A Closer Look: Supporting our military families

Of the 68,985 students currently enrolled in Virginia Beach Schools, approximately 22,000 of them are military-connected. That’s nearly a third of our enrollment. This presents unique challenges at our schools and for our students who not only move frequently (many military-connected students may attend as many as nine different schools prior to their high school graduation), but also have to deal with the pain and separation of deployments.

Schools remain ever cognizant of the needs of these students and their families.

For example, at Pembroke Elementary, students whose parents are deployed get a picture of their parent on a pillowcase to give them some comfort while their parent is away.

4th grader, Megan Wallace holds her pillowcase with a picture of her mother, who is deployed, as she stands with Joan Saunders, the guidance counselor at Pembroke.

Fourth-grader Megan Wallace holds her pillowcase with a picture of her mother, who is deployed, as she stands with Joan Saunders, the guidance counselor at Pembroke.

In addition, across the division, deployment groups provide opportunities for students to stay connected to family members who are away from home serving their country. Moms and dads need to know that their kids are being well taken care of at home so they can focus on assigned missions.

School/military partnerships provide vital resources; the most significant being their consistent presence in our schools. Such a presence provides comfort for students – if their moms or dads are deployed, just the presence of other military personnel assists them, supports them and helps them realize the value of their education.

But it not just students the schools look out for.

Schools are engaging military parents by encouraging them to volunteer for field day activities, to help at literacy events, to chaperone field trips and to provide assistance with environmental projects and to help with deployment group projects.

For more information about how you and your family can be involved in such projects, contact the Office of Community Engagement.

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