Norfolk public schools announce new plan to improve student achievement


by Jonathan Costen, 13News Now

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 20 at 9:00 AM

NORFOLK -- The superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools says he wants to improve student achievement by transforming school culture.  

Samuel King updated his Transformation Initiative at a meeting Wednesday night. Some of the recommendations include changing the way elementary school students are automatically assigned middle schools. He says that will help create more socioeconomic diversity at the middle school level and help reduce anxiety felt by many rising sixth-graders.

The initiative affect six elementary schools. Fairlawn and Poplar Halls elementary schools would be paired; Poplar Halls would serve Pre-K through grade 2 and Fairlawn would serve grades 3 through 5. Other schools would follow the same pattern.

Some schools would adopt specific themes. For instance, Ocean View Elementary has a maritime theme with a focus on service learning and with an eye toward restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Larchmont Elementary would take on a pre-medical theme.

Chris Wood likes the ideas.  

“I'm all for it, more socioeconomic diversity throughout our public schools. I think there's nothing wrong with having a career focused for students at early age and that's something that can be beneficial."  

Other ideas in the plan include a year-round school and a Primary Years International Baccalaureate.

The School Board now must consider the recommendations before any of the ideas can be implemented.

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