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Five HCS teachers graduate from librarian cohort program

Hampton City Schools is excited to announce that five classroom teachers have graduated from the librarian cohort program.

In the spring of 2019, Hampton City Schools developed its first library cohort program in partnership with Old Dominion University. Carole Birdsong, Laurena Coates, Anne Crawley, Jennifer Holmes, and Lacey Whetsel received the opportunity to participate in the program from several applicants. This cohort recently graduated and not only is HCS proud to fill vacancies in the library, but proud that they were home-grown in the division.  

Here's what each of the graduates had to say about their experience and new endeavor:

Carole Birdsong: “I have always been interested in librarianship. I worked as a library assistant when HCS had them, and also at a public library, while in college. So when this opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance! What a wild ride it has been! Sleepless nights, exciting conferences, collaborating with HCS colleagues, and creating a network of new librarians only solidifies my excitement for this part of my educational journey!”

Anne Crawley: “After 20 years of teaching, I wanted to try something new; however, I wanted to still work with children. I was debating between going back to school for a degree in librarianship or as a reading specialist. When the cohort program was offered to employees, I felt that it was a great opportunity that should not be missed. This experience left me drained on most nights, but having my family and friends being such great supporters and helping me be successful got me through this program. Whether that was cooking dinner or explaining the new technology to me, all of it was needed to get me through. It was also wonderful having a cohort of ladies to go through the program with as well. Being able to collaborate, receive gentle reminders and having that support group made the time go by quickly.”

Jennifer Holmes: “It’s amazing where your career can lead you. When I started teaching 21 years ago, I just knew that I was going to be a kindergarten teacher for life. It was not to be though; after seven years I was moved to where I was needed. I soon gained experience teaching 3rd grade and 1st grade. Luckily, I was able to remain at my ‘Home by the Trees’.  Along the way, I realized that no matter the grade level, one of my favorite things about teaching was introducing children to the joys of reading. I also saw that there was a need for librarians in the district and especially at my school. I jumped at the chance to join the Librarians Cohort. The coursework was challenging, but I had the support of my family and the cohort members to help me get through. We were a well-balanced team - always helping each other out when needed. Now I am a librarian and I couldn’t be happier! Despite our pandemic restrictions, I’ve really enjoyed putting good books in the hands of our students. It’s January now, but I still get excited when I see that I have requests on the ‘On Shelf Holds’ report! Participating in the Book Bus has been another favorite of mine and I hope we continue it even when we return to a normal school environment.”

Lacey Whetsel: “I have been a teacher for eight years and was lucky enough to be able to become a librarian for my ninth year! I taught at Forrest Elementary for my first eight years and have since been hired at Andrews PreK-8 as a school librarian. I have always loved reading! When I was a kid my mom would constantly find me with my face buried in a book. I loved how it took me on many different adventures that were out of the realm of possibilities for my family. Reading has always been something I have enjoyed, even when teaching the kids how to read. So when the opportunity to join the cohort presented itself, I IMMEDIATELY jumped at the chance. It was such a fun experience, full of friendships, conferences, lots of projects and late nights. The coursework had its challenges but it was nothing that we couldn’t overcome, especially when we could collaborate. Being able to collaborate with my cohort peers as well as others in the program allowed me the opportunity to gain more insight and become even more excited about this new part of my journey in education! I have stored and implemented some of the ideas gained through this process. I am so glad I was able to be part of the group of ladies that became close friends and colleagues through the cohort.” 

Laurena Coates: “Teaching in the classroom for eight years at different levels was a wonderful experience. Using books to introduce topics and to branch out in those topics was a favorite way to get students excited about what was to be explored. It was also a way to link academic learning with real life experiences. Students quickly connected that reading is something you do more than just for class or classroom assignments! I was thrilled to be selected to extend learning in the library. Working with my cohort and getting support from my family made a challenging journey worth every step. There were frustrating moments made easier with the collaboration of the cohort. We problem-solved together and provided support to each other throughout the entire program. I am glad to say that support is continuing as we have settled into our new assignments!”

Click here to meet our graduates.

Congratulations to these educators and we wish you well in your new role!

©2020 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

NONDISCRIMINATION/NONRETALIATION NOTICE

As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law 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 GBAB 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 and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  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 the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300
Email: hcs-complianceofficer@hampton.k12.va.us


HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY NOTICE

PURPOSE

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, vcarper@hampton.k12.va.us

DEFINITION

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.

HCS WEBMASTER AND ACCESSIBILITY

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, vcarper@hampton.k12.va.us., the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, kgoral@hampton.k12.va.us and/or the Director of Graphics, mhouser@hampton.k12.va.us.

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.

SELF-MONITORING

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.

DISCLAIMER

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.