
         South Morrison
         Attn: Phuong Le
         1241 Gatewood Road
         Newport News, VA 23601
    3. If you need a hard copy of the form, please email [email protected] or call (757) 283-7788.

Pre-registration with NNPS is easy as 1, 2, 3!

What are the parents' responsibilities?

Parents play an important part in the preschool program. If a child is accepted in the program, the parents must:

    • Complete the registration process as scheduled in the registration letter.
    • Have a responsible person pick up the child at school or meet the school bus on time every day.
    • Participate in parent meetings when requested.
    • Make sure the child wears the supplied name tag each day.

If I think my child is not thriving or comprehending, what do I do?

Talk to your teacher and inquire about interventions.

My living arrangements are changing, and I don't have anywhere to stay. Is there anyone that can help me?

Yes, we have Family Engagement Specialists that can give you some resources.

My child is having some issues that I cannot help them with. Can you refer me to an outside counselor?

Yes, depending on areas of concern, we can refer you to an outside agency and they will follow-up with you.

How can I find out my child's zoned school?

To determine which school your child will attend, use the NNPS School Zone Finder. Enter your address, and the zone finder will provide the names of the elementary, middle, and high school assigned to your residence in the city. You may also call (757) 591-4500 to find out which school serves your neighborhood.

What is the outline of a typical virtual learning day at early childhood centers?

  • Daily Engagement Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Direct Instruction with Teacher, Zoom Live Group Discussions
  • Every student is expected to engage in 90-120 minutes of instruction &activities per day.
  • This includes (not in addition to) the daily engagement time.
  • Small group instruction, Discussion Boards, and reading/writing assignments and Projects
  • Zoom Links will be posted in Canvas.
  • Video Link shared in Canvas:
  • Parents will be informed by teachers of child LOG IN times.
Supports for Families & At-Home Learning (Supplemental to Structured Virtual Instruction)

What resources are available for families that may be helpful towards facilitating learning at home and as a supplement to structured, virtual instruction provided by early childhood programs?

On March 23, the VDOE posted COVID 19: A Parent Guide for School Aged Children. In addition, the VDOE has pulled together the following free learning resources that are available to families as a supplement to the structured, virtual instruction provided by early childhood programs.
WideOpenSchool, powered by Common Sense Media©, has developed resources to help families navigate virtual learning. Helpful resources include: Parents Tips and Tricks for Distance Learning and 5 Signs of Screen Overload- And How to Handle Them.

Important Dates


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  • Red Ribbon Week
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ABCYA® provides free access to preschool learning games covering letters, numbers, problem-solving (strategy) and other preschool skills.

GoNoodle® offers free movement and mindfulness videos for children (appropriate for older preschoolers). Watch the GoNoodle 101: An Intro for Families video for more information.

Khan Academy Kids® is a free, educational app providing families of children ages 2-7 access to thousands of activities and books. Focused content includes math, reading, social emotional learning, creative projects, and more. Read How to use Khan Academy Kids for remote learning for details on how to set up a free account.

PBS Kids® is adding daily activities and tips to their parent newsletter. This free resource is a guide that families can use to help their children ages 2-8 play and learn at home. Content covers emotions and self-awareness, social skills, character, literacy, math, science, and arts. Sign-up for this free newsletter and check out other no-cost resources made available to support families:

PBS KIDS 24/7 channel offers anytime access to trusted educational series for kids ages 2-8 (check local listings)

PBS KIDS Play and Learn Science App: Hands-on science projects with everyday materials, along with online science games and explorations.

PBS KIDS Video app is available on mobile, tablet, and connected TV devices and offers on-demand educational videos (live stream of PBS KIDS 24/7 channel also available. No subscription required.

PBS KIDS Games app- nearly 200 educational games for children ages 2-8; can be downloaded for offline play. Learn more here.

PBS KIDS for Parents offers information, activities, and tips for parents, including the resource "How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus."

Reading Rockets provides literacy resources and at-home activities to support emergent and young readers. Helpful content can be found under the “For Parents, Teachers, and Others” tab.

Starfall® offers free access to interactive prekindergarten language arts, math, and music activities.

Canticos® combines nursery rhymes with the benefits of bilingualism to provide children ages 3-8 English and Spanish learning experiences. Concepts covered include early literacy and math, social skills, and music and movement. Videos and downloadable lesson plans included on website.

Peep Ciencias: Colores is an education app entirely in Spanish that is based on the TV show Peep and the Big Wide World. Also available in English, and is one of a series, children ages 3-8 are engaged with animated videos and parents and caregivers are guided on how to explore key concepts through questions, conversation, exploration, and activities.

WIDA Early Years has developed two activity books, Learning Language Every Day: Activities for Families and Aprendiendo lenguaje todos los días: Actividades para familias, that support conversations with children ages 2-7 years about their families and environments. 

Ready Rosie® has developed a toolkit, Healthy at Home, to help families stay safe, healthy and connected. Includes Modeled Moment videos on health, emotional wellness, and learning at home. (online books)