Back to School

back to school

Welcome Back to School!

Administrators, teachers and staff members are excited to welcome you and your child back for what will be an incredible 2019-2020 school year. As you begin planning and preparing for back to school, below is a list of helpful tips and reminders for how you can help start the school year off right.

New this year

-School hours have changed – The instructional day in Portsmouth Public Schools will be extended 10 minutes. The additional change will provide more time for instruction during the day and also allow for more flexibility when making up time lost to inclement weather. High schools will go from 7:20 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.; middle schools will go from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.; A elementary schools will go from 8:35 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. (with the exception of Douglass Park, which will go from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.); B elementary schools will go from 9 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.; preschools will go from 8:35 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. and New Directions Center will go from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. For a complete listing, visit

-New before and after school care providers – Portsmouth Public Schools has entered a new contract for a before and after school care provider. AlphaBest Education is a licensed childcare provider and has implemented programs across the country. To enroll your child in before or after school care, contact your child’s school directly.

-Track your bus – Bus routes will be available beginning Sunday, Aug. 25. To check your bus routes, visit the Attendance Zone and Bus Zone webpage

-Mark your calendars - This year, the City of Portsmouth is partnering with Portsmouth Public Schools to host Back to School Week, a week of events celebrating the start of school. To find the full list of events, visit the City of Portsmouth website


Keep in touch with Portsmouth Public Schools

-Make sure your contact information is up to date in the PPS Connect system so that you receive phone calls and emails for all school and division news. Also, by texting “Y” or “Yes” to 67587, you can receive text messages straight to your cell phone as well.

-Mark your calendars now for the Orientation or Open House at your child’s school. You can access a complete list of all school’s back to school welcoming events here at



-If you have not yet registered your child for school, you can do so at any time at your child’s school. For a complete list of what you need to bring to registration visit the Portsmouth Public Schools enrollment page.

-Get ready for school lunches today. You can set up your My School Bucks account to pay for your child’s breakfast and lunch now. You also can fill out your application for the Free and Reduced Meal Program, which needs to be completed annually. If your child attends Brighton Elementary, Douglass Park Elementary, James Hurst Elementary, Park View Elementary, John Tyler Elementary, Westhaven Elementary, Lakeview Elementary, Olive Branch Preschool, Mount Hermon Preschool, New Directions Center, Cradock Middle, W.E. Waters Middle, Hodges Manor or I.C. Norcom High School, you do not need to complete an application because all students receive free meals as part of the Community Eligibility Program. 

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