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Newport News Public Schools and the Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

NNPS and the Coronavirus: What you need to know

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam extended his order that all public and private K-12 schools in Virginia close in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 for the remainder of the school year.

Past Updates


March 27: Employee Rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf)

March 24 Update from VDOE: State Superintendent Provides Flexibility for Class of 2020 and Other Students (pdf)

March 23: Update for NNPS Employees (pdf)

March 23: NNPS closed for students through end of school year

March 23: Info Bulletin for Woodside High School Families and Staff

March 18: School Division Expanding Meal Service, At-Home Learning

March 16: NNPS Employee Information Bulletin (pdf)

March 16: At-Home Learning Information

March 15: Important Information from the Superintendent

(en español)

Dear NNPS Families and Staff,

As this unprecedented health event continues to unfold, please rest assured that we will do all that we can to support our students and staff. As we shared with you on Friday, the Governor has ordered the closing of all schools from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27 to slow the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

We know this mandatory closing greatly impacts our families and staff. To ensure continuity of some services, Newport News Public Schools has developed a multi-faceted plan to provide at-home learning and take-home meals for students, e-commute opportunities for staff, and numerous methods to keep families and staff informed.

Presented below is information intended to keep you informed during the extended closure.

Staff Expectations for Monday, March 16, 2020

Beginning Monday, March 16, most school-based employee groups are expected to e-commute (work from home). Bus drivers and bus assistants are not expected to report to work during the closure.

Principals, assistant principals, plant services staff, custodial staff, secretaries, administration building staff, technology support staff are expected to report to work on Monday, March 16. Child Nutrition Services staff will report to work on Monday, March 16, to assist with kitchen cleaning and to prepare for student meal distribution.

Employees who have a fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms should stay home. Employees with documented, compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory illnesses should remain home and notify their supervisor.

At-Home Learning

Update (March 16) Regarding Instructional Plans:

The instructional plans for elementary students are fully prepared and available online. They, as well as several resources for all levels, can be accessed on this site - https://sites.google.com/nn.k12.va.us/nnpscoronavirusacademics/home.

We are working to print copies for those who are unable to access the material online or print them, instructional packets will be ready for pick up starting at noon today for grades K-2 and all remaining materials will be ready for pick up by 10 a.m. Tuesday.

All middle and high school materials will be communicated electronically by teachers no later than Tuesday afternoon.

Grades PreK-5:  Learning packets have been created for students in grades PreK-5. Beginning Monday afternoon, March 16, families may access these packets online, or if needed, families can pick up a printed copy at their respective schools starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 16. The link to the website will be posted on the school division’s website on Monday and will be emailed to all families with an active email account.

Families who need a printed packet may pick up them up at their schools from bins located near the covered entrance. The packets will be labeled by grade. Students should strive to complete all of the lessons; however, students will be provided time to complete any incomplete lessons upon their return to school. Teachers will hold office hours via email each day from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to provide student support for home learning. Should any questions come up outside of those times, please email your teacher. He/she will respond via email as soon as possible.

Grades 6-12:  Alternative learning plans are being prepared in an electronic format for all content areas. All teachers will hold office hours via email each school day from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 2p.m. to provide student support for home learning.  Student lessons and assignments will be posted by each student’s teacher to continue daily learning. Teachers will contact students by Tuesday afternoon, March 17 with more information.

Students should strive to complete all of the lessons; however, students will be provided time to complete any incomplete lessons upon their return to school. 

Additionally, a site has been developed to share important information and resources that students and families can access anytime and anywhere. The link to this site will be posted to the school division’s website by Monday afternoon, March 16. Student work during this time will not be graded.

The Technology Help Desk will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist students and teachers. Please call (757) 881-5461 and press 3 to reach one of our technology support specialists.

Computers Available for Check-Out

A limited number of Chromebooks will be available for checkout to secondary school students (grades 6-12) who do not have access to a smartphone or other device at home. Additional resources may be available for families who do not currently have access to the Internet.

One device per household will be available for checkout on a first come, first serve basis on Monday, March 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on Tuesday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations:

An Achievable Dream Academy
726 16th Street

Epes Elementary School
855 Lucas Creek Road

Heritage High School
5800 Marshall Avenue

McIntosh Elementary School
185 Richneck Road

Palmer Elementary School
100 Palmer Lane

Warwick High School
51 Copeland Lane

A student ID number and photo ID will be required at the time of checkout.

Medications and Essentials Items at Schools

Schools will be open on Monday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families to pick up any essential items that may be needed during the two-week closure including medications, medical supplies and other essentials. School nurses are prepared to assist families with the medicines kept in the clinic. 

Student Meals

The Child Nutrition Services Department will provide meals-to-go for any student in need of lunch or breakfast beginning Tuesday, March 17. The meals-to-go will include a lunch and a breakfast snack for the next day. The meals will be available for pick up from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. each weekday at the following locations:

An Achievable Dream Academy
726 16th Street

Epes Elementary School
855 Lucas Creek Road

Heritage High School
5800 Marshall Avenue

McIntosh Elementary School
185 Richneck Road

Palmer Elementary School
100 Palmer Lane

Warwick High School
51 Copeland Lane

Families can pick up the meals in a drive thru lane without getting out of the car. Additional sites may be added as needed.

Our current plan is based on students and staff returning to school on Monday, March 30. This is subject to change as this is an evolving situation and we do not yet know what impact COVID-19 may have in our community in the coming days and weeks. 

Additional information has been posted to our FAQ page on the division website. I encourage you to check the division website and social media channels frequently for updates.

Please remember that these are unprecedented times. We are in a national state of emergency. It is imperative that we all follow the advice of our healthcare professionals, specifically the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to prevent further spread of the coronavirus and to ensure that we keep our families and our community as safe as possible.

We value our partnership with you and we will continue to keep you informed.

George Parker, III, Ph.D.
Superintendent

March 15 FAQs (pdf) (en español)

March 13: NNPS closed for students March 16 to March 27

Newport News Public Schools will be closed for students from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27 under order from Governor Ralph Northam in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

Families will receive information about accessing instructional materials and meal service next week.

Schools will be open on Monday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families to pick up medications and medical supplies should such items be needed during the two-week closure.

This evening between 7 and 7:30 p.m., all families will receive a phone call on their primary contact number with a two-question survey about technology access in your household. It is very important that both questions are answered. Your response will assist us with our planning efforts.

As always, we appreciate your support and cooperation.

The administration of the SAT scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Denbigh High School and Heritage High School has been preliminarily rescheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020.

March 12: Out-of-State Field Trips

The NNPS senior leadership team continues to monitor the circumstances related to COVID-19, or the coronavirus, and its potential effects on NNPS. While the risk to the general public remains low, we are taking steps to minimize potential risks to our students and staff.

With this in mind, NNPS is suspending all NNPS sponsored out-of-state field trips scheduled for March and April. Currently, there are no travel restrictions for locations within the U.S., but NNPS leaders feel that limiting travel out of state is prudent during these rapidly evolving circumstances. They will continue to watch the situation as they look to trips scheduled in May and June.

All in-state field trips, state competitions and other related activities may continue as scheduled; however, please note that some host organizations may cancel or alter the events.

Students, families and staff will be informed of any cancellations or scheduled changes as soon as possible. Questions about field trips may be directed to the principal or assistant principal.

What is the coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Coronaviruses affect the respiratory system, including the lungs and airways. They can cause mild illnesses like a cold, to more serious illnesses like pneumonia. Commonly reported symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will feel like they have a bad cold or the flu. Some people will require hospitalization. People who are at most risk for severe illness are elderly or have other health conditions.

I have a child in a NNPS school. Should I be worried?

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the immediate health risk is still considered low for the general population. See "How NNPS is addressing the coronavirus" for more information.

How is NNPS addressing the coronavirus?

Newport News Public Schools is working with the Virginia Department of Health and the City of Newport News Emergency Management work group and is following the current guidance from the VDH and the Centers for Disease Control.

Newport News Public Schools is taking steps to minimize the spread of cold, flu and other viruses. We have instituted more robust cleaning protocols. We are sanitizing touched surfaces more frequently including doorknobs, banisters, desks, tables and chairs. Soap dispensers and hand sanitizer stations will continue to be well stocked and we are reminding students and staff to wash their hands more often. We are also taking extra steps to sanitize our school buses.

NNPS officials are reviewing the school division's communicable disease protocols developed in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health. Students, families and staff are receiving reminders about preventing the spread of colds and flu and keeping their school and home environments healthy.

How can I prevent the spread of illness?

The Virginia Department of Health and Newport News Public Schools offer the following reminders:

  • Get the flu shot - it's not too late to protect yourself and your family
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you or your child feels sick, stay home. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after the fever is (temperature of 100 degrees or higher) is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw it away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer with a least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or disinfectant wipes.

View more information from the CDC on how to protect yourself and your family.


Back to NNPS and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Wash Your Hands

Stay Informed

For timely, accurate information on the coronavirus, please visit:

Employee Rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf)