High School

  • The high school educational experience is designed to enable the students to develop their minds and bodies to their fullest capacity socially, physically, intellectually, and psychologically. While instruction is the top priority, other opportunities are available to broaden students’ horizons.

    Suffolk Public Schools has three high schools: King’s Fork, Lakeland, and Nansemond River. The schools operate on an alternate day schedule – three 90 minute block classes that met every other day and one single 55-minute block that meets every day.


    The reading and writing curriculum is aligned to the Virginia State Standards of Learning. Daily instruction encompasses four literacy strands: Communication and Multimodal Literacies, Reading, Writing, and Research.  Students will use multimodal tools to create presentations for a variety of purposes.  High School English courses will provide students the opportunities to continue to become skilled communicators, working both independently and in collaborative groups.  Students will continue to expand the vocabulary using the structural analysis of roots and affixes to understand complex words to access complex text.  There is an ongoing emphasis on reading comprehension that allows students to apply knowledge of literary terms and analyze a variety of genres.  Technical reading and writing skills will be emphasized through explicit instruction using a variety of diverse texts.  Students will be expected to have greater control over the conventions of writing while applying research techniques to synthesize information from primary and secondary sources to produce a research product. 
    Link to English Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The mathematics curriculum is aligned with the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning. Emphasis is placed on the mathematics process goals which include mathematical problem solving, mathematical communication, mathematical reasoning, mathematical connections and mathematical representations.  High school mathematics courses offer opportunities to build on conceptual understanding and explore advanced mathematics concepts.
    Link to Mathematics Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The science curriculum is aligned to the Virginia Science Standards of Learning. Emphasis is placed on students investigating the natural world and the practices that scientists and engineers use as they design and build models and systems. Additional emphasis is necessary skills to examine scientific explanations, conduct experiments, analyze and communicate information, and gather and use information in scientific literature. Areas of focus include Scientific and Engineering Practices; Force, Motion, and Energy, Matter; and Living Systems and Processes; Earth and Space Systems; and Earth Resources. 
    Link to Science Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The history and social science curriculum is aligned with the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning objectives, which include strands that are specific to each history content area. Additional emphasis is placed on historical thinking skills that provide opportunities for students to become critical thinkers of local, state, national, and world history.  Historical thinking skills include but are not limited to synthesizing information from artifacts and primary and secondary sources, interpreting charts, graphs, and pictures to determine patterns in history, evaluating accuracy and validity of information, comparing and contrasting historical, cultural, economic, and political perspectives, explaining how indirect cause and effect relationships impacted people, places, or events,  and investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing. 
    Link to History and Social Science Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The health and physical education program is an integral part of the high school concept.  A team of instructors follow the state requirements for providing both activity-oriented instruction and health instruction.  Participation and activities are stressed in the program.  Health and Physical Education is taught on an alternating schedule to allow for health instruction.  CPR/AED training is provided to student in grade 9 to meet the VDOE graduation requirement. Driver Education in classroom instruction takes place during the 10th-grade year.  The Behind the Wheel Program is not offered by Suffolk Public Schools.
    Link to Health Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

    Link to Physical Education Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

    Link to Driver Education Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The Career and Technical Education curriculum is aligned to the Virginia Department of Education’s standards, industry certifications, and task competencies. Emphasis is placed on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking, & citizenship (5C’s). Career and Technical Education courses deepen student learning through real-world connections and interdisciplinary content integration.  Additionally, students who complete Career and Technical Education programs have an opportunity to participate in Board Approved Industry Certification exams that test workplace readiness and technical skills.
    Link to Virginia Career and Technical Education State Competencies


    Students may choose to take visual arts, band, orchestra, theatre, or chorus as elective courses.  Fine Arts courses focus on the development of skills for advanced study in band, chorus, theatre, orchestra, and visual arts. Participation in these courses may include performances and activities outside of the regular school day.  Opportunities for extracurricular activities associated with each course are also available to students (i.e. marching band, jazz ensemble, small vocal ensemble).
    Link to Fine Arts Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


    The world language curriculum includes the modern languages of French and Spanish (I-V), the classic language of Latin (I-V), as well as American Sign Language (I-IV).  Each of these courses allows students to study interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational skills in the specific language.  Students seeking an advanced diploma must complete three years of a world language, and students earning a standard diploma may take two years of a world language to satisfy graduation requirements.

    Additionally, English learners are supported in high school with the English as a Second Language courses (I-V), which is designed to support students who are English learners as they work to develop English proficiency.
    Link to World Languages Virginia Standards of Learning

    All high school course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the Suffolk Public Schools Program of Studies (PDF).

    The following information is explained in details in the Program of Studies:

    Course Catalog ... Information on course offerings, registration, and program sequences to plan your High School Plan for Grades 9-12

    Standards of Learning test requirements … Students are also required to pass the Standards of Learning end-of-course tests in six courses to earn a standard diploma and in nine courses to earn an advanced studies diploma before they can graduate. 

    Diploma Options… High school students are required to earn 22 credits to graduate with a standard diploma and 26 credits for an advanced studies diploma.   Beyond a high school diploma, options include Academic Scholars, Early College Scholars, and Paul D. Camp Community College Degree or Certificate.

    Additional Graduation Requirements... 

     - CPR/AED Training

    - Service Learning

     - Industry Credentials

     - Virtual Online Learning 

    Off-Campus Programs... The College & Career Academy at Pruden, and 

    The Governor’s School for the Arts

    High School Specialty Programs... Center for Performing and Production Arts, International Baccalaureate, Project Lead the Way – Biomedical Sciences, and Project Lead the Way -Engineering

    Foreign Exchange Process… CSIET endorsed agencies seeking to enroll foreign exchange students must complete the Foreign Exchange application cover sheet, and return it to the division's Student Services Department no later than August 15 before each school year.  Call Student Services at (757) 925-6750 for details. 

    Virginia Colleges and Universities

    Students and their families are encouraged to use a variety of information sources to select a college and major. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) provides one such source that is available.