Newport News Public Schools update for December 2018

Curriculum Executive Director Nancy Sweat chosen for SOL Innovation Committee

Sweat posing with students at a community event.

Governor Ralph Northam’s office has announced that Nancy Sweat, executive director of curriculum and development for Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) was selected to join Commonwealth of Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) Innovation Committee by Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. Sweat is one of 10 new members to the committee.

“I am excited by this opportunity to both serve and learn on this committee. Envisioning and planning for the future of education in Virginia will be a thrilling challenge, and I believe in this committee’s responsibility and commitment to make decisions that empower both students and our teachers through the work of Profile of a Graduate and beyond,” said Sweat.

The committee will provide the Board of Education and General Assembly with recommendations on changes to the SOL assessments, authentic individual student growth measures, alignment between the Standards of Learning and assessment and ways to encourage innovative teaching in the classroom. “We need systems in place to best measure the progress of our students and to ensure accountability, and I know this talented group will continue to find ways to provide every student in the Commonwealth with a great shot at success in life,” said Governor Northam.

Sweat, who has taught and worked in education for 31 years, joined NNPS in October 2010. She has held several positions in education, including secondary English supervisor, PK-12 curriculum supervisor, executive director of secondary curriculum and development.

NNPS elementary students to tee it up in PE classes

Many elementary school students in Newport News will be teeing off for the first time this school year, thanks to a grant from Virginia Natural Gas in partnership with The First Tee National School Program.

All 24 elementary schools will launch the First Tee program as part of their physical education classes this semester. Through safe, fun activities, elementary students will learn the basic skills of golf. The program was previously at six Newport News elementary schools.

First Tee teaches golf and nine core values associated with the sport: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement.

The First Tee Program is in more than 10,000 elementary schools across the United States.

NNPS earns $1 million cybersecurity grant

Newport News Public Schools has won a $1 million grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity to promote cybersecurity education in seven schools. The Cybersecurity Pathways for Military Connected Students grant will help students strengthen computational thinking and problem-solving skills leading to cybersecurity as a career pathway. The grant will fund additional technology and robotics programs, create cybersecurity clubs and summer camps and provide professional development to teachers on integrating STEM concepts that build computational thinking and problem-solving skills into all subjects.

The five-year grant will serve Denbigh Early Childhood Center; B.C. Charles, General Stanford, Kiln Creek and Nelson elementary schools; and Dozier and Passage middle schools.

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