After seven months of study, community feedback and collaboration, the recommendations of the Refresh NPS educational facilities planning study, led by Ohio-based DeJONG-RICHTER, have been delivered to the School Board for discussion during the Board’s work session March 5, 2014. The work session begins at 2 p.m. at Granby High School, and will be live-streamed and made available afterward at www.npsk12.com and www.youtube.com/npsk12va.
The goals of the Refresh NPS study were ambitious:
- Study all school buildings and update their functional capacities
- Determine how the five-year NPS Strategic Plan, and its action items for transforming NPS into the cornerstone of its proudly diverse community, could influence the use of school buildings over time
- Balance utilization to ensure wise, efficient use of school buildings across Norfolk
- Identify options for increasing socio-economic diversity
- Identify options for expanded pre-kindergarten spaces
- Engage the community in the process
The final report from DeJONG-RICHTER, an educational facilities planning firm the school division hired to conduct the study, includes multiple recommendations for the School Board to consider as the division aims to maximize school facilities to support the NPS Strategic Plan. The study incorporates Strategic Plan action items such as: expansion of pre-kindergarten opportunities; the NPS Transformation Initiative which infuses 10 Norfolk schools with academically rigorous instructional themes; expansion of choice opportunities for students districtwide; a comprehensive career and technical education high school that has been approved by the School Board; and a potential reconfiguration of grade levels at some elementary schools to focus on early literacy. The study also takes into consideration upcoming school construction projects at Campostella (a science, technology, engineering, mathematics and swim-focused school serving kindergarten through eighth grade), Larchmont, Ocean View and the Broad Creek area.
Under DeJONG-RICHTER’s guidance, the study was overseen by a districtwide steering committee that included school division representatives, a School Board representative, city officials, parents, students, business leaders, civic leaders, and members of faith-based organizations. The study process included five public forums and two city-wide public opinion surveys.
“This was a very thorough, rigorous process, with involvement and input from many sectors of the community,” said Superintendent Samuel T. King. “We appreciate all of the diligence brought to the recommendations, which provide an excellent framework for the School Board to begin its discussions.”
To see the recommendations, click here.