Hampton City Schools – School Notes – June 29, 2016

(upbeat rock music) – Hello, and welcome to this
edition of School Notes. I’m Diana Gulotta. This
month, nearly 1300 students, from Hampton’s four high schools, graduated and ceremonies
held at the Hampton Coliseum. Students earned a combined total of more than 30 million dollars
in grants and scholarships. Students were accepted to over
70 colleges and universities. Here are some excerpts of the
Valedictorian’s parting words to their peers at the
graduation ceremonies. – Each and every one of you
deserves a standing ovation. I know as well as you, the
exhausting frustration. Every other week, I could
have used a vacation. So, you, most of all, should
understand my fixation on the marvel of our endurance. Four years have flown by. Whether, or not, you think
it has taken too much of our time, this day,
graduation, has finally arrived. – We all make mistakes. Last time I checked, we’re all human. So, don’t worry too much if
you slip up once in a while. The important thing about mistakes, is to transform them into lessons. – However, (clears throat)
whether it’s going to college, applying for work, or
enrolling in the military, we are all responsible to make
our own decisions, as adults. It is important to remember that everything will figure itself out. So, we should never let the
fear of failure get in our way. – The uncertainty of the road
less traveled can be overcome by the personal fulfillment
of conquering new challenges. No, it won’t always be easy. We will most certainly try, fail, and try again before succeeding. But, the failures will be ours. – If you missed watching
graduations live on television, or streaming on the internet,
you can still catch them on Channel 46, YouTube, and Facebook. Students from Phoebus High School, graduating with highest honors, don their caps and gowns early, to visit 8th grade students
at Syms Middle School. The students marched into the auditorium to cheers and applause, and had the opportunity to share their high school experiences with the younger students. The seniors, along with
Phoebus principal, Mark Hudson, shared inspirational words with students about the importance of starting now, to work toward their graduation goals. – Your next four years,
you’re gonna start off, you’re gonna be nervous in 9th grade. Don’t take it as a joke. 9th grade is one of the
most important years, ’cause you have to get your
grades then, starting off. If you wanna get highest honors, you’re trying to get honors, you’re trying to get into your college, you gotta get everything started off in your 9th grade year. Don’t
wait. No procrastination. Then, moving on, you’re gonna
make it to your Senior year, and you gotta get everything turned in. Don’t have anything late.
Make sure everything’s done. Make sure you respect your teachers, because your teachers are the
ones that are gonna help you when you need extra help. So, do everything you’re supposed to do, and, you can get there. – I think our middle
school students need to see and understand the hard work
that it’s going to take, starting in 8th grade, prior
to moving into 9th grade, that they have to focus on their classes, they need to bring a sense of maturity, and a sense of drive. When
they come to us in high school, that their grades are very important, coming to school every day is important. – Students, from all over
Hampton City Schools, participated in oyster restoration by planting oysters in the
Elizabeth Lakes in Hampton. With the help of Oyster
Reef Keepers of Virginia, teachers and students are to
grow and monitor their oysters during the school year. – We got awarded a 360,000
dollar three year grant, and one of the projects for
that in training teachers in environmental literacy
and environmental education, Chesapeake Bay, the students
from nine different schools, elementary, middle, and high schools, and 18 teachers have been
actively involved in this, and they would be, actually
be bringing their students out and they will actually be
planting them on the oyster bed, oyster reef, that’s right out there. – Out here by the tree, and
then we’ll come over here and we’ll make a circle. – I wish humans wouldn’t
impact the environment so negatively. – It’s a really exciting
project for students, because students enjoy the
hands-on component of things. They see the oysters,
they measure the oysters, they see the little creatures
that live on the oysters. So, there’s little shrimp,
little crabs, little worms, all these little creatures
are on their oyster. So, it gives them exposure to nature. – So, we are at this, this end
of Elizabeth Lake right here. So, really, what we’re doing up here, you know, flows all the
way down Hampton River, and out into the bay. – My wish was that it helps
filter out the pollution and makes the water cleaner. – One cup in each hand. – (Man) Oh. – Save me a trip. (laughs) – (Man) Good deal. – Oysters are amazing for the
ecosystem. They filter water, they provide habitat, they
provide shoreline protection, they provide food in the ecosystem. Oysters have, are considered
a keystone species, in fact, because they are so important
to a healthy ecosystem. They provide habitat, not
only for other oysters, but for hundreds of other creatures. The students are helping
the river to be healthier. So, it builds that
environmental stewardship peace, where the students are interested in helping the environment, and they are able to help the environment. – Recently, the Hampton City Schools Information Literacy Department, hosted Googlepalooza, an event to help teachers integrate
Google applications into their classrooms. Nearly 300 educators
from the region attended, to learn how to make their
classrooms more efficient using Google Docs, Google
Classroom, and Google Chromebooks. – When our students go
out into the work world, these are the kinds of tools that their employers are
going to expect them to need, to know how to use. These are the kinds of tools that their employers are going to expect them to know how to use. In addition today, we have a little MakerSpace demonstration, MakerSpace set up, and there
we’re talking about learning to code, we’re talking
about robots, using robots, we have some critical thinking activities for building things and
using our engineering skills. What we’re hearing from employers are, “we need students who aren’t good at picking the right letter answer. We need students who can think critically, think on their feet, know how to use tools to problem solve”, and so those are the kinds of skills that we are trying to
help our teachers learn, so that then they can better
help their students learn them, as well. – All my students have iPads, and I’m going to hopefully
set up Google Classroom so that we can work toward
a paperless classroom, and do everything online. I’m excited that Hampton
has so much technology for our students. It
seems like we’re, kind of, above and beyond all the
other school systems. So, it’s making our students
more prepared for the future. – We took a class on differentiation, on how to, like I said, kind of really target the needs of my students who are weaker in areas and then really expand on the students who understand the more basic concepts, and learn to build and
layer on those experiences, and give them more than
what I’ve been able to give them before, versus paper and pencil
I have used in the past. – Well, my favorite thing, so far, has been the Breakout EDU. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. But, it’s an opportunity for students to work with their digital skills, and information literacy
skills, and content, and they have to do some problem
solving and collaboration to figure out a way, to find the clues to break out of the digital
session, or, the digital box. Lots of fun. I think, if you haven’t been to Googlepalooza before, it’s definitely something you want to try. Opportunities to learn a lot and, of course, network with
people from all over the area. So, that’s a good thing. – Let’s check out what people are sharing on our social media outlets. On Facebook, you can see
photos of principals, assistant principals, and
teachers participating in Leverage Leadership
Professional Development Training. There are also many many photos from all four high school graduations. Mrs. Ellis’ 4th grade class
at Tyler Elementary School, visited two kindergarten classrooms to perform their reader’s play
The Hip-Hop Gingerbread Boy. 4th grade students then worked one-on-one, with kindergarten students, practicing sight word recognition. On Twitter, Della Jordan, the graduation specialist
at Bethel High School, shared Summer Reading recommendations to all high school grade levels. And, finally, Phenix Health
and Medical students, made first aid kits for refugee families, and lunches for the downtown soup kitchen. Before we go, we wanted
to share video highlights from field day events across the district. Students had a lot of fun together, during those last days of school, celebrating all of their hard
work through the school year. We hope everyone has
a safe and fun Summer, and remember to do some reading during your time off from school. Remember, it’s every child,
every day, whatever it takes. We’ll see you next time. (upbeat rock music fades out) (lighthearted playful music) (children playing) (children cheering) (children shouting) (police car siren) (children yelling) (cheering) (children playing) (cheerful rock music) (children playing) (Woman yells in surprise) (children playing)

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