Happy Holidays from the Superintendent …

… As the countdown to Winter Break begins, we thought you’d like to see the winning student artwork selected for the Superintendent’s 2018 holiday cards …


New in Google Today

What’s new in Google today? Quick access to the Activity Dashboard. Activity Dashboard lets you see who viewed a document over time, the number of document views each day,  or gives you access to compose an email to collaborators.

  1. Open a Google file (Doc, Sheet, or Presentation).
  2. In the upper right Click on the crooked arrow to open the Activity Dashboard.



Way to Go!!

Congratulations to the following SPS staff members who have been selected for this year’s Leadership Academy for Potential Principals!

  • Cara Byrd – KFHS …
  • Robert Casteen – KFHS …
  • Shaunda DeRon – FBES …
  • Nicole Duplain – HES …
  • Corey Hamlin – EFES …
  • Kisha Hamilton – JFKMS …
  • Kristopher Gillgren – KSES …
  • Maria Lawson-Davenport – SAO …
  • Katelyn Leitner-Black – SAO …
  • Yvette Pierce  – JFKMS …
  • Andrae’ Riddick – KFHS …
  • Leticia Rouse – CES …
  • Tonya Spruill – LHS …
  • Shalise Taylor – SAO …
  • Dennis Tysinger, II – EFES …
  • Courtney Van der Linden – SAO …
  • Ernriekus Williams – KFHS …
  • Melissa Zawodny – MBES

School-Level Teachers & Rookies of the Year Recognized

Suffolk Public Schools is proud of all of its outstanding teachers — from those just starting their classroom careers to veterans who have impacted a generation of students.  Congratulations to the teachers recently selected by their peers to represent their school in the city-wide recognition program for the 2019 Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year.  City-wide winners will be announced in March, including one veteran teacher selected to represent Suffolk in the regional competition. Regional honorees then continue on to state and national recognition.

Location Teacher of the Year Rookie Teacher of the Year
BTWES Adriane Bradley-Gray Kathy Rubio
CES Amanda Giarratano No Rookie to Nominate
EFES Jessica Vargas No Rookie to Nominate
FBES Nichole Kincheloe Taylor Flick
HES Vickie Wilson Hope Mounie
KSES Lauren Bradley Lauren Baker
MBJES Shawn Tucker No Rookie to Nominate
NPES Qua Cummings Barbara Sinclair
NSES Melanie Burnor No Rookie to Nominatee
OES Julianne Tise Kellee Sweeney
PES Alexandra Eggleston No Rookie to Nominate
CFCMS Patricia Waegerle Sarah Schweit
FGMS Natalie Rotzler No Rookie to Nominate
JFKMS Jamilla Ford Peyton Henderson
JYMS Jennifer Putzig Candice Jae
KFMS Valerie Smith Mary Mesisco
KFHS Tiwana Copeland Ashley Josshua
LHS Ronald Daughtrey Cassandra Eagan
NRHS Angela McElroy Sarah Crane
TWS Janay Bradford No Rookie to Nominate
CCAP Anne Hudson William Hallwig



Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit

The Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit is back! This FREE virtual professional development event will occur from December 14th through December 31st. Register on the Ditch Summit site to participate in the event. This year’s presenters include:

  • Ken Shelton, speaker
  • Kim Bearden, Ron Clark Academy Co-founder
  • Manuel Herrera, Doodle and Visual Thinker
  • Jornea Erwin, Head of Educator Innovation at Flipgrid
  • Matt Miller, Ditch the Textbook author
  • Tony Vincent, LearningInHand.com creator
  • Bryan Miller, TopTechEDU Co-Founder
  • Claudio Zavala, storytelling enthusiast

Register here: http://ditchsummit.com/

Reception to Honor Retiring School Board Members

If you’d like to thank one of the four retiring Suffolk School Board members, feel free to join us for a reception at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 in City Hall, located at 442 W. Washington St.

Nominations Due for Superintendent’s Star Awards

First semester nominations for the Superintendent’s Star Award program are due by Dec. 15, 2018. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to recognize employees who demonstrate commitment, initiative, school spirit, creativity, and a great attitude.

Link here for details on the award program.

Link here for the NOMINATION FORM.

Register for SmartDollar Today

This year, SmartDollar can help you create a holiday budget before the season begins! With a little bit of planning, you can celebrate without having to worry about post-holiday bills.

Did we mention SmartDollar is completely FREE? That’s right – SmartDollar is a 100% paid-for benefit!

… SmartDollar Registration 

VDOE-sponsored Online Professional Development for Technology Integration

All Course are Full


The VDOE is once again sponsoring free 6-week online courses in various topics that help teachers learn about technology integration.  These facilitated courses require approximately 30 hours of work over the 6 weeks and a final project. Once completed, a certificate for 30 recertification credits is issued.  Registration for the Winter session of courses begins on 12/3 and will continue until 12/21, unless the courses fill up first.  No one will be able to sign up after 12/21 for the Winter session, which begins 1/16/19. To register, send an email to jean.weller@doe.virginia.gov  with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your school division
  • Your preferred email for the course
  • Course you wish to take


Teacher Supply Store

Last sThe next “shopping day” is Thursday, Dec. 13 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

… Remember:  You are on your honor to only shop ONCE a MONTH

Scheduled “Shopping Days”
Dec. 6
Dec. 13
Jan. 10
Jan. 17
Jan. 24
Jan. 31

What’s the purpose of the Teacher Supply Store?
The SPS Teacher Supply Store will offer Suffolk Public School teachers the opportunity to shop for free classroom supplies on a monthly basis.   This initiative is a partnership with the Suffolk Education Foundation.

Where is it located?
The teacher supply store will be housed at the former Driver Elementary School building located at 4270 Driver Ln, Suffolk, VA 23435.

What’s the schedule for the store?
The store will be open every Thursday from 2:30-6:00 pm. During the 2018-19 school year the store will be open September 13 through April 26. Please note, the store will be closed on Thursday Dec. 20 and over Spring Break. The store will also open during extended hours on preservice days and on some teacher work days. Special store openings will be posted on the SPS website.

Does the Teacher Supply Store replace the $100 School Specialty Voucher that teachers usually receive?No. The Teacher Supply Store is in addition to the $100 School Specialty Voucher that teachers receive.

How often may I shop?
Teachers may shop once a month in the store.

Who is eligible to shop at the Teacher Supply Store?
Any teacher in Suffolk Public Schools who works in a school building directly with students. This includes classroom teachers, Special Education teachers, resource teachers, Title I Teachers etc.

What’s the process for shopping in the store? How does it work?
Teachers will be given a designated amount of “STAR Credit” each month to spend in the store. Once teachers arrive, they should follow the steps below to shop:

  1. Display your SPS badge to the Teacher Supply Store Associate or volunteers when you arrive
  2. You will receive a shopping bag.
  3. Shop for your items up to the maximum STAR Credit value
  4. Complete a brief store Check Out Form on your SMART Device or on the store computer.
  5. Check out at the counter with a Store Associate


What types of supplies do you have in the store?
The store is stocked with everything from copy paper to markers, pencils, chart paper, glue sticks, office supplies, art paper and much, much more. The stock of the store may vary from, month to month based on donations that are provided to the store. But in general, teachers can expect to find a wide range of useful classroom resources on our shelves.

What’s the process for getting supplies for students who are unable to purchase school supplies?
School administrators and Guidance Counselors should contact our Parent Relations Facilitator, Bonnie Maki at 934-6202 if supplies are needed for specific students in your school. We are happy to coordinate with you individually to provide an opportunity for counselors and principals to come to the store to pick up items for students in need.

Binders … Children’s Books … Colored Pencils … Composition Books … Construction Paper … Copy Paper … Disinfecting Wipes (Lysol only, not Clorox on any with bleach) … Dry Erase Markers … File folders … Glue sticks … Hand sanitizer … Legal pads … Loose Leaf Paper … Markers … Paper clips … Pencils … Prize box items … Sticky notes … Tissues … Young Adult Books … Ziplock Baggies 


How to Volunteer — Sign up here.
The Suffolk Education Foundation will coordinate the volunteer schedule, but if you are interested in helping on “shopping days” and/or with behind-the-scenes volunteer opportunities, please contact Bethanne Bradshaw, the division’s Public Information & Community Relations Officer, at 757.925.6752 or bethannebradshaw@spsk12.net

Check out the Teachers & Students featured in this year’s State of Schools video

If you weren’t able to attend the State of the Schools Breakfast and Learning Fair on Nov. 16, you can catch the video shown at the event on our YouTube channel.

Suffolk Public Schools is preparing students for their futures each day. Through rich learning experiences, we are creating students who embody the skills they need to be successful in college and career.  Suffolk students are mastering skills such as citizenship, creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

New SPS videos are  posted at least once a week, including the Superintendent’s 2-Minute Drills, news stories, and teacher features.

YouTube/SuffolkSchools … You can even subscribe.

These same videos are posted on the SPS division website home page, and each school’s home page.

Frontline Education Migration Tips

The migration of all Frontline Education products to one log in access took place on Friday, November 16, 2018. 

These products are:

Professional Growth & Evaluation

Absence Management (AESOP)

Recruiting & Hiring (Applitrack)

The Frontline Education Global Log In Page for all products is now app.frontlineeducation.com

The log in page looks like:

Use the Forgot Username or Password link on this page to retrieve your credentials.


Do not use previous product log in pages and remove all bookmarks.
Previous Absence Management User Credentials will no longer work. 


Community Health Fair – Saturday, Nov. 3

A free community health fair will be held Saturday, November 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at King’s Fork High School.

… Free health screenings (cholesterol, BMI, etc.)

… Flu Shots

… Medication Review

… and more

This event is sponsored by Sentara Obici and Western Tidewater Diabetes Coalition.

Need a ride?  I-Ride will  Sentara Obici Hospital, Walmart and the City of Suffolk Commerce Street parking lot.

How to Change Your Contact Info & Preferences

Are your SPS automated calls going to an old number? … Do you want to also get a Text message? … Do you want to add other numbers for emergency messages?

First, please note that the email pulled into School Messenger system is your SPS work email.  If you’ve been here a while and you once have a 3-letter-first-name email, it might be that email that’s in the system.

Second, the phone number pulled into the system is the phone number you have on file in HR and finance.  If you want SPS to know an updated number, please contact HR.

Here’s how to change your contact info in School Messenger:

  • Create your account by going to https://go.schoolmessenger.com, using the email address as noted above.
  • Once the account is created, you can see how the system is currently contacting you and make any changes you want.
  • Remember that if you phone number is wrong, changing it in School Messenger will not change it at SPS.  You still need to contact HR.

Wellness Challenge #1

Challenge #1, Sleep for 7, is Now Open!
… Be one of the first 200 SPS Staff to Register and Complete this challenge to earn (one) 1 Hour Leave Early Ticket. ****(Rules and Terms Apply)
Registration: 10/29 – 11/19, 2018
Challenge Runs: 11/9 – 12/7, 2018

Is Your Retirement Planning Full of Question Marks? …

Attend a free, no-obligation retirement planning seminar on Thursday, Nov. 15 to help turn your questions into answers.

  • As you consider the future, you may be wondering:
    • Will I be able to retire comfortably?
    • How can I prevent running out of money during retirement?
    • Can someone answer my questions about the VRS Pension?
    • Would taking the Partial Lump-sum Option Plan (PLOP) be advantageous to me?
  • Learn the strategies you need at our retirement planning seminar. This seminar from VALIC can help you:
    • Estimate the cost of retirement
    • Understand how your Social Security benefit fits into your strategy
    • Develop a plan for pension income and retirement savings distributions (including PLOP)
    • Take action now to help achieve retirement goals
  • Thursday, Nov. 15
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School


Click here to register:  https://goo.gl/fRk1Lb

Register for this seminar today with the following code:  SCPSUF11AE

Presented by:
Tim Hewitt, Financial Advisor


Contact Human Resources if you have questions.

Drop Grade Feature in TAC

Teachers wanting to use the Drop Grade feature of TAC must set that up prior to loading report card grades for MP1.  Please follow the attached directions to do this properly.

General Guidelines for the Drop Grade Feature

    • Teachers must meet minimum grade requirements.
    • Dropped grades do not count in the number of grades for the minimum requirement.
    • Teachers must decide to allow drop grades before the end of the first marking period.
    • Once teachers have set up the drop grades feature in TAC, that setup cannot be changed for the rest of the school year.
    • Teachers can control which assignments drop in a category by using the Can Not Drop feature when creating an assignment.


Drop Lowest Grade Directions




New Faces … New Places

The Suffolk School Board announced administrative changes at its October 19th meeting:

  • Nicole Duplain was named dean of students at Hillpoint Ementary School.
  • Melissa Zawodny was named dean of students at Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School.


Duplain is in her third year as graduation coach at Nansemond River High School, and taught elementary school for seven years, including a year at Elephant’s Fork Elementary.  She earned her bachelor’s from Longwood University, her master’s from Old Dominion University and is working on her doctorate of education at ODU.

Zawodny is in her second year as literacy teacher at John Yeates Middle School, and taught for nine years at Creekside Elementary.  She earned her bachelor’s from Christopher Newport University and her master’s degrees from CNU and Hampton University.

2018-2019 Report Card Directions and Dates

2018-2019 Marking Period Due Dates

Marking Period

MP End Date Teacher Due Date MP Roll Forward Date

RC Distribution Dates

MP1 November 5 November 9 November 15 November 16 – PT Conference
MP2 January 28 February 4 February 7

February 11 – via mail

February 15  – PT Conference

MP3 April 5 April 11 April 23 April 24
MP4 June 13 ES & MS – June 7

HS – June 13


ES June 13

MS & HS June 14

Directions for the 2018-2019 Report Cards

Elementary School


Middle School


High School



Each October, National Principals Month recognizes the essential role that principals play in making a school great.

Principals are among the hardest working individuals in education. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication, and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success.

Each October, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators seek to honor these unsung heroes for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence in education.

National Principals Month is a widely recognized celebration of the principalship, marked by national and state resolutions supporting the event, as well as acknowledgements from U.S. Senators and Representatives, and top government officials. However, the most important National Principals Month celebrations are the ones that take place in schools and communities across the country.

NOTE:  The Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week is often declared by the Governor for the third week in January.  However, that resolution has not yet been released for 2019.  So we’re celebrating in October too.

Wellness Spotlight

Meet Charlotte from Kilby Shores Elementary!  Charlotte is a custodian who participates in the school’s Traveling YMCA Program after school every Tuesday and Thursday.  When asked why she is participating in this program, Charlotte said “for my health.”  Charlotte enjoys the Traveling YMCA program because of the instructors, and because it is challenging and fun.  Charlotte also enjoys working out with the Kilby staff.  Charlotte said her goal is to be logged into the Simply Well Program by the end of the week.
Join Charlotte this week and login to the SPS Employee Wellness Program!
Register and Login: connect.simplywell.com

UPDATE: 2-Hour Delay … Creekside Elementary only Closing

Friday, Oct. 12 … Opening Two Hour Late

Creekside Elementary School only is CLOSED due to a power outage.

Parks & Rec before- and after-school programs are open on regular schedule except Creekside.

YMCA morning programs closed.