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Student Empowerment

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

Student voice matters! Our goal is to develop students into extraordinary student leaders. Student empowerment opportunities are designed to tap into the amazing strengths and talents of all Newport News Public Schools students. In NNPS, our students lead important work, including designing and leading clubs, projects, and activities which not only provide an opportunity for self-development and service, but which also promote a positive school culture and discourage harassing behaviors.

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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! To assist these middle school students, 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, college and career exploration opportunities, conduct social entrepreneurship and service projects, and learn valuable skills, such as public speaking and project management.

Learn about Bloom.

Expect Respect

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 presents the annual RISE! Male Empowerment Conference, "The Power of HIStory," to provide information and resources that will equip male students for emotional, social, academic, and future success. NNPS students in grades 8 through 11 are eligible to participate in this experience. Graduating seniors assist with planning, logistics, and facilitation of programming before and during the conference. The one-day conference includes dynamic presentations, a panel discussion, breakout sessions, and more for students, as well as informative workshops for parents.

Learn about RISE!.

Elementary School

In Newport News Public Schools, it is our goal to help students feel a connection to school that extends beyond the classroom. In our elementary schools, this is accomplished in part by offering a variety of clubs and activities for students that are sponsored by school-based staff members and local community partners. While our clubs and activities exist to provide experiences that promote student engagement, they also give students a platform to lead their own activities and to serve in both their schools and the community in various capacities. Giving students these opportunities not only provides them with meaningful experiences, but also gives them a positive sense of self and helps them feel a greater sense of belonging I their school community.

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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.

Middle & High School

Middle and high school students have many 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, project management, and team work.

City-Wide Student Government (CWSCA) 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 across the division.

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 students 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.