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Model Partners

Recognizing Best Practices – Model Partnerships

In 2001, VBCPS 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, Model Partnerships are selected each year that represent exemplary community engagement 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, students and the partnering organization.

2018 Model Partnerships

Cox High School & 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 & Landstown Elementary
A Virginia Beach Education Foundation grant for an outdoor sustainability lab started this partnership when Landstown Elementary’s Gifted Resource Teacher 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 fifth-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 & 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 faces 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 3D 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 & 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 of 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 (ODS) & Seatack Elementary School: An Achievable Dream Academy
In 2014, ODS was challenged to build a sustainable community by expanding their outdoor environment, utilizing space beyond the walls of the building to meet students’ needs. 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. ODS students also designed, created and built a Little Free Library for the Seatack Elementary garden so families can bring home books when they work in the garden.

Sentara Southside Hospitals & Technical and Career Education Center
Second-year practical nursing students at the Technical and Career Education Center complete 480 hours of clinical practice within various Sentara Southside hospitals. These partnership hours consist of surgical, obstetrical, dialysis, mental health and geriatric practice. 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 & Tallwood High School
Every year, Tallwood High School’s 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 they may not have considered. They engage in global learning and learn about 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 (VBSFCU) & 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 beyond the classroom and participate in real-world experiences that promote the 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 LIONS Credit Union accounts for their children.

Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program (VA STAR) & Advanced Technology Center
The VA STAR partnership provides an opportunity for Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Cybersecurity Systems and Technology students and the after-school Technology Club members to apply their technical and workplace readiness skills to refurbish obsolete desktop and laptop computers, which are 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 re-imaging 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 benefiting more than 600 VBCPS families.