2018-19 Teacher Salary Scale

Star Award Winners & Honorees Shine Brightly

Congratulations to 16 division employees who have been named winners of the Superintendent’s Star Award for Second Semester 2017-18.

A recognition reception will be held on Thursday, May 24, beginning at 6 p.m. at Hillpoint Elementary School.  Judges consider initiative, school spirit, creativity, commitment, and attitude to recognize those who are making a real difference in the lives of students.  A total of 16 staff members — out of 72 nominees — were selected as top honorees for the Star Award recognition.

Division-Wide Instructional Staff Award: 
Dawn Rountree
Technology Teacher at Nansemond River High School

Division-Wide Support Staff Award:
Jovannie Copeland
Bus Driver at Pioneer Elementary School

Dawn Rountree was nominated by parent Cheryl Hendricks, whose daughter is a junior in the Project Lead the Way Engineering program at Nansemond River High School. ”Even faced with caring for a seriously ill family member, she still keeps on top of things,” Hendricks wrote. “She never falters in believing that her students can accomplish what sometimes seems an impossible task. Her students become successful because she is their support beam both inside the classroom and out.”  Hendricks applauded how Rountree eagerly brings in examples of how their classroom work replicates real-life job scenarios.  “Being proficient in many different engineering and technologically-based genres also helps immensely” as Rountree guides her students toward areas of their own interest and aptitude. Whether it’s using robotics, printing in 3-D, or creating actual home models, “she is to be highly commended on thinking outside the box and allowing our kids this instructional versatility,” Hendricks said. Rountree recently drove to Richmond to see a female junior receive an NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, and also helped that student start a coding program at Driver Elementary School. Mrs. Rountree is “already a star in the eyes of her students,” who treated her and her husband to a Valentine’s date night at Smithfield Station. Hendricks asked: “How many teachers do you think in this district have that much support from their students? This star does, and then some.”

Jovannie Copeland was nominated by teacher Jill Gwaltney, who praised Copeland’s devotion to the well-being of the students who ride her bus.  “Never before have I seen a bus driver help students like I see Mrs. Copeland do every week,” said Gwaltney, adding that it’s not uncommon to see her checking on “her children” each day at Pioneer Elementary.  During a recent thunderstorm, Mrs. Copeland took time to escort each of her bus students to their individual house to make sure they arrived home safely.  Last month, when Mrs. Copeland passed a student riding his bicycle to school, she made sure to find him after she arrived at school to make sure he had made it safely. “Every day, she is impacting the lives of these students by speaking words of life to them,” and starting their day in a positive way with her warm smile and hugs.  “It is obvious that this is not just a job for Mrs. Copeland. This is a passion, and Suffolk Public Schools is blessed to have her.  She’s changing lives…one student at a time.”

 Additional Instructional Staff Honorees

  • Jennifer Conner, assistant principal at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School
  • Karen Jones, a guidance counselor at Kilby Shores Elementary
  • Rena Long, a music teacher at Oakland Elementary School
  • Stephanie Morris, a special education teacher at Driver Elementary School
  • Carol Payton, an art teacher at Driver Elementary School
  • Karen Perkerson, a special education coach at Lakeland High School
  • Yvette Pierce, a special education teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School
  • Lugonda Vann, student services liaison at the College & Career Academy at Pruden
  • Melissa Zawodny, a literacy teacher at King’s Fork Middle & John Yeates Middle schools


Additional Support Staff Honorees

  • Keba Baldwin, director of transportation
  • Custodial Staff at Oakland Elementary (Patricia Artis, Angelia Gilchrist, Donald Gilchrist, and Valerie Powell)
  • Kendra Holloway, a secretary at Oakland Elementary School
  • Sheila Uzzle Parker, a bus driver at Oakland Elementary School
  • Holly Wulfkehle, a teacher assistant at Oakland Elementary School

Suffolk Public Schools is comprised of more than 2,000 employees whose sole purpose is to educate, feed, transport and administer to more than 14,000 students each school day. To recognize the outstanding work and contributions of our employees in each semester of a school year, Suffolk Public Schools has established the Superintendent’s Star Award.  Employees selected as Star Award winners will receive a recognition certificate signed by Superintendent, a feature story on the division’s website and staff portal, a $50 check provided by the Suffolk Education Foundation, and a 4-by-3-foot vinyl congratulations banner to be displayed at the winner’s work location.  First semester nominations for the 2018-19 school year will be due in December 2018, and second-semester nominations will be due in March 2019.

Get Connected …  Introducing the New Mobile App for Suffolk Public Schools

Stay in touch with Suffolk Public Schools by using our brand new mobile app.

“Connecting with families where they are is important.  Today’s parents prefer mobile technology, and for that reason, we expect this new mobile app to strengthen communication between families and schools,” said Bethanne Bradshaw, Public Information & Community Relations Officer for Suffolk Public Schools.  “Research shows students do better in school when their families are involved.  We hope this new communication tool will encourage more parents to participate in school activities, to share ideas with decision-makers, and to reach out more easily if their child needs help.”

Click here for connections to app stores.

Download on your mobile device today to receive:

  • Convenience on the Go … One-stop spot to receive emergency notifications, calendar events, school menus, and links to Home Access Center, School Bus Tracker, Volunteer Connect, and more.
  • Personalized Communication … You select which school(s) you want to access.Connect to one or more news feeds or calendars all in one place.
  • Quick Access … Visit the “Schools” section for quick access to your school’s phone number, website information, and location map.Click to call or visit the website right from the app.
  • Up-to-Date Information … Check out the latest district-wide and school news all in one place.Stay in the loop with what’s happening in Suffolk Public Schools and at your child’s school.
  • Push Notifications … Select “yes” when you download the app to receive the latest push notifications from the division and your school.Learn quickly about cancelled events, schedule changes, and other reminders.
  • Calendar Coordination … Add events to your personal calendar directly from the “Events” section on the app.


In April, Suffolk Public Schools launched its new division and school websites.  The mobile app pulls information directly from those sites.

The new web face is more than just a simple visual makeover.  The redesign goes deeper, and:

  • Replaces outdated web technology with current functions expected by web visitors
  • Delivers news and information in a more concise, consistent fashion
  • Provides easier-to-read format including “quick links” to the most popular content
  • Allows web content to be responsive so easily navigated on any mobile device, such as a tablet or cell phone
  • Meets federal ADA compliance making information accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • Provides alternate language options for families with English Language Learners
  • Offers a robust Search tool to locate keyword content
  • Delivers emergency messages to all school websites simultaneously
  • Offers freshly picked SPS videos to all school sites at the same time and places them as part of front-page news
  • Adds links to division and school social media accounts, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Connects to automated notification system to send announcements by phone, email, text, and now by mobile app

Suffolk Public Schools is expanding its relationship with School Messenger, which has provided the division’s parent notification system since 2012.  School Messenger will now be hosting and providing support for the new websites, mobile app and notification system, allowing parents to receive automated announcements by phone, email, text, and now by mobile app.

NEW Superintendent’s 2-Minute Drill: May 10

You Are Invited

To all SPS Employees:

You are invited to take an Employee Wellness Program Survey.  This survey is for all staff.  You do not have to be actively using Viverae Connect to participate.


To open the survey, please click here: SPS Employee Wellness Program Survey

Survey closes at 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 25, 2018.
Thank you for your time,
SPS Employee Wellness Team

Run, Don’t Walk to Volunteer at the Girls on the Run 5K on May 20

As a leader of an organization dedicated to community service, Girls on the Run Hampton Roads would like to invite you and the members of your organization to support the 800-plus girls from all over Hampton Roads participating in our Spring program.

At Girls on the Run we inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.  Visit the website:  www.gotrshr.org 

We are in need of 5K Volunteers for Sunday, May 20 at Virginia Wesleyan University. Groups are welcome and may volunteer together in the same capacity.

Suffolk Public Schools currently has teams at Driver, Mack Benn, Northern Shores and Pioneer for a total of 64 girls this season.  All of our elementary schools have had a team for at least one season in the last 5 years.

GOTR event coordinators are in dire need of a total of 30 Course Marshals, assigned to parts of the course to ensure runner safety and that they follow the correct course path – easy job but it the most important!  Also, eight (8) EXPERIENCED Face Painters are needed.

Here are some of the many ways you can volunteer:

  • Cape Ceremony  12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Cheer Station – General 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Course Marshal 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Face Painting 11:30 am – 3:00 pm (Experience Required)
  • Finish Line Food 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Finish Line Medals 12:30 pm –  3:30 pm
  • General Volunteer 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Happy Hair 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Inflatable Attendant for Bounce House 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Information Tent 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Merchandise Tent 11:30 am – 4:00 pm
  • Set Up Crew 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Water Stop 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Take Down Crew 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Register to volunteer here:

Be a part of the magic and leave inspired by the enthusiasm which is undeniably contagious.  Thank you in advance for your support!

For more information, contact: 

Barbara Patterson Oden  (in SAO)
Volunteer Coordinator
Girls on the Run Hampton Roads


World Language Textbook Adoption

Suffolk Public Schools is collecting public input for an adoption of World Language textbooks for the upcoming school year.  The public is welcome to review the considered textbooks at the North Suffolk Public Library and Morgan Memorial Library during regular library hours.  Participants may review textbooks and complete the survey linked below to provide feedback prior to the adoption. The survey will be available until May 23, 2018. Questions about the adoption process may be directed to Dr. Maria Lawson-Davenport at marialawson-davenport@spsk12.net or 757-925-6750.

World Language Textbook Adoption Public Survey link:

Job Fairs for Teachers, Nurses & Bus Drivers … to be held Saturday, May 19

Click the header for more information.


Friday, May 4 — School Lunch Hero Day …

School Lunch Hero Day is a national celebration to recognize and honor the dedicated school nutrition program professionals who prepare healthy and delicious school meals for our students every school day.

To recognize their hard work and dedication, Suffolk Public Schools will join schools around the country in celebrating School Lunch Hero Day on Friday, May 4.

Initiated by the School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series, the day aims to highlight the ways in which school nutrition professionals make a difference in the lives of the students they serve.

School nutrition professionals must balance many roles and follow federal, state, and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available to students. Federal nutrition standards are designed to ensure that school nutrition programs offer fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free milk while meeting limits on calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats.  Every day the school nutrition professionals translate these into appealing meals to feed young minds and support academic success.

For many children, school meals are the most important meals of their day. In Virginia, 53 million breakfasts and 114.3 million lunches were served last school year. More than 229,075 breakfasts and 634,850 lunches are served to Virginia’s students each school day.

Teacher Appreciation Week – May 7- 11 …

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Suffolk Public Schools is supporting the 2018 “Thank a Teacher” campaign, led by the Virginia PTA and the Virginia Lottery.

The campaign encourages students, parents and members of the community to send thank-you notes to teachers across the Commonwealth to recognize their hard work and dedication. Last year, more than 30,000 thank-you notes were sent to Virginia’s public school teachers.

We hope you will join us and take part in “Thank a Teacher” by recognizing even more teachers this year. Visit Virginia Lottery’s Thank a Teacher website:  http://thankateacherva.com/ to send an electronic thank-you note to a deserving teacher in your life or check with your individual schools to see what they have planned – many PTAs are hosting thank-you note-writing stations and events!

  • Throughout the week, schools will be honoring classroom teachers with a variety of events.
  • The division’s Teacher of the Year Banquet is Tuesday, May 1. This invitation-only celebration recognizes each school’s Teacher of the Year, as well as the City-Wide Teachers of the Year,
  • Thursday, May 10 is Teacher Assistant Day: Please take a moment on this day to show the teacher assistants at your school how much they mean to you.

Celebrating School Nurses …

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 is National School Nurse Day!

We honor more than 95,000 school nurses in the United States who make a difference in the lives of children every day!

The theme this year is School Nurses: Advocates for 21st Century Student Health.

Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School

Attendance — School nurses improve attendance through health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. Students with a full-time school nurse have about half the student illness- or injury-related early releases from school where no school nurse is present.

Academics – Improved attendance means the healthy student is in the classroom and ready to learn. School Nurses enable better performance, which also contributes to reducing drop-out rates.

Time – School nurses save time for principals, teachers and staff. A school nurse in the building saves principals, teachers, and clerical staff a considerable amount of time that they would have spent addressing health concerns of students. A school nurse in the building saves:
• Principals almost an hour a day
• Teachers almost 20 minutes a day
• Clerical staff over 45 minutes a day

Staff Wellness – School nurses improve the general health of staff. According to school reports, principals, teachers, and clerical staff are VERY satisfied with having school nurses in their schools for several reasons:
• Teachers can focus on teaching
• Office staff spend less time calling parents and sending students home
• Healthy staff means increased attendance and productivity

Accountability – School nurses help schools stay accountable.
• Promoting compliance with federal and state law mitigates lawsuits
• Advocating for adequate staffing aligns with Healthy People 2020 recommendations of the ratio of one school nurse per 750 well students (1:750)
• Preparing for emergencies saves lives and property
• Addressing student mental health links to academic achievement School nurses are instrumental in the identification and referral to community resources for health risks and are often the only health professional who see students on a regular basis.

School nurses are responsible for: 

• Significantly decreasing the amount of days missed due to asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for more than 14 million missed days annually
• Managing students with chronic conditions such as diabetes and seizures to allow them to stay in class
• Identifying and treating accidents and injuries
• Counseling students about physical and emotional issues

Healthy Children = Academic Success


— Allen, G. (2003). The impact of elementary school nurses on student attendance. Journal of School Nursing, 10(4), 225- 231.
— Baisch, M.J., Lundeen, S.P., & Murphy, M.K. (2011). Evidence-based research on the value of school nurse in an urban school system. Journal of School Health, 81(2), 74-80. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00563.x/abstract
— Engelke, M., Guttu, M., Warren, M., & Swanson, M. (2008). School nurse case management for children with chronic illness: Health, academic, and quality of life outcomes. The Journal of School Nursing, 24(4), 205-214. — Fauteux, N. (2011). Unlocking the Potential of School Nursing: Keeping Children Healthy, In School, and Ready to Learn. Charting Nursing’s Future, 14, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/cnf14.pdf
— Levy, M., Heffner, B, Stewart, T., & Beeman, G. (2006). The efficacy of asthma case management in an urban school district in reducing school absences and hospitalizations for asthma. Journal of School Health, 76(6), 320-324
— Puskar, K. & Bernardo, L. (2007). Mental health and academic achievement: Role of school nurses. Journal of Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 12(4), 215-223.

Wednesday, May 2 @ FGMS – Community Sessions Continue on Teen Depression

Suffolk Public Schools is expanding the same student mental wellness outreach offered at high schools to include all 8th grade students in middle schools.  The division is actively bolstering its student mental wellness curriculum and building a stronger safety net for Suffolk teens by engaging parents and caring adults in a new, division-wide initiative. Partnering with The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, Suffolk Public Schools is starting conversations around a video created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to educate staff, teens and the community about teen depression. These discussions are the latest phase of an initiative the school division is undertaking to enhance support for students’ behavioral and mental well-being.

Mental well-being is an issue across the country, Virginia, and Suffolk as headlines increasingly link teen mental wellness to tragic events. Since 2006, teen suicide rates in the U.S. have been steadily increasing. Nationally, nearly 1 in 5 teens has reported seriously considering suicide in the past year, and depression is the single greatest risk factor for suicide. As hard as it is to say, nearly every city in Hampton Roads has suffered the loss of a teen by suicide in recent years. Suffolk Public Schools recognize that many more students are struggling.

“More than Sad: Teen Depression” is a video designed to help students recognize the signs of depression in themselves or others, to challenge the stigma surrounding depression, and learn how to ask for help. All Suffolk 8th-graders will see the video in their geography class. A trained mental health facilitator along with school guidance counselors will then lead a discussion about depression. A companion version of the video and adult discussion will be shown to middle school teachers and support staff, and to parents and the community before the student discussion at each school. Adults will learn about warning signs, what to say, and how to guide teens to help.

Anyone who works with teens such as coaches, community sports directors, youth pastors, activity directors, and scout leaders is invited and encouraged to attend any of the parent and community discussions.

Schedule of Upcoming Parent & Community Presentations:

  • Wednesday, April 11 at 6 p.m. – John F. Kennedy Middle School
  • Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. – John Yeates Middle School
  • Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. – King’s Fork Middle School
  • Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. – Forest Glen Middle School

NOTE: This parent/community presentation is an adult discussion covering the information students will receive in their classroom. It is not intended for young audiences as sensitive content is discussed.


For more information, please contact Cheri Hinshelwood, communications specialist, at (757) 925-6752.


Driver Elementary Farewell Celebration – May 8

Celebrating 50 Years of History

– 1968 to 2018 –

Driver Elementary invites the community, former students and staff to join them Tuesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. for a special closing ceremony.

A special cake-cutting ceremony at 5:45 p.m. will be held for participants and guests.

Please RSVP to driverpta@gmail.com

Driver Elementary School will be closing its doors on June 15.

Students and staff will relocate in September to the newly constructed Florence Bowser Elementary School.

The Driver building will be used for parent and teacher resource centers, and possible alternative programs.

SPS Raises $28,700 for March of Dimes

Congratulations to our top school teams who raised money and awareness for this charity.

… Hillpoint Elementary – $10,300 !!!

… Pioneer Elementary – $4,420

… Creekside Elementary – $2,600

… John Yeates Middle – $2,190


Did you know that each year, 1 out of every 8 babies is born too early?  That’s half a million babies in the United States alone.  Premature birth is the leading killer of America’s newborns.  Those who survive often have lifelong health problems.

Since 1989, Suffolk Public Schools has fielded a team each year at the March for Babies.  Why?  First, the school division sees first-hand the impact being born too early can have on a child.  Students with special needs share a special place in our hearts.  Second, as an employer, the division wants to educate its staff members on the ways to reduce the risk of premature babies in their own families.


Congratulations to Our Young Authors Winners

ºThanks to our dedicated teachers, children throughout Suffolk Public Schools are encouraged to submit a sample of their creative writing for a city-wide contest called Young  Authors. The categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and autobiography.

This program is sponsored by the Suffolk Reading  Council.

A celebration was held to honor all city-wide winners on Tuesday, April 17.


High School

9th Grade
1st Place Fiction -Brendan Old – NRHS- The Darkest Season – Murray

Middle School

8th Grade
1st Place Poetry- James Poole – JYMS- This Was a Blank Page- K. Pierce
1st Place Non-Fiction- Alexis Olsen – JYMS- Heart of a Champion – K. Pierce
1st Place Fiction- Salma Amrou- JYMS- A Pitch Black House- K. Pierce

7th Grade
1st Place Poetry- Emma Rotzler- FGMS- Poetry-  Rotzler
1st Place Non-Fiction- Armani Milteer- FGMS- The Strong Black Woman: The Pivotal Roles of Black Women in the Black Panther Party- Phillips
2nd Place Fiction- Kylee Newberry- FGMS- Amber Alert- McArdle
1st Place Fiction- Quinn Whitworth- JYMS- The Academy: A Story from the 3000 Series- German

6th Grade
1st Place Fiction- Savannah Stephens- JYMS- The Opposite Realm: A Liza Monroe Story- Reeves

Elementary School

5th Grade
3rd Place Poetry- Jordan McGee & Ethan Zang- CES- Riddles, Comics, n Jokes- Giarratano
2nd Place Poetry-  Shea Wilkerson- PES- My Poetry Booklet: All About Spring – Lee
1st Place Poetry- David Davenport- DES- The Things around Me: A Book of Poetry – Brombacher
Honorable Mention Autobiography- Janae Truman- NPES- Janae’s Story- Crosby
3rd Place Autobiography- Alina Zheng- DES- Alina Zheng’s Autobiography – Moore
2nd Place Autobiography – Cameron Worrell- PES- untitled – Leitner
1st Place Autobiography- Kalie Howard- CES- Growing Up as a Military Child- Powder
Honorable Mention Non –Fiction- Zion Eason- Massenburg- DES-Lions- Brombacher
3rd Pace Non-fiction- Andrew Perkins- NPES- Bowling- Crosby
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Louis Overton- CES Domesticated Bunnies – Giarratano
1st Place Non-Fiction- Sarena Vann- PES- A Brother Like No Other- Siverio
Honorable Mention Fiction- Kaia Monell- DES- Cats of the Beyond- Moore
3rd Place Fiction- Dani Nieves- NSES- Magical Day- Bullock
2nd Place Fiction- Ava Waldo- CES- The Unicorn Queen- Welsh
1st Place Fiction- Henry Reeves- PES- Traveler- Siverio

4th Grade
Honorable Mention Poetry- Audrina Chew- NSES-Poems of my Favorites- Burnor
3rd Place Poetry- Christian Drames- KSES- A Book of Diamante Poems- Floyd
2nd Place Poetry- Demetria Burton- CES_ My Book of Poems- Hawk
1st Place Poetry- Caroline Ferguson- PES- My Poetry Collection- Langston
Honorable Mention Autobiography- Alexis Morrison- DES- All About Me! – Thornton
3rd Place Autobiography- Maria Webb- NSES- My World- Parham
2nd Place Autobiography- Marissa Johnson- PES- Autobiography of Marissa O. Johnson- Crowell
1st Place Autobiography- Caia Davis- KSES- All About me- Floyd
Honorable Mention Non-Fiction – Colin Cirilli – PES- Fact Abut Salt Water Crocodiles- Crowell
3rd Place Non-Fiction- Christina Baker- HES- All About Lemurs- Wilson
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Madisen Jones- DES- How to Take Care of Chinchillas- Thornton
1st Place Non-Fiction- Leila Ertekin – KSES- Amazing Animals Sharks- Floyd
Honorable Mention Fiction- Gabby Seneca- NPES- The Diamond Heist- Jackson
3rd Place Fiction- Ryleigh Moore- KSES- Kallik & Taqqiq: This is Their Story- Bradley
2nd Place Fiction- Emma Aberle- DES- The Magical Fish- Belcher
1st Place Fiction- Ethan Welton & Aiden Pate- CES – Finding Max- Boyd

3rd Grade
Honorable Mention Poetry – Jayleen Colon- Reyes – KSES – All About Blue- Johnson
3rd Place Poetry- Grayson Day- DES- Sports Poems- Frarey
2nd Place Poetry- Abigail Maynard – PES- Abigail’s Book of Poems- Bass
1st Place Poetry- Saiera Derry – CES – Love Poems- Amos
3rd Place Autobiography – Caitlin Outlaw- DES- My Wonderful Life- L. Miller
2nd Place Autobiography- Josiah Joyner- KSES- My Life- Perry
1st Place Autobiography- Haley Johnson – PES- My Life- Bass
3rd Place Non-Fiction- Cinthia Saenz – CES- My Brother & I – Amos
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Logan Powell- PES- My Beach Trip Vacation- Bass
1st Place Non-Fiction- Katie Kincheloe- DES- Killer Whales- L. Miller
3rd Place Fiction- Parker Evans- PES- The Power of the Sword! – Griffin
2nd Place Fiction- Malakhi Haynes- CES- The Lost Unicorn- K. Morring
1st Place Fiction- Lexie White- DES- Olivia’s Wings- Harsh

 2nd Grade
Honorable Mention Poetry- Abigail Powell – OES- Book of Poems- Griffith
3rd Place Poetry- Mateo Rocha- DES- Poems- Q. Young
2nd Place Poetry – Kavya Rajaram – CES- My Book of Poems- Hirsch- Brooks
1st Place Poetry- Kylee Wilson – PES- My Poetry Booklet – Jensson
Honorable Mention Autobiography- Madelynn Adams – NPES- All About Me- Sammons
3rd Place Autobiography- Lainey Laud- DES- All About My Life- Q. Young
2nd Place Autobiography- Reginald Evans- KSES- My Life- Cobb
1st Place Autobiography – Molly Winslow – PES- An Autobiography of Molly Winslow – Bertero
Honorable Mention Non-Fiction- Willow Hamlin- OES- My Special Person- Griffith
3rd Place Non-Fiction – Maleah Ashburn- KSES- My Best Friend Arianna- Cobb
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Brooke Hanks- NPES- How to Make Slime- Sammons
1st Place Non-Fiction- Taylor Branch – CES- The Life of Coretta Scott King – Rouse
Honorable Mention Fiction- Peyton Rossler – DES- If you Give a Lion Lemonade- Threatt
3rd Place Fiction- Mikaylah Allen – CES- The Day the World was Under Attack- Eley
2nd Place Fiction- Haley Gray- KSES- The Magic Steed- J. Williams
1st Place Fiction- Kevin Williams- CES- Super Ninja Ghost – Hirsch- Brooks

1st Grade
3rd Place Poetry- Tailik Burke- PES- Tailik’s Book of Poetry- D. Weaver
2nd Place Poetry- Taylor Wright – NPES- My Poem Book – Jefferson
1st Place Poetry- Mariyah D’Addio – Brown- CES- Book of Poems- Tinoco
Honorable Mention Autobiography – Deborah Pierre – HES- All About me and My Family – C. Askew
3rd Place Autobiography – Susan Fears- NPES- All About Susan- Judkins
2nd Place Autobiography- Tylia Rhodes – CES- My Life!- Parham
1st Place Autobiography- Chloe Lebire – KSES- All About Me- Rasberry
Honorable Mention Non-Fiction- Brylee Prillaman – NPES- A Horse named Blackie- Jefferson
3rd Place Non-Fiction- Jacob Thompson- HES – How to Behave in School- S. Lewis
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Natalie Petruzalek- CES- All About Horses- Largena
1st Place Non-Fiction- David Jenkins- KSES- PawPaw and Me- Rasberry
Honorable Mention Fiction- Robie Walton- NPES- Danny and Rose- Judkins
3rd Place Fiction- Mason Carter- OES- The Far Away Land- K. Daniel
2nd Place Fiction- Ashton Howard- DES- Ashton the Skelton Knight vs. Cosmo the Evil Zombie – Chambers
1st Place Fiction- Harper Gray- KSES- If I had a Dragon!- Rasberry

1st Place Poetry – Charlotte White- KSES- Summer- M. Williams
2nd Place Autobiography- Thomas Gulilat- CES- I Like to Play- Larsen
1st Place Autobiography- Hannah Parker- KSES- A Girl Named Hannah- M. Williams
3rd Place Non-Fiction- Darrius Thompson- BTW- The Brain Book – K. Patterson
2nd Place Non-Fiction- Elise Harris- CES- I Love Books- Outlaw
1st Place Non-Fiction- Ava Pacitto- KSES- The Awesome Pacitto Family- M. Williams
Honorable Mention Fiction- Demi Torrence- NPES- My Butterfly- C. Boone
3rd Place Fiction- Joseph Poole- CES- A Robot- Outlaw
2nd Place Fiction- Morgan Goodman- HES- The Princess and the Shark- Flick
1st Place Fiction – Corbin Greene- KSES- The Chain Chomp Shark – B. Terry

Kindergarten Class Books
Honorable Mention – Mrs. Patterson’s Class – BTW- Our Favorite Animal
3rd Place – Mrs. Johnson’s Class- HES – If I Were a Super Hero…
2nd Place- Mrs. Wise’s Class- CES – Our Zoo Animals!
1st Place- Mrs. Yunker’s Class- DES – The Ninja Pig & the Prin

Summer Curriculum Development

Information regarding Summer Curriculum Development can be found by clicking the links below.

Summer Curriculum Development Committees_2018
2018 Summer Curriculum Development Application-K-12_Core Content
2018 Summer Curriculum Development Application–Electives and World Languages


Board Approves 2018-19 School Calendar

More Instructional Hours Built into the 2018-19 School Year Calendar Means Fewer Make-Up Days ……..

An additional 10 minutes will be added to the elementary instructional day next year … and the legislature agreed to allow the mandated 15-minute elementary recess to count toward instructional hours.


• September 4, 2018 – First Day of School

• November 6, 2018 – Virtual Clerical Day (Election Day)

• November 16, 2018 – Parent/Teacher Conference Day
     … No School for Students
     … Staff Development Day for non-instructional staff

• November 21, 2018 (early dismissal)

• November 22 – 23, 2018 – Thanksgiving Holiday

• December 21, 2018 – January 1, 2019 – Winter Break

• January 29, 2018  –  Clerical Day for All Teachers

     … Early Dismissal for All Students

• February 15, 2019 — Parent/Teacher Conference Day

     … No School for Students

• March 5, 2019 — Staff Development for ALL staff

     … No School for Students

• April 15 – April 19, 2019 – Spring Break

• June 8, 2019 – Graduation Ceremonies

• June 13, 2019 – Last day of school

• June 14, 2019 –Teacher Clerical Day

Make Up Days

• Up to nine missed days of school will be made up by the additional instructional hours built into the school calendar.

• If additional days are missed due to inclement weather, the make-up schedule will be determined by the school board.

Guiding Principles

● Ten (10) days of pre-service for new teachers

● Seven (7) days of pre-service for returning teachers

● First day of school must be the Tuesday after Labor Day

● Must have at least 180 instructional days — equivalent of 990 hours

● Election days in November and May should be used either as staff development, clerical or a combination of staff development and clerical

• When Easter occurs prior to the 15th of April, Spring Break is scheduled the week following Easter

     –Easter   ~   April 21, 2019

     –Spring Break  ~  April 15 – April 19, 2019

• When Easter occurs on or after April 15, Spring Break should be scheduled the week preceding Easter

Calendar Committee Members

• Parents
• Teachers
• School Administrators
• Bus Drivers Representative
• School Admin Office Representatives

Librarians: The Original Search Engine

The month of April is School Library Month … Wednesday, April 18 has been designated by Suffolk Public Schools as a day to tell your library media specialist : “Thanks for all you do!”

National Spokesperson

New York Times bestselling author, Jason Reynolds, is the 2018 Spokesperson for School Library Month.

Jason Reynolds (Photo by Ben Fractenberg)

“It’s impossible for me to talk about the importance of the school library without talking about the school librarian,” said Reynolds. “In full disclosure, the library wasn’t a place I frequented in school, but if I were in school today I’d practically live there, because there’s a good chance the coolest person in the building works where the books are. Not only can the school librarian help to curate a comfortable and welcoming space for all students, not only can they usher them to a vast array of books and reference materials, librarians also usually have the ability to connect with students on a personal level, because, well, they’ve read the most stories, which makes their potential for empathy and openness ceiling-less.”

Now Available! A downloadable video PSA from Jason on the impact of school libraries and librarians.

Be Sure to Thank Our School Volunteers …

Suffolk Public Schools will celebrate volunteers during Public School Volunteer Week is April 16-20.   We would like to thank all of our volunteers for dedicating thousands of hours to our students and schools. Through their continued commitment, they help make our schools a great place for students to learn and grow.

  • Close to 1,800 volunteers have registered so far this school year
  • More than 5,000 volunteer hours have been logged  so far this school year
  • Value of those volunteer hours if we’d paid for the manpower — $135,000  so far this school year


If you know someone who would make a great school volunteer, sent them to our website at www.spsk12.net/volunteer_connect

SPS volunteers generously give their time every school year to improve the academic, cultural, and athletic environments through tutoring, mentoring, and parent involvement programs. Volunteers are called upon to provide their skills and ideas in our learning communities and day-to-day activities as chaperones, club leaders, sponsors, tutors, mentors, classroom aides, coaches, and much more.

SPS celebrates our school volunteers this week for offering their time and encouragement with the ultimate goal of helping all students achieve. Help us celebrate Public School Volunteer Week by thanking your school volunteers for their service.

Renewal Deadline and Retirement Reminder …

Announcements from the HR Department …

  • License Renewal …  Teachers whose licenses expire June 30, 2018 may should renewal paperwork to Erma Goodman or Beth Simpkins in the Human Resources Department by May 7, 2018.  Call 925-6758 for details.
  • Retiring? … Anyone who is interested in retiring July 1, 2018 should contact Erma Goodman or Beth Simpkins in the Human Resources Department at 925-6758 to schedule an appointment.  NOTE:  In order to receive a personalized retirement gift, you must complete retirement paperwork by April 30, 2018.

Wellness Challenge #4: Dump the Slump

SPS Staff,
Wellness Reminders are found below.  Each Challenge incentive below is for the first 200 members who register and complete each activity.

Challenge #3
  • Challenge #3 has closes today.  However, you have until April 15, 2018 to post your points.
  • Incentive: The first 200 who register and complete this challenge will receive a SPS Personal Size First Aid Kit.

Challenge #4  …. Final Challenge for 2017-2018 School Year
  • Registration is now open for Challenge #4 – Dump the Slump
  • Incentive: First 200 who register and complete this challenge will receive SPS Wellness Logo Ear Buds.

Have a great day!
SPS Employee Wellness Team

Tips on Our New Division & School Websites

While you were on Spring Break, we launched  our new division website and new websites for each school.

TIP #1  If you had been getting to the Staff Portal from the old SPS website, you will now need to go direct.
Make a bookmark … http://staff.spsk12.net/

TIP #2  The log-in at the top right is only for webmasters.  It is not a log-in to your SPS computer or accounts.

TIP #3:   The SEARCH at the top right is your first tool to help you find your way.

TIP #4:   Your school has a webmaster who worked very hard to transition to the new sites.*  If you have questions, webmasters can help.

General Info:

  • No changes made to any individual or department/program blogs
  • No changes to the Student Portal or the Staff Portal
  • No changes to the web URL addresses for the division site or for any of the school sites
  • School sites have Quick Links to the Staff Portal and the Student Portal


Reasons for the Change:

  • Replaces outdated web technology with current functions expected by web visitors
  • Delivers news and information in a more concise, consistent fashion
  • Provides easier-to-read format including “quick links” to our most popular content
  • Allows web content to be responsive so easily navigated on any mobile device
  • Meets federal ADA compliance making information accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • Provides alternate language options for families with English Language Learners
  • Delivers emergency messages to all school websites simultaneously
  • Offers freshly picked SPS videos to all school sites at the same time
  • Adds links to division and school social media accounts, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Includes a division app to launch in May, which pulls info directly from the division and school sites as they are updated
    • Allows users to select which school(s) to follow
    • Connects to automated notification system to send announcements by phone, email, text, and now by app

The division and school websites were last updated in 2011.   We are expanding our relationship with School Messanger, which has provided the division’s parent notification system since 2012.  School Messenger will now be hosting the new sites and providing support.

* School Webmasters:
BTWES – Denise Singleton, Ebonie Lassister
CES – Deborah Topping
DES – Amy Autry
EFES – Brian Van Der Linden
HES – Elizabeth Riley
KSES – Allison Greene
MBES – Pamela Kline
NPES – Tosha Penkrot
NSES – Mary Mathia
OES – Anne McCoy
PES – Katelyn Leitner-Black
FGMS – Debra Shapiro
JFKMS – Rhonda Grimsley
JYMS – Lisa O’Leary, Angelique Moyers
KFMS – William Carter
KFHS – Kathleen Coleman
LHS – Donna Smither-Waller, Mary Eva Old
NRHS – Melissa Glover
TWS – Ramona Harrell
CCAP – Mona Parker