EVERY CHILD, EVERY DAY, WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Phoebus High School Students Pilot The Origin Project (TOP)
Nearly 80 students at Phoebus High School are taking their writing to a new level. These students are participating in The Origin Project. The Origin Project (TOP) is an in-school writing program that seeks to inspire young people to release their inner voices through the art of writing about their unique origins.
This program sprouted six years ago by bestselling author Adriana Trigiani and educational advocate Nancy Bolmeier Fisher from the idea that the stories and people of Appalachia are national treasures and its children should celebrate their roots. Since the program’s inception, TOP has expanded beyond its Appalachian roots to include a high school in Manassas and a learning center in Richmond, and is now working with our students here in Hampton at Phoebus High School.
The TOP program typically serves a diverse group of young people. It is a community of engaged learners rejoicing in their heritages. TOP galvanizes the students’ curiosity about, and respect for, each other. It develops and encourages the skills of writing and other artistic self-expression.
Each student participating in TOP was provided with a writing journal at the beginning of the school year. As each student works on their writing project about origin, they take field trips to places in the Commonwealth that celebrate history, music, theater and literature, as well as enjoy visits from guest authors. Their final writing projects will be published at the end of the school year in an anthology and presented in an assembly. Every student will receive a copy of the anthology and the anthology will also be made available at the school and public library. The Gupta Foundation in Virginia publishes the anthology.
On Tuesday, December 10, Nancy Bolmeier Fisher and Linda Woodward, TOP program operator, traveled from California and Southwest Virginia respectively to visit and work with students engaged in the pilot of The Origin Project (TOP) at Phoebus High School. Fisher and Woodward worked individually with students
and encouraged them to find their voice. They emphasized that our family stories are the building blocks of our self-esteem and dreams for the future.
The TOP process aligns with the division’s emphasis on social emotional learning, as well as the focus of self-exploration as part of our AoH experience. It also supports the division’s work around climate and culture as knowing and appreciating one’s own origin story makes one better able to value another’s.
Thanks to all who have enthusiastically embraced the TOP pilot here in Hampton - teachers Margaret Dee, Kasey Rizzo and Jeremy Blunt; PHS Administrators James Harris and Patrice Williams; and Kelli Cedo and Jennifer Butler, to name a few.
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.
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HCS WEBMASTER AND ACCESSIBILITY
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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.
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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.
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