Standout Schools in Hampton Roads
Based on the statistics in our high schools chart, and with academics (AP test taking percentages and SOL scores) weighted slightly more heavily than dropout rates and behavioral offences, we’d like to recognize the following schools for standing out as the best public high schools in Coastal Virginia for the 2014 school year.
1. Grassfield High, Chesapeake
District: Chesapeake City Public Schools
Principal: Mike Perez
Awards: Highest SOL scores in the region; #1 High School in Chesapeake according to U.S. News and World Report; Principal Mike Perez raised $3,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2014.
Standout programs: Governor’s STEM Academy operates as a school-within-a-school and features a cutting-edge curriculum especially designed for students with an interest in STEM careers. Students have multiple opportunities for taking advanced courses and sampling such special programs as mentorship and internship. The program at the Grassfield High School will focuses on engineering and technology, marketing management and programming and software.
2. Poquoson High, Poquoson
District: Poquoson City Public Schools
Principal: Brandon Ratliff
Awards: Known in the academic realm for its Odyssey of the Mind championship teams; Poquoson High School was recognized by the national group, Working In Support of Education, as a Blue Star School.
Standout programs: Virtual Virginia offers online AP world language, core academic and elective courses. Students who are enrolled in VVA courses may access their assignments and instruction 24/7. STEM Academy offers courses for students in two career pathways—engineering technology and information technology.
3. Tabb High, Yorktown
District: York County Schools
Principal: Angela Seiders
Awards: Ranked 464th nationally and 20th in Virginia, according to U.S. News and World Report; Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence (2011); Virginia Board of Education’s Competence to Excellence Award (2010); more than 20 state athletic championships
Standout programs: In fall 2014, Tabb High School’s AP Environmental Science class kayaked with Chesapeake Experience to Bay Tree Beach, where students conducted a water quality investigation and identified plant and animal species to investigate diversity. They were able to collect chemical data to evaluate nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and oxygen levels. Students also evaluated the water for turbidity and temperature.
4. Hickory High, Chesapeake
District: Chesapeake City Public Schools
Principal: Alfredia Turner
Awards: Wind Ensemble is nationally recognized and participated in the Music for All National Festival in 2014; 2014 state champions in cheerleading
Standout programs: Center for Science and Technology offers special classes in technology, business and health. Governor’s School for the Arts programs for dance, visual arts, music and more available.
5. Floyd E. Kellam High, Virginia Beach
District: Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Principal: Bruce Biehl
Awards: Kellam High School was named a Silver Design Award winner in the 2014 Virginia School Boards Association’s (VSBA) Exhibition of School Architecture.
Standout programs: Governor’s School for the Arts, Gifted Education, AP Curriculum. A brand new facility opened in January 2014. The new Kellam is a result of an extensive collaborative planning and design process that took teachers, students and curriculum advisors, as well as business and community leaders, through a series of hands-on workshops. During the planning phase, 120 students from five classes participated in a challenge-based learning project to design the school’s educational courtyard. The building also includes an 800-seat auditorium and 145-seat black box theater.
From the mission statement: “Kellam High School will provide a positive, safe school environment where students, teachers, parents and community will accept responsibility for learning skills to meet present and future challenge.”
Grafton High, York County
Ocean Lakes High, Virginia Beach
York High, York County
Jamestown High, James City County
Princess Anne High, Virginia Beach
Great Bridge High, Chesapeake
Western Branch High, Chesapeake