Newport News Public Schools update for December 2017

Two schools earn the 2017 Virginia Board of Education
Excellence Award

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Board of Education recognized Deer Park and Hilton elementary schools as recipients of the 2017 Virginia Board of Education Excellence Award for advancing learning and achievement. Both schools exceeded all state and federal accountability benchmarks, making significant progress toward the program’s goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities. The Governor and the Virginia Board of Education bestow the Excellence Award to those schools that are fully accredited and achieve excellence goals. The 2017 awards program recognized 386 schools and 17 school divisions.

Discovery STEM Academy recognized for educational design

Discovery STEM Academy, Newport News Public Schools’ (NNPS) newest elementary school, was recently awarded the Learning By Design Award of Excellence by Learning By Design magazine. The school is one of five education facility design projects awarded the top prize this year.

Designed by Grimm + Parker Architects and built by Oyster Point Construction, Discovery STEM Academy features 36 classrooms, collaborative learning zones for each grade level, a nutrition lab (kitchen and dining area), a fitness lab (gymnasium), an art room, a two-level media center with a project-based learning area, a community resource area, a courtyard with outdoor learning spaces and an amphitheater with a stage that connects to the fitness lab for indoor and outdoor performances.

Grimm + Parker Architects earned a grand prize for the design of the school. “A lot of nicely varied innovative hands-on educational spaces appear to be provided inside and out: outdoor classroom, outdoor learning area, amphitheater, student vegetable garden…” noted the panel of judges that consisted of architects, education administrators and facility professionals. ” Each of the five projects combined all the elements that make a learning environment successful—transparency, connectivity, safety, sustainability, great interiors, purposeful functional design and sophistication,” added the judges.

Learning by Design released its much anticipated Fall 2017 edition, showcasing the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-K through 12th grade to college and university facilities.

One NNPS high school and nine career and technical education teachers earn recognition in Financial Literacy Education

Woodside High School has been named a 2016–2017 W!SE Blue Star School for its students’ performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. The national certification test is given to high school students upon completion of the personal finance course. To earn the Blue Star designation, students attending the school must achieve an 80 percent pass rate on the test with either a majority of students at a given grade level taking the test or an average score of 85 percent or higher by students who take the test.

Eight NNPS career and technical education teachers also earned recognition for their students’ successful performance on the Financial Literacy Certification Test. Named W!SE Gold Star teachers were Lenise Cowling (Heritage High); Adrienne Caldwell, Stephanie Gwaltney and Diane Zawadzki (Menchville High); Kimberly Grant and Reginald Neely (Warwick High); and Stephen Brown, Steven Jecewiz and Tina Shorter (Woodside High).

To receive the Gold Star Award, a teacher must achieve a 93 percent pass rate on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification test in at least one class.

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