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A Holiday message

Dear Community Members, the Hampton City Schools Family, and City Staff:

As we prepare to celebrate the winter holidays, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our valued employees and community for their contributions to our city and schools this year. We recognize that the future of Hampton is so entwined with the educational success of our young people.

For many, the winter holidays are a time to focus on family, friends and the community that sustains us, and to honor them. Along those lines, we would like to thank our business partners and volunteers for their contributions. We also offer special gratitude to our employees, who carry out this important work every day. Lastly, but certainly not least, we appreciate the investments that taxpayers make to fund quality city services and schools each year.

To this end, we want to take this special time of the year to share a few of the accomplishments, which we believe provide evidence of an excellent return on your investment in our students and residents.

Hampton City Schools:

• For the first time in the history of Hampton City Schools, 100% of our schools are fully accredited without conditions. This accomplishment is due to an intense plan of action, a system’s approach, and community collaboration.

• The Class of 2019 with 1,391 graduates earned 487 advanced studies diplomas, 688 were honor graduates, and 127 earned a grade point average of 4.0 or higher. Collectively, the Class of 2019 was awarded over $59 million in scholarships and grants. These opportunities have been from institutions such as Hampton University, Harvard, Duke, John Hopkins, UVA, and VA Tech, just to name a few.

• The Class of 2019 outperformed the state on a key academic measure, the percentage of students graduating on time. We are pleased to announce the on-time graduation rate for Hampton City Schools is 92.73%. We not only exceeded the state average, we posted the highest on-time graduation rate since 2008.

• Our school division’s dropout rate of 1.26% is our lowest dropout rate in over two decades. Not only are we below the statewide average of 5.5%, Hampton also has the lowest dropout rate of the 15 school divisions in our region, which includes the Southside, Peninsula and Eastern Shore.

• At the secondary level, we continue to expand dual enrollment opportunities and industry certification programs. Dual enrollment credit hours have increased 642% between the 2015-16 and 2018-19 school years. The 10,820 Thomas Nelson Community College credits taken through dual enrollment have potentially saved students and families over $6.4M based on current average costs in Virginia to earn these credits at a four-year college or university.

• Greater numbers of students are graduating with industry credentials. Seventy-four percent of the Class of 2019 earned 2,604 industry credentials across 68 different examinations.

• Through the work with our 300+ business partners and 17 colleges and universities, our Academies of Hampton offer 16 academies and 41 pathways, including shipbuilding and repair, travel and tourism, biotechnology research and development, and architectural engineering.

• Our four high schools made the Virginia Living 2019 Top High Schools and Colleges list due to the work around the Academies of Hampton, specifically Extended Learning and the Academies’ Summer Career Institute.

• Nationally, 37 schools competed in the 2019 NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge. Our own Phoebus High School culinary students took a first place win – the school’s second – and their winning dish will be processed for spaceflight soon.

• Cesar Tarrant Middle School and Luther W. Machen Elementary School were two of the 183 schools in the Commonwealth to earn the Board of Education Continuous Improvement Award.

City of Hampton:

• More and more people have discovered what a great city Hampton is to live in. For the third year in a row, Hampton has been ranked one of the 25 most affordable beach towns in America by SmartAsset. Just last month, Hampton ranked 8th on a list of affordable waterfront communities published online by USA Today. There’s also a WalletHub ranking of Best Beach Towns (not just affordable ones). Hampton was the only Virginia city on the list. In fact, we ranked in the Top 20 for safety. Also, in September, Hampton was listed as one of the 100 best cities to retire in by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

• Home sales continue to increase — 7.6% this year and 43% above fiscal year 2015. The home sales price has also been increasing.

• New construction and investments in existing residential properties showed large increases last fiscal year. The value of residential and multi-family construction and improvements more than doubled from the previous year. Market-rate and upscale apartments are under construction in Phoebus, Hampton Roads Center Park and Peninsula Town Center, with more in the pipeline.

• Fort Monroe has leased all available residences and nearly 350,000 square feet of commercial space. And the state has committed $25 million toward infrastructure improvements.

• Many of the “best city” lists consider crime statistics as part of the criteria. Serious crimes in Hampton were at a 16-year low in 2018 and 40% fewer than in 2003. We had the second-lowest rate of violent crime per capita of the seven cities in Hampton Roads.

• We commemorated the 400th anniversary of the First Africans in what became the 13 Colonies, an important part of Hampton’s and the nation’s history that drew worldwide attention. The number of people visiting Hampton has been increasing, and those visitors added more than $222.4 million to the city’s economy in 2018. Two new hotels also opened to help satisfy the demand.

• We are pleased with the growth that Hampton’s commercial sector has shown this year. More than 1,000 new business licenses were issued. Commercial investment in the city increased by 81% this fiscal year. Two Hampton-based companies were listed in Inc. magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing companies. Some of these commercial ventures added retail, entertainment and food options, including new restaurants in Phoebus, downtown and Coliseum Central.

Again, please accept our warm regards for a safe and meaningful holiday season.

Jeffery O. Smith, Ed.D.

Mary Bunting
City Manager

©2020 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.