This Just In #506:  Week of November 4, 2019

This Just In #506: Week of November 4, 2019


Welcome to This Just In, a weekly news show
highlighting the people and events in Newport News Public schools, where students, staff,
and families celebrated healthy choices, safe schools, and hardworking professionals during
the month of October. National Bullying Prevention Month is observed
every October to unite communities and promote kindness. Newport News Public Schools also recognizes
October as STAND Month, to encourage students to STAND UP for each other to prevent bullying
and other negative behaviors. STAND is a student-led, youth development
initiative across all Newport News schools that maintains a positive school culture where
students can STAND together to take action and raise awareness. October was packed full of creative, educational
activities for students to spread kindness across our city. At Deer Park Elementary, students made great
efforts to “Stick to Being Kind”. After reading books about acts of kindness,
students were inspired to draw and write kind messages of their own. The motivational sticky notes covered the
hallways of the school to brighten the day for anyone. Dutrow students spent their morning class
meetings talking honestly about dealing with bullying. Professional School Counselor, Mia Williams,
used literacy to teach students how to keep themselves from being pulled into negative
situations, just like a smart fish avoids being caught on a hook. For the 8th year, students, staff, and parents
at Lee Hall Elementary participated in the Be a Buddy, Not a Bully Walk. Every grade took turns buddying up with their
classmates to prove that friendship wins out over bullying every time. Warwick High school’s marching band visited
Saunders Elementary to lead an Anti-Bullying Parade around the school. Police Officers and elected officials showed
their continued support for the students during their “Put the I in Kind” Pep Rally, where
NNPS Chief of Staff, Rashard Wright, inspired students to STAND confidently in who they
are as unique individuals. Parents Against Bullying Virginia visited
McIntosh Elementary and Heritage High schools to empower youth to create No Bullying Zones
in their schools. Through interactive games, dance competitions,
and positive interactions, Parents Against Bullying focused on honesty, respect, courage,
and hope to make a positive change together. At the middle school level, Passage’s Art
Club designed posters to show what they STAND for. While student leaders at Washington involved
the whole school in creating their own “Nice Notes” during each grade’s lunch time. And at Woodside High school, home of the Arts
and Communication Magnet, students wrote and produced their own short videos to spread
their message of positivity and kindness across the entire school. Each and every school was invited to STAND
Night at Todd Stadium during a Woodside football game. Student leaders organized the culminating
event, with community partners on hand to educate families about local resources available
to empower students to STAND up for each other. Students, educators, and administrators joined
together at half time for a Unity Walk around the track, just one of many public displays
that took place in Newport News during STAND month. The Newport News Public Schools Transportation
Team had plenty to celebrate during National School Bus Safety Week in October. Life is a journey, not a destination, and
the Newport News Public Schools Transportation Team is focused on making each student’s
ride to and from school a little greener. Propane is an emission-reducing, cost-effective
alternative fuel, and Newport News Public Schools is at the forefront of a national
trend to offer students a cleaner, quieter, and more enjoyable bus ride. During the third full week of October, the
NNPS Transportation Team combined two milestones into one worthy celebration. First, National School Bus Safety Week was
an opportunity to recognize the 484 drivers, maintenance workers, and support staff that
ensure a safe ride to school every day. Second, Blue Bird Corporation recently delivered
their 15,000th propane bus, and Newport News Public Schools was the proud recipient. With a fleet of 335 buses, 71 are now propane
powered, steadily replacing the ageing diesel guzzling vehicles. Transportation employees, school administrators,
elected officials, and industry partners, gathered at the brand new Transportation facility
to celebrate both occasions. The benefits of a propane bus include cost
savings for maintenance and fuel, along with environmental advantages, earning the school
system a Clean Energy Innovation Award. A quieter ride puts less stress on the young
minds preparing to learn, and studies have proven that students perform better in school
after riding a propane bus. With the largest school bus fleet of propane
powered vehicles in the state of Virginia, the NNPS Transportation Team is excited to
play a role in lowering harmful emissions and raising student success. The last week of October is traditionally
celebrated as Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s largest and longest-running drug awareness
and prevention program. Across Newport News Public Schools, students
wore red, paraded with “Just Say No” signs, and pledged to stay away from alcohol, tobacco,
and illegal drugs, while focusing on making healthy choices and respecting oneself and
each other. Once again, Nelson Elementary went big for
Red Ribbon Week with music, dancing, and a grand parade. Each class in grades 3 through 5 worked with
their music teacher, Tamara Cox, to create customized dance moves and raps declaring
their enthusiasm to stay drug free. Teachers had the students dancing along while
showcasing some fancy dance moves of their own. And each grade selected their theme as the
entire school paraded proudly in support of healthy choices. Discovery STEM Academy hosted two “Say No
to Bullying and Drugs” Pep Rallies for different grades. Each Rally continued DSA’a weeklong theme
of “My Dreams, My Future, My Choice, to stay Drug Free, Bully Free, Violence Free”. Erica Callicutt, an NNPS graduate and Youth
Pastor at Ivy Baptist Church, spoke passionately to 3rd through 5th grades about living their
best life possible by being a good friend to others and making smart decisions for themselves. Each grade presented a fun song or skit to
show their commitment to saying no to drugs and bullying. Jenkins Elementary celebrated “My Dreams,
My Future, My Choice” during a Red Ribbon Pep Rally. Students assisted Pastor William Spencer,
from First Baptist Church Morrison, as he illustrated some important methods to discourage
negative peer pressure. Jenkins’ Cheer Squad helped the crowd get
hyped up with an energetic performance before Menchville High school’s drumline led a
parade around the school, where Newport News Police Officers encouraged students to make
the right choice every day. Newsome Park Elementary held a spirited, school
wide Red Ribbon Rally, where K9 Officer Halo showed how his keen sense of smell can protect
communities from harmful drugs. 4th and 5th grade classes collaborated with
music teacher, Zaniab Mustapha, to create amazing song and dance presentations for the
audience of students, teachers, and families. A team of community leaders helped select
the top performers from each grade, as Newsome Park stood together against harmful choices. And Richneck Elementary moved outdoors for
their annual Red Ribbon Parade through the neighborhood. The Denbigh High school Marching Patriots
drumline led the enthusiastic procession, while students held handmade posters and chanted
against alcohol, drugs, and bullying. Many families in Newport News have a heritage
of military service as well as family members currently serving. Veterans Day is on Monday, November 11th. Please take a moment to recognize our veterans
and their families. Here’s an opportunity for you to enjoy food,
fun, and engaging activities, while learning about afterschool and summer programs, college
applications, and career readiness. It’s the Newport News Public Schools Family
Forum and Resource Fair and it’s free for NNPS families. The event takes place on Saturday, November
16th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Hines Middle School. If you’re interested in magnet and specialty
programs for elementary, middle, or high school students, Newport News Public Schools has
programs focusing on a variety of areas such as environmental science, communication and
performing arts, aviation, global studies, as well as science, technology, engineering
and math. You can find out more about the magnet programs
and any upcoming open houses by visiting the magnet and specialty programs webpage at nnschools.org. Open houses will take place from November
4th through December 17th and the online application process is available now. The deadline for applying to a magnet or specialty
program is January 7th. Thanks for joining us for this week’s edition
of This Just In. And check out more fun and informative videos
at nnpstv.com to see the many great things happening in Newport News Public Schools. Thanks for watching.

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