Newport News Public Schools update – January 2023

PreK students apply what they’ve learned on neighborhood walks

Pre-kindergarten students at early childhood and early learning centers in Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) study buildings and the materials used to make them. 

At Watkins Early Childhood Center, students collected pictures and learned about construction techniques and building parts. 

During a walk in the neighborhood around their school, students looked for real-world examples and excitedly pointed out chimneys, bricks and upper floors of the houses and other structures they saw. 

Back in their classrooms, the students practiced speaking in front of the group as they shared pictures and debriefed about all they had seen.

Runners shine at middle school track meet 

In October, teams from the eight middle schools in Newport News Public Schools sprinted from the starting line at Todd Stadium at the NNPS All-City Track Meet. 

Runners competed in seven events: 100-meter dash, 4 x 100-meter relay, 1600-meter run, 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, 200-meter dash and 4 x 400-meter relay. 

When scores were combined for all events, the top performers were the Booker T. Washington Middle School girls and the Gildersleeve Middle School boys.

Heritage Esports team competes in new facility designed for their success

The Governor’s STEM Academy magnet program at Heritage High School celebrated the grand opening of its Esports Lab, a room designed to give the school’s Esports team the resources to compete successfully with other teams across the country and around the world.

The lab features monitors, gaming computers and consoles, a flat screen display, a glass whiteboard and a rug and special seating where the team can strategize. From the facilitator’s desk, the team’s coach, Macario Castro. is able to observe the action. Special acoustic tiles over the gamers’ desks absorb sound, and the room incorporates Heritage High School’s colors.

Toinette Outland, career and technical education supervisor for Newport News Public Schools, worked with ODP Business Solutions, the school system’s contracted vendor for office furniture and equipment, to design and plan the lab. 

The students visited Esports labs at Old Dominion University and ECPI to learn how team play can continue after graduation. A number of colleges offer Esports teams and scholarships, and the skills successful players develop can translate into real-world careers.

The Heritage Esports team competes in several games, including Splatoon, Hearthstone, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers and League of Legends, ranking respectably in a region that includes about 200 schools along the East Coast.