In June, more than 1,700 students in Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) graduated from high school and began the next phase of their life journey, prepared and confident. Under the guidance of our great teachers, professional staff and the dedicated leadership of the school board, our graduates met all of the academic standards established by the Virginia Department of Education and walked across the stage and into the future.
We are proud of their success. Because of their academic achievements and talents, our graduates have been accepted to 120 colleges and universities located across the country and have earned more than $57 million in scholarships and awards.
Sixty percent of our graduates will attend a two-year or four-year college or university. Twenty-two percent will enter the workforce or serve our country in the military. Almost half of the class graduated with honors by maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
The Class of 2023 is well prepared for future success. Seventy-four percent of our graduates were enrolled in rigorous coursework to prepare them for the demands of college and careers. This coursework included Advanced Placement (AP), dual enrollment, honors and International Baccalaureate classes.
NNPS students have access to more than 37 AP courses in 22 subject areas. The school division covers all AP exam fees, ensuring all students have access to these college-level courses. Students with qualifying grades can earn college credit.
The school division also offers all high school students the opportunity to take dual-enrollment courses. Juniors and seniors have the option of earning college credit and high school credit concurrently through dual-enrollment courses at Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) and Norfolk State University.
Ninety-eight graduates were enrolled in our Early College program at Virginia Peninsula Community College. Early College students may earn up to 19 semester hours of college credit prior to their high school graduation. During their senior year, Early College participants complete their high school coursework during the first semester and attend VPCC during second semester. This year’s Early College graduates earned 1,744 college credit hours, giving them a jump-start towards their college degree.
Our graduates also earned more than 3,400 industry and professional certifications, giving them marketable job skills. Our high school students have access to more than 70 career and technical education courses in high-demand professions, including technology; health sciences; business management; marketing; aviation; and law, public safety, corrections and security. These courses are designed around industry standards for high-wage, skilled careers. In the current economy, certifications are an increasingly important tool for improved marketability and career opportunities.
Youth development is an integral part of the culture in Newport News Public Schools. Students hone their leadership skills through participation in clubs and activities, empowerment conferences and service learning. Seventy-eight percent of the Class of 2023 served in our schools and volunteered in the community to support a variety of local organizations and agencies.
The knowledge and skills that our graduates have embraced will give them a strong foundation. They are truly college, career and citizen-ready. We are extremely proud that Newport News Public Schools has opened the door for thousands of students. Now we encourage the Class of 2023 to move forward and step confidently into their future.