Phones Out at Hillpoint Elementary – Read More

February 22, 2017

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, road construction crews accidentally cut the cable which provides telephone service to Hillpoint Elementary School.  The repair is expected to be made by late morning Thursday, Feb. 23.  This means that phone calls to Hillpoint will not go through.  If you have an emergency or an urgent need to speak with someone at the school in the morning, you can call the School Administrative Offices at 925-6750, or go to the office at Hillpoint.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Parent Perception Survey – Available through March 10

February 6, 2017

  • As part of the school division’s assessment of each school’s educational environment, parents of students are being invited to participate in the 2017 Parent Perception Survey.
  • The survey will be conducted starting Monday, February 13 and will continue to be available through Friday, March 10, 2017.
  • Schools will use the information from the survey to help identify areas for improvement. This survey provides an excellent opportunity for parents to provide feedback about Suffolk Public Schools and to express perceptions about the learning environment at their child’s school.
  • On Monday, February 13, the official survey invitation will be emailed to parents and will include a school-specific web link to take parents directly to an online survey for each child’s school.
  • The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  • Responses will remain anonymous and be combined with responses of other families at the school.
  • If preferred, parents can pick up a paper copy of the survey at their child’s school.
  • Click here for the 2016 Survey Report presentation made to the Suffolk School Board 9-8-16
  • Contact Bethanne Bradshaw, Public Information Officer, at (757) 925-6752 or by email at for more information.

2017 parent survey flyer_Peachjar

February is School Board Member Appreciation Month

February 3, 2017

  • To build awareness of the crucial role School Board members plays in our communities and schools, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed February 2017 as School Board Appreciation Month.
  • Board members are extraordinary people who voluntarily tackle the enormous job of governing school divisions. Their actions and decisions affect the present and future lives of our children. Recognizing board members for this commitment and sacrifice takes a combined effort on the part of all they serve: administrators, school staff, students, and the community. Even though s howing appreciation should be a year-round process, taking advantage of the designated School Board Appreciation Month in February assures that these important people receive some of the thanks they deserve.
  • Click here for the Governor’s Proclamation that February is School Board Member Appreciation Month.
  • Click here for the proclamation that Feb. 20-24 is School Board Clerk Appreciation Week.  Thank you clerk Cynthia Chavis.

Suffolk School Board _ January 2015

Left to Right seated:  Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck, Nansemond Borough; Phyllis Byrum, Whaleyville Borough; Lorraine Skeeter, Cypress Borough; Linda Bouchard, Chuckatuck Borough

Left to Right standing:  David Mitnick, Sleepy Hole Borough; Enoch Copeland, Holy Neck Borough / Vice Chairman; Dr. Michael Debranski, Chairman.

Read This Week’s SPS News

February 22, 2017

Share your Suffolk Public Schools stories:  SUBMIT NEWS

You are part of the exciting things happening in our schools, and we would like to hear your stories and ideas. The information you share could be used in weekly media updates, YouTube videos, our website, and our social media channels. The electronic Submit News Form is now available on our website.

Tell us your story about hands-on learning, STEM, special lessons that differ from “regular” school day, use of technology or new equipment to enhance learning, family engagement events, community partnerships and volunteers, grants in action, new and innovative program or teaching strategy, and student or staff achievement

The form will prompt for details such as who, what, when, where, why and how.  Explain what is unique or interesting.  Explain why this event is happening.  What is the significance of hosting this event?  Is the feature related to a national or historic event? Is it unique in some way?  What about the event could attract media coverage?  How is this beneficial or different?

Image requirements: Acceptable image types: .jpg, .tif, .png … Subjects must be in focus … Layout: Both landscape and portrait layouts are preferred … High resolution preferred: 300 dots per inch (dpi)

Thanks for being our partner!

Keeping Healthy … Reminder about Sick Kids

February 9, 2017

Because the height of flu season is predicted to continue through the end of February, we wanted to share a few reminders for parents.

Suffolk Public Schools follows Health Dept. guidelines on when a child should stay home from school and when they can return.

Please keep your child at home if he or she has has a persistent or heavy cough, a persistent nasal discharge, any vomiting or diarrhea, or a temperature of 100.0.

Your child should NOT return to school until they have been without a fever for 24 hours.

Please note that our custodial staff is paying extra attention to sanitize classrooms and other areas that students and staff often touch.

It would also help if you would remind your child to cover their coughs and sneezes, and to model proper hand washing techniques.

Thank you.


Make-Up Days Set for Feb. 13, Feb. 20 & March 15

January 19, 2017

Make-Up Days Set for Feb. 13, Feb. 20 & March 15

Students will make up three (3) instructional days for the Jan. 9-11 snow closings. The approved 2016-17 calendar sets President’s Day (Feb. 20th) and the March 15th Staff Development Day (which was an early dismissal day) as two of the make-up days. However, to remain in compliance with Virginia Department of Education required instructional hours, the Suffolk School Board voted that the Feb. 13th Parent-Teacher Conference Day will now be used as a make-up day.  This will provide the third make-up day for students.  Parents can schedule teacher conferences before and after school.


Changes in Half Days & Full Days for Middle & High School Students

In addition, the first semester has also been extended two days.  The first semester will end on February 1st instead of January 30th.  This change will affect the four half-days currently scheduled only for middle and high schools.  January 25th and 26th will change to full days.  In addition, January 31st and February 1st will change to half days.

  • John F. Kennedy Middle School will have FULL days on January 27th and January 30th.  (JFKMS was closed Oct. 11th for power failure, and has to make up that day. )
  • The elementary school schedule will not change from Jan. 25th through Feb. 1st because they were never scheduled for early dismissal days.
  • References to “half day” above is the same as an “early dismissal” day.  Middle schools dismiss at 11:25 a.m. and high schools dismiss at 12:25 p.m.  The exam schedule has also been revised as follows:

Changes in Exam Schedules


  • Thursday, January 26 – Full Day; Block 1 Exam
  • Friday, January 27 – Half Day; Block 2 Exam & Block 4 Exam
  • Monday, January 30 – Half Day; Block 3 Exam & Block 5 Exam
  • Tuesday, January 31 – Half Day; Block 6 Exam & Block 7 Exam
  • Wednesday, February 1 – Half Day (Teacher Clerical afternoon)



  • Friday, January 27 – Half Day (except for John F. Kennedy Middle School who will be full day.*)
  • Monday, January 30 – Half Day (except for John F. Kennedy Middle School who will be full day.*)
  • Tuesday, January 31 – Half Day for all 4 middle schools
  • Wednesday, February 1 – Half Day (Teacher Clerical afternoon)

* JFKMS was closed Oct. 11th for power failure, and has to make up that day.  All other schools were open.




Due to the recent schedule changes, the first semester was extended two days.  The first semester will end on February 1, 2017 instead of January 30, 2017.  The exam schedule has also been revised.

How SPS Announces Schedule Changes

January 4, 2017

Emergency School Closings, Delays & Early Dismissals

When a decision is made to alter the schedule of Suffolk Public Schools because of weather conditions or other emergencies, detailed information will be provided in the following places:

  • Television stations … WVEC-13, WAVY-10, WTKR-3 … and their websites
  • School Messenger … Automated phone calls with a recorded message will begin calling the homes of students and staff. The numbers called are based on the contact information stored in the division’s database.
  • SPS Website …
  • SPS Facebook …
  • A recorded message will be available after hours at 925-6750

Make-Up Days for 2016-2017

  • The first two days missed will be covered by the extra instructional hours that are built into the school schedule.
  • NOTE:  These built-in hours have already been “claimed” when schools were closed on 9-22-16 and on 10-10-16.
  • The next days missed could be made up on Presidents’ Day, February 20, 2017, and on March 15, 2017 (staff development day).
  • Additional time missed will be made up by adding time to the instructional day.

Delayed Opening

Suffolk Public Schools will consider opening schools on a two-hour delay, due to inclement weather, hazardous conditions, power outages, or other emergency situations. Bus pick-ups for all students would begin either one hour or two hours later than normal pick-up times.

“Delayed Opening” means that any before-school child care will also open under the same delay.  Elementary student early drop-off would be delayed until 10:30 a.m. Breakfast would not be served on either delayed opening schedule. Lunch would be served. Dismissal time and after-school activities would remain the same unless otherwise noted.

Elementary schools offering YMCA childcare will follow this revised schedule:

  • On the mornings of school delays, the YMCA before-school program provided at the schools themselves will be cancelled.
  • If schools dismiss early, the YMCA after-school program will remain open until 6 p.m.
  • If schools are closed, there will be no YMCA childcare in those elementary schools.  However, students enrolled in those school site programs can be brought to the main Suffolk YMCA on Godwin Boulevard at no additional cost.

Suffolk Parks & Recreation Department will announce changes to their schedule independently, since their centers are separate from the school building.

Principal Honored with Community Leadership Award

January 10, 2017

Congratulations to Shawn Green, principal of John Yeates Middle School, who will be awarded the 2017 Community Leadership Award by the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day benefit brunch on Monday, January 16. 

According to Foundation president Ebony Wright, Green is being recognized for his extraordinary work with local youth. “Mr. Green is dedicated to encouraging student excellence and leadership both inside and outside the classroom. He has been instrumental in multiple mentoring programs throughout the region,” she said.

Nominated by John Yeates Middle School guidance counselor Sabrina Turner, Green “just has a special way with making a difference with the youth. He motivates them. He empowers them.” 

Green was assistant principal at John Yeates for nine years before leaving to be assistant principal at King’s Fork High School for a year. He then returned to John Yeates as principal this year.  

Green also serves as a mentor for the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe, a National Guard program for troubled youth based in Virginia Beach. He volunteers for the Oasis homeless feeding in Portsmouth. His fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, also participates in several projects such as adopt-a-spot cleanups and school supply drives.

Green said he was surprised by the honor: “I just feel like it’s me doing my part for the young people in the community, whether it be through work, through my fraternity, or whether it’s just kind of being that big brother or father figure to somebody who needs some encouragement.”

The guest speaker for the event will be Aminah M. Collick, assistant regional counsel for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Harbour View, 5921 Harbour View Blvd.  Tickets are $50. More information and tickets are available at