Oct 19

Rezoning Timeline for New Schools Announced

Suffolk Public Schools will open two new schools in September 2018.  The new Florence Bowser Elementary School, located on Nansemond Parkway, will house 1,000 students.   The new Col. Fred Cherry Middle School, located on Burbage Drive, will house 800 students. Designed to be future-ready, both schools have open areas for flexible, project-based learning activities.


School administrators and staff are currently working through data to develop rezoning options.  The current student population of Driver Elementary School will most likely be moved to the new Florence Bowser Elementary School, as well as some students currently attending the overcrowded Creekside Elementary School.  Driver will close as an elementary school and transform into the Excel Academy at Driver, a personalized learning center designed to accelerate learning and achievement of students who have not met success in a traditional classroom.  Col. Fred Cherry Middle School is expected to alleviate overcrowding at John Yeates Middle School.


Timeline for rezoning decisions:

  • Thursday, November 9, 2017
    • 4:30 p.m. – Suffolk School Board Work Session: Rezoning Criteria presented to Board
    • 6:30 p.m. – Public Input Session #1
    • Both sessions will be held in City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • December 2017
    • Rezoning proposals made available to the public on the school division’s website

  • Thursday, January 11, 2018
    • 6:30 p.m. — Public Input Session #2
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • Thursday, February 8, 2018
    • 7 p.m. — Formal presentation to School Board
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

  • Thursday, March 8, 2018
    • 7 p.m. — School Board votes on final rezoning plan
    • City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.


Col. Fred Cherry Middle School – architectural rendering











Florence Bowser Elementary School – architectural rending








Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/19/rezoning-timeline-for-new-schools-announced/

Oct 18

2-Minute Drill 10/17/17

Watch the Superintendent’s 2-Minute Drill here


Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/18/2-minute-drill-101717/

Oct 16

Wellness Program Kicks Off a New Year

Welcome to the 2018 Suffolk Public Schools Wellness Program. It’s time to get a fresh start on your journey to well-being!  Be on the lookout for incentive challenges to begin soon!

Already a Member?

Use your login from the previous school year


How to Register (New to Wellness Program)

Visit connect.viverae.com, click Register, and enter: Last Name and Date of Birth (DOB)

Identifier: SPS User Number and Registration Code: suffolk


Get Going!

Head to connect.viverae.com to complete your Member Health Assessment (MHA), Biometric Screening OR Annual Exam by 5/15/18 to earn your 200 points and a $200 Wellness Reward.


Don’t forget to download the Viverae® app for free by searching “Viverae” in the App Store or Google Play! Questions? Call Viverae at 888-VIVERAE (848-3723).


Link here for a PDF brochure with more information.


https://wellness.spsk12.net/ for more details.

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/16/wellness-program-kicks-off-a-new-year/

Oct 14

SEEC Site and Schedule

Spots are filling fast! Register today!



Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/14/register-for-seec/

Oct 09

Are Your Students Worth Showing Off?

SPS is recruiting teachers and students who want to demonstrate the cool, hands-on, engaging lessons at this year’s Superintendent’s State of the Schools Learning Fair, set for Tuesday, Nov. 14.  The idea is for students to share with business leaders and community representatives some of the exciting lessons that happen in our classrooms every day.

The Superintendent’s office is looking for both classrooms to include in the videotape as well as student-teacher teams to lead demonstrations that day.  This year’s theme is “SPS Rewired,” and will focus on the following areas:

  • Setting Expectations … tiered system of support that teaches behavior expectations & modeling, mentoring programs, recognition efforts
  • Adopting Innovations … project-based learning, examples of teamwork & collaboration, examples of technology in the classroom
  • Strengthening Instruction … academic rigor, specialty programs, citizenship, college/career prep, STEM

If you have an idea that you think would be visual and active, that can be demonstrated to a guest in 5 minutes or less, then email Bethanne Bradshaw at bethannebradshaw@spsk12.net and tell her all about it.


To help you brainstorm, watch last year’s video and catch a glimpse into last year’s Learning Fair:

Here are the Learning Fair demonstrations we’ve had:
  • You’re Not My Type … Join future medical professionals in a phlebotomy lab to determine the blood types of samples.  Knowing a patient’s blood type is critical in emergency transfusions and organ transplants.  Certain blood types also have higher risks for certain diseases.  Discover how students in the Biomedical Sciences program put simulated blood to the test.
  • Clean Up Your Act … Save the Bay and help reduce the impact of a simulated oil spill in the James River.  Team up with students from Northern Shores Elementary School to predict and test which materialswould best capture and contain the oil spill.  Discover the impact of pollution on the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Help!  I Can’t Swim … Rescue “Fred the gummy worm” from drowning.  He doesn’t swim and his boat has capsized with his life preserver under the boat. Students from Pioneer Elementary School will highlight their problem-solving skills and teamwork with limited resources in this STEM challenge.
    Manufacturing State-of-the-Art Workers … Solving design flaws just got easier and faster, thanks to 3D printers.  Students from Nansemond River High School turn their computer-generated designs using CAD software into three-dimensional models, using inexpensive 3D printers.
  • See You Around the Neighborhood … Test your knowledge of architectural styles.  Engineering program students created a whole neighborhood of model homes … 12-inch square models, that is.  Can you guess which is built in the style of Greek Revival, Prairie, International, Spanish Eclectic, Gothic Revival or Art Deco?
  • Unidentified Flying Objects? … Catch the enthusiasm of Tidewater Regional Governor’s School for Science & Technology students as they share their skills designing and flying unmanned aerial vehicles.  During the summer program, they worked with experts in this sky-high technology now emerging into every day uses. Interns will also perform “drone surgery” to repair crash victims.
  • Let’s Break Out of Here … Experience a new classroom ESCAPE game that gets kids thinking critically, problem-solving, trouble-shooting, working collaboratively and having so much fun they don’t realize how much they are using their brains! Join Forest Glen Middle School students as they look for clues to track down fugitive “Stickman” in South America.
  • Good Vibrations … Brass and woodwind instruments rely on resonance to create rich sounds that’s music to our ears.  Join King’s Fork High School students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Physics class to figure out the speed of sound using water, tubes and a tuning fork.  Listen as the vibrations amplify the sound.
  • Water, Water, Everywhere! … Create a rainbow with Creekside Elementary School students as they demonstrate a colorful “walking water” science experiment, which will test how changing a few variables impacts the rainbow.  Then shake it up with these third-graders to guess what’s thicker than water.
  • Fairy Tale Fun with Foil … Tap into your creativity with one of our Odyssey of the Mind teams. With just duct tape and aluminum foil, create costumes from your favorite fairy tale.  Then build a rope using common household items. Discover more about the Odyssey of the Mind competition program.
  • What’s the Code? … At Booker T. Washington Elementary and Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary, students put their science, technology, engineering and math skills to the test, creating mini-robots to roll across the top of their desks … and writing programming code on their computer desktops.
  • Some Things Just Don’t Mix … Dogs and cats … oil and water … needles and balloons.  Try to skewer an inflated balloon without popping it, and learn some chemistry and physics along the way.  Then try your hand at a fun engineering, bridge-building challenge led by Driver Elementary School students.
  • From Bags to Mats … Hooked any “plarn” today?  Learn how Nansemond River High School students turn recycled plastic grocery bags into plastic yarn to make crocheted sleep mats for the homeless. Students are learning a usable skill, developing civic responsibility, and demonstrating how to remake trash into a beneficial product.
  • Artfully Educated … Paint your own seasonal tree in the pointillism style of Vincent Van Gogh.  First-graders at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School are connecting the dots in reading, history, math and science while learning about the world’s greatest artists — Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci, and Picasso.
  • Selfie and Self-Reflection … Share your dreams, goals, and talents on a special selfie silhouette.  Creekside Elementary School students trace their full body outlines which become motivating self-portraits.  Over time, they add their interests, talents, goals, and plans for middle school, high school, college, and career.
  • Trash Talk? … No, it’s actually Trash Trek. Help students from Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School maneuver Lego robots through their tabletop town to collect, sort, recycle and reuse trash as part of an upcoming competition.
  • Family Engineering Night … The Big Bad Wolf challenges you to build a house to withstand his huffing and puffing, using only toothpicks, marshmallows, index cards and tape.  Hillpoint Elementary School students discover the fun in creating simple engineering projects.  Kids love to build, take things apart, and then put them back together again. When children do these things with their parents, the fun increases and so does the learning.
  • It’s a SnAPP … Have you ever played PacMan with PlayDoh? Created a mobile app?  Made your own computer animation or game?  Learn how middle school students from this summer’s Tidewater Regional Governor’s School for Science and Technology tackled these challenges and how the program impacts a new generation of innovators.
  • Out of This World … Take flight with local teachers and students who were immersed in the future of NASA’s exploration of Mars, thanks to a Northrop Grumman sponsoring their trip to Space Camp this summer. Explore NASA’s emphasis of gender equality in preparing future scientists, engineers, astronauts, and aviation experts.
  • Brain Drain … Does your mind play tricks on you?  Take a quick quiz with students from the International Baccalaureate Psychology class to learn if what you see is what you say, or if you brain makes automatic assumptions when reacting to new information.
  • Murder Mystery … Become a Crime Scene Investigator to figure out how the victim was killed.  Join students from the Biomedical Sciences program to discover blood spatter evidence and what it reveals about the murder weapon.
  • Weather or Not … If it’s a cloudy day, will your solar energy panels be able to power your hair dryer?  Can you rely on wind power to keep the electricity on in your house?  The SoWHy! Energy and Weather Station at John Yeates Middle School shows students how to live “off the grid.”  SoWHy! stands for Solar, Wind, Hydrogen. Students will show you how they design wind turbines for maximum efficiency, harness hydrogen power from water, and use solar energy to help run their school-based weather station.
  • New News… Remember how you dreaded those editing marks in red ink on your writing assignments?  Come see how today’s paperless technology still allows teacher input and peer collaboration as Forest Glen Middle School students brainstorm for ideas, create, write, edit, revise and publish their own classroom newspaper.
  • More than Just a Robot … Catch the enthusiasm of Nansemond River High School students as they show off their competition robot.  Students have six weeks to design, build, program, and market their robot in preparation for competitions against robotics teams from across the state. Problem-solving and team work shine as students use skills in math, physics, electronics, computer science, and drafting.
  • Word Surgery … What’s wrong with this “Word Patient”?  Help Kilby Shores Elementary School students “dissect” and “operate” on words that need fixing.  Kids use higher order processes and critical thinking skills to analyze word problems.

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/09/are-you-a-show-off/

Oct 09

Superintendent Encourages Your Support of United Way

Suffolk Public Schools believes it takes the whole community working together to reach our mutual goals.  Our community is what we make it and we have the power to choose to make a positive impact.
For the past three years, our school division had the opportunity to directly see the impact that we make when our employees give to the United Way of South Hampton Roads.  The organization’s United for Children initiative has provided significant financial support to our summer school programs – LEAP for elementary students and LAUNCH for middle school students.   Students from all elementary and middle schools received specialized hands-on attention to reduce summer learning loss and to improve their growing minds.  United for Children also brought several community partners and companies from Suffolk together to make possible the wellness and enrichment activities.

ACCESS College Foundation is now supported by United Way of South Hampton Roads.  ACCESS College Foundation provides advisors in our high schools and some of our middle schools – helping students who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to successfully take the path to attend college.

Suffolk Public Schools and its employees and community members care.   We care about our work, we care about each other, and we care about our community.  So does United Way.   United Way advances our community by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on Education, Financial Stability, and Health – building blocks for a good quality of life.

This year, Suffolk Public Schools wants to continue to grow in its staff and student fundraising for United Way.  Our 2016-17 campaign increased by 26 percent, with total donations close to $47,000.  We cannot do it without you being an active participant in the campaign, showing your support and passion for our students and our community.  Each school has a campaign coordinator, who can provide you with your personalized pledge card.

Please invest in the future of our community and join me by giving as generously as you can.  United Way invites you to join the movement.  Change only happens if we all work together.

To learn more, go to www.unitedwayshr.org

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/09/united-way-2017/

Oct 09

Suffolk Reading Council Fall Mini Conference – Looking for Presenters

Suffolk Reading Council is searching for presenters for the fall mini conference at Hillpoint Elementary on Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 9:00 to 12:00. Presenter perk – FREE conference registration. Breakfast will be provided. Presenters will run 4 -30 minute sessions. If interested in presenting at the SRC Mini-Confernece complete this FORM.

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/10/09/suffolk-reading-council-fall-mini-conference-looking-for-presenters/

Sep 28

Interim Progress Report Directions

Directions for the Interim Progress Reports (IPRs) are posted below.

New this year and inlcuded in the directions is the load date for IPRs. The load date is two schools days before the IPR distribution. Here is a summary of these deadlines.

Interim Progress Report Dates for 2017 – 2018


Marking Period

Progress Report Distribution Date

Teacher Progress Report Load Date


October 4

October 2


December 13

December 11


March 2

February 28


May 8

May 4



Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/28/interim-progress-report-directions/

Sep 28

Join the Suffolk Reading Council

When you join the Suffolk Reading Council you are doing so much and helping so many:

Professional Organization

  • Automatic membership in the Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA)
  • Option to join the International Literacy Association (ILA)
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Work with others who share your passion for promoting literacy
  • Access to a network of resources
  • Opportunity to attend the Virginia State Reading Conference

Members are Eligible for:

  • Undergraduate Scholarship (recipient must be a member or relative of a member)
  • Graduate Scholarship
  • VSRA Conference Fee Scholarship
  • SRC Banquet Discount
  • Grants
  • Reading Teacher of the Year
  • James D. Mullins Award (administrator)

We are now up and running!  Find our website on the staff portal.

The cost to join is $30 and can be done through the vsra.org website.

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/28/join-the-suffolk-reading-council/

Sep 25

2018-19 Budget Process Underway

Click on the headline to view a visual explanation of the Annual Budget Process.


Budget Process Chart_2017

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/25/2018-19-budget-process-underway/

Sep 25

2-Minute Drill 9/21

Check out our latest 2-Minute Drill featuring Dr. Deran R. Whitney. Let’s make it a great year!

Watch here. 

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/25/2-minute-drill-921/

Sep 14

Open Enrollment for Health & Dental Insurance – Sept. 18 to Oct. 6

Open enrollment will be held from September 18 to October 6 for your 2018 calendar year coverages.  Suffolk Public Schools has moved to a calendar year plan year for health, dental and supplemental insurances because of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This information was included in the Benefits Guide booklet distributed earlier this year.

Each school office will have a schedule that lists the dates that the enroller will be in the buildings, and an additional  schedule of when Finance Department staff will be in the buildings for assistance with health benefit questions.

Employees are encouraged to use the ALEX online tool to assist in selecting a health plan that best meets their healthcare needs before they meet with an enroller.  Please make every effort to meet this schedule because the time the enrollers will be available to assist employees is limited.

For more information or questions regarding open enrollment, please contact the Finance department.

Enrollers Schedule for Signing Up for 2018 Coverage:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
18-Sep 19-Sep 20-Sep 21-Sep 22-Sep
(starting at 12 noon)
25-Sep 26-Sep 27-Sep 28-Sep 29-Sep
2-Oct 3-Oct 4-Oct 5-Oct 6-Oct


Finance Department Staff Schedule for On-Site Assistance:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
18-Sep 19-Sep 20-Sep 21-Sep 22-Sep
HES 12pm-1pm          MBES 2pm-3pm              CES 3:30pm-4:30pm MBES 8:30am-10am
CES 10:30am-12:30pm
HES 1:30-3:30pm
CES 8:30am-10am
HES 10:30am-12:30pm
MBES 1:30-3:30pm
NSES 8:30am -10:30am   DES 11:00am-1:00pm    KSES 1:30pm-3:30pm FGMS 7:00am-8:00am   KSES 8:30am -10:30am   TWS 11:00am-1:00pm    NSES 1:30pm-3:30pm
25-Sep 26-Sep 27-Sep 28-Sep 29-Sep
NPES 8:30am-noon      OES 1:00pm -4:00pm       SAO -Melissa/Ty EFES  8:30am -10:30am
JFKMS  11:00am-2:00pm
SAO Melissa/Ty
KFMS 8:30am -10:30am EFES 11:00am-12:30pm  JYMS 1:00pm-3:00pm JYMS 8:30am -10:30am KFMS 11:00am-12:30pm  BTWES 1:00-3:00pm BTWES 8:30am -10:30am JYMS 11:00am-12:30pm  KFMS 1:00-3:00pm
2-Oct 3-Oct 4-Oct 5-Oct 6-Oct
LHS 8:00am-10:00am KFHS 10:30am-12:30pm  NRHS 1:00pm-3:00pm KFHS 8:00am-10:00am NRHS 10:30am-12:30pm  LHS 1:00pm-3:00pm NRHS 8:00am-10:00am  LHS 10:30am-12:30pm  KFHS 1:00pm-3:00pm PES 10:00am-noon

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/14/open-enrollment-for-health-dental-insurance-sept-18-to-oct-6/

Sep 12

2017 Convocation Video … Can You Find Yourself?

Get ready. Get set. GO!
Teachers prepare for students with team building and professional development.
Thanks for all of your enthusiasm for making this an AWESOME year!


Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/12/2017-convocation-video-can-you-find-yourself/

Sep 11

Getting Assistance for PowerSchool Issues

For issues in PowerSchool, please use LiveAssist after logging into PowerSchool. To access LiveAssist it may be necessary to turn off the pop-up blocker.


  1. Launch LiveAssist from PowerSchool.
  2. In the address bar, click Pop-up blocked Pop-up blocked.
  3. Click the link for the pop-up window you’d like to see.
  4. To always see pop-ups for the site, select Always allow pop-ups from [site].
  5. Select Done.

Permanent link to this article: http://staff.spsk12.net/2017/09/11/getting-assistance-for-powerschool-issues/

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