The School Board of the City of Virginia Beach voted to name Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. as superintendent at its meeting Jan. 23. A native of Hampton Roads, Dr. Robertson began his career as a math teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) in 1988 and progressed in leadership roles including assistant principal of Bayside High School, principal of Salem High School, chief strategy and innovation officer, chief schools officer, chief of staff and acting superintendent.
In this age of information technology, it is vital that students have access to technology tools to support their classroom learning. To assist families who do not have a home computer, the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment (VA STAR) program, coordinated through the Virginia Beach Education Foundation, provides free, refurbished computers to identified students to support academic achievement.
How does it work?
Through VA STAR, students in the Computer Systems Technology class at the Advanced Technology Center refurbish donated computer equipment from individuals, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, state agencies and private companies. The computers are re-imaged with Windows 10 software and come with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) already installed. Through participation in the program, students work toward earning industry-standard certifications, which can pave the way for both higher education and well-paying jobs.
Who is eligible to receive a computer?
Students are selected to receive a computer through an application process. School staff, including teachers or school counselors, can recommend a child for participation in the program or a parent or guardian may submit an application directly to the Office of Strategic Communications. In order to be selected, families must meet the following requirements:
- The student must be currently enrolled in a Virginia Beach City Public School;
- The family cannot have a working desktop or laptop computer at home; and
- A parent/guardian must attend a brief informational session at the time the computer is received.
What is the cost to participate?
The donated computers are distributed at no cost to families. Due to a limited supply of computers, families are sometimes placed on a wait-list before receiving a computer.