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Students, staff, families converge for opening of 2012-2013 school year

First Day of School 2012New lunch boxes. Freshly pressed outfits. Backpacks brimming with school supplies. Huge smiles.

All were on display Tuesday, September 4, 2012 for the opening of the 2012-2013 school year in Norfolk Public Schools.

About 33,500 students headed through the doors of NPS' preschool facilities, elementary, middle and high schools and alternative sites.

School Board members, Superintendent Dr. Samuel T. King, the Superintendent's Cabinet and two representatives from the Norfolk Education Foundation fanned out across the city and made school visits throughout the day. The Mayor and members of the City Council joined Dr. King along the way.

NPS also celebrated the opening of the new Crossroads School, a state-of-the-art building that will house preschoolers, elementary students and middle school students.

Crossroads is Norfolk Public Schools’ first LEED-certified environmental facility, which means that it meets standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Among the special features: a vegetative roof, solar hot water, demonstration wind turbines to generate power for lighting the dining plaza, clerestory windows to promote natural light, and student restrooms with air dryers instead of paper towels.

The school houses the elementary level of the French American School of Norfolk, a program that serves French students who primarily are part of the NATO community. Crossroads also is home to Norfolk Public Schools’ program for students with multiple disabilities, and has a robust inclusion environment. The school construction was geared toward making the building as accessible as possible, with such features as press-plate automatic doors, accessible restrooms, elevators and ramps for the auditorium stage.

The school has four computer labs, three science labs, two gymnasiums, a City of Norfolk recreation center, two art rooms and two music rooms.

Click on image below for larger view.

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