Over the past few months, Surry County Public Schools has experienced and addressed multiple challenges as we continue to educate our students during a pandemic. This has included maintaining the safety of our students and staff members while rising to multiple challenges that would have been unimaginable at this time last year. With that being said, the purpose of this message is to inform you of a decision that was made at last night’s School Board Meeting. Based on the Superintendent’s recommendation, the School Board decided to continue Virtual Instruction until February 1, 2021 for the vast majority of students. However, there are two exceptions, students who participate in our self-contained special education classes and English Language Learners. These two groups of students will be allowed to return to in-person instruction on November 9, 2020. The decision to remain virtual was made based on feedback from parents, employees, and students. The decision was also guided by COVID-19 cases in Surry and surrounding counties. It was not an easy decision, however, we feel that it’s best for all involved at this time. We encourage all families to wear face coverings outside your homes and to follow all safety guidelines as issued by the Centers for Disease Control during this time.
On Monday, October 12, 2020, interim progress reports will be available in PowerSchool Parent Portal. You will be able to access attendance, grades, and teacher comments. The format in PowerSchool Parent Portal will be slightly different from a printed copy. You can access your child’s interim report by using the same login information as student registration. Please contact the school counselor if you need help resetting your password.
Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Virtual/Remote Learning
A new P-EBT benefit will be issued to ALL students currently enrolled in Surry County Public Schools. Benefits will be issued between September 30 and October 15, 2020. If you received a P-EBT benefit this past spring or summer, the new benefit will be automatically added to your card. If you were not previously issued a P-EBT card, a card will be mailed to you. Frequently Asked Questions and instructions on how to activate the card and manage your benefits account can be found linked below. It is not necessary to contact the school about this benefit as this benefit is issued by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Congratulations, Class of 2020! On behalf of myself, Surry County High School Administrators, and the School Board Members, Saturday’s commencement was one of the most memorable. With the Class of 2020 - along with everyone else - quarantined at home since late March, the nontraditional ceremony was refreshing. And the weather was perfect too! To commemorate the day, all graduates will receive a CD recording of the ceremony so that they can view their fellow classmates walk across the stage. The CD will also include the commencement speech as delivered by Miss Kristie King (Class of 2000). The speech can be viewed at the link below. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Miss King for the time and attention to her words of encouragement.
Serbrenia J. Sims, Superintendent
Watch "Kristie_SCHS_2020_Speech" on YouTube
Surry County Public Schools’ (SCPS) vision is “to provide a safe, healthy learning environment that prepares all students to be competitive and productive citizens in a highly technical and global society.” In support of this vision, SCPS deployed over 220 Chromebook laptops to all middle school students as a part of a new one-to-one (1:1) technology device initiative where every student is provided their own individually assigned device.
Students, with the use of Google's’ G-Suite, will be able to collaborate with each other and teachers. This will allow students and teachers to have a more technologically enhanced classroom experience where daily assignments, classwork, and homework can be posted for ease of access. In addition to Google G-Suite, students will have access to online resources across the curriculum. Online textbooks and materials are also available for students and teachers.
Through SCPS’ recent commitment to the Profile of a Graduate and the 6 C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Creative Thinking, Citizenship, Critical Thinking, and Content Knowledge, Chromebooks offer learning experiences to prepare students for a technology-rich society. Chromebooks will be implemented into the curriculum to enhance the educational experiences of all students by offering new opportunities for differentiated instruction, personalized learning, and increased student engagement. The initiative will reduce any digital divides among students and provide the opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom.
The implementation of the 1:1 Chromebook initiative at Luther Porter Jackson Middle School has also allowed Surry Elementary School to become 1:1 with iPads. This creates a 1:1 environment for all students Kindergarten through grade 8. Plans are also in place to deploy an additional 250 Chromebooks to all Surry County High School students during the 2019-2020 school year to complete the 1:1 deployment for all students in SCPS.
Surry County Public Schools (SCPS) was awarded $100,000 by Governor Ralph Northam in School Security and Equipment grants. A total of $6 million was awarded to 102 school divisions and regional educational programs across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The School Security Equipment Competitive Grants program was established by the 2013 General Assembly.
The grant will support Surry’s efforts to enhance interior and exterior security monitoring, visitor identification systems and building access control capabilities at each of the division’s three school locations. SCPS is 1 of only 13 school divisions among the 102 receiving grants to be awarded the maximum amount of $100,000. Since 2016, SCPS has been awarded just over $334,000 in security equipment grants.
For more information about the statewide grant, visit the Virginia Department of Education website.
All schools in Surry County Public Schools (SCPS) have earned full accreditation for the third consecutive year, according to Standards of Learning (SOL) data released to school divisions by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on August 22, 2018. The state is expected to release final performance results and accreditation ratings in late September.
“We are very proud of our students, teachers, building administrators, support team members and families for their commitment in making this performance and achievement goal a reality,” said SCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Thornton. “We are particularly pleased that on a division-wide basis our students and schools demonstrated improvement in all subject areas this past school year. In addition, our students outperformed the state on reading and science assessments. Although we are pleased with our overall performance, we will continue to challenge and encourage our students to recognize and achieve their highest individual academic and development potential. I want to congratulate our students, teachers and school community for their great work.”
The 2018-2019 school year represents the first year of the implementation of revisions to Virginia’s revised Standards of Accreditation (SOA), approved by the state Board of Education in November 2017. These revisions are designed to provide a more comprehensive view of school quality, and places increased emphasis on closing achievement gaps and encourage continuous improvement for all schools.
The full accreditation of Surry County Public Schools for the 2018-2019 school year has been achieved under both the old and new accreditation system.