What’s new in Suffolk Public Schools?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Easing transition

The students and staff from Florence Bowser Elementary School visited Driver Elementary School to ease the transition from primary to elementary school for the &uot;rising&uot; second graders on May 27. All city fifth-graders will visit the middle schools today to tour the school they will be attending in the fall. Call your child’s school for details.

Planning retreat


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The Suffolk School Board will hold its annual planning retreat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 29 at the regional office of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, located at 723 Woodlake Drive off Greenbrier Parkway in Chesapeake. The meeting is open to the public.

Summer enrichment

The deadline for registering for the Elementary Summer Enrichment program offered by Suffolk Public Schools is Friday, May 30. The school division will offer two sessions. The first session will be held Monday, July 21 through Thursday, July 24 at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second session will be held from Monday, Aug. 11 through Thursday, Aug. 14 at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Session 1 class offerings include &uot;Dance to the Rhythm of the Beat&uot; for grades 1-3, &uot;Photography 101&uot; for grades 4-5, and &uot;Technology Exploration&uot; for grades 4-5. Session 2 class offerings include &uot;Introduction to Spanish&uot; for grades 1-3, &uot;Wacky Weather and Natural Disasters&uot; for grades 1-3, &uot;Introduction to Spanish&uot; for grades 4-5, and &uot;Science Detectives&uot; for grades 4-5. The cost is $25 per class.

Classes will be filled on a first to register, first to be served basis. A minimum of 15 students must enroll for the class to be held.

Enrollment is limited and determined by the order in which registration fees are received. Transportation will not be provided and lunch will not be served.

Registration information was sent home with elementary students today. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Suffolk Public Schools, and should be sent with the completed registration form to Pamela Kiriakos at the School Board Office, 524 N. Main St. Call Erma Goodman at 925-5634 for more information.


The Suffolk Substance Abuse and Youth Council and Suffolk Public Schools are planning its annual Youth and Law Enforcement (YALE) Day, focusing on safety, drugs, and the law. The plan is to involve students from grades four through twelve. The middle and high school students (grades 6-12) will participate in a two-hour group activity on Class Action led by Suffolk Police Officer Andre Weaver. The Suffolk Police Department will provide presentations to the 4th and 5th grade students on gun safety, and positive role models. The elementary students will also participate in a fire safety demonstration by the Suffolk Fire Department and a K-9 demonstration by the Virginia State Police. This project is planned for Thursday, May 29 i the East Suffolk Complex. The presentations will be between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. The students will rotate among the presenters. The presentations will last approximately 30 minutes each. After lunch, the entire group will assemble for closing by Randolph Boone, coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services, with dismissal at 1:30 p.m.

Transitions to high school

The Special Education Parent-Teacher Resource Center is sponsoring the workshop &uot;Transitions to High School,&uot; beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29 at the center, located at 121 Forest Glen Drive. Dora Pearson, transition specialist with Suffolk Public Schools, will be on hand to help with questions. Those in attendance will receive the &uot;Self-Advocacy Handbook,&uot; &uot;My Transition Handbook,&uot; &uot;Success at High School & Beyond,&uot; and a student work guide. Call the center at 925-5579 to register.

Blue Wave Field Day

Northern Shores Elementary School will holds its Blue Wave Field Day on Friday, May 30, beginning at 9:15 a.m. At 1:15 p.m., students will create a human flag – using colored pieces of paper to depict the stars and stripes and then putting the creation to motion by doing &uot;the wave.&uot; At 1:45 p.m., a student-teacher kickball game will conclude the day’s festivities. Call physical education teacher Alan Lowe or school nurse Norma Allred at 925-5566 for more information

Bicycle give-away

Early Start parents who have attended the required number of parent meetings are eligible to participate in a drawing for a bicycle give-away. Wal-Mart of College Drive and Wal-Mart of North Main Street donated three children’s bicycles – one for each of the three schools which house the Early Start program. Winners will be drawn at 10 a.m. Friday, May 30.

Mt. Zion Spring Fling

The Mount Zion Elementary School PTA will host its annual Spring Fling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at the school. Events will include a craft show, games with prizes, moonwalk, cotton candy, snow cones, and Drive for the Kids, a fundraiser sponsored by Starr Motors. Call the school at 925-5585 for more information.

PTA meetings

nThe Booker T. Washington Elementary School PTA will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. Call the school at 925-535 for more information.

— The Driver Elementary School PTA will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. Call the school at 538-5405 for detail.

— The Northern Shores Elementary School PTA will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. Call the school at 925-5566 for more information.

Driver Elementary news

— Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Driver Elementary School will listen to the John Yeates Middle School band on the morning of Thursday, May 29.

— Many of the fourth- and fifth- grade students at Driver Elementary School have achieved their gold, silver or black belt in Recorder Karate. Sponsored by music teacher Jeanie Baird, students are given pieces to practice and play for Mrs. Baird. Only the lucky ones-i.e. talented musicians-reach this level of expertise.

— Approximately 20 different careers will be represented at the Driver Elementary School annual Career Day organized by Mrs. Elizabeth Crane-Davis, guidance counselor. Businesses, such as VDOT, Virginia Power and the Suffolk Police will set up displays both outside and inside the gym to be viewed on a rotating basis by all grade levels.

— Cub Scout Troop Pack 89 has donated, for the second year, 21 books to be placed in the Driver Elementary School Media Center. Each book contains a bookplate to honor a Scout leader for their dedicated leadership. Call Debbie Vaughan, library media specialist, at 538-5405 for more information.

Closing ceremonies

Closing ceremonies for students in the Early Start program will continue to be held as follows: Florence Bowser Elementary School, 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 10 … and Booker T. Washington Elementary School, 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 11.

Substitute teachers

The Suffolk Substitute Teachers’ Association will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 11 in the John F. Kennedy Middle School cafeteria. Call Freddie Wiggins at 923-1006 for more information.

Retirees honored

Suffolk Public Schools will honor 28 retirees on their 757 collective years of service to the students of Suffolk Public Schools at its annual retirement banquet, set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 2 at King’s Fork Middle School. A retirement banquet celebrating their careers is set for Monday, June 2 at King’s Fork Middle School. This year’s retirees include Burnette Boone, teacher, Florence Bowser, 30 years; Betty Burford, teacher assistant, Kilby Shores, 25 years; Phyllis Byrum, teacher, Nansemond River, 30 years; Carol Cary, Oakland, 12 years; Gloria Colbert, teacher, John F. Kennedy, 32 years; Gladys Franklin, teacher assistant, Nansemond Parkway, 34 years; Angela Goode, teacher, John Yeates, 25 years; Sandra Hassell, teacher, Northern Shores, 25 years; Rosa Hicks, teacher assistant, Southwestern, 33 years; Katherine Kelly, teacher, Robertson, 34 years; Linda Keuhn, teacher, John F. Kennedy, 6 months; Julia Liggins, librarian, Lakeland, 33 years; Yvonne Manley, teacher, Southwestern, 29 years; Gayle Morgan, teacher, Florence Bowser, 16 years; James Parker III, teacher, Nansemond River, 30 years; Doretha Reid, cafeteria worker, Southwestern, 25 years; Corene Roberts, teacher, John F. Kennedy, 28 years; Faye Sobel, parent relations specialist, Booker T. Washington, 32 years; Ronald Sobel, printer, Print Shop, 6 years; Mary Steverson, guidance counselor, Lakeland, 36 years; Bertha Taylor, teacher assistant, John F. Kennedy, 30 years; Shirley Taylor, school nurse, Mount Zion, 30 years; Estelle Wilkins, cafeteria worker, Florence Bowser, 25 years; Carolyn Williams, teacher, Elephant’s Fork, 33 years; Isaac Williams Jr., guidance counselor, John Yeates, 33 years; Wilburn Wilson Jr., teacher, Lakeland, 30 years; Beatrice Wolfrey, custodian, King’s Fork, 31 years; and Vivian Young, school nurse, Southwestern, 30 years.

Early dismissal

Students in traditional schools will be dismissed early during final exams as follows: Middle and high school students at 11:45 a.m. and elementary school students at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, Thursday, June 12 and Friday, June 13. The last day of school for traditional schools is Friday, June 13. The year-round schools – Booker T. Washington Elementary School and Northern Shores Elementary School – will continue classes through Thursday, June 26.

Board meeting

The Suffolk School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, June 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.