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Superintendent with two students from Syms

Students are ‘determined’ to show how they are successful

Yasmine (Yassy) Harrison and Mary Miller are two Hampton City Schools students who are not afraid to show their determination in being independent and being the best they can be.

Yassy is a tenth-grade Bethel High School student and Mary is an eighth-grade student at Syms Middle School.  Both students recently presented at the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to parents and educators. They shared information about the I’m Determined Project that is funded by the Virginia Department of Education.  Both girls have attended the conference in previous years and plan to attend again this year, June 13-15.

The conference focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior.  The project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities, to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.  Parents and young people attend concurrent sessions during the conference.

In addressing SEAC, Yassy shared how the I’m Determined Project has taught her to speak up for herself and be a better friend, more social and independent.  She is attending the conference for the fourth time. She said she likes that she can be independent during the conference as her mom is nearby at a separate workshop for parents. Yassy is active in her church youth group, participates in student council at Bethel, and loves math, reading and art. She is taking an online geometry class through WHRO.  In addition, she had the opportunity to speak to a class of new teachers at the College of William & Mary.

Mary, who will be attending the conference for the third time, is excited about going again this year. She said it helps her focus in areas in which she needs the most help such as communication.  The program has given her tools to increase her self-confidence as well as an understanding that she has what it takes to plan for her educational, vocational, and personal goals. Mary is very active in dance and has been dancing for seven years.  She enjoys performing.  In addition, Mary is very involved in Special Olympics and participates in the stand up paddleboard activity. She is also a member of the Future Business Leaders of America club at school.

Sasha Draughon, a seventh grade student at Eaton Fundamental Middle School, is also attending the I’m Determined Project this summer. Sash participates in the Eaton Art Club and plans to become a graphic designer and art teacher when she grows up.  In addition to attending the I’m Determined Project for the first time this summer, Sasha is attending Graphics Arts camp for the fourth year.  This camp is a part of the FACT Camp (Families of Autistic Children Tidewater). She also participates in Girl Scouts and volunteer activities.

Deniya Jeffries, a ninth grade student at Kecoughtan High School, will also be attending the I’m Determined Project for the first time.  Deniya enjoys dancing, walking around the mall, going to the YMCA, and attending church.  She is looking forward to her summer vacation and going to Busch Gardens and Water Country.

For more information on the I’m Determined Project visit:

©2018 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000. 

As stated in School Board Policy AC, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, disability or other protected class in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAH for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review School Board Policy GBAB-R.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact Hampton City Schools Compliance Officer at: One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA  23669 or (757) 727-2300.  



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies.

Please note that some pages on the HCS website contain links to third-party sites.  HCS is not responsible for the content, facts, opinions or accessibility of third-party sites.


The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

  • To download this free program, visit the Adobe website.
  • To read PDF documents with a screen reader, please link to the Access Adobe website, which provides useful tools and resources.

Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.
Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

  • A description of the accessibility concern or question;
  • The webpage address of the requested material;
  • The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;
  • The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.


HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


HCS’s website and computer systems and networks are provided on an “as available” basis.  HCS makes no warranties, expressed or implied, without limitation, regarding the fitness for a particular purpose regarding any service provided by the system and any information contained or software used therein.  The division uses hardware and software provided by third-party technology vendors.  Therefore, the division does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software on the system, will meet the user’s requirements.