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
New Concurrent Enrollment Program at Surry County High School
Surry County Public Schools is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of Surry County High School students enrolled in the John Tyler Community College Concurrent Enrollment program. The John Tyler Concurrent Enrollment program offers high school students an opportunity to take college courses in vocational areas prior to graduation.
Surry County High School has a well-established relationship with the John Tyler Dual Enrollment program, which offers high school students the chance to earn college credits before graduation. The Concurrent Enrollment program is similar in nature, in which students can earn credits towards industry certifications in the areas of Early Childhood, HVAC, Industrial Electricity, Mechanical Maintenance, Precision Machining, and Welding. While the focus of the program is to learn technical skills in each field, students will work alongside industry leaders and expert instructors and will develop the necessary career readiness skills to excel in any field after graduation. Students accepted to the program are required to pass the Virginia Placement Tests in reading and math, as well as demonstrate academic scholarship, a self-driven approach to learning, and positive relationships with staff and peers.
Students will travel to the Chester campus on Mondays through Thursdays to take their vocational coursework in the first half of the day and will return to the high school for the second half of the day to complete their high school coursework. The 2019-2020 inaugural cohort includes the following students:
Surry County Public Schools is proud of the teamwork exhibited by school and district administrators, counselors, teachers and the School Board, all of which came together to make this partnership a possibility for Surry County youth. We are excited to see the great heights that our students will reach through this amazing opportunity!
ACCESS College Foundation Expands to Franklin City and Southampton and Surry Counties for 2019-20 School Year
May 31, 2019 (Norfolk, Va.) The future of Western Tidewater high school students with an eye towards college just got brighter.
ACCESS College Foundation will extend its service area into the Western Tidewater localities of the City of Franklin, Southampton County and Surry County for the 2019-2020 school year. This project is funded by the Obici Healthcare Foundation. ACCESS currently provides higher education resources and support in 30 public high schools in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Northampton County. Next year that number will grow to 33.
"We are beyond excited to expand into Western Tidewater," says ACCESS President and CEO, Bonnie Sutton. "Our goal is to work closely with school districts to enhance the good work they are already doing, and provide additional resources and guidance for students to attend college, as well as grow the healthcare field in this area. Students may not think higher education is for them, whether financially, academically or socially, but that's where we excel. We've helped over 60,000 students in our 31 years and we can't wait to help even more."
“We are excited to partner with ACCESS College Education Foundation to provide expanded opportunities for our students to attend college and to pursue careers in the healthcare industry,” said Surry Schools Superintendent, Dr. Michael Thornton. “We believe that our students have the talent and ability to compete globally when provided with the right opportunities and access to higher education and career development; and partnering with a proven entity as ACCESS College Foundation can do that for our students.”
Starting in September, a full-time ACCESS Advisor will serve nearly 400 seniors attending Franklin High School, Southampton High School and Surry County High School to expand the college-going culture within these school districts. Additionally, ACCESS will also work to build the area's healthcare workforce by matching “Scholars” to health-related career opportunities in Western Tidewater.
About ACCESS College Foundation: Founded by local philanthropists Frank Batten, Sr. and Joshua P. Darden, Jr., ACCESS College Foundation provides a path for students who may not have the opportunity to attend and complete college. With offices at 7300 Newport Avenue in Norfolk, ACCESS has leveraged $650-million in financial aid and scholarships, as well as offered guidance and support, to help 60,000 students achieve their higher education goals.
200+ Scholars Breakfast recognizes six Surry County High School students.
The Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men, Inc. recognized six Surry County African-American seniors who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better at their annual 200+ Scholars Breakfast held on May 18, 2019 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia.
The Annual Scholars Breakfast is the area’s premier event recognizing and honoring black male students for their commitment to academic excellence. Since 1998, more than 7,000 African American males graduating from public and private high schools in the greater Hampton Roads region with a 3.0 or better grade point average have been recognized. Many of these young men, including our Surry High scholars, were also recognized at the event by the universities that they plan to attend.
“I was honored to attend the breakfast and see the names of our young scholars listed and recognized among the hundreds of others who represented their respective schools, families and communities,” said Superintendent Michael Thornton. “I am confident that these young men will go on to do great things.”
The Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men is a regional organization of men, influencing and building better communities by encouraging, inspiring and enabling African American young people and adults to reach their highest potential.
Congratulations to the following students from Surry County who were recognized:
Superintendent Presents FY2019-2020 Proposed Budget to School Board
Surry County Public Schools (SCPS) Superintendent Michael E Thornton presented a $15.1 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020 Proposed Operating Budget, with a focus on employee compensation and a “re-sizing” of the school division, to the Surry County School Board at its meeting on February 12. The proposed operating budget represents an increase of $132 thousand, or .88% over the FY2019 Approved Budget.
“I believe that this proposal reflects the basic needs of our school division while demonstrating our commitment to rewarding the quality performance of our dedicated faculty and staff,” said Thornton. “This estimate of needs also reflects our commitment to investing in our most valuable resource, our dedicated and highly effective teachers, staff, and leaders. Our top priority is to ensure that our students receive a quality education, and this begins with great teachers. To that end, this fiscal plan recommends a 5% salary adjustment for teachers and staff.”
“The FY2020 Proposed Budget has been developed with an awareness of the reality of limited revenue growth, at both the state and local levels,” said Thornton. “This plan reflects a combination of reductions in staffing levels and related costs, as well as a request for a modest increase in local funding support for FY2019-2020. I believe that this combination of sustainable spending reductions and increased local investment will demonstrate our commitment to providing the citizens and students of Surry County with a high performing education system, based on sound fiscal and instructional practices.”
The proposed budget includes the elimination of five (5) staff positions, representing a budget savings of more than $400 thousand, including benefits, in FY2020. This is on top of staffing reductions made in the FY2018-2019 budget. “These reductions represent an appropriate and necessary response to the division’s recent and projected decline in student enrollment, Thornton continued.”
The budget assumes a decline in enrollment of 29 students or 4.0% when compared to current year enrollment levels.
Full funding of this proposal would require an increase in local support of $240 thousand or 1.96% over current local funding levels.
“I am proud of the accomplishments and performance of our students and staff, and I am confident that this proposed fiscal plan will provide the level of investment required to continue on our journey towards excellence.”
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.