Hampton City Schools to partner with Ford Next Generation Learning to expand college and career academies

Under the leadership of new superintendent, Dr. Jeffery O. Smith, the Hampton City School Board gave a strong and unified signal to the community of its intent to fully endorse a partnership with the Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) Initiative.

 “During the most recent Community Priorities Workshop, citizens representing a variety of groups in our community encouraged the Division to expand opportunities for our students through career academies and personalized college and career paths,” said Martha Mugler, chair of the School Board. “We are excited to support the Division’s efforts to partner with Ford NGL and our community to transform high school learning and expand our college and career academies.”

Dr. Smith shared his thoughts on the Division’s collaboration with Ford NGL.

“I am honored to provide leadership in this particular area as we further enhance opportunities for our young people to set goals and to explore meaningful pathways that will not only enrich their learning experiences but place them in a more competitive position with their peers. Over the past 10 years, I have been engaged in work that supports ensuring students are college and career-ready upon graduation from high school,” Smith said.

“Since July 2015, it has been a pleasure to engage over 1,000 community stakeholders in meaningful conversations regarding their aspirations for the future of Hampton City Schools,” Smith said. “Overwhelmingly I heard from our stakeholders their desire for HCS to be a division of choice. I firmly believe that the expansion of academies, in collaboration with our community and Ford NGL, will propel us toward this vision.”

On Dec. 16, Dr. Donna Woods and Dr. Raymond Haynes, executive directors of school leadership, four high school principals, and Whitney Ketchledge, director of career and technical education, shared with the School Board an update and future plans for college and career academy expansion. Dr. Woods said the Division is attracted to Ford NGL due to the innovation and sophistication of its master planning process, as well as its leadership in engaging community and business leaders around the notion of linking educational attainment to work-force development.

Since 2006, Hampton has been engaged in finding ways to transform high school learning so that students have the skills for success in a global economy. Currently, HCS offers the following: Governor’s Health Sciences Academy, Information Design and Engineering (Idea) Academy, Aerospace and Information Technology Academy, and Architecture & Applied Arts Governor’s STEM Academy.

Earlier this year, the Division began to explore a partnership with Ford NGL for a structured framework to guide the expansion of the college and career academies. In April, Ford NGL representatives visited Hampton to tour our academies and meet with key business, city and school division members. Since that time, multiple community partners have expressed an interest in collaborating with HCS in support of career academies, including the Hampton Police Department, Joint Base Langley-Eustis and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Benefits to working with Ford NGL include access to a support team, unique expertise, best practice tools and strategies, training and professional development. Ford NGL also has significant experience brokering partnerships with industry.

“As a result of the visits and Ford NGL workshop, our team agrees Hampton City Schools has the right combination of commitment and talent to initiate the community-driven transformation process with Ford NGL,” said Cheryl Carrier, executive director of Ford NGL.

Ford NGL is currently working with 23 communities across the country, and has driven success with the following:

  • Increasing high school graduation rates
  • Increasing academic achievement
  • Improving preparation for college, careers and life
  • Developing students’ 21st century skills
  • Increasing the number of students graduating from high school with industry certifications and college credits
  • Increased earning potential
  • Strengthened talent pipeline

Woods added that students would craft 10-year plans beginning in middle school that will prepare them to reach their goals through internships and courses designed around their career pathways. Teachers will also have the opportunity to experience externships in area businesses.

After formalizing the affiliation with Ford NGL in January, the Division will reach out to community members to begin the master planning process. By September of 2016, the plan is to launch pilot freshman academies so that students will explore a variety of entry points into career themes and learn to navigate a personal career pathway.

©2015 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 7577272000