Showcases for Success
ResourcesInitiativesShowcases for Success

WHAT IS THE VSBA SHOWCASES FOR SUCCESS?

As a means of encouraging community awareness and positive press coverage of public education, the Virginia School Boards Association is inviting school divisions to recommend programs and initiatives that would serve as appropriate “Showcases for Success” in public education. Last year, 64 programs were profiled and the list was shared with journalists, school board members, superintendents, legislators, and top state officials. Press coverage was generated statewide, and this project served to be an effective tool for disarming the critics of public education. We are compiling a new list for 2024, and these successful programs will be showcased on the VSBA website for the entire year.

HOW MANY PROGRAMS/INITATIVES CAN A DIVISION SUBMIT?

Each division can submit up to 3 programs/initiatives using the form linked here.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION?

Friday, March 8, 2024, by 4:00 p.m.

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE A QUESTION?
communications@vsba.org or 434-295-8722


2023 Showcases for Success

Click Here to View the 2023 Special Edition Newsletter

Alexandria City Public Schools: Link Club Out of School Time Program
To address the needs of many of our Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students and families, ACPS provides free supervised after-school programming. The programming available develops the skills children need to make positive life decisions. Since 2018, ACPS has offered high-quality afterschool programs through its Linking Instruction Nurturing Knowledge (LINK) Club sites. LINK Club provides a safe and productive environment where students can be engaged in hands-on learning activities, receive help with their school work and develop new skills and interests. With four new sites launched this school year, LINK Club now serves over 800 students in grades K-12 at 13 sites; eight sites are at schools and five are community based. Using an eligibility rubric to determine the socio-economic and academic needs of each applicant ensures the highest-need students at each school site are served.
Contact Information: Marisol Morales, marisol.morales@acps.k12.va.us, 703-362-8437


Alexandria City Public Schools: ACPS/George Washington University Partnership for Special Education Teachers
ACPS and The George Washington University’s (GW) Graduate School of Education and Human Development launched an innovative partnership in January 2023 to expand the number of special education instructional assistants and teachers serving preK-12 students in 18 ACPS schools. Individuals can apply concurrently to the GW master’s program and ACPS employment. Participants gain theoretical knowledge to teach students with disabilities as well as practical experience in the classroom with students and current teachers. In their first year of the program, graduate students work as ACPS instructional assistants to develop key instructional strategies, learn best practices and receive targeted professional learning from both ACPS and GW teams before moving into teacher roles in their second year. ACPS offers $800 in annual tuition aid to each participant. Outreach has included internal communications to ACPS employees, social media, a webinar and news stories in The GW Hatchet, Zebra Press, ALXNow, Patch and WJLA.
Contact Information: Margaret Browne, margaret.browne@acps.k12.va.us, 703-619-8178


Alexandria City Public Schools: Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) mark the opening of the new ACPS Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School on Nov. 29, 2022. The event celebrated the location’s opening and the work the FACE team carries out each day. The Center will continue to grow as it engages families in meaningful opportunities designed to support student academic success and healthy social-emotional development It will also strengthen family-school partnerships and increase two-way communication, cultural understanding and academic achievement. FACE assists in carrying out the school division’s mission of family engagement by providing language-specific and bilingual family liaisons who serve our Amharic, Arabic and Spanish speaking families. It is home base for these family liaisons where they build authentic relationships with families and the community. At the Center, resources are provided to all ACPS families, including workshops and activities that support educational achievement and quality of life.
Contact Information: Krishna Leyva,  krishna.leyva@acps.k12.va.us, 703-508-1295


Alleghany Highlands Public Schools: Elementary Reading Initiative
Edgemont Primary School (now Jeter-Watson Elementary School) outperformed other schools in the state on Virginia’s Standard of Learning assessments in gains relative to previous years. From 2019-2022, Edgemont led the state in showing gains in overall Standards of Learning pass rates. It was also one of the top schools participating in the Comprehensive Instructional Program. The CIP is a consortium of approximately 300 public schools (40-plus divisions and growing) in Virginia. The improved test scores came despite the statewide shutdown of Virginia public schools in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are now reading real books, and they are reading on grade level. Students are taught to encode and decode effectively. Teachers implemented a detailed Orton-Gillingham Scope and Sequence to align its language arts instruction from PK to third grade. Teachers now teach explicit, systematic, multi-sensory, and direct phonics that follow an Orton Gillingham Scope and Sequence.
Contact Information: Cynthia Morgan,  cynthia.morgan@ahps.k12.va.us, (540) 965-1430


Amherst County Public Schools: #ShowUpAmherst
This school year Amherst County Public Schools began a new community-building initiative called #ShowUpAmherst. #ShowUpAmherst is designed to engage the entire Amherst County community in supporting the character development of our children and to re-engage our students, families, and community with our schools. Schools serve as a cornerstone in a community and we all need to #ShowUp to support our schools, community, and each other. Through events, activities, and resources provided through #ShowUpAmherst, the school division has been able to have a positive effect on student attendance, behavior, and community involvement. #ShowUpAmherst sponsored the school division’s first Annual Community Connections Dinner and had a record turnout of almost 200 attendees. Our students and families were able to enjoy a hot meal and an interactive presentation and discussion regarding positive interactions. The division also hosted #ShowUp Days division-wide to encourage student attendance through special activities and incentives.
Contact Information: Dr. William Wells, acpssuperintendent@amherst.k12.va.us, 434-946-9387


Appomattox County Public Schools: Million Minutes By May
APS is doing amazing with our Million Minutes by May challenge!! As a school, we’ve read a total of 627,252 minutes! Every Monday, teachers tally their classroom reading minutes for the previous week and totals are announced on our intercom for the whole school to hear. The kids are excited to hear the update and listen to the number grow each week. Students who read the most minutes in their classroom or meet certain minute milestones earn tokens to use in our school book vending machines.
Contact Information: Allison Maxwell, aemaxwell@acpsweb.com, 434-352-5766


Appomattox County Public Schools: Friendship Memorial Scholarship
In the 2013-14 school year, Appomattox Elementary (AES) lost a 3rd grade student and the school nurse to traumatic illnesses. The school bonded together to create a community of support, passionate to keep the memory of both friends alive. As a result, the Friendship Memorial Scholarship was born. Each year since, AES presents two scholarships to graduating seniors. One is presented to a student seeking to pursue studies in the medical field, and one is for a student who has overcome challenging odds to be successful in school. Fundraising efforts to keep this scholarship going have included family/community activities that include “Paint Nights,” “Fall Festival,” “Cookies with Santa,” “Father/Daughter Sweetheart Dance,” t-shirt sales, technology raffles, Christmas/Easter Dinner baked goods sales (sponsored by Student Nutrition). A committee reviews all applications in the spring, with recipients awarded on Senior Class Day events by family members of the nurse and/or student who passed away. Currently, there have been two $500 dollar scholarships each year since 2015, and family involvement in supporting the events provides wonderful school/community outreach.
Contact Information: Karen Cyrus, klcyrus@acpsweb.com, 434-352-7463


Appomattox County Public Schools: Responsibility Centered Discipline
RCD, Responsibility Centered Discipline, is designed to provide educators with a skill set to respond positively in stressful situations. The goal is to create consistent techniques of discussion to guide and motivate students to accept responsibility for their actions through the Give ‘em Five conversation. All staff members are training and working to develop and improve their skills and create positive and respectful relationships with our students.
Contact Information: Julie Amos, jbamos@acpsweb.com, 434-352-8257


Chesapeake Public Schools: Teacher Assistant Career Ladder
This opportunity provides access and removes financial and time barriers to entering the teaching profession. Many opportunities are low to no cost to the employee. The Department of Human Resources (HR) and the Department of Professional and Organizational Development support individuals in fulfilling professional learning requirements and submitting documentation to HR so they can be considered for full-time teacher positions. Our employees are able to continue working while they are actively seeking career advancement and teacher licensure. Through this structure, our employees are afforded the opportunity to advance their careers to higher levels of job responsibility through various points of entry within the ladder. We provide an opportunity for candidates to enter the teaching workforce through a non-traditional route to licensure and we are able to fill teacher vacancies for hard-to-fill positions.
Contact Information: Angie Smith, angie.smith@cpschools.com, 757-547-1033


Chesapeake Public Schools: Chesapeake Virtual Academy
Chesapeake Virtual Academy follows the same CPS curriculum and pacing with flexible scheduling opportunities that afford students opportunities to complete courses they may not otherwise be able to access and work at a pace that best suits their needs. CVA Elementary students engage in instruction five days a week, in which students are provided whole and small group instruction, remediation, enrichment, and resources. CVA Middle students participate in weekly synchronous and asynchronous instruction but have greater flexibility in the schedule to work independently or participate in small groups or 1:1 sessions with their teacher. CVA High offers students the option to participate as a part-time or full-time CVA student in our asynchronous program, which allows students to control the place, pace and time of their work. Our unique and innovative program has helped Chesapeake Public Schools meet the needs of many of our students and families.
Contact Information: Angie Smith, angie.smith@cpschools.com, 757-547-1033


Chesapeake Public Schools: Comprehensive School Improvement Plans
The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan is designed to provide a framework that promotes school improvement and captures the progress of improvement efforts by providing data and interventions that support the efforts of all stakeholders. The plan derived from the VaCSIP model developed by the Virginia Department of Education is designed to assist internal and external stakeholders to set goals, identify ways to improve, and evaluate change with regular feedback. The CSIP process consists of four unique phases that support efforts of comprehensive school improvement. Administrators were responsible for identifying staff that would serve on school improvement committees. These committee members were instrumental in conducting Critical Needs Analysis in the areas of Academics, Behavior, and Attendance. By adopting this philosophy of school improvement, Chesapeake Public Schools is solidifying a research-based methodology that will provide a comprehensive road map to success for our schools.
Contact Information: Angie Smith, angie.smith@cpschools.com, 757-547-1033


Chesterfield County Public Schools: Chesterfield Virtual School
After schools re-opened for in-person instruction, some Chesterfield County Public Schools students and families continue to prefer virtual learning. Building on virtual options developed during the pandemic, the school district applied to the Virginia Department of Education to start the first virtual school in the state. The Chesterfield Virtual School opened at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year for grades K-8, enrolling about 800 students. The Chesterfield Virtual School operates just like any other school in Chesterfield, with student support services, PTA, after-school programs, etc. Student schedules follow the K-5 and 6-8 formats in Chesterfield schools. As a school (rather than just online instruction), the Chesterfield Virtual School receives sustainable funding based on average daily membership. Teachers and staff members live in central Virginia and 10 different states. Visit the school website: oneccps.org/cvs/.
Contact Information: Dr. Bruce Fillman, bruce_fillman@ccpsnet.net, 804-818-5630


Chesterfield County Public Schools: Chesterfield Recovery Academy
Virginia’s first recovery high school program opened within Chesterfield County Public Schools at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. State legislation establishing the Chesterfield Recovery Academy passed in the spring of 2020 with state funding arriving in 2022. The school is open to central Virginia Region 1 high school students who are in recovery from substance use disorders; that includes 35 schools across 15 school divisions. The Chesterfield Recovery Academy was structured after the national recovery model to help high school students through their addiction recovery after they had already completed their treatment program. Students receive the academic, emotional and social support necessary to complete their high school education and set a path toward continued success. Once enrolled, students may remain in the program as long as needed to ensure continued success. Visit the program’s website: oneccps.org/chesterfield-recovery-academy/.
Contact Information: Justin Savoy, justin_savoy@ccpsnet.net, 804-639-8722


Covington City Public Schools: Edgemont Primary School and The Science of Reading
EPS would like to highlight our implementation and successes in the science of reading. The science of reading focuses on the foundation that teachers understand the brain processes and developments required in order for a child to be able to read. Edgemont teachers now teach explicit, systematic, multi-sensory, and direct phonics that follow an Orton Gillingham Scope and Sequence. Teachers have and are receiving quality professional development to align to SOR. We have seen amazing reading and spelling gains in all grade levels for all of our different learners. We have incorporated decodable texts that increase decoding and fluency to reach grade level reading mastery. In addition to teaching phonics intensely, we work on comprehension and language skills with good, quality literature and interesting and engaging informational texts. Our goal is to help every different learner find success and increase their knowledge while using their analytical and creative thinking abilities.
Contact Information: Jessica Fauber, Literacy Coach, jfauber@covington.k12.va.us, 540-965-1420


Craig County Public Schools: Pathways to Success
The 2022-2023 marked the first year of the Pathways to Success Program. This program focuses on our secondary students who are at-risk of not graduating with either a standard diploma or a GED. The focus is on the three E’s: Enrollment (in higher education or a trade school), Enlistment (Armed Forces) or Employment. Students have an individualized learning plan to help them achieve their goal. Students have been able to recover up to three years to put them in their correct grade level and on the path to their goal.
Contact Information: Jeanette Warwick, jwarwick@craig.k12.va.us, 540-864-5191


Cumberland County Public Schools: Flying Unmanned Aircraft
Cumberland County Public Schools realizes that building a foundation for lifelong success includes preparing for a career that takes into account student strengths, interests, and values. This year CuCPS added a course newly approved by the Virginia DOE in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. This course prepares students to fly drones under the Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. The demand for commercial drone pilots has been steadily increasing, and according a market survey, the median salary for an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot is $82,976, which makes this a desirable career for students. Students not only have fun, but learn about various uses for drones, become aware of FAA regulations, and practice flying drones. At the end of the course, students have the opportunity to take the certification. One student has already successfully received her Small Unmanned Airraft Systems (SUAS) pilot’s test, with several others getting ready to test.
Contact Information: Elizabeth G. Jamerson, ejamerson@cucps.k12.va.us, 804-492-4212


Fluvanna County Public Schools: Sources of Strength
Sources of Strength is a suicide prevention program at Fluvanna County’s secondary schools that trains student leaders to facilitate school-wide interventions that spread messages of hope, health, and strength. Students are encouraged to strengthen their natural “sources of strength”: positive friends, healthy activities, family support, spirituality, mentors, generosity, physical health, and mental health. During the 2022-2023 school year, students implemented school-wide interventions including a Thankfulness campaign, recognizing trusted adults, Bullying Prevention Week, and the Virginia Kindness Week campaign.These campaigns positively impacted student and staff wellbeing and the overall school climate. For example, during Virginia Kindness Week over 500 students and staff at the high school nominated “kindness ambassadors” for recognition, and there were zero out of school suspension during the week. Sources of Strenth’s evidence-based campaigns empower students with coping skills for everyday life and demonstrate how small activities like a note of encouragement or conversation with a trusted peer or adult can have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing and resilience.
Contact Information: Kelly Fallavollita, kfallavollita@apps.fluco.org, 434-589-8933


Franklin City Public Schools: Vanguard Early College Academy
Vanguard Early College Academy has enabled numerous qualifying Franklin High School students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Computer Science through Tidewater Community College. They are able to take courses either online or in-person in addition to their regular high school classes. This is no mere summer computer camp; the students who want to be in VECA prove their commitment to learn by maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. They must also successfully complete Algebra I and Geometry by the end of their freshman year. Ultimately, students gain a foundation of knowledge and skills for nearly any career that requires the use of computers (support, programming, websites, etc.). In addition, students may earn an Associate Degree in General Studies from Camp Community College. Earning these degrees can serve as an incentive to further one’s education.
Contact Information: Ms. Kelsey Bunch, Franklin High School Guidance Registrar, kbunch@fcpsva.org, 757-562-5187, Ext. 1197


Goochland County Public Schools: Start on Success (SOS)
Start on Success (SOS) is a school-work program designed for students with disabilities pursuing a standard or advanced diploma. It was developed by the Virginia Department of Education and implemented in collaboration with the Center on Transition Innovations at VCU and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services. SOS is a year-long program designed to provide classroom instruction during the first semester and a paid internship at a local business during the second semester of the student’s senior year. The program is spearheaded by JM teacher, Megan Waite, Job Counselor, Angie Poteet and CTE Coordinator, Kristi Allison.
Contact Information: Kristi Allison, CTE Coordinator, kallison@cityschools.com, 540-372-1130


Goochland County Public Schools: A Framework for Early Academic Intervention
Our school division leveraged ESSER funding to build out our multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) across our elementary schools by hiring part-time academic interventionists to support literacy and numeracy growth for students performing below grade level. We hired true intervention experts, licensed teachers and speech-language pathologists who had left the profession to raise children and were interested in getting back to working with children part-time. In two years this program cut our percentage of students not meeting academic benchmarks in half. All along we planned for sustainability so that the end of the ESSER funding did not mean the end of our MTSS framework. I’m happy to say we are poised for the program to continue next school year despite the funding coming to an end a the end of this fiscal year. We have established a structure that will allow the early academic intervention program to not just continue, but thrive.
Contact Information: Stephen Geyer, sgeyer@glnd.k12.va.us, 804-386-4010


Greene County Public Schools: Student Success Coaches Program
The Greene County Public Schools Student Success Coach Program is designed to help empower families and students to overcome barriers and achieve academic, physical, and social and emotional wellbeing. Success Coaches are assigned students and families through a referral process. Once assigned, success coaches work diligently to build relationships with students and families. Success coaches act as a liaison between families and schools in order to provide easy access to school information and updates. Success coaches serve as a conduit to school and outside resources, while also advocating for the academic and social emotional needs of their assigned students. The GCPS student success coach program is now providing services to roughly 100 students through the hard work and dedication of 8 success coaches and 1 success coach coordinator.
Contact Information: Kyle Pursel, kpursel@greenecountyschools.com, 434-939-9040


Greene County Public Schools: : Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program
The Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) program at Greene County Public Schools has laid the foundation for how a strong instructor in a program can lead to immeasurable impact for student growth. GCPS introduced Derek Leake as our new HVAC-R instructor just two short years ago and his passion and dedication to his students and program have already made a splash in the Career and Technical Education field. Within his first year and a half, Mr. Leake has already placed over a dozen students in related jobs within our community, achieved record credential exam passing records, and earned national accreditation status from the HVAC Excellence ESCO institution. Students in HVAC-R are up and moving daily and can always be found in the shop troubleshooting, wiring, welding, or constructing. This program is a shining example of the impact a high quality instructor can have on our students and community.
Contact Information: Jess Peregoy, jperegoy@greenecountyschools.com, 434-939-9005


Hampton City Schools: Academies of Hampton BizTalk Series
BizTalk is an edutainment series that hosts interactive speakers to connect students in grades 9-12 to occupations and industries through impactful, educational, and entertaining community-connected presentations. In 2022-2023, the Academies of Hampton hosted three inspirational series throughout the academic year. Each three-day series brought together all four high schools through hands-on, ‘real-talk’ conversations as the speaker(s) reflected on their career journey. Tony Reamon Jr., City On My Chest CEO, spoke to 500 students about the importance of education and entrepreneurship. Alexis Perkins-Powell, ChairOne Fitness CEO, introduced over 200 students to wellness careers through an entrepreneurial discussion and demonstrated chair fitness opportunities. Jacob Young and Trent Garrett, Emmy award-winning actors, shared with 400 students how the high school journey to creating movies aligns with developing real-world skills for success. The BizTalk series expands students’ knowledge of career opportunities and builds upon a foundation for college, career, and life readiness.
Contact Information: Veronica Hurd, vhurd@hampton.k12.va.us, 757-727-2213


Hampton City Schools: Academies of Hampton Summer Enrichment Experiences
During the 2022-2023 school year, more than 220 students connected with over 40 community partners through a three-part summer enrichment series: Floating Classroom, Summer Career College, and Summer Business Institute. Annually, the Academies of Hampton hosts Summer Enrichment for students in grades 9-12. These week-long opportunities immerse students in relevant, project-based challenges that allow students to become deeply involved in relevant projects impacting our communities. Students actively work alongside a business partner, integrating academic, technical, and research skills to meet a specific business challenge. Through day-to-day collaboration, research, and field explorations, students work as a team to design and develop solutions that address real-world problems. Student consultants present a prototype, recommendation, or artifact to the business partner. This year, the following businesses supported the project-based learning challenges: Hampton Police Division, Hampton Roads Transit, CHKD, Hampton Economic Development, Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation, 757 MakerSpace, Roux Raw Bar, and Sky 4 TV.
Contact Information: Veronica Hurd, vhurd@hampton.k12.va.us, 757-727-2213


Hampton City Public Schools: Future Learning Experience (FLEx)
Our Future Learning Experience (FLEx) program debuted this school year (2022-2023). This online curriculum uses adventure storylines to engage K-5 students in applying the content they learn each week through role-plays, puzzles, escape rooms, and more. Students attend highly interactive, live Zoom sessions in the morning or afternoon to learn English language arts, math, history, and science with our teachers. FLEx then allows families to structure the rest of their day while choosing from a treasure trove of asynchronous games, projects, and activities. FLEx is free to any K-5 child living in Virginia. FLEx students are sent all materials and resources they need for their own “home classroom” and have access to a plethora of virtual programs. For families seeking even more flexibility, our FLEx Solutions include access to our curriculum, teacher feedback on select assignments, and ala carte small group lessons. Visit hcsflex.com for more information.
Contact Information: Kate Wolfe Maxlow, kmaxlow@hampton.k12.va.us, 757-727-2508


Hopewell City Public Schools: The ‘Well
The ‘WELL is a free, after-school program for school-aged youth in Hopewell City. We provide Hopewell children with opportunities to enrich their education, encourage creativity, have FUN and build positive and healthy relationships. Designed to provide a caring and supportive alternative environment for youth after school hours, The ‘WELL has become a place where Hopewell youth find joy, help, compassion, hope, belonging, voice and unconditional love. Students also receive mentoring and skills building sessions.
Contact Information: Gerald Napper, gnapper@hopewell.k12.va.us, 804-541-6409 or (254) 633-7791


Hopewell City Public Schools: Career & Technical Education (CTE)
This program is designed to help students develop their purpose through career exploration, excel by performing in skill-based and problem-solving activities so that they will exit high school confident and prepared. Hopewell City Public Schools offers over 60 career and technical education programs/courses, and opportunities to earn college credits, industry-recognized credentials, and work experience while still in high school. Military Science (Army JROTC) Business and Information Technology Career Connections Family and Consumer Sciences Health and Medical Sciences Marketing Technology Education Trade & Industrial Education John Tyler CTE Academy Students have graduated with HS and Associate Degrees simultaneously, as well as landed jobs with salaries up to 50k right out of high school.
Contact Information: Kristina Truell, ktruell@hopewell.k12.va.us, 894-542-6400


Hopewell City Public Schools: C.R.E.W. Academy
CREW is a deeper learning community of classrooms across the division where student experience is designed around our core values of Community, Empathy & Equity, Real-World Deeper Learning, and Championing the Wins. This program began as a way to help the transition between middle school and high school, and has grown to become so much more. CREW has grown to include programs in Elementary, Middle and High School. The CREW program uses project-based learning to not only educate students, but to inspire them to achieve personal success and purpose as well.
Contact Information: Burlin Gregory, bagregory@hopewell.k12.va.us, 804-541-6402


Isle of Wight County Schools: Little Sprouts
IWCS offers a full-day, five day per week Pre-Kindergarten program (Little Sprouts) that focuses on learning experiences to cultivate growth. Little Sprouts partners high school Early Childhood Education students with preschoolers in a safe, nurturing, interactive environment, for an extremely unique experience. The curriculum supports social, physical, behavioral, and cognitive development, while providing an engaging space where both Pre-K and high schoolers can thrive and learn. The high school students take on leadership roles in the program as they prepare to be providers of childcare services. The students gain experience in planning, organizing, and conducting meaningful play and learning activities; child monitoring and supervision; record keeping and referral procedures; and communicating with families. In the short time the program has been in operation, it has become extremely popular in the local community and has generated high demand from Pre-K parents and high school students in just a few years.
Contact Information:Dr. Marsha Cale, mcale@iwcs.k12.va.us, 757-365-1695


Isle of Wight County Schools: Job Coaching
Life after high school is not the same for all students. However, all students need a learning environment that enables them to enhance and expand their unique gifts and talents to ensure they are college, career and life ready. The Isle of Wight County Schools Transition and Job Coaching Program provides support and opportunities for students with disabilities in transition from secondary education to postsecondary education and employment. Through Community Based Instruction, students are given real world experiences and on the job training at various locations throughout the community. Along with the experiences gained by students, the awareness our job coaching program brings to the community is just as important. Through this program, students with disabilities are able to break down stereotypes and show how capable they are. As a result, employers are less apprehensive to hire individuals with disabilities and recognize the value of their contributions.
Contact Information: Trish Magner,  pmagner@iwcs.k12.va.us, 757-365-1616


Isle of Wight County Schools: ISLE Awards
In conjunction with the Isle of Wight County Schools new Strategic Plan, the division implemented a recognition program that is open to any member of the Isle of Wight County Schools’ community. Staff, teachers, students, volunteers, parents, and community members can all be nominated for a monthly IWCS ISLE award. The award focuses on the four broad areas of the IWCS Strategic Plan: Inspire, Succeed, Lead, Empower. The first letter of each word spells ISLE. When read together, the sound you hear is “I’ll Inspire” or “I’ll Succeed”, giving everyone ownership of the key actions throughout the plan. From October through June, four nominees are selected for recognition–one in each category– and highlighted on social media pages and websites for IWCS. Across IWCS, people are demonstrating acts of inspiration, success, leadership, and empowerment. The ISLE award celebrates those in the community for supporting the mission and vision of IWCS.
Contact Information: Lynn Briggs, lbriggs@iwcs.k12.va.us, 757-365-1611


King William County Public Schools: Service Learning
Service Learning is an elective course at King William High School that helps develop an appreciation of the concept of service within our community, develop skills required to run a successful service project, and evaluate the impact of service to our community and to our students. Our students work on leadership skills, collaboration, and cooperation to create projects that positively impact our schools and community. One of our student’s reflections best summarizes how impactful Service Learning has become for them: “As a person, I was not as invested or interested in helping our schools or community because I didn’t think it would benefit me like it has. Since [taking this class],I have learned that helping others and helping make our school better feels very rewarding and it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for not only other people but for myself.”
Contact Information:Elizabeth Welschonce, ewelschonce@kwcps.k12.va.us, 804-769-3434


Loudoun County Public Schools: Building Learning Opportunities and Options in Medical Sciences (BLOOM)
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) partnered with local leaders in the health and medical sciences field to offer students real-world experiences alongside industry experts. Building Learning Opportunities and Options in Medical Sciences, or BLOOM, is a collaborative effort between LCPS, the Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF), Inova Health System, Loudoun Fire and Rescue, and Future Kings STEM Academy. In November 2022, BLOOM offered a learning exploration day with students from six LCPS middle schools involving hands-on activities surrounding the many possibilities of careers in health and medical sciences. The 200-plus students who attended had the opportunity to speak directly to experts in various fields surrounding health, science and medicine while discussing vital topics, such as why the future of health and medical sciences is important to all of us. “In healthcare, planning for the future is vitally important, and a huge part of that is fostering a diverse, local workforce that represents the communities we serve,” said Leigh Guarirnello, Director of Community Health Programs. “We at Inova are so excited to collaborate and inspire Loudoun youth.” Hands-on activities will include interaction with organizations like Loudoun County Fire and Rescue. BLOOM is a recent illustration of how LCPS works with community partners to help build classroom-to-career pipelines, aligning student interest with workforce needs. “This two-day event truly captures the mission of the Loudoun Education Foundation, to leverage community resources to enhance public education,” stated Danielle Nadler, Executive Director of the Loudoun Education Foundation. “We’re thankful for partners like Inova Health System who are working alongside LCPS educators to spark students’ interest and develop their future career paths.”
Contact Information: Renee Dawson, renee.dawson@lcps.org, 571-252-1580


Loudoun County Public Schools: Girls in Engineering
On February 23, Microsoft hosted an “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at Harmony Middle School. This event was designed to encourage and motivate young women to explore engineering careers. At the event, Microsoft professionals were present to provide a hands-on, interactive experience for girls in grades 6-8, introducing them to the fundamentals of engineering and letting them explore the future possibilities in this growing field. Microsoft experts provided demonstrations, taught coding, and gave girls valuable insight into engineering. This event was held last spring at JL Simpson Middle School and earlier this school year at Sterling Middle School. The success of these two events led to the February 23rd event at Harmony MS and an expanded plan to provide an “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at each of the 17 middle schools in LCPS during the 2023-24 school year. This partnership with Microsoft, the Loudoun Education Foundation, and LCPS led to a grant that will provide the Introduction to Computer Science and CS Foundations courses with equipment to help students understand networks and computing using circuitry. During “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” the girls had the opportunity to experience the latest technology, listen to inspiring stories from successful women engineers, and ask questions about their career paths. The girls also had the chance to team up in small groups to work on a unique engineering project, gaining valuable experience in problem-solving and teamwork. The overall aim was to provide a platform for girls to explore their interest in engineering and get a better understanding of the many exciting opportunities available in this field. This experience may be just the spark that ignites the passion of the next generation of female engineers.
Contact Information:Renee Dawson, renee.dawson@lcps.org, 571-252-1300


Loudoun County Public Schools: The Family Room
In an effort to connect with multilingual families, the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Office established The Family Room in August 2020. The Family Room is a monthly virtual space where families, LCPS staff, and community organizations gather to learn a variety of topics, ask questions, and connect in support of student learning. In 2022, the FACE Office staffed Spanish and Arabic-speaking facilitators who provide bilingual sessions in the two languages most spoken by our multilingual families. Topics shared at The Family Room include, but not limited to: ParentVue, Academies of Loudoun, Gifted Education, WIDA ACCESS, and Assessments. The Family Room attendees are surveyed to evaluate its effectiveness. On average, 99% of families can identify resources in their school and/or community, 91% are satisfied with the topic and space to dialogue, and 99% of families indicate to have grown in knowledge of the topic after attending the session.
Contact Information: Sarah Ocampo, sarah.ocampo@lcps.org, 571-252-1390


Louisa County Public Schools: Cybersecurity at Louisa County High School
Louisa County Public Schools is churning out a workforce of “ethical hackers” thanks to its thriving Cybersecurity program! The program began at Louisa County High School in 2020 thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Department of Education’s Rural Tech Project. Louisa County Public Schools was one of just five schools nationwide that was selected to receive funding through the project. It’s safe to say the funding has been put to good use. The school’s Cybersecurity classroom is state-of-the-art, featuring the latest hardware packages that allow for students to work through simulated cyber-attacks. High-definition televisions in the classroom also display global maps that show actual cyber-attacks happening in real time. And the program’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time. Statistics show that there are nearly 50,000 available cybersecurity jobs in Virginia, and the industry is expected to grow another 21% by 2029. Thus far, 98 students have taken the course during the 2022-2023 school year. Through the course, students learn how to set up firewalls, handle switchboards, and even make device repairs. Several students from the program have also signed on as interns during the summer to assist Louisa County Public Schools’ technology department. Louisa County Public Schools is also developing a partnership with local community colleges to help create dual-enrollment opportunities for students in the class, allowing them to earn industry certification points while still in high school. “To see where this program has gone in just three years has been great to watch,” said Brian DeMuth, a nationally renowned cybersecurity consultant who has partnered with LCPS to help develop the program. “Louisa County High School has really created a framework that can be copied and used in other school divisions across the country.”
Contact Information: Andrew Woolfolk, woolfoal@lcps.k12.va.us, 540-872-1080


Louisa County Public Schools: Learning Math with Spheros
At Louisa County Middle School’s Creation Station, students have been developing their programming and coding skills using new gadgets called Spheros! Spheros are tiny, clear, spherical robots that students can control by inputting code into an iPad. Louisa County Middle School teachers recently had students enter X and Y coordinates to control the robot as part of an effort to learn about graph tables. To make the lesson even more fun, Louisa County Middle School teachers divided students into teams and had them create actual, physical graph tables filled with objects to navigate around. Prizes were awarded to the team that did the best job moving around the obstacles!
Contact Information: Andrew Woolfolk, woolfoal@lcps.k12.va.us, 540-872-1080


Louisa County Public Schools: The JES Chicken Coop!
Students at Jouett Elementary School have six new friends this school year! Take a look at the JES Chicken Coop! Created in the summer of 2022 thanks to grant funding secured by teachers, the JES Chicken Coop features six Golden Comet chickens! Throughout the week, students work with teachers to feed the chickens, tidy up their coop, and – of course – collect eggs! In total, the six chickens lay about 42 eggs each week! The coop has made learning come to life for students, as they learn valuable first-hand information about how animals help sustain our food supply. Students also develop an appreciation and understanding of the work it takes to manage a farm animal. And the coop has become a valuable resource for the staff and school, too! Students and teachers work together to sell the eggs, which in turn generates a profit that goes directly back into paying for food and other supplies to help keep the coop clean and safe!
Contact Information: Andrew Woolfolk, woolfoal@lcps.k12.va.us, 540-872-1080


Lunenburg County Public Schools: Central High School Service Learning Project with Lunenburg Animal Shelter
The goal of a service learning project is to solve a problem in a community and develop a student’s desire to be a productive member of society. The goals of this service learning project are to educate pet owners in order to decrease the amount of strays and decrease the number of pets who are being euthanized through the Lunenburg Animal Shelter. The shelter is overcrowded and resources are limited. Students are visiting the shelter to spend time with the animals in order to help socialize and domesticate them. Each class sponsors a dog. They create flyers for social media posts in hopes of finding a home for those animals. Two have already been adopted by loving families since the program started in October 2022.
Contact Information: Karen McGrath, karen.mcgrath@k12lcps.org, 434-696-2137


Lunenburg County Public Schools: Central High School Agriculture Department Aquaponics System
Central High School received a grant last spring that helped us promote sustainability. Students will raise catfish, not only for food, but also to help fertilize vegetables and herbs. This project is also a cross-curricular activity that enables Culinary Arts students to use fish as they learn to prepare dishes. Vegetables and herbs grown through the aquaponics system will be given to Culinary Arts to use as well. These vegetables and herbs are also grown to be part of the horticulture green house production school-based enterprise. The community will benefit from having these products available to purchase from the green house in the Spring.
Contact Information: Haili Smith, haili.smith@k12lcps.org, 434-696-2137


Lunenburg County Public Schools: Central High School Culinary Arts – The Bean Machine (School-based Enterprise)
Culinary Arts Students have created a school-based enterprise that resembles a coffee shop. They prepare coffee, espresso, and pastries. Faculty members place orders, and students deliver directly to their classrooms. They look at the cost of items, price everything, and take inventory. They create the flyers to promote their business. They use customer service skills to interact with faculty members as they take orders and deliver items.
Contact Information: Alicia Hilliard, alicia.hilliard@k12lcps.org, 434-696-2137


Mathews County Public Schools: MES Reading Intervention Program
Our specialty reading team provides small group intervention lessons for students who are identified by our universal screening tool, PALS. Identified students are those who are at risk of significant reading difficulties. We use data to diagnose areas of weakness and differentiate instruction. Students are grouped according to their instructional needs and meet with a reading teacher or specialist daily for 30 minutes. Students with significant needs meet one-on-one or in groups of two for additional support. The lessons include phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics/spelling, sight words, vocabulary, building background, and reading fluency. Students will receive instruction that is explicit and engaging, allowing students to play with and manipulate sounds where will sort pictures and words by sound and spelling feature, use letter cards to build words, participate in games that reinforce skills, read books that include examples of spelling features, learn vocabulary harvested from text, and track reading fluency. PALS is administered Fall, Mid-Year, and Spring to monitor progress and adjust groups and instructional focus.
Contact Information: Cynthia Gray, cwgray@mathews.k12.va.us, 804-725-2580


Mathews County Public Schools: MHS Teachers for Tomorrow Program
As school divisions across the Commonwealth and the country struggle with the ever-growing issue of teacher shortage, Mathews High School teacher Cynthia Hayes proposed the reinstatement of the Teachers for Tomorrow program to Juniors and Seniors. This program has been well-received by students and supported by school and division administration. Ms. Hayes also teaches Early Childhood Education courses and Family and Human Services courses. Our goal is to “grow our own teachers”, said Ms. Hayes. She and her students participated in the 2nd Annual Education Immersion Day hosted at Longwood University on October 27, 2022. The 15 Mathews students expressed interest in several teacher preparation tracks including Elementary and Secondary teaching, Special Education, and Early Childhood Education. Plans are also underway to visit the College of William and Mary in the near future.
Contact Information: Dr. Andrew Greve, agreve@mathews.k12.va.us, 804-725-3702


Newport News Public Schools: Virtual Learning Academy
The Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) at Point Option makes remote learning personal by creating a true community of educators and learners focused on academic and social success. The VLA is open to all middle and high school students and includes a blend of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (independent) instruction led by NNPS teachers. The VLA is a modern approach to remote learning that allows students to participate in extracurricular activities and athletics at their assigned school. The VLA has strong community partnerships that permit our students to participate in meaningful learning and socially engaging field trips and activities. The VLA is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse student population and advancing academic outcomes by providing equitable access to the learning environment for all students. The Virtual Learning Academy provides students with choice and voice in how, when, and where they learn.
Contact Information: Dr. Tina Manglicmot, tina.manglicmot@nn.k12.va.us, 757-283-7850, ext. 10119


Newport News Public Schools: Men in the Making and Ladies in the Making
Men in the Making and Ladies in the Making are mentoring groups at Heritage High School. The goal is to foster leadership skills, self-determination skills and character development. Students are exposed to college and career-ready activities and life skills. The students also have opportunities to give back through community service and mentoring of elementary and middle school students. Students are challenged to achieve high academic goals and grow relationships that inspire them to dream big. The ultimate goal is for each group member to graduate and have increased success in college and life beyond. Some of the groups’ activities include college tours; career field trips; workshops on goal setting, time management, entrepreneurship, etiquette, post high school planning and mental health awareness; and leadership activities including serving as breakfast buddies to elementary school students and mentoring middle school students.
Contact Information: Tarri Jones, tarri.jones@nn.k12.va.us, 757-928-6100, ext. 17510


Portsmouth Public Schools: Career & Technical Education
Through the Portsmouth Public Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, high school students can begin working on their dream careers by getting access to the skills and the learning needed to excel in those specific jobs or career pathways. The best part is they do it all while still working toward graduation. Students not only earn high school credit for CTE courses; they also can earn industry credentials. CTE pathways help ensure students are successful after graduation. They give students the ability to directly enter the workforce or students can seek the appropriate educational opportunities after graduation to help further their career goals. This year, PPS will bring back its CTE Signing Day to honor students graduating directly into the workforce. To learn more about the division’s 14 CTE pathways, visit the CTE pathways webpage on ppsk12.us.
Contact Information: Lauren Nolasco, lauren.nolasco@portsk12.com, 757-393-8743


Portsmouth Public Schools: PPS Visual and Performing Arts
In Portsmouth Public Schools, there has been effort to spotlight the division’s Visual and Performing Arts program. This was the first year the division held its own juried exhibition for visual arts students in the city, and there is work underway to expand it for next year. In addition, the program has collaborated with a number of local partners to provide students with some great, hands-on experiences. For example, here is a link to a story on their partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art for a special symposium: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUWJweyXB2M 27 art teachers from Portsmouth Public Schools submitted original works for a special “Celebrating Educators” exhibition that was on display at The Book Club in Portsmouth. The exhibition celebrates the creative accomplishments of the division’s teaching professionals, which in turn will inspire engagement in the PPS arts programs and showcase more excellent talents within the division.
Contact Information: Lauren Nolasco, lauren.nolasco@portsk12.com, 757-393-8743


Portsmouth Public Schools: Here to Help Campaign
Portsmouth Public Schools worked to create a place where students, staff members and families could find immediate support for those who may be feeling the mental and emotional stress. The Here to Help webpage has been updated and redesigned to provide digital resources and information on where families in need can receive one-on-one support. On the Here to Help website, families will find guides on how to have conversations at home in dealing with feelings of isolation, anxiety or depression. They also can learn more about how to connect with mental health professionals, including with the support of Care Solace (a complimentary and confidential service that helps find treatment options for students, staff, and their families. Additionally, for staff members, the Here to Help website houses information on the division’s Employee Assistance Program, a free resource that connects employees – or members of employee’s families in need – with professional counselors.
Contact Information: Lauren Nolasco, lauren.nolasco@portsk12.com, 757-393-8743


Prince Edward County Public Schools: From Class Concept to Practice
Students enrolled in the Drafting II class at Prince Edward County High School are putting a learned concept into practice. During the fall 2022 semester, students learned how to use a computer-aided drafting program to create blueprints. In the spring semester, using this knowledge, they updated the fire evacuation plan at each school in the division. This lengthy project has reached the final stage and students are currently working to mount each route in the classrooms. This hands-on experience provided students with an opportunity to create detail-oriented floor plans and evacuation routes that will benefit the Prince Edward County campus community.
Contact Information: Le’Tina Giles, letina.giles@pecpsk12.org, 4343152100


Radford City Public Schools: McHarg Snow Day at School
McHarg Elementary School uses a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports model to provide a clear system of support and strategies for appropriate student behaviors. Students at McHarg Elementary School have the opportunity throughout the school year to earn “Kid Cash” for meeting the school wide behavioral expectations for being Safe, Respectful, and Peaceful. Students can use the Kid Cash they earn to purchase items or privileges throughout the week, but they can also save their Kid Cash to purchase bigger event tickets like our Snow Day at School. Snow day at school is a day where students can wear their pjs to school and enjoy games, snacks, and other snow day themed activities.
Contact Information: Deb Reedy, dreedy@rcps.org, 540-320-2373


Radford City Public Schools: Indoor Golf Practice Facility
The Radford High School golf program has been slowly growing and competing over the last 13 years. In 2018 the program reached state as a team and in 2019 RHS won its first ever team state championship, creating even greater interest in high school golf. In the spring of 2022, RHS was awarded funds to install a Trackman that was in use by the Ralph Petrone Estate. The sim is being used to collect data on the golfers in order to target areas in need for improvement. It also provides an opportunity to practice year-round and when there is inclement weather. An additional amount of funds were awarded to expand the program further, adding another sim with a Trackman that can also be used outdoors on the driving range. We are also using the funds to add an indoor practice putting facility. To grow the game at the elementary school level we are going to purchase starter clubs to begin a program at Belle Heth Elementary School (grades 3-6). We are looking to partner with the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech to use their range, practice facilities and a discounted junior membership for RHS team members as well as Dalton Intermediate team members (grades 7-8). We have begun working with Operation 36 at the Pete Dye River Course to target the youth golfers at Belle Heth. The Operation 36 coach is willing to provide demonstrations during elementary school PE classes to grow the game in Radford City and to help steer our children to the game of golf. We are also going to create collaborative opportunities for our golfers to connect with national junior swing coaches, fitness and nutrition coaches, as well as psychological game improvement coaches. Potentially, the completed facility can be used as a community fundraiser for our golf program. It could also be used for project-based assignments with content area subjects such as mathematics. The possibilities are endless for the benefits that our indoor golf facility can provide to Radford City schools as well as Radford City as a whole. We are just scratching the surface right now, but we are dedicated and motivated to grow the game and teach its morals and values to all students of Radford City Schools.
Contact Information: Cody Roberts, croberts@rcps.org, 540-731-3649


Radford City Public Schools: Glencoe/RCPS Art Show
To celebrate art in our schools, Radford City Schools along with Glencoe Mansion, Museum and Gallery in Radford hosted a student art showcase for students in second – twelfth grade. To kick off the show Glencoe Museum hosted an opening reception for students, families and community members on May 14th . The show stayed on display through June 30th of 2022. The showcase was very successful and plans are underway to repeat the celebration this year during the months of March and April. Second – high school students were given the chance to display classroom projects or work created outside of school. A small explanation of class assignments accompanied the elementary work. This real world experience was for many students their first opportunity to have their work displayed in a professional gallery setting and the opening reception allowed students to connect and interact with other art lovers throughout our community.
Contact Information: Michelle Saunders, msaunders@rcps.org, 540-731-3653


Roanoke City Public Schools: Staying Safe by Staying Connected
Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS) launched the Staying Safe by Staying Connected program in summer 2022 to provide students a new way to remain connected to school over summer break. Rising 5th – 8th grade students participated in the fine arts academy and athletic camps, which supplemented RCPS’ existing summer programs. Students auditioned for the two-week fine arts academy held in June, which culminated in the production of Aladdin Jr. Students also registered for weekly athletic camps, which took place on Fridays throughout July. Sports ranged from soccer to softball and from lacrosse to golf. High school athletes and coaches led the camps, which provided a great opportunity for younger and older students to connect with each other. To reduce barriers for participation, free transportation and meals were provided to all students. Through the program, nearly 300 students made friends and learned new skills in a safe and welcoming environment.
Contact Information: Claire Mitzel, cmitzel@rcps.info, 540 853-6164


Roanoke City Public Schools: Boosting Opportunities for New & Diverse Staff (BONDS)
Recruitment and retention are key components of Roanoke City Public Schools’ (RCPS) strategic plan, particularly related to increasing staff diversity to align more closely with student demographics. Boosting Opportunities for New & Diverse Staff (BONDS) is a mentorship opportunity that partners first-year educators of color with experienced mentors. BONDS helps newly hired educators to stay motivated and focused and provides an instant network of collegial support, with a goal of increasing staff retention. Combined with strategic partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and surrounding institutions of higher education, the BONDS mentoring program also plays an integral role in the division’s recruitment strategy for teachers of color. The inaugural BONDS program included 10 mentors and mentees pairs and the program boasts a 100% retention rate, with all teachers returning for the next school year.
Contact Information: Claire Mitzel, cmitzel@rcps.info, 540 853-6164


Roanoke City Public Schools: RCPS Works: Student Job Fair
As part of the Superintendent’s Staying Safe by Staying Connected initiative, Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS) hosted an inaugural student job fair in spring 2022. RCPS Works connected students with employers who were seeking candidates for summer employment. RCPS Works provided students the opportunity to discover job opportunities for the summer and beyond, and for employers, it was an opportunity to meet hardworking future employees and see all that RCPS students had to offer! RCPS provided transportation and meals to students who attended and helped students with interview preparation and dressing for success. Employers conducted on-site interviews, and many students left with a job offer or an interview scheduled. The Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board attended and helped younger students apply for a work permit on-site. The event proved to be a win-win for both students and businesses and was so successful that it has become an annual event.
Contact Information: Claire Mitzel, cmitzel@rcps.info, 540 853-6164


Shenandoah County Public Schools: Shenandoah County Public Schools/Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Partnership
Shenandoah County Public Schools is in its second year of partnership with Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue (SCFR). In the first year, SCPS offered an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course. For the second year, SCPS offered a Firefighter course to students. SCFR provides certified teachers for the courses, while SCPS provides additional equipment. Firefighter and EMT will continue to be offered alternating years so that students have the opportunity to obtain both credentials during their junior and senior years. Graduates of the program have been hired by SCFR as professional firefighter/EMTs. Many of the graduates have also volunteered in their town or locality. This field is in high demand in the region. As the population continues to grow in Shenandoah County and the surrounding area, the need for these services will increase.
Contact Information: Todd Lynn, tmlynn@shenandoah.k12.va.us, 540-459-0773


Shenandoah County Public Schools: Shenandoah County Public Schools Partners with Holtzman Corporation to Provide Youth Registered Apprentice Opportunities to Students
Shenandoah County Public Schools has more students involved in high-quality work-based learning than ever before. With that comes the opportunity for businesses to engage in different types of experiences for students. After multiple conversations with Holtzman Corporation and working with the Department of Labor and Industry, SCPS and Holtzman Corporation were able to sign SCPS’ first three Youth Registered Apprentices. The Youth Registered Apprenticeship program provides students with career opportunities while completing their high school education. The three students are all working in different departments: Carpentry, Propane, and Automotive Service. Holtzman Corporation is one of the top 15 largest employers in Shenandoah County and employs many SCPS graduates.
Contact Information: Todd Lynn, tmlynn@shenandoah.k12.va.us, 540-459-0773


Smyth County Public Schools: Smyth County Promise Program
The Smyth County Board of Supervisors and the Smyth County Community Foundation Board are excited to announce a new partnership with Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) and Wytheville Community College (WCC) that will allow local high school graduates to leave high school and enroll in community college tuition free.
Contact Information: Dennis Carter, denniscarter@scsb.org, 276-783-3791


Stafford County Public Schools: Cyber 4+
Cyber 4+ is a Cybersecurity Dual Enrollment, Career and Technical Education program allowing high school students to receive four Cybersecurity certifications (CompTIA) and an Associate’s degree upon graduation, at no cost to the students or their families. Cyber 4+ is designed to meet a critical talent shortage in the cybersecurity field while providing meaningful learning opportunities leading to gainful employment for Stafford students. Stafford County Public School’s Cyber 4+ pathway was created in partnership with Germanna Community College, GCubed Inc., and Stafford County Office of Economic Development and Tourism.
Contact Information: Deea Green, greenwc@staffordschools.net, 540-658-6685


Stafford County Public Schools: Chart Your Future
Chart Your Future prepares high school seniors for life after graduation. The event features content sessions led by industry experts and one-on-one interactions with colleges, universities, major employers, and military branches. Local community and business leaders connect directly with students to answer questions regarding the joys and challenges of their profession and offer them individual advice on the required training and skills necessary for their future career choices. Exhibitors provide students the opportunity to apply for jobs, internships, college, or military service while at their booth. After attending, students meet regularly with their counselor to discuss different opportunities available to them. The number of undecided high school seniors on their plans after graduation has significantly decreased.
Contact Information: Hunter Berry, berryha@staffordschools.net, 540-658-6534


Stafford County Public Schools: Legislative Summit
The Stafford County School Board hosted elected government officials during a Legislative Summit to review and introduce bipartisan legislation that supports high achievement for students and staff, while providing a safe place for learning.
Contact Information: Sandra Osborn, osbornpetersk@staffordschools.net, 540-310-8002


Virginia Beach City Public Schools: FACE Model School Program
VBCPS cares deeply about each and every student’s academic experience, but also about their overall social emotional needs. One of the ways we’re working to enhance those experiences is through our “Family and Community Engagement Model School” designation in order to encourage schools to prioritize best practices for serving traditionally underserved families and help them navigate the education process. This designation measures how schools are involving and engaging with families by leveraging qualitative and quantitative data to identify families missing from the participation loop.
Contact Information: Natalie Allen, natalie.allen@vbschools.com, 757.263.1075


Virginia Beach City Public Schools: Apprentice X Program
VBCPS recently collaborated with Newport News Shipbuilding to create the Apprentice X program. This dual enrollment program offers 39.5 credits via distance learning from the Apprentice School. This is just the latest example in the continual expansion of dual enrollment in CTE, which currently includes Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow, Early Childhood Education at the Tech Center, Welding, CISCO, Network Administration, Veterinary Assisting, Hotel Management, EMT, and the entire associates degree in Business offered at the Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School.
Contact Information: Natalie Allen, natalie.allen@vbschools.com, 757.263.1075


Virginia Beach City Public Schools:Mental Health Taskforce
As we know, mental health issues in school-aged children are on the rise. As a result of this, VBCPS launched the Mental Health Task Force in 2021 to work with internal and external partners in order to best understand and meet the needs of students and their families. The group is cross-departmental and also includes board members and mental health professionals. This task force has allowed VBCPS and mental health practitioners across Hampton Roads to better leverage resources and ensure a more collective impact.
Contact Information: Natalie Allen, natalie.allen@vbschools.com, 757.263.1075