Newport News Public Schools earns national award for educating English learners
Newport News Public Schools’ English as a Second Language program was selected as a grand-prize winner in the National School Board Association’s 2018 Magna Awards program. This year’s Magna program highlighted equity in education and recognized school districts that removed barriers to achievement. NNPS was one of three grand prize winners.
With more than 55 languages represented by more than 1,500 ELs (English Learners)—and an increasing number of students with limited to no prior school experience—Newport News Public Schools has made transformative strides to support student learning and acclimate students to the American school environment and culture.
“I am extremely proud of our English as a Second Language program,” said Brian Nichols, acting superintendent. “From enrollment to graduation, Newport News Public Schools is ensuring that English Learners have the academic, social and emotional supports they need to be successful.”
In addition to studying integrated language arts, math, science, social studies and related arts, EL student coursework supports students in attaining English language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each EL student has an English Language Support plan based on the student’s proficiency level and prior school experience.
Newport News Public Schools offers extensive resources for EL students and families, including an ESL Welcome Center, telephone based interpretation services representing more than 170 languages, newcomer classes for students with little to no formal schooling and family resources and information sessions. For preschool and elementary EL students, services are offered at all four of the school division’s early childhood centers and all 25 elementary schools. Secondary ELs are served at three middle school centers and two high school centers.
Newport News Public Schools was highlighted in the April 2018 issue of American School Board Journal. The school division was also honored at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, in April.
NNPS students are preparing for successful futures
More high school students are earning industry and professional certifications, preparing them for future careers. In 2017, NNPS students earned 3,261 certifications, giving them access to advanced post-secondary opportunities and high skilled internships and careers.
Newport News Public Schools offers more than 65 Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses designed around industry standards for high-wage, high-demand and high-skill careers in healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, government and public administration, family and consumer sciences, communications, business and management and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Industry and professional certifications provide the knowledge needed to gain experience and validate skills to potential employers. In the current economy, certifications are an increasingly important tool for building skill levels and improving marketability and career opportunities.
Successful completion of the certification process ensures that NNPS students are prepared for success in the current labor market since professional certifications are based on industry performance requirements. Industry and professional certifications are valuable credentials that provide a competitive edge for our students.