Newport News selected to host cybersecurity summer camp | education notebook

Jane Hammond
Contact Reporterejhammond@dailypress.com
@nnschools will host a cybersecurity summer camp for students in the Governor's STEM Academy

Students studying computer systems in the Governor's STEM Academy at Heritage High School will have a new summer camp opportunity this year.

Newport News Public Schools was one of 32 locations, and the only in the Peninsula area, selected by the Virginia Department of Education to host a Virginia Cybercamp 2016 Program.

The camp, funded by a $62,500 state grant, will be held for four weeks and will contain project-driven learning, field trips and guest speakers.

There are about 100 students currently in the computer systems strand at the Governor's STEM Academy; the projected enrollment for the camp will be 25 of those students.

A team of teachers and other NNPS employees, as well as educators from Portsmouth and Franklin representing their respective camps, participated in a two-part professional development workshop in late February to prepare to implement the program.

The camp is just the first step of efforts to add cybersecurity learning throughout the division, NNPS spokeswoman Michelle Price said. The division hopes to expand opportunities through Heritage and Denbigh High School Aviation Academy, which will help achieve Gov. Terry McAuliffe's goal of making Virginia the "cybersecurity capital of the nation."

That expansion is in line with the goals of the Virginia Cyber Security Commission, which McAuliffe established in 2014. Part of the commission's task is to identify ways to bring cybersecurity to public schools across the state.

By 2022, there are expected to be more than 350,000 jobs in cybersecurity and related fields like telecommunications and software development, according to a news release from Virginia Department of Education. Those jobs might exist, but there will not be enough candidates qualified to fill them all, the release says.

"The camps will introduce students to the field of cybersecurity, and the cybersecurity-related credentials they can earn through local career and technical education programs," Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said in the VDOE release. "The camps also will serve as models for the development of additional efforts to prepare students to meet the commonwealth's cybersecurity workforce needs."

Hampton holding second budget hearing

The Hampton School Board will hold its second public hearing regarding the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget Wednesday night at Jones Magnet Middle School.

No one chose to make comment at the first public hearing last week.

Superintendent Jeffery Smith's original budget proposal, which was based on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposed state budget, included a $1,095,645 gap between projected expenditures and revenue.

According to the meeting agenda, Smith has now balanced the proposed budget based on the General Assembly's approved budget. The new proposed operating budget totals $200,450,417.

The budget still calls for minimum raises of 3 percent for almost all full- and part-time staff, as well as a higher starting salary for new teachers.

The board will vote on the budget on March 30. Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at 1819 Nickerson Blvd.

The entire budget can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1ppSvno.

Connect Hampton Roads sponsoring essay contest

Local high school and college students are asked to think about the future of public transportation across Hampton Roads in an essay contest sponsored by Connect Hampton Roads.

The contest is "asking participants to think creatively about the kind of multi-modal transportation network they'd like to see in the future," according to the website of Connect Hampton Roads.

Entries will be judged by creativity of transportation options, as well as demonstrated leadership abilities and passion.

The contest is open for students in Hampton Road Transit's area, which includes Newport News and Hampton. Each winner will receive an iPad.

All essays must be sent by April 14. For more information or to learn how to enter, visit http://connecthamptonroads.com/.

Hammond can be reached by phone at 757-247-4951.

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