A Look at the Norfolk Schools

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The Norfolk, Va., public schools have attracted national attention for their record in improving achievement for a largely minority, low-income student population. Following are some facts about the district for the 2004-05 school year.


Enrollment: 36,000
Schools (49 Total): 35 elementary, 9 middle, 5 high schools
Fiscal 2005 operating budget: $283 million
Eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch: 60%

Racial/Ethnic Breakdown:

Racial/Ethnic Breakdown Chart


• Finalist, Broad Prize for Urban Education, 2003 and 2004

U.S. Senate Productivity Quality Award, Medallion for Performance Excellence, 2004, and Plaque for Progress and Performance Excellence, 2003

• Winner of the Washington-based Education Trust’s “Dispelling the Myth” award, given to five urban districts achieving and improving at high levels and closing racial achievement gaps, 2004

• Chosen by the Stupski Foundation of Mill Valley, Calif., as its East Coast lab site

Richard R. Green Award, given by the Council of the Great City Schools in recognition of outstanding urban district leadership, to Superintendent John O. Simpson, 2002

Virginia Superintendent of the Year, given to Simpson by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, 2004

SOURCE: Norfolk Public Schools

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