The Academies of Hampton my fiture my journey

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Academies of Hampton are small learning communities that empower students through college and career exposure so they can make timely, informed decisions and discover their true passions while earning early college credit and nationally recognized industry certifications. General education content is taught through the lens of their academy while business and community partners provide authentic experiential learning opportunities at every level.

The Academies of Hampton help students to discover and explore college and career opportunities for their futures. The goal is for students to graduate with a ten-year plan that will allow for a smooth transition from high school to postsecondary college and careers.

The Academies of Hampton provide college- and career-focused academies that create purposeful learning experiences allowing students to connect career aspirations to their learning environmentsA team of teachers and business partners work together to create learning opportunities that allow students to explore a variety of possible career opportunities, engage in unique learning experiences, and expand traditional learning requirements through a career lens of interest, all while creating a system of support for the student. 

Students begin their high school experience part of a Freshman Academy. During the second semester, ninth graders select a career-themed academy to enroll in as sophomores. In addition to the career-themed academies, students have the opportunity to enroll in one of three accelerated academies: International Baccalaureate Program, Advanced College Experience (ACE) Academy, and the Gifted Enrichment Seminar.

Each school will have two to three Freshman Academies and four college and career-themed academies to meet the needs of students. While the academies and pathways differ at the four high schools, each school offers pathways from each of the following industry clusters: business and information technology, creative fields, service fields, and technology and engineering. This ensures equitable learning and experience options for the students at their home schools.

The primary focus is helping ninth-grade students begin their educational experience in a Freshman Academy that promotes a successful, effective, and positive transition from middle school to high school. Freshman Academies offer supportive, nurturing environments designed to help students adjust to high school expectations, embrace the routines and rigorous standards, develop strong study skills, and get involved in high school. 

The ninth-grade anchor course is Success 101, a freshman seminar course. Success 101 helps students discover and explore college and career options that align with their personalities and interests. The course helps students explore and evaluate a wide range of education and career options and align those options with their talents and interests through college and career awareness activities.

An academy is an opportunity for our young people to learn through a college and career lens of interest. This data-driven model shows academy students outperform their peers with higher grade point averages, increased attendance, and overall improved student performance. Hampton City Schools has embraced this model and wants to ensure all students have the opportunity to the learn and apply their learning within a space that interests them while building a strong foundation for a successful future.

Middle school students will be introduced to the academies and pathways offered at each high school. Ninth-grade students enrolled in the Freshman Academy take a freshman seminar course called Success 101. This course, as well as other experiential learning opportunities, helps students to select the academy and pathway that best fits their interests and potential career aspirations. Parents or guardians will use the Parent Portal in PowerSchool to select their student’s top five academy and pathway preferences.

JROTC programs will continue to be offered as a global elective.

An academy team is an interdisciplinary learning team that includes: core teachers, Success 101/or pathway teacher, academy counselor, academy coach and administrator.

A pathway is a sequence of courses within a chosen academy designed to help students prepare for a specific career area while meeting the mandatory requirements for high school graduation.

Not necessarily.  Hampton City Schools is preparing students for careers and college with strong 21st-century skills – creative and critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship. The Academies of Hampton focuses on providing students with transferable skills that they can use in whatever pathway they choose in college, careers and in life. The academies help students begin to explore their interests and passions, bring academic courses to life by providing a real-world/career lens to the lessons, and allow students the opportunity to learn by having experiences in their interested career fields.

Tenth through twelfth-grade students will participate in academies organized around themes that support high-demand, high-skill careers in the Hampton Roads region. Students have an opportunity to enroll in one of 16 academies and 44 pathways. Career academy options:

• The Governor’s Heath Science Academy
• Academy of Law and Public Safety
• Academy of Transportation, Analytics, Information and Logistics
• Academy of Media, Arts, and Design 

• Academy of Technology and Engineering
• Academy of Health, Human, and Financial Services
• The Maritime Academy
• The International Baccalaureate 

• The Governor’s Stem Academy of Architecture, Environment and Engineering
• Academy of Teaching and Education
• Academy of Entrepreneurship and Information Design
• On Stage: Performing Arts Academy

• Academy of Cybersecurity, Engineering, and Robotics
• Academy of Hospitality of Tourism
• Academy of Digital Video Production
• Academy of Advanced College Experience

All students will be included on an academy team, and the support structures will be developed and provided to those students who need them. Ultimately, each young person’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) will support their learning and will be implemented to ensure student success.

Academy scheduling is student-driven; elective classes are determined by student requests rather than teacher interest. Recommended electives will be offered to enhance the student’s pathway course sequence, while also having the opportunity to select any global electives offered in the Course Offerings Guide.

Hampton City Schools and the community know the value and importance of learning a foreign language. Hampton City Schools is committed to developing global citizens who can communicate with diverse individuals and communities, and learning a foreign language greatly improves this outcome. Students will be encouraged to take a foreign language. Finally, taking foreign language courses will continue to be a requirement for an Advanced Studies Diploma.

Students will still be able to enroll in New Horizons Regional Education Center courses when those courses do not exist within our division. Hampton City Schools has developed a pre-approval process with NHREC to ensure career interests and goals of the student continue to be met.

Career academies bring together a team of teachers and a group of students around a career- and college-theme. The team of teachers includes core and academy teachers. To meet the goal of providing quality academic experiences, while promoting a close and personal, academic learning experience for teachers and students, core teachers will primarily teach classes to students within their academy.  If the Master Schedule demands it, teachers can have specific classes where they teach students outside of their academy team, but the goal is to keep academies classes “pure” (i.e., teachers only teach courses within their academy).

The Academies of Hampton uses a lottery process for academy assignments, except for the International Baccalaureate Program, Gifted Enrichment Seminar, and Advanced College Experience (ACE). The accelerated college preparatory programs require a separate application.  Parents and students will complete a choice application to highlight their top five academy and pathway choices in sequential order.  For the 2018 – 2019 school, 97 percent of students received their first choice.

The lottery is a random selection process by which applicants are admitted to an academy. Using Parent Portal in PowerSchool, parents or guardians will select the top five preferred academy and pathways for their rising tenth-grade student; this information is used in the lottery process. 
Parents or guardians not currently using the Parent Portal and need to set up an account must contact their child’s school counseling office for assistance. Paper copies of the academy choice form are available through the school counseling office for those without access to a computer. 
Once the enrollment period ends, Hampton City Schools will use a lottery data to assign students to an academy and pathway. While students from across the division may apply to any academy, students living in the zone of the academy are given priority placement in the lottery process.  For the 2018 – 2019 school, 97 percent of students received their first choice.

Hampton City Schools will work with all of our students to identify critical information that might help students narrow their areas of interest. Career exploration activities in Success 101 and experiential learning experiences in the freshman academies will help students identify academies and pathways that align with their interests, talents, and abilities. Students will also meet with their counselor to discuss all of the options available to them. Please keep in mind, each academy and pathway provides students with transferable skills, such as creative and critical thinking skills, that benefit the student no matter what career they eventually enter into.

High school students will continue to have advanced learning opportunities, including dual enrollment, advanced placement, International Baccalaureate, and Governor’s School for Science and Technology.  Students eligible for gifted education academic services may also enroll in the Gifted Enrichment Seminar.

Students will have the option to leave their zoned school to attend an academy outside of their zone. Once enrolled in the academy, the student becomes a full-time student at their academy school and no longer attends their zoned school.

Hampton City Schools wants to provide all students with a variety of choices. Students and their families will have multiple opportunities during middle school and the freshman year to learn about the opportunities each high school has to offer. Whether it is parent information sessions, information available on the website, career exploratory programs, or conferences with academy coaches or school counselors, the Academies of Hampton are committed to helping families review all of their options to help them make the best decision for their young person.  

Students from across the division are eligible to apply to any academy; however, students living in the zone of the academy are given priority placement in the lottery process. Hampton City Schools uses a lottery system to place students in academies where the student interest exceeds capacity. 

It is important to remember that all pathways provide students with transferable skills, including collaboration, critical thinking, communication, leadership and interpersonal skills. If a student is unable to attend their first choice academy, their interest area can be addressed through the experiential learning opportunities all students in an academy receive. Regardless of the academy, teachers and academy coaches plan industry field trips, job shadowing opportunities, internships and senior capstone projects for students. The experiences allow a student to explore and learn about his or her interest area, while still selecting a pathway offered in the student’s zoned school.

Teachers will be provided with academy team training. The training is designed to build a solid foundation of a team of teachers, a counselor, and principal who are equipped to work together to reach their established goals. Teams develop a mission, team name, colors and rituals, routines, and celebrations. 

Teachers in an academy also received training in Project-Based Learning (PBL). Using PBL strategies help teachers design and write transformational instructional units that help students demonstrate mastery by applying content standards to create authentic products. This inquiry-based instructional strategy requires teachers to move away from teacher-led instruction to student-led learning that incorporates real-world problems to help bring the standards to life. 

High school administrators and teachers received training in Understanding by Design (UBD)Using the UBD framework helps teachers to focus curriculum writing from how to teach the essential material for the course to assessing understanding and the student’s ability to apply the knowledge.

Hampton City Schools and the community created a leadership and support structure that incorporates a business engagement designed to support the work of the academies. There are tiered levels of support that have led to increased community involvement and support. Business, industry, and postsecondary education and training partners serve on school-based academy advisory boards, district-wide industry partnership councils, and district-level CEO champions. 

The Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, City of Hampton, and the Hampton Economic Development Authority have led efforts recruiting, vetting and aligning our community partners to each academy. They will broker the connection between meeting the needs of schools through business and community partners. 

In addition, each high school employs an academy coach to work directly with the academies in their building and the community. They are responsible for all contact with the business and community partners, bringing them through the school, and setting up whatever is needed while they are interacting with the students and faculty.

Hampton City Schools and the Hampton community know the value and importance of the arts in education and society. Students will have an opportunity to select from a wide range of electives. In addition to providing opportunities for students to pursue their artistic passions, the arts programs will remain an integral part of the educational experiences for our students who choose to participate.

In addition to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, Academy of Advanced College Experience (ACE) and the Gifted Enrichment Seminar accelerated college preparatory programs; the academies will offer honors, advanced placement, and dual enrollment opportunities. The goal is to increase the number of students taking advanced courses by increasing relevance and rigor in the instructional practices.

This is a student-centered model that focuses on what is best for the student. Counselors and administrators will continue to work closely with dependent students and their families to ensure to students needs are met.  

Students will be able to make one change after their 10th-grade year. There will be an application process for academy changes that will consist of evaluating the best interest of the student. If a student would like to make a change, they should visit their counselor to start the process by retrieving a Change Request Form.

Hampton City Schools has work closely with Hampton City Schools Transportation and Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) to develop two transportation options. Students may use one or both transportation options, depending on their needs and interests. Hampton City Schools will provide a Hampton City Schools shuttle service between the student’s zoned school and their academy school. Students who do not want use the shuttle service have the option of using the HRT Student Freedom Pass. Whether the student opts to use the HRT Student Freedom Pass to get back and forth to the academy, students may wish to use the Freedom Pass as an alternative transportation system for after-school clubs, sports, other school activities, volunteer and job placements, and personal use.

The Academies of Hampton are defined as magnet programs that allow students to attend a school outside of their zoned school. A student entering an academy in the 9th or 10th grade would immediately be eligible for athletic activities at the high school that houses their academy. The young person’s academy school is their full-time school, which includes any extracurricular activities, such as sports. If you have questions about your student-athletes eligibility, please contact the high school athletic director or view School Board Policy JC.

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the academies of hampton my future my journey
Tenth through twelfth grade students participate in academies organized around themes that support high-demand, high-skill careers in the Hampton Roads region. Academy students graduate with a plan for a successful future and network of support to guide them along their way!

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