Monthly Happenings

Important Update on School Closings

PPS Families,

Our Curriculum and Instruction team has been hard at work developing new lessons for students. We will be delivering families monthly instructional guides that will have activities and lessons specifically geared for each grade level and content area. In addition, our high schools have been continuing to update students’ digital lessons, which can be accessed through their Chromebooks. The next set of lessons will be available this Wednesday, April 1. We will have these guides in print format and available at all of our feeding sites beginning Monday, April 6. We are encouraging all families who have access to the internet to access the packets online and allow us to distribute the printed packets for families in need. In the months to come, we will also provide new guides for both May and June.

Good evening, PPS families -

To help support as many of our families as possible, Portsmouth Public Schools will be expanding the number of our feeding sites from three to eight of our schools during this school closure.

Beginning Monday, children 18 and under can pick up both breakfast and lunch at Churchland High, I.C. Norcom High, Wilson High, Cradock Middle, Waters Middle, Churchland Elementary, Churchland Primary and Intermediate, and John Tyler Elementary.

Please note children still must be present to pick up meals. Pick up times will remain from 10 a.m. to noon at the high schools; all other schools will have pick up times of 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In addition, PPS has continued to work with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The division’s Food Services team will be preparing meals to go for more than 60 city sites that will serve lunches and dinners for residents in need. For a full list of all these sites, visit

Thank you. 



To:  Families of James Hurst Elementary

From:  Mrs. LaKesia D. Jolley-Foster, Principal

Re:  Extended Closure Update

Date:  3-23-2020

As you have likely heard by now, Governor Ralph Northam has mandated that schools remain closed through the end of the school year in June.

We know you have so many questions. Having my own children in our schools, we want you to know that I am right there with you. We can assure you that, as you read this very message, we are working with the entire team here at JHES, as well as with city and state officials, to get answers to your questions.  The Admin Team and other committees have been meeting today to come up with innovative ways to stay connected.  The Leadership Team of Portsmouth Public Schools will be meeting to develop a plan of equity and extended learning for the remaining instructional time.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we work through the logistics of this closure. There are so many moving parts and pieces, and we want to make absolutely certain that they all fit and work smoothly together during this unprecedented time. In the meantime, the rest of this week will go on as planned with our continuity of learning and food service for students.  We expect to have more information for you in the coming days.

We’re in this together.  Be sure to practice our new social norms.  Please take care of yourself and your family.

Be well,
~Mrs. Jolley-Foster,




Important School Closure Memorandum Concerning 

Free Breakfast/Lunch, Instructional Packets & Online Resources

To:  Parents & Guardians of James Hurst Elementary

From:  Mrs. LaKesia D. Jolley-Foster, Principal

Re:  Free Breakfast/Lunch, Instructional Packets & Online Resources

Date:  March 16, 2020

Thank you for your patience today as we navigated the first day of our school closure.

If you were unable to come to James Hurst today to pick up an instructional packet for your child(ren), you can download them at any time on Portsmouth Public School’s website at We also uploaded the instructional packets to Class Dojo, along with online resources for additional support.

Scholastic, Inc. is also offering free supplemental work by grade levels.  Students can take virtual field trips, as well as work on relevant, engaging activities.  Please also refer to the list of free websites on Class Dojo and distributed with instructional packets.  If you do not have access to internet Cox Cable and Spectrum are offering free internet services during these times.

We also want to remind you that free meals will continue to be provided throughout our school closure.  Beginning tomorrow, children can visit the three feeding sites (Churchland Middle, Wilson High and I.C. Norcom High) anytime from 10 a.m. to noon and pick up both breakfast and lunch. We hope this will help families from having to make duplicate trips within the same day. In addition to the meals, families can also pick up copies of their instructional packets at these sites as well during this time.

Finally, please also be reminded that the City of Portsmouth will have free lunch and dinners available from 12-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at the following locations Social Services Building (1701 High Street), Neighborhood Facility Recreation Center (900 Elm Ave.), Cavalier Manor Recreation Center (404 Viking Street), and J.E. Parker Recreation Center (2430 Turnpike Road).