Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

The Newport News School Board voted for all students to begin the school year with virtual learning during the first quarter, Sep. 8 to Nov. 2.

FAQ: Counseling for Seniors

Posted: September 1, 2020

School counselors are available to assist students and their families. Refer to the School Counseling Directory for contact information.

New Student Registration Information

What are the steps required to enroll a new student?

Parents are asked to use the Online Pre-Registration (OLR) self-service parent portal which allows parents and guardians to pre-register students online anytime from anywhere. OLR will be used in place of paper registration forms. The school will contact parents and guardians to schedule an in-person appointment to finalize the registration process. More information and to start the registration process.

When should the registration process start?

To help ensure that schools and students are well prepared for the first day of school, parents are encouraged to register their child or children at their zone school as soon as possible. Doing so helps our schools and teachers be equipped and ready to make each student's first day pleasant and productive.

How do I determine what school my student will attend?

To determine which school your child will attend, use the NNPS School Zone Finder. Enter your address, and the zone finder will provide the names of the elementary, middle, and high school assigned to your residence in the city. You may also call (757) 591-4500 to find out which school serves your neighborhood.

Graduation Requirements

What are the requirements to be classified as a senior?

In order to be classified as a senior, a student must be in his/her 4th year of high school and have earned a minimum of 16 credits.

What are the graduation requirements for the class of 2021?

Credits Required for Graduation with a Standard Diploma

Discipline Area Standard Units of Credit Required *Verified credits required
English 4 2
Mathematics 3 1
Laboratory Science 3 1
History & Social Studies 3 1
Health & Physical Education 2  
World Language, Fine Arts, or Career & Technical Education 2  
Economics & Personal Finance 1  
Electives 4  
Student Selected Test   1
Career & Technical Education Credential    
Total 22 6

*A verified unit of credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and passes a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education.

Credits Required for Graduation with an Advanced Studies Diploma

Discipline Area Standard Units of Credit Required *Verified credits required
English 4 2
Mathematics 4 2
Laboratory Science 4 2
History & Social Studies 4 2
World Language 3  
Health & Physical Education 2  
Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education 1  
Economics & Personal Finance 1  
Electives 3  
Student Selected Test   1
Total 26 9

Class Schedules

What date will schedules be available?

Schedules will be available for students to view by September 2, 2020 in StudentVUE.

If I have a question or concern about my schedule, who do I contact?

Students are encouraged to email their school counselor if they have questions about their schedule.

When is the deadline to request a schedule change?

The last date to request a schedule change is September 18, 2020.

How will I know if I am on track for graduation 2021?

Your school counselor will schedule an appointment to meet with you and your family to discuss your graduation and postsecondary plans. These meetings will occur throughout the months of September and October. If you or your parents have any questions prior to your individual meeting, please email your counselor for assistance. Email addresses are available in the staff section of each school’s website and on the NNPS counseling website.

Who do I contact for academic support?

The first step is to reach out to your teacher through email or Canvas. Teachers will be available to support you in enhancing your understanding of the learning and/or key concepts. Please keep the lines of communication open with your teachers. Should additional support be necessary, please reach out to your school counselor to assist you in navigating support and resources.

New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center

What is the Return to Learn plan for New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center?

All New Horizons classes will be virtual for the first quarter. They will reassess the situation for the 2nd quarter.

What is the remote learning schedule for New Horizons?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:

    • AM Session: 7:40 am – 10:00 am
    • PM Session: 12:15 pm – 2:35 pm

Students will also participate in "Workforce Wednesdays" where all CTE students engage in an assortment of workforce related activities.

What is the outline of a typical remote learning day at New Horizons?

The daily engagement time is 30-45 minutes:

    • Direct instruction with instructor, lab/technique demonstrations, live group discussions
    • Small group instruction, discussion boards, and reading/writing assignments, projects

Every student is expected to engage in 90-120 minutes of instruction and activities per day. This includes (not in addition to) the daily engagement time.

Can I apply to New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center?

Yes. New Horizons is still accepting applications at their online CTE site. Click here to apply.

What is the final deadline to apply to New Horizons for the 2020-2021 school year?

The online application portal will close for New Horizons on Friday, September 11, 2020.

The Governor’s School for Science and Technology

What is the Return to Learn plan for the Governor's School for Science and Technology?

The Governor’s School for Science and Technology will be virtual for the first quarter. They will reassess the situation for the 2nd quarter.

What is the remote learning schedule for the Governor's School for Science and Technology?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:

    • AM Session: 7:10 am – 10:35 am
    • PM Session: 11:20 am – 2:35 pm

Students will also participate in Faculty and Academic Advisory Wednesdays. The main focus of Faculty and Academic Advising will be to facilitate the development of the students' research projects.

What is the outline of a typical remote learning day at the Governor's School of Science and Technology?

Daily engagement time (math, science and research) is 180 minutes total for three courses:

    • Direct instruction with instructor, lab/technique demonstrations, live group discussions
    • Small group instruction, discussion boards, and reading/writing assignments, projects

Every student is expected to engage in 180 minutes of instruction and activities per day. This includes (not in addition to) the daily engagement time.

SAT/ACT Testing

Do I need to take the SAT or ACT?

Many colleges are waiving this requirement during the pandemic. The National Association for College Admission Counseling provides a central resource of information about changes in college admission as a result of the coronavirus outbreak on their website.

SAT/ACT Testing

Newport News Public Schools will be making the decision regarding additional Saturday testing dates on a month-to-month basis. This decision is consistent with our surrounding divisions. School Counseling Services is currently creating resources for students and parents that address college/university and NCAA Clearinghouse requirements. In additions, professional school counselors will share information related to college/university and NCAA Clearinghouse SAT/ACT requirement waivers for the 2021-2022 admission cycle.

What are the SAT testing dates?

  • August 29, 2020 (Cancelled)
  • September 26, 2020
  • October 3, 2020
  • November 7, 2020
  • December 5, 2020
  • March 13, 2021
  • May 8, 2021
  • June 5, 2021

How do I register for the SAT or ACT?

You register for the SAT online at and for the ACT at

How can I receive a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT?

If you qualify for free or reduced-lunch, contact your school counselor to receive a fee waiver.

How does testing impact NCAA requirements?

The NCAA advised that due to the cancelation of SAT/ACT testing, students will receive an automatic waiver for 2021-2022 enrollment due to COVID-19. However, each university will still have their own academic standards for entry into their respective college/universities.

College Preparation

How many colleges should I consider?

It is recommended that you apply to 4-7 colleges. Select colleges after you have thought about where you want to live for the next four years, if they have your major and your chances of getting accepted. We always suggest you research colleges and only apply to a college where your numbers are at the bottom of their acceptances if it is truly a school that you want to attend. And we suggest a safety school which is one that you know you will receive an acceptance from and also a college you want to attend.

What should I consider when reviewing colleges?

There are many resources on the web. The College Board (Big Futures) and Naviance both have great search engines. Please consider the following: How far away from home do I want to go? Do I want to go to a large university or a medium or small college? Do I want to be in the country, suburbs or an urban setting? Does the college have my major? What extracurricular activities are important and do they have them? Is the prestige of the college important? Does the college help with internships and help me get a job when I graduate?

Where do I find college applications?

Please review this video regarding applications:

When do I apply?

Please review various types of offers and deadlines.

Early Decision: Normally in November – this is a binding contract. You can only apply to one of these, and if you are accepted you are going. You will receive an early acceptance.

Early Action: You can apply to as many as you want, and we recommend doing the Early Action if a college has this. A few Ivy League schools which offer this have a caveat to it, so read the fine print.

Regular Action: Deadlines are normally in January and February but can be as late as March. Your first semester grades of high school are part of their decision.

Rolling: Schools do not have a specified deadline. Decisions are ongoing after complete application is received.

Merit: Some schools have a specific deadline for merit based scholarships. Please review information on the college/university you are considering. Some schools do not have a deadline.

What is the common application?

The Common Application is a generic application that many colleges use. You complete the application and send it to multiple colleges. Make sure you check with each college you are applying in case there are additional requirements.

How do I obtain my transcript?

All colleges require a transcript. There are a few colleges that require this after acceptance (grades are self-reported). Newport News Public Schools will be using a platform called Naviance. You will request your transcripts through this for your counselor to send. Please communicate with your counselor, and please do not request the transcript the day of the deadline. Strive to request two weeks prior to the deadline (excluding holidays).

Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid?

To qualify for many types of financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application gives you access to scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Complete the application online at starting October 1, 2020.

Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college. It can cover a range of educational expenses, like tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Click here for more information.

What are the types of financial aid?

Scholarships: Free money to pay for school.

Grants: Money given to students who demonstrate financial need.

Loans: Money loaned by the government or private lenders that must be paid back with interest.

Work Study: Program that offers flexible part-time jobs around student schedules.


Do colleges offer scholarships?

Yes, most colleges have general and major-specific scholarships. For the general merit scholarships, colleges make those determinations based on many factors. Some colleges use the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Some colleges use these as well as an essay. Some colleges use these things and have a specific date that the admission’s application must be submitted, or they have separate applications. Every college is different and you should research their websites.

Are there scholarships that are not college specific?

Yes, there are thousands of national, state, regional and local scholarships. Talk to your parent or guardian. Their employer may have one, or your place of worship.

What do I have to do to get a scholarship?

First review the application. Most often there is an essay you have to write, and they will also want your transcript and letters of recommendation. Some applications are as easy as sending in your name, others have interviews.

How does Newport News Public Schools help research scholarships?

NNPS will publish a monthly scholarship bulletin starting in October.


What test is required to join the military?

In order to join the military, you must take the ASVAB test and earn a qualifying score on that test.

What does the ASVAB measure?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures your knowledge and ability in ten different areas. It is not an IQ test, but the ASVAB does help the military assess which jobs you are best suited to perform.

How can I prepare for the ASVAB?

Getting a good night’s rest and arriving on time are the two most important steps you can take to prepare. For free ASVAB practice visit

Who administers the ASVAB, and where can I test?

The ASVAB is usually given in schools by test administrators from the federal government. Schools determine where and when the ASVAB will be given. Due the pandemic, NNPS is not currently offering the ASVAB. However, we are working with JROTC instructors to develop an assessment timeline and will keep our students and families posted.

Local Recruiter’s Offices:

U. S. Army Recruiting Station Denbigh
14346 Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, VA 23602
(757) 890-6219

U.S. Navy Recruiting Station Denbigh
12515 Jefferson Ave, Suite 130
Newport News, VA 23602
(757) 989-6485

U.S. Marines
8100 George Washington Memorial Hwy
Yorktown, VA 23692
(757) 898-8796

U.S. Air Force
8100 George Washington Memorial Hwy
Yorktown, VA 23692

Virginia Army National Guard​
12638 Jefferson Ave, Suite 19
Newport News, VA 23602


Is the College Fair being held this year?

There will be a virtual college fair this year over a two-month period. Students will need to register, which opens September 7. Registration will stay open for two weeks. More information will be posted on this.

    • 9/21-9/25 Freshman admission panel presentations
    • 9/28-10/23 Freshman virtual college fairs (two days per week with a daytime and evening option each week)
    • 10/26-10/30 Freshman admission panel presentations

Important Dates


  • Make your college list along with deadlines
  • Review the applications, and know what each college requires
  • Teacher Recommendations – ask them now!
  • 9/21-9/25 Freshman admission panel presentations, Regional College Fair
  • 9/29 Virtual Financial Aid Workshop
  • Virtual Senior Classroom Guidance


  • 10/1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens (complete in the fall)
  • Financial Aid – check with each college to determine if any other information is required such as the CSS Profile (college board)
  • Review the October Scholarship Bulletin
  • Senior Conference with School Counselor
  • Begin your college applications

10/26-10/30 Freshman admission panel presentations

  • Register for IB exams


  • Registration for AP exams
  • 11/16 – 11/20 Virginia College Application Week
  • Continue applying to college
  • Review the November Scholarship Bulletin


  • 12/2 On-site Admissions
  • Continue applying to college
  • Review the December Scholarship Bulletin


  • Continue applying to college
  • Make sure you are on track to graduate
  • Review the January Scholarship Bulletin


  • Mid-Year Transcripts
  • Review the February Scholarship Bulletin


  • Continue to focus on keeping your grades up
  • Review the March Scholarship Bulletin


  • 4/1 National deadline for colleges to get acceptances to students
  • 4/15 National deadline for all college Financial Aid office to get award letters to students
  • Decide on what college you will attend
  • Review the April Scholarship Bulletin


  • 5/1 National day for students to submit their deposit to their college of choice (it can be before 5/1 which we suggest, but if it is after 5/1 the student loses their space)​
  • Once you have submitted your deposit, sign up for orientation


  • Final Transcript sent to your college
  • Complete senior survey through Naviance

Mental Health

Given the impact of school closures and the pandemic have had on the well-being of students, what resources are available this year to support their mental health?

Social emotional and mental health resources will be available to support students this fall. Clinical and counseling staff will provide mental health support and resources including group counseling and consultation for students and families as needed.

NNPS has Licensed Mental Health Therapists who offer school based mental health therapy. Please contact your school counselor to complete a referral for services.

Who should I contact if I need to speak with someone and am feeling sad or depressed?

Please reach out to your school counselor (email addresses are on the school website) or student support specialist at your school. Send him/her an email, and he/she will respond as soon as they can. Please put urgent in the subject line of your email.

You can also text "HOME" to 741741 for free counseling 24/7 in the United States.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Social/Emotional Support is ongoing and a priority for all school counselors. Noted below are ways this is utilized:

    • Collaboration with school psychologists and social workers
    • Family updates with resource recommendations
    • Sharing resource support with teachers
    • Small group meetings on anxiety, stress, management
    • Wellness check in with parents/providing resource
    • Checking on students through parent contact
    • Zoom meetings with teachers and parents
    • Sharing resources with teachers on emotional support
    • Follow up contacts based on parent and teacher recommendations
    • Check in with students via google classroom and zoom
    • Phone calls and follow up emails to families
    • Small groups in zoom and google classroom
    • Teaming in class sessions with teachers
    • Counselor corner newsletter
    • Providing students & families with tips & resources on wellness
    • Following up with students who teachers and administrators have addressed concerns
    • Check-in’s with social/emotional concerns 
    • Student Support Team Meetings  (Child Studies, 504’s)
    • Collaboration with student support specialists, school psychologists and social workers

Naviance: College and Career Assessment

Logging into Naviance through NNPS Clever

Student Log-in Instructions

Student Reference Guides

Student Videos

Naviance Resources:

Additional Resources

Opportunities Guide and Handbook: ECMC (en espanol)

Find your NNPS School Counselor

College Applications:


College Searches:

Financial Aid: