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Hampton City Schools announces a partnership with The Flying Classroom

As a division and community, Hampton City Schools continues to work to transform teaching and learning to better prepare our students for success in college, careers, lifelong learning, and life. 

To implement this high school redesign, better known as the Academies of Hampton, Hampton City Schools is focused on bringing together three transformative strands: teaching and learning - what it means to learn in Hampton City Schools; the secondary school experience - what it feels like to go to school in Hampton City Schools; and business and civic engagement - what it means to be engaged in Hampton City Schools. 

The backbone of this student-driven, future-focused learning model is project-based and challenge-based learning. These hands-on learning models create opportunities for students to drive inquiry, as they work alongside teachers and business partners to address an industry need.

In order to bring this goal to life, Hampton City Schools is excited to partner with The Flying Classroom.

What is The Flying Classroom?
The Flying Classroom is an integrative STEM+ supplemental curriculum. While Flying Classroom includes standards and principles aligned to STEM, it also includes correlated activities to geography, informational literacy, writing, art, and social studies. Students work to develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity skills as they navigate through the expedition content. Each of the lessons within the Flying Classroom is based on the global expeditions of Captain Barrington Irving.

Who is Captain Barrington Irving?
In 2007, at age 23, Captain Barrington Irving became the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane. On his 97-day journey, he flew 30,000 miles in a single-engine plane called "Inspiration." He made the trip to show other youth that if he could achieve his dream, they could too.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and brought up in inner-city Miami, Barrington saw a football scholarship as his only route to college until inspired by a Jamaican airline pilot who became his mentor, and he decided to pursue a career in aviation. In 2003, Barrington founded the nonprofit - Experience Aviation, and set up the Experience Aviation

Learning Center that continues to offer STEM-based programs and career guidance to middle and high school students in the Miami area.

Now recognized as a pioneer in education, he is revolutionizing learning by bringing real-world, hands-on, challenging projects to schools across the country.

The Flying Classroom has ventured to the far corners of the globe to create academically relevant content that engages students. The Flying Classroom expeditions have taken place under Captain Barrington Irving on six continents, 50 countries, and several states.

What sets the Flying Classroom apart from other STEM educational programs?
First, the Flying Classroom is based on the global adventures and expeditions of Captain Barrington Irving. 

Secondly, the Flying Classroom is a STEM instructional tool that leads teachers through implementing relevant STEM integrative instruction with students. The Flying Classroom's curriculum is cutting-edge and real-time. With an average of three to five months from filming the expedition to the upload of completed expedition lessons, Lead Explorers (teachers) are able to access and investigate current global challenges aligned to national/state standards.

Lastly, the Flying Classroom provides the opportunity for students to engage in current events that impact our ever-changing global society, enhancing the relevance of the content and conceptual understandings of students.

What will The Flying Classroom Challenge look like for Hampton City Schools?
Hampton City Schools' students will be challenged to redesign a houseboat into a working flexible STEM+ Learning Lab. This will be the first challenge of its kind in the world and will be named The FLOATING Classroom.

Students from many academies and pathway programs will have a role in this challenge. From The Academy of Cybersecurity, Engineering, and Robotics, to The Academy of Law and Public Safety; The Academy of Technology and Engineering to The Academy of Architecture, Environment, and Engineering, each academy and pathway will have the opportunity to not only align curriculum to this project, but also provide real hands-on experiences for our students. With the help of our community and business partners,

The Floating Classroom will become a permanent ongoing educational resource for Hampton City Schools and the Hampton community.

City Manager (as well as the Academies of Hampton Steering Committee Co-Chair) Mary Bunting shares, “The Floating Classroom project offers multiple benefits to students and the larger community. Students will not only help to build the classroom, but will have a permanent platform to do ongoing research that will align with our coastal resiliency and environmental protection strategic priorities.”

This challenge-based learning experience will begin in March 2020, with a teacher expedition. The goal of completion for this challenge is aligned with the first graduating cohort of the Academies of Hampton graduate in 2021. 

How can you help?
There are many ways for the community to get involved. An immediate need is to secure a possible vessel, 60-80 foot houseboat, that can be used as the base for the Floating Stem Lab. If you would like to get involved or have a houseboat to donate, please contact:

Ms. Veronica Hurd
Director, Academies of Hampton

©2020 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000


As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  

HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAB for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


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HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
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