Isle of Wight County Schools to debut UpLift Academy next school year

Published 10:27 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018



At the School Board meeting on Thursday night, Isle of Wight County Schools central office staff shared plans for designing a support program to meet the needs of all learners. The program, known as UpLift Academy, will provide support to students who have not been successful using traditional instructional methods.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the program will focus on ninth graders who have struggled in math and English, and are not performing at the proficient level on state SOL tests. It will be established at both Windsor and Smithfield high schools. The division intends to expand the program in the second year and include sixth and tenth graders.

The program will be overseen by an instructional coordinator who will also teach the UpLift students on a daily basis. Matt Johnson, the current assistant principal at Hardy Elementary School, has been selected to serve in this position. Johnson began his teaching career in Isle of Wight County in 2005 at Westside Elementary School. He is a graduate of Edinboro University with a BA in Elementary Education, and received his Masters of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from Regent University.

“UpLift Academy needs a leader who will build strong relationships with each student,” said Dr. Jim Thornton, division superintendent. “Matt Johnson’s enthusiasm and tenacity will be the positive influence our students require in order to reach their potential.”

LYNN BRIGGS is the director of community and media relations for Isle of Wight County Schools. She can be reached at 365-1611 or