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Public Schools

No matter where you live in Hampton Roads, you will find superior schools and specialty programs to serve you. Whether you are looking for elementary, middle, or high schools, gifted/talented programs, magnet schools or special education centers, you're sure to find what's right for your family. Additionally, private schools, private pre-schools and kindergarten facilities throughout the region provide parents with abundant educational choices. All public schools run a 180 day calendar year, with at least 2 major breaks (Winter & Spring) during the year. Most schools in the area offer before school programs for the elementary students, as well as free/reduced lunch programs, school sports programs, special education classes.

Registration Requirements

Newcomers and those registering their children for the first time are required by Virginia law to provide proof of immunizations against a number of contagious diseases. Children entering school up to the seventh grade must submit a birth certificate and have had a complete physical examination within the past twelve months.

Children entering kindergarten must be age 5 on or before 30 September of the enrollment year.

Contact the appropriate school system for additional information on registration requirements, specific academic or extracurricular activities.


Students living one (1) or more miles are provided with school bus transportation. After School Activity buses are provided at most area High Schools. Special wheelchair transportation is available for the handicap children.

Schools by City

Norfolk Public Schools --800 East City Hall Avenue Norfolk, VA 23510-2723; Phone: 757-628-3830
Norfolk Public Schools includes 37 Elementary Schools, 9 Middle Schools and 5 High Schools. Student population is 32,275; Teacher - 2,335 / Student/Teacher Ratio = 22/1.

Norfolk Public Schools include; Arts and Sciences Secondary Extended Day Program, Gifted Programs, Advance Placement Program, Dual Enrollment Programs, Governor's School, International Baccalaureate Courses, TECH-PREP Program and Norfolk Technical Vocational Center, Adult Education, Open Campus – Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy and many Sports Programs and Clubs. Center and many Sports Programs and Clubs.

Virginia Beach Public Schools -- 2512 George Mason Virginia Beach, VA 23456-0038; Phone: 757-263-1000/FAX: 757-263-1011.
Virginia Beach Public Schools include 55 Elementary Schools, 15 Middle Schools, 12 High Schools and 4 Special Purpose Schools (Advance Programs Schools). Student population is 67,789; Teachers- 5,115 / Student/Teacher Ratio =25/1.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools includes a variety of Academy Programs including, Health Sciences Academy, Legal Study Academy, Governor's STEM & Technology Academy, Visual and Performing Arts Academy, Global Studies and World Languages Academy and Entrepreneurship and Business Academy; Advanced Academic Programs including International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, Mathematics and Science Academy and the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program; as well as special education classes, a distance learning program, technical education classes, an Adult Education Center, and many sports programs, clubs and activities.

Chesapeake Public Schools -- 312 Cedar Road Chesapeake, VA 23322-5514; Phone: 757-547-0165/FAX: 757-547-0196.
Chesapeake Public Schools include 28 Elementary Schools, 10 Middle Schools and 7 High Schools. Student population is 39,153; Teachers-2,795 / Student/Teacher Ratio = 24/1.

Chesapeake Public Schools include; Honors programs, Gifted and Talented, Vocational TV and Radio Class, Special Education for Physically, Intellectually and Behaviorally Challenged; Adult Education, Lab, Pre-School and Alternative Schools as well and Sports Programs and Clubs.

Portsmouth Public Schools -- P.O. Box 998 Portsmouth, VA 23705-0998; Phone: 757-393-8751/FAX: 757-393-5238.
PPS.K12.VA.US includes 4 Preschools, 13 Elementary Schools, 3 Middle Schools, 3 High Schools and 1 Alternative Schools. Student population is 14,823 / Teachers - 1,023 / Student/Teacher Ratio = 15/1.

Portsmouth Public Schools include: Advanced Studies Program, High School Dual Enrollment, Magnet Programs, and English as a Second Language, Special Education Services, Gifted and Talented Programs, 4-A Good Start Pre-school Program, Sports Programs, and Clubs and Adult Education Programs.

Suffolk Public Schools -- 100 N. Main Street P.O. Box 1549 Suffolk, VA 23434-4529; Phone: 757-925-6750/FAX: 757-925-6751.
Suffolk Public Schools includes 12 Elementary Schools, 4 Middle Schools and 3 High Schools. Student population is 14,331 / Teachers - 1,143 / Student/Teacher Ratio = 25/1.

Suffolk Public Schools include: Full-day Kindergarten, Early Start Program for at-risk 4 year olds, Sign Language offered for Foreign Language Credit, Advance Placement Classes, Dual Enrollment Classes, Adult Education (The Center for Lifelong Learning), Sports Programs and clubs.


Accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on state Standards of Learning tests for the previous year, and in some cases for a three-year average. A school "accredited with warning" did not meet pass rates for full accreditation. A school with a rating of "accreditation denied" failed to meet standards for three consecutive years and is subject to corrective actions by state board of education.

The Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools describe the expectations for student learning and achievement in grades K-12 in English, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, the fine arts, foreign language, health and physical education, and driver education. SOL scores have become an important tool for the state to see how well the schools are educating the children. Students must earn the required number of verified units of credit to receive a high school diploma. Feel free to use these scores as a part of your relocating tools.

Grading Scale

  • A 100 - 93   
  • A- 92 - 90    
  • B + 89 - 87    
  • B 86 - 83   
  • B- 82 - 80
  • C+ 79 - 77  
  • C 76 - 73  
  • C- 79 - 77  
  • D+ 69-67  
  • D 66 - 64 
  • E - 63 and below 

DoDDS Schools

There are no DODDS or private schools on any installation in the Hampton Roads region.

Alternative Schools

Alternative education programs are available in all Hampton Roads public schools. These are generally schools whose educational philosophies are different from traditional programs. Typically, alternative schools have small classes, social and emotional development curriculum, and self-paced academic curriculum. This title is used officially as well as informally to describe a wide range of schools, so it's important to ask specific schools why they are classified as "alternative."

Magnet Schools

These are schools that focus on certain program of study; i.e. Environmental Sciences, Art, Music as well as general studies. Contact the school district your child will be attending to get specific information on requirements and enrollment.

Home Schooling

Another option is for the parents to teach their children at home instead of sending them to a public or private school. Each state has different laws governing home schooling. Many communities have organizations that assist home schooling families with curriculum and opportunities to meet other home schoolers. To home school your child, you can register with the local school district or the Virginia Department of Education. You'll be given a standard curriculum to follow and an assigned teacher who will monitor your child's progress.  More information on Home Schooling can be found on the School Outreach/Liaison website. 

Private School

There are many private school options in the Hampton Roads area which include, but are not limited to Montessori, Religiously Affiliated, and Special Education to name a few. The Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) provides a complete listing of private school options for the state of Virginia at Additionally, The Private School Review at can provide a listing of all schools by local city.

The Governor's School

The Virginia's Governor's School Program, which began in 1973 when Governor Linwood Holton established the first summer residential programs for 400 gifted students across the commonwealth, is still strong today. With the support of the Virginia Board of Education and the General Assembly, the Governor's schools have expanded to not only include summer programs, but summer regional and academic year programs. These programs serve more than 7,500-gifted /talented students from all parts of the commonwealth. Each school creates a program tailored to meet the needs of its gifted high school students. Gifted students are able to explore and accelerate in areas ranging from arts, to government and international studies, global economics, mathematics, science and technology. Students are involved in classroom and laboratory work, field studies, research, individual and group projects, performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists and other professionals. For additional information regarding the Governor’s School programs, please visit:

School Liaison Officer

The School Liaison Officer is located at 9475 Bacon Avenue, Bldg. C-9, Rm. 129B, Norfolk, VA 23511-0001 and can be reached at 757-445-0350.

Navy School Liaison Officers support school and community partnerships which promote the academic, social, and emotional success of military-connected children.

Adult Education

Adult learning opportunities are available throughout the Hampton Roads area. See the Education - Training (College/Technical) article.   

Associated Links

Military Youth on the Move
Answers to military children and teen concerns.

Military Child Education Coalition
Provides information and resources on military education needs.

DoD Schools
Provides complete information on all Department of Defense Schools run by DoDEA.

Military K-12 Partnership
Provides comprehensive information for all students.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center -- Head Start
Information about the Head Start pre-school program.

Search for Public Schools - National Center for Educational Statistics
Provides a web site to search schools nationwide from elementary through high school.

TALARIS - Learn about early childhood education.
Advancing knowledge of early learning and the importance of parenting.

Choosing a School for your Child - Department of Education
How to choose a school.

School Matters
Public source for information and analysis about nation's public schools.

Military State Policy Source
Seeks to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned business interests, and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families.

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