Superintendent Samuel T. King proposes Transformation Initiative for 10 Norfolk schools

Norfolk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Samuel T. King has proposed an initiative that will transform 10 Norfolk schools and will include a new open campus high school program. If approved by the School Board, the NPS Transformation Initiative will advance NPS’ five-year Strategic Plan, increase student academic achievement and move the division more quickly toward full accreditation for all schools. The Board on June 12, 2013, authorized Dr. King to proceed with planning and communications.

The 10 transformation schools will have innovative, themed curricular programs, flexible instructional calendars, principals who are poised to focus on strong instructional leadership, dedicated community partners, advisory councils, and compacts or agreements between students, staff and parents, who will pledge to set and strive for high standards. The open campus high school will provide a flexible schedule and customized support for students who need that approach in order to graduate.

“This initiative is an important step toward NPS’ mission to become the cornerstone of our proudly diverse community,” Dr. King said.

To select the 10 schools, NPS analyzed historical and current academic performance data for all schools, including very preliminary results of the 2013 state Standards of Learning. The Transformation Initiative will be accomplished within the approved Norfolk Public Schools operating budget for 2013-2014, with the potential exception of state and federal grant funding the division intends to pursue.

NPS has a unique opportunity to pursue this transformation now, so that significant elements of the initiative can begin with the new school year. A new Virginia law will take effect July 1, 2013, allowing local school boards to adopt what are referred to as “public conversion charters,” in which public schools are transformed by the locality, rather than by an outside entity. The Virginia Department of Education has pledged its support for the NPS Transformation Initiative. The “public conversion charter” status also will allow NPS to take advantage of grant dollars available at the state and federal level.

Families, staff members and community stakeholders will be provided with information about this innovative proposal via letters, meetings and the district Web site.

The transformation school programs are:


NPS Transformation Initiative Schools


Lafayette-Winona Middle School

International Baccalaureate

Ruffner Academy

Expanded Young Scholars

Lindenwood Elementary School

International Baccalaureate

Lake Taylor Middle School

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

Tidewater Park Elementary School

Montessori Concept

Booker T. Washington High School

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

Jacox Elementary School

NASA Hub School

James Monroe Elementary School

Montessori Concept

Richard Bowling Elementary School

International Baccalaureate

P.B. Young, Sr. Elementary School

Montessori Concept

Open Campus High School

Improving Graduation Rates


The curricular themes at the 10 schools will begin when students return to school in September. Other elements of the transformation, including modified school calendars, will be phased to begin for the following school year.

Details, such as location and start date, are still being discussed for the open campus high school. The concept of an open campus high school is an alternative to a traditional high school, so non-traditional locations will be considered. Some school divisions that operate open campus high schools do so in shopping centers or office complexes, for example.


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