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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Partners in Education

Recognizing Best Practices – Model Partnerships

Starting in 2001, Virginia Beach City Public Schools began recognizing outstanding partnership practices that support mutually beneficial relationships between schools and business/community organizations. Through a nomination process and selection committee comprised of school and community representatives, each year Model Partnerships are selected that represent exemplary community involvement in our school division.

Model partnerships are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Clearly articulated purpose/goal(s) of the partnership and how it supports the school division’s strategic plan, Compass to 2020;
  • Detailed activities and programs implemented as a result of the partnership;
  • Specific results and the impact of the partnership to promote student achievement, aspirations and social emotional development; and
  • Mutual benefit to the school and students and the partnering organization.

Learn how to establish a partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools

2018 Model Partnerships

Cox High School and Cooke Elementary

A Cox High School Science Honor Society student initiated a partnership with Cooke Elementary’ s Anchor Club and CBC after-school students. The mentorship program helps students navigate homework and life and in return helps Cox students log much-needed community service hours. The partnership improves student test scores, attendance, attitudes, behavior and self-esteem and builds long-term relationships between students at the two schools.

GMF+ Architects and Landstown Elementary

A Virginia Beach Education Foundation grant for an outdoor sustainability lab started this partnership when Landstown Elementary’s GRT tasked students with researching, designing and helping construct the lab. Christopher Elam, an architect and the Director of Commercial Projects for GMF+ Architects also happened to be the father of one of the 5th grade students. Volunteering at a one-hour work session led to a much deeper partnership, providing students access to the highly interconnected web of local individuals and companies working to create a more environmentally conscious city.

Operation Smile Student Programs and Princess Anne Middle School

Each year, seventh grade students on the E.D.G.E. (Explore, Design, Generate, Engineer) Team create items of comfort in order to put a smile on the face of students receiving free cleft lip and cleft palette surgeries from Operation Smile. The project was developed by Connie Solheim, a beloved Princess Anne Middle School teacher who passed away before the project was completed. Students research the climate, transportation, distance and financial strains of patients and present their items to a team from Operation Smile Student Programs. One student design, a 3-d printed “Mirror-cle” Car, was fully-funded via Donors Choose and students are working with Beach Ford to manufacture the car and sell it at Beach Ford locations to raise awareness for Operation Smile.

Oyster Reef Keepers of Virginia and Dey Elementary

First and fifth graders at Dey Elementary worked with Oyster Reef Keepers to observe and measure oyster growth, measure water quality, observe and identify the diverse life an oyster reef habitat and transport maturing oysters onto a conservation reef. In addition to gaining hands-on, scientific observation skills, students also learned the importance of protecting the Chesapeake Bay and their integral role in its future health.

Old Donation School and Seatack Elementary School: An Achievable Dream Academy

In 2014, ODS were challenged to build a sustainable community by expanding their outdoor environment, utilizing space beyond the walls of the building to meet the needs of the students. Seatack Elementary students serve as garden docents to ODS students as they identify and create curriculum connections related to ecosystems, plant life cycles, systems in nature, habitats and garden design. Old Donation students also designed, created and built a Little Free Library for the Seatack Elementary garden so families can bring home books when they come to work in the garden.

Sentara Southside Hospitals and Technical and Career Education Center

Second year practical nursing students at the Technical and Career Education Center complete 480 of clinical practice within various Sentara Southside hospitals. These partnership hours consist of surgical, obstetrical, dialysis, mental health and geriatrics. Students interact directly with patients, providing them with exposure to ever-changing health dynamics, from interpreting lab and diagnostic studies, telemetry readings, and researching assessments. This hands-on instruction would not be possible without the support of the Sentara partnership. As a mutual benefit for the partner, Sentara unit managers can recruit and hire student nurses upon their completion of the program, using the internship hours as part of the orientation to the unit.

Tallwood Elementary School and Tallwood High School

There is a strong bond between Tallwood High School and Tallwood Elementary School students. Every year, Global Studies and World Languages Academy students conduct educational and cultural programs with Tallwood Elementary students. From simple language and music lessons to cultural programs, Tallwood Elementary students get a variety of opportunities to interact with high school mentors and role models to develop ideas of possibilities they may not have considered before. They engage in global learning and learn possible college and job options from which they may choose in the future. Literacy levels, student engagement, maturity, sense of community and excitement about learning have increased as both schools become more connected and cross-culturally competent.

Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union and Linkhorn Park Elementary

Linkhorn Park’s student-run LIONS Credit Union, housed at the school, opened in early 2017 as an opportunity for fifth grade students to apply math skills they are learning beyond the classroom and participate in real world experiences that promote interpersonal skills needed to be successful in everyday life. The partnership focuses on teaching students to save for their future and provides a solid foundation to be responsible stewards of their personal finances. Student tellers interact weekly with their customers, sharpening their communication skills and giving them a glimpse into the banking world. VBSFCU staff come to the school every Friday to supervise transactions and attend a number of school events throughout the year, including reading and math literacy nights to help parents/families open LINONS Credit Union accounts for their children.

Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program (VA STAR) and Advanced Technology Center

The Virginia STAR partnership provides an opportunity for Cybersecurity Systems and Technology and the afterschool Technology Club students to apply their technical and workplace readiness skills to refurbish obsolete government and business computers, donated by the community. More than $14,000 worth of donations, including more than 2,000 devices such as laptops, desktops and monitors have been donated since the program began in 2009. Students gain relevant and authentic work experiences by repairing computers, slicking old operating systems and reimaging computers. The refurbished computers are distributed to VBCPS families who do not have a computer at home. 350 ATC students have participated in the program since 2009, earning approximately 600 industry certifications as a result, and benefitting more than 600 VBCPS families.

Model Partnerships



Last Modified on Tuesday, June 19, 2018