Superintendent's Update

Superintendent's Update
Posted on 10/07/2022
Letter image from the Superintendent

October 7, 2022


Dear NCPS,


Happy October! 🎃🎃🎃 We are looking forward to all kinds of fall festivities this month including visits to the pumpkin patch, Homecoming events, and many other exciting events and celebrations.


Thank you, Custodians!

October 2, 2022, is Custodian Appreciation Day. Thanks to our custodians, we have a clean place to learn, teach, and work. Across the division, Northumberland County Public Schools contracts with ServiceMaster to employ approximately 15 custodians and building supervisors. 

Thank you to NES Custodians Mrs. Margie Gogates, Ms. Debbie Luttrell, Mr. Shabazz McNeil, Mr. Steve Taylor, Mr. Ernest Thompson, and Mr. Justin Veney; NMS Custodians Mrs. Gui Holmes, Mrs. Sheila Veney, and Mr. Tony Washington;  NHS Custodians Mr. Welford Bromley, Mr. Dionte Crockett, and Mr. Michael Jones;  School Board Office Mrs. Janet Monteiro Site Supervisor Mr. Deante Ashton; Manager Ms. Lisa Kelly, and Facilitator Mr. Jeff Brann

Virtual Learning Days 

for the 2022-23 School Year

As our thoughts are with those impacted by Hurricane Ian, weather is top of mind this week. This year, we will continue to use Virtual Learning Days when weather conditions are marginal and impact road or sidewalk safety conditions but are not so severe as to cause substantial impacts. On such days, buildings will not open. However, employees will work virtually, students will work virtually (not live) on assignments related to curriculum previously taught, and teachers and staff will provide posted office hours for students to check in as needed. This enables teachers to grade assignments and provides additional planning time. 

Please Charge Your Devices 

In the event of inclement weather during the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year, Northumberland County Public Schools (NCPS) will use virtual learning days (not live) to support the continuity of instruction for students. Virtual learning days will be announced by television, phone call, email, and NCPS official social media. A virtual learning day means:

  1. Teachers will have completed the necessary preparatory work for students to be fully equipped with asynchronous (not live)  assignments and resources utilizing CANVAS;

  2. General education and special education teachers will host student office hours from 9:00am-12:00pm. Students and/or parents will be able to connect with teachers via email; 

  3. Student Support Services will be available by contacting School Counselors, School Psychologist, and School Principals/Assistant Principals via email from 9 am -12 pm;

  4. Virtual Virginia (grades 6-12) students will continue with a full day of virtual instruction; 

  5. All after school and evening extra-curricular activities will be canceled; 

  6. Any student who may be unable to access virtual instruction and/or assignments will be provided sufficient opportunity to complete instruction and/or assignments without penalty; and, attendance will be determined by assignment completion. 


New Text Alert Feature for Parents & Families beginning November 1, 2022

Please read the directions below to make sure you receive text messages regarding important school announcements. 

Varsity Volleyball Players Host Dig Pink Night!

Dig Pink allows the volleyball program to have an impact on and off the court. Through the Dig Pink event, our volleyball team accomplishes the goal of recognizing and honoring the breast cancer community through fundraising. The NCPS community (including players, parents, staff, and community members) raised $3,280 towards The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Thank you to everyone who made the night special! 

Northumberland High School Volleyball JV/Varsity teams host Lancaster High School as both schools join to honor survivors for the Dig Pink Rose Ceremony. 


Spectators honor the survivors of our NCPS community.

Varsity girls present the roses to the visiting survivors.

Paige Biddlecomb, Sarah Bowis, Alice Rice, and Becky Crowther help sell raffle tickets for the many Dig Pink gifts donated by local businesses and other players, parents, and community members.

School staff, family, and Senior Beta members sell raffle tickets during the JV and Varsity game.

Pictured above: Ben & Blaire Whanger, Caroline Neale, Alice Rice, and Becky Crowther. Not pictured: Jake Brann


Varsity players prepare to receive the ball: Karla Smith, Ava Wilson, and Chloe Brann.


Varsity player Nathalie Biddlecomb prepares for an attack. 


Junior Varsity player Abigail Bates takes on the first pass of the serve from Lancaster’s team.    

The NHS JV Volleyball team debuts their new Dig Pink volleyball uniforms which were designed by Mary Lee Self with Bay Harbor. Monies were generously donated by Mrs. Pam Deihl from Pedestal Inc. We greatly appreciate local businesses that support our academic and athletic programs.


Left: NMS teachers show their support for Dig Pink Night: Patty Packett, Mary Ambrose, Shanita Curry, Genia Powell, Tiffany Rombold, and center Victoria West. Right picture: Saunee Hamlett and Donna Kimball.

Junior Cooking Club Held First Meeting

Led by School Nutrition Director Mrs. Saunee Hamlett, the Junior Cooking Club introduces students to cooking scratch meal items along with the Harvest of the Month fruit and/or vegetable. Student safety is foremost in the preparation and cooking of the items chosen for the month. This club takes place in the NMS “student kitchen” on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during after school activities. 

Mrs. Hamlett teaches students how to make Waldorf Salad. Students model proper handwashing, wearing of gloves, and food safety. Students put the food items together while following a recipe; they also critiqued the end product. Mrs. Hamlett stated, “I want to teach them how to prepare a recipe, but also know they can use imagination to change it to what they might like it to be.”

Winter Sports Tryouts for NMS & NHS

Tryouts for winter sports, including middle school boys’ basketball, Junior Varsity and Varsity Boys’ Basketball, Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls’ Basketball, Middle School Winter Cheer, Junior Varsity and Varsity Winter Cheer, Varsity Indoor Track, and Wrestling will begin on Monday, November 7, 2022.  Times and locations will be announced the week prior to tryouts.  Please remember each student athlete will need an updated Virginia High School League (VHSL) physical to try out for these teams.

If you have any questions, please contact Athletic Director Teresa Rock at [email protected].

NMS Junior Beta Induction

Congratulations to our middle school students and families who participated in the NMS Junior Beta Induction on Wednesday, October 5. The National Junior Beta Club is an honor organization that recognizes outstanding academic achievement, promotes strong moral character and social responsibility, encourages service to others, fosters leadership skills, and provides settings for students to develop strong interpersonal skills. Thank you to Mrs. Cindy Swift for leading the program!

Front: Teresa Tate, Kentrez Rice, Kyle Lankford, Lily Lewis, Joey Gee, Lillian Hayden, Addison Headley, Logan Falin, Regan Lucas Middle: C. Swift, Kavon Jackson, Ashley Dawson, Lacie Self, Eva Williams, Juelz wiggins, Tayla Gibbs, Chace Jenkins, Kamdem Dobyns, Haleigh Burrell, Trent Dameron, Brooks Dameron, Talen Bowis, Jaden Bundy, Robert O'bier, Brandi Parker, Kavan Middleton, Jordan Bunn Back: Gabrielle Burnett, Isabelle de Rosa Fries, Caleb Timberlake, Jermaris Barber, Riley Milau, Presley Gracik, Chloe Ricks, Tori Jett, Claire Walker, Jake Brann, Camden Brann, Landon Shirilla, Waylon Hymes, Emma Somers, Lyryc Bea, Braylin Beauchamp, Jeilan Williams-Johnson, Eliza Leo, Abby Bates, Luke Sisk, Mia Livingston

NMS students enjoyed cake with family and friends following the Jr. Beta Induction.

Thanks to Families & Friends who attended Jr. Beta Induction! 

NMS Soccer Season is in Full Swing!

Congratulations to all of our NMS Soccer players! Soccer teaches students skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and decision making, that they'll be able to apply to all aspects of their life. It also helps them learn to weather the ups and downs of life, anticipate opportunities and how to work with their peers to solve problems.

Need SpiritWear?

What a perfect gift for our students, families, and Northumberland Fan Club!!! Visit the NCPS Spirit Wear site to check out fabulous SpiritWear!

NCPS Special Educators Attend “Mission Transition” at the College of William & Mary

Congratulations to NHS Special Education teachers Mrs. Holly Rynard and Mrs. Shawanna Harcum, as well as Director of Special Education & Student Support Services Dr. Jamie Sears, who attended a conference last week  entitled “Mission Transition.” The focus of this conference was implementing effective and intentional transition planning for students. 


What is transition? Special Education Transition includes providing support, information, and resources designed to improve the outcomes of students with disabilities in transition from middle / secondary education to postsecondary education and employment. The key to successful transition is careful planning.

Dr. Jamie Sears, Mrs. Holly Rynard, and Mrs. Shawanna Harcum


Thank you to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church

Northumberland Middle School teachers and staff are so thankful for the recent donation. St. Andrews gave a notecard to every staff member and donated gift cards to use for teacher appreciation activities. St. Andrews has contributed to NMS for several years and, once again, brought a smile to many earlier this week. 

Mrs. Ava Wolfram presents a donation to NMS Principal Shelli Lipton, NMS Assistant Principal Dawn Conley-Taylor, & Superintendent Dr. Holly Wargo.

All NCPS Students Are Eligible to Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program!

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices like a laptop or tablet. 

When you apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you will be required to submit a letter verifying your child is attending Northumberland County Public Schools. NCPS has mailed letters verifying your child’s NCPS attendance to your mailing address for you to use if you plan to apply. 

NCPS participates in the USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), so all of our students and families are eligible to receive benefits offered by the Affordable Connectivity Program. Click here to learn more and apply. 

NHS Homecoming is Right Around the Corner!

It is an annual tradition at Northumberland High School to celebrate Homecoming. This year, the NHS Homecoming Dance will be held on Saturday, October 22. Please see below for more information.

Metal Detection Protocol at NES, NMS, & NHS

The safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority. When entering each building, metal detection stations are in place. Here are some helpful things to review with your student:

  • Consider leaving metal objects at home if possible;

  • Line up as directed in the lobby area;

  • While in line, NMS & NHS students will unzip all zippers on bags, take out pencil pouches, and lunch boxes from bookbags, and empty all pockets (for example: phones, keys, and other electronics). Please remember to take off lunch lanyards too. Bags will be screened by Safety Check Staff;

  • Step forward as directed by a NCPS Safety Check staff;

  • Walk through detector when directed to do so;

  • If cleared, proceed to Grab & Go Breakfast station and then to class;

  • If not cleared, student will be directed to the wand station;

  • If contraband is found on a student, the items will be held, and an administrator will work with the student and family to address the contraband. Please be reminded these items can include, but are not limited to, e-cigarette, vape, juul pods or tobacco products of any kind, lighters, medication that has not been logged in with the school nurse (which includes any over the counter medication) pepper spray, etc.

Thank you, to our students, parents, families, and staff as we try to make each campus as safe as possible! 

Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Create Healthy Routines and a Habit of Getting to School On Time Every Day

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. 

  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make them feel comfortable and excited about learning.

  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.

  • When possible, avoid medical appointments or extended trips when school is in session.

Safety Drill Notice

As you know, keeping students and staff safe is a priority for all of us. Each school has an emergency preparedness plan to respond to incidents such as fires and tornadoes. Schools are required by state law to practice emergency drills, including lockdown drills, each year. Working together, we create a safe, secure environment for students to learn and grow in our schools.

Need Tech Help?

Resources for parents and students using NCPS Technology are available online. Click Here for More Information.

Upcoming Calendar Reminders:

  • Friday, October 21, End of Quarter 1

  • Monday, October 24, Teacher Workday and Student Holiday -- no school for students today!

  • Wednesday, November 2, Report Cards

  • Tuesday, November 8, Election Day

  • Wednesday thru Friday, November 23-25, Thanksgiving Holiday

Anonymous Alerts: Help Us Keep Our Schools Safe!

What is Anonymous Alerts? Our anonymous reporting system enables students, parents, community, and staff  to anonymously report student bullying, behavioral, and/or campus safety concerns using a Web-based application, 24/7. The Anonymous Alerts reporting is simple and intuitive for any age to use. An individual can submit anonymous tips and conduct anonymous two-way communications with administrators, counselors and/or safety personnel. Click here to Review NCPS Anonymous Alerts. The link is located at the bottom of the NCPS webpage as seen below.

Sportsmanship is Everyone’s Responsibility

The fall sports schedule is now available for your review. Please visit the link here: NHS Fall Sports Schedule.

What is Sportsmanship? Prior to the start of any game/contest, please discuss the importance of sportsmanship. NCPS expects sportsmanship to be displayed at the highest level for our coaches, athletes and fans. We remind everyone that interscholastic events are an extension of the classroom, and that lessons are best learned when the proper respect is shown to all. 

Sportsmanship is an understanding of and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior and integrity, and general goodwill toward an opponent. It is an affirmation that an athlete is disciplined enough to have perspective, maintain poise and do what is best for his or her teammates. Being able to make appropriate behavioral choices at the “moment of truth” and in a pressure situation will often reveal a player’s character and his or her ability to be a good sport. Simply put, sportsmanship is a choice.


It is easy for parents and kids to get caught up in a game and become too focused on winning. Although winning is important, it is not always the most important aspect of the game. There is so much to be gained and learned from an athletic experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Good sportsmanship is one of those life lessons that should be intentionally learned, taught, practiced and reinforced.

Current Employment Opportunities for NCPS

NCPS is a wonderful place to work! We value our employees and work hard to make our school division one of the most attractive school divisions to work for across the Northern Neck. Please check out current employment opportunities for the 2022-2023 school year here: Employment Opportunities for Northumberland County Public Schools and consider applying online.

Upcoming School Board Meeting

On Monday, October 10, 2022, the Northumberland County School Board will meet for a regular meeting at 3:30 (closed) and 6 PM (regular) for the purposes of student matters, personnel matters, and legal matters.

When? Monday, October 10, 2022 at 6 pm

How? In-Person & Electronic Format

Where? Meeting Location: 201 Academic Ln, Heathsville, VA 22473

Contact: [email protected] / [email protected]

Questions? Dial (804) 529-6134, extension 2004 / 2005

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 841 0250 3890; Passcode: NCPS

Dial by your location: 1 929 205 6099 US ; Meeting ID: 841 0250 3890; Passcode: 722451

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Have a happy and safe weekend!


Dr. Holly Wargo, Superintendent

Northumberland County Public Schools

Cell: (804) 994-1349

[email protected]



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