Winter/Spring PD Series is Now Posted!

Start the second semester with some new and exciting professional learning opportunities!

The Winter/Spring PD Series 2019 (WSPDS) is posted in Frontline Professional Growth and registration is open for 53 activities totaling over 150 hours of learning. 


Two Face to Face, Hands-On Technology Focused Trainings

Register Soon, Space is Limited

I’ve Got a Set of Chromebooks in My Classroom! Now What?

2 Session Offered: January 28 & January 29

Transitioning from Microsoft Word to Google Docs

3 Session Offered: January 28, January 29, March 12

Online Learning Topics included:

Bloom’s Taxonomy Series ~ Marzano’s Strategies Series ~ Supporting ELLs Series ~ Google Basics Series

Behavior Management ~ Engaging & Communicating with  Families ~ Classroom Environment

Differentiating Instruction ~ Reflection ~ Monitoring Student Learning ~ Gradual Release Model

GSuite Bingo ~ Tic Tac Toe Coding ~ Tech Tools Bingo ~ Digital Citizenship and Safety


Four Virtual Professional Learning Community-Courses (PLCC) are offered on based these cutting-edge books

  • Retool Your School
  • 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom
  • Bringing STEM into the Elementary Classroom
  • Power of Questioning
  • The Wild Card



To sign for any of these PDAs, log into Frontline Education at 

Upon successful log-in, choose Professional Growth. From the left Navigation Bar, click Activities Catalog > District Catalog. Then select WSPDS in the Events filter under Search Options to view the full series listing. You must have TCH – Teaching Staff selected in your User Profile to view these activities. 

To access the learning content for an Online activity (look for Cloud icon), use the left Navigation Bar to access Learning Plan Under My Requests, you will find all of your registered activities. Click Manage for the activity you wish to begin and select Launch Activity under Actions, then click Launch again under Course Profile. A new window will open with the activity’s content for your completion. 

Student Mental Wellness:  Suffolk Public Schools Continues Program to Recognize Teen Depression

Suffolk Public Schools continues to build a stronger safety net for Suffolk teens by engaging parents and caring adults in important discussions about student mental wellness, teen depression and suicide.

The division exceeds expectations of the 2018 Virginia General Assembly which passed new legislation requiring mental health education in high schools. Suffolk Public Schools began its outreach to all 8th– and 10th-graders during the 2017-18 school year, well before the mandate.

Again this year, the division is partnering with The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation to initiate discussions in the classroom, staff room, and family room about teen depression.  Central to those conversations is a video created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to educate staff, teens and the community.

“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 to learn how to ask for help.

Background … 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.  SPS recognizes that many more students are struggling.

Over the next three months, all Suffolk 10th-graders and 8th-graders will view the video in their Health & PE class.  A trained mental health facilitator along with school guidance counselors will then lead a discussion about depression.

Before student presentations at each school, the teachers and support staff will view a companion video and discuss warning signs, what to say, and how to guide teens to help.  In advance of the student lesson, parents will preview what their students will be seeing so they can be prepared for discussions at home.

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 Parent & Community Presentations:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 30 … King’s Fork High School at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb, 6 … Lakeland High School at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20 … Nansemond River High School at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 … Col. Fred Cherry Middle School at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 6 … Forest Glen Middle School at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 13 … John F. Kennedy Middle School at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 20 … John Yeates Middle School at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27 … King’s Fork Middle School at 6 p.m.

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.

How SPS Announces Schedule Changes

Emergency School Closings:  

When a decision is made to close Suffolk Public Schools because of weather conditions, or to close a single school for other reasons, detailed information will be provided in the following places:


  • SPS Facebook Page …
  • School Messenger … Automated phone calls with a recorded message will begin calling the homes of students and staff. The numbers called are based on the contact information stored in the division’s database.
  • SPS Website …    A recorded message will be available after hours at 925-6750.
  • Television stations … WVEC-13, WAVY-10, WTKR-3 … and their websites

Code 1 / Essential Personnel — Defined

Please be reminded on the occasions when the school division is impacted with severe weather, it is necessary that resulting concerns or issues are promptly addressed before the next opening day.

Under the “Code 1/Essential Personnel” designation, principals and department heads, and all custodians assigned to that building, are to report to their work locations to ensure there are no concerns to be addressed (such as broken pipes, no heat, other issues).   It is important that all buildings are promptly inspected and issues addressed to allow students/staff to be received on the next opening day.

At the discretion of the principal/department head, additional staff may be required to report to work to address concerns resulting from a severe weather event.  When required to work additional hours, the principal/department head shall provide compensatory time to offset the additional work time that was provided by the employee during the “Code 1/Essential Personnel” time period.

Delayed Opening

Suffolk Public Schools will consider opening schools on a two-hour delay, due to inclement weather, hazardous conditions, power outages, or other emergency situations. Bus pick-ups for all students would begin either one hour or two hours later than normal pick-up times.

“Delayed Opening” means that any before-school child care will also open under the same delay.  Elementary student early drop-off would be delayed until 10:30 a.m. Breakfast would not be served on either delayed opening schedule. Lunch would be served. Dismissal time and after-school activities would remain the same unless otherwise noted.

Before- and After-School Childcare Programs

Suffolk Parks & Recreation Department will announce changes to their schedule independently, since their centers are separate from the school building.

Elementary schools offering YMCA childcare at the school will follow this revised schedule:

  • On the mornings of school delays, the YMCA before-school program provided at the schools themselves will be cancelled.
  • If schools dismiss early, the YMCA after-school program is cancelled and children must be picked up at school dismissal time.
  • If schools are closed, there will be no YMCA childcare in the elementary schools.  The Suffolk YMCA may offer children enrolled in a school-based program an opportunity for childcare at its Godwin Boulevard facility.  Call the YMCA at 934-9622 for details.

Families Need to Plan Ahead

If an early closing of school becomes necessary, students need to know what to do and where to go when they get off the school bus. There may be times that school dismissal will be delayed beyond regular school hours due to extreme weather conditions or for other reasons. The same assortment of communication tools listed above will be used when possible.


Job Fair for Substitute Staff – Saturday, Jan. 26

Seeking Substitute Bus Drivers, Substitute Bus Aides, Substitute Custodians, Substitute Cafeteria Workers, and Substitute Teachers.


… Job Fair for Substitute Staff
… Saturday, January 26
… 9am to 1pm

… Booker T. Washington Elementary (204 Walnut St.)
Flyer to Print

Bus Drivers:
Free on-site training to earn CDL license
Flexible Hours
School Holidays Off
Incentive plan up to $1,000
High school diploma or equivalent
Age 19 or older
At least 3 years of driving experience
Acceptable driving record
Substitute Bus Driver Pay:  $11.20 /hour

Bus Aides & Custodians:
Flexible Hours
No Experience Necessary
On-the-job training
Require any combination of education and experience equivalent to 8th grade
Substitute Bus Aide:  $7.93 /hour
Substitue Custodian:  $9.19 /hourCafeteria Workers:
Flexible Hours
No Experience Necessary
On-the-Job Training
Require any combination of education and experience equivalent to 8th grade
Substitute Cafeteria Staff Pay: $9.19 /hour
REQUIREMENT: Valid Virginia Food Safety CertificateSubstitute Teachers:
Earn $73.00 to $88.00 a Day
Flexible Hours
No Experience Necessary
On-the-Job Training
Requires completion of 30 college credit hours

Applications can be completed at the Job Fair.
Online applications available:

* Staff will be at the Job Fair to answer any questions.

Suffolk Public Schools is committed to non-discrimination with regard to sex, gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identification or any other characteristic protected by law.


Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit – IS BACK!

Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit is back for one more week! This FREE virtual professional development event will occur from January 10 through January 16. 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, creator
  • Bryan Miller, TopTechEDU Co-Founder
  • Claudio Zavala, storytelling enthusiast

Watch the Vidoes

If you cannot get to the videos above, use this link to register first. REGISTER


School Board Member Wins $4,000 in Classroom Furniture to Encourage Student Collaboration

How many times have you filled out an information form because you might win something fabulous?

For new School Board member Sherri Story, her entry at recent state conference earned a classroom full of free furniture, valued at $4,000.   The furniture from VS America has been donated to Elephant’s Fork Elementary School and includes several student desks, tables, chairs and “wiggle stools” and can be set up in several configurations to provide flexible seating throughout the school year.  The donated package included nine tables and 12 seats, but with added chairs, it could sit up to 24 students.  Fifth-grade teacher Adrienne Foster and her students are excited to try out the possibilities.

ID Card Update from Anthem

As a result of the Anthem system upgrade, Anthem has mailed out new ID cards to subscribers effective January 1, 2019.
… If you have not received your new ID card in the mail and need to use your health benefits, you may view a copy of your card online at or use the Anthem mobile app.  In addition, subscribers may contact Anthem customer service at 1-833-592-9956.

Subscribers should show their healthcare providers their new ID card to make sure their claims are processed correctly.


Message from 12-19-18:

As a result of the Anthem system upgrade, Anthem will be mailing new insurance cards effective for January 1, 2019.


New ID Cards:
Members will get new ID cards. ID cards also can be viewed online at and through the Anthem mobile app.

Members need to use their new ID card, starting on their effective date, to make sure their claims are processed correctly.

Custodian Appreciation Day – Wednesday, Jan. 9

Suffolk Public Schools will be taking the opportunity to celebrate Custodian Appreciation Day.

Not part of a national event, this local celebration was created to ensure that this important segment of the school division’s workforce was given a day of well-deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.


School Board Welcomes Four New Members

Four new members of the Suffolk School Board will make their first official appearance at the board’s annual organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 3 in City Hall, located at 442 W. Washington St.

… At 6:30 p.m., new board members will receive the official oath of office by Suffolk Clerk of the Court Randy Carter.

… At 7 p.m., the board will hold its organizational meeting, where it will elect a chair and vice chair for 2019.  Committee assignments will also be decided.

Newly elected board members include:

  • Karen Jenkins, representing the Cypress Borough
  • Lorita Mayo, representing the Holy Neck Borough;
  • Tyron Riddick, representing the Suffolk Borough; and
  • Sherri Story, representing the Chuckatuck Borough.
  • Karen Jenkins is a behavior therapist with Western Tidewater Community Services Board, working with school-aged children.
  • Lorita Mayo is a retired principal from Suffolk Public Schools, serving 31 years as teacher and administrator.
  • Tyron Riddick is a Virginia Department of Corrections officer, and also runs a non-profit organization for local youth.
  • Sherri Story is a retired teacher from Suffolk Public Schools, most recently in the International Baccalaureate high school specialty program.

Museums to Host Educator Open House – Jan. 10

The finest museums, historic houses, and educational non-profit organizations in Hampton Roads are coming together at the Chrysler Museum to celebrate local teachers and administrators.

Discover the educational activities and resources these organizations offer and “nerd out” with guided tours of the Chrysler, themed snacks, and drinks.

This event is FREE. Register to receive one free drink ticket!

Stop by the Chrysler Museum on Thursday, January 10 between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to get information from more than 15 non-profits and museums in Hampton Roads. The Chrysler has partnered with the South Hampton Roads Museum Forum to bring you resources from organizations all over the area.

Learn about what these museums have to offer you and your classroom, take guided tours through the Chrysler Museum of Art, or sit in on an exclusive 10 minute presentation from one of these partner museums.

SmartDollar Contest

Register for SmartDollar by January 25, 2019 to be eligible for $25 Gift Card. ….

Drawings managed by SmartDollar.  See links below for rules, dates, and details. …

LINK:  SmartDollar Registration

LINK:  SmartDollar Contest Rules

District-Wide Reading Teacher of the Year

Suffolk Reading Chapter is excited to announce the Suffolk Public School’s District-Wide Reading Teacher of the year, Jill Gwaltney. Congratulations is also extended to all of Suffolk’s Reading Teachers of the Year. 

Booker T. Washington Elementary – Melissa Sessoms
Creekside Elementary – Vanessa Chapman
Elephant’s Fork Elementary – Venus Usanga
Florence Bowser Elementary – Holly Pentecost
Hillpoint Elementary – Patricia Phelps
Kilby Shores Elementary – Lauren Bradley
Mack Benn Jr. Elementary – Collen Grob
Nansemond Parkway Elementary – Zachelle Jefferson
Northern Shores Elementary – Lauren McGhee
Oakland Elementary – Mary Griffith
Pioneer Elementary – Jill Gwaltney
Colonel Fred Cherry Middle School – Rebecca Bradley
Forest Glen Middle School – Faith McArdle
John F. Kennedy Middle School – Joan McEwan
John Yeates Middle School – Jennifer Pitre
King’s Fork Middle School – Robbie Butler
King’s Fork High School – Kimblyn Moore
Lakeland High school – Erin Badran
Nansemond River High School – Kim Beverly
Turlington Woods – Danyelle Travis

MS Office for Home Use

The Microsoft Home Use Program provides SPS staff with a discount on Microsoft Office for home or personal use.  Staff wanting to purchase Microsoft Office for personal computers have these options:

  • Coming January 2019, employees can purchase the Office 365 Home of Personal annual subscription at a 30% discount.
  • Now until 12/31/2018 – Office Professional Plus 2016, Office Home and Business 2016 for Mac, Project Professional 2016, and Visio Professional 2016 for USD $9.95* each.
  • From 11/1/2018 to 6/30/2019 – Office Professional Plus 2019, Office Home and Business 2019, Visio Professional 2019, and Project Professional 2019 for USD $14.99* each.
  • Starting 7/1/2019 – Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 will no longer be available. Professional 2019 and Visio Professional 2019 will continue to be offered to eligible customers

To purchase Microsoft Office for Home Use, please complete this form – You will receive directions on how to complete the process.



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



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  with the following information:

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


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

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.