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2024-25 federal grant information presented to Virginia Beach School Board

The Virginia Beach School Board received information about proposed federal grant applications at its May 14 meeting. For the 2024-25 school year, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) would receive approximately $21.1 million in formula grant funds through programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).

2024-25 federal grant information presented to Virginia Beach School Board

The Virginia Beach School Board received information about proposed federal grant applications at its May 14 meeting. For the 2024-25 school year, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) would receive approximately $21.1 million in formula grant funds through programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach names Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. superintendent

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. 

Logo Virginia Beach City Public Schools Charting the Course

Hundreds of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) students will participate in the 16th Annual African American Male Summit on Jan. 20 at Frank W. Cox High School. Boys in grades six through 12 will share ideas with each other and with adult community members on topics such as student leadership, community involvement, relationship-building, and physical and mental well-being.

Safe Water Initiative

As part of the safety and security of the entire educational environment, Virginia Beach City Schools (VBCPS) is always working to protect and nurture the physical well-being of its students and staff. This includes a robust and proactive testing and flushing program for the consumable water sources in our schools and administrative offices.

Key points of the Safe Water Initiative

  • Initial testing for lead and mitigation has been completed on all buildings built on or before 1986.
  • “Not for Drinking or Cooking” signs will remain at water sources not intended for consumption in pre-2014 facilities.
  • Individual, routine flushing plans are in place for each building to maintain water quality.
  • VBCPS will continue to use the expertise of Virginia Beach Public Utilities and AH Environmental Consultants.
water testing

Testing Schedule

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School Site Lead In Drinking Water Testing Procedure

1.       Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) School Administrators receive advanced notification of planned and scheduled lead in drinking water testing. First draw sample collection testing is explained and School Administrators are instructed that school site water usage must be suspended for a minimum of 8 hours prior to samples collection.

2.       Once School Administrators have approved the proposed testing schedule, the Department of Communications and Community Engagement (DCCE) use the Parent Square communication system to notify members of the school community of the scheduled lead in drinking water testing event.

3.       On testing day, a water testing technician contractor collects first draw representative water samples from all pre-planned drinking water source locations.

4.       All collected first draw lead in drinking water samples are submitted to an accredited laboratory for lead analysis.

5.       Laboratory analytical testing results are reported back to the Office of Maintenance Services for review.

6.       Any analytical results exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb) trigger corrective remediation actions and re-testing of the failed water source. 

7.       The School Administrator is notified of any elevated testing results and the plan for completion of remediation actions and re-testing.  Appropriate signage is temporarily posted at elevated testing source locations.

8.       All elevated testing results in drinking water sources are remediated and re-tested until testing results are reported in compliance with the established 10 ppb testing result clearance level.

9.       Successful final clearance of lead in drinking water testing is reported to the school administrator and designated Department of Communications and Community Engagement (DCCE) representatives.

10.   Department of Communications and Community Engagement (DCCE) representatives use Parent Square to communicate the successful completion of lead in drinking water testing to the school community.  If applicable, school community members are also informed if one or more initial sample testing results were reported above 10 ppb and that successful re-testing has been completed. 

History

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) proactively began testing samples from drinking water sources within its schools during the 2016–2017 school year. All samples collected at that time met state and federal lead-level limits, which are less than 15 parts per billion (ppb).

In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1359 public schools to develop and execute a plan to test drinking water, prioritizing schools built in or before 1986.

In the summer of 2019, VBCPS applied its testing protocol to all potable water sources, to include those for drinking and food preparation, as well as showers and sinks that dispense water generally not intended for human consumption. During that testing cycle, VBCPS focused on 33 schools constructed during or before 1986. When results came back, 96% of drinking and food prep sites were below threshold. However, 51 drinking and food-prep sources in 25 of those schools returned results with lead levels greater than 15 ppb, or what the industry refers to as “actionable levels.” Those water sources were taken offline or replaced and re-tested to confirm that levels were below the 15 ppb threshold. Water sources not intended for drinking or food prep were clearly identified as “Not for drinking or cooking.”

The schools affected during this testing cycle were: Bayside High School, Bayside Middle School, Creeds Elementary School, Fairfield Elementary School, First Colonial High School, Green Run Elementary School, Holland Elementary School, Independence Middle School, Kempsville Middle School, King's Grant Elementary School, Kingston Elementary School, Laskin Road Annex, Lynnhaven Elementary School, Lynnhaven Middle School, Malibu Elementary School, North Landing Elementary School, Pembroke Elementary School, Pembroke Meadows Elementary School, Plaza Middle School, Princess Anne Elementary School, Princess Anne High School, Princess Anne Middle School, Shelton Park Elementary School, Trantwood Elementary School and Bettie F. Williams Elementary School.

Testing of drinking and food-prep water sources in all pre-1986 schools and buildings was completed by the end of the 2019-20 school year.

A new school lead testing bill (SB392 & HB797) became effective July 1, 2020. This legislation stipulates that:

  • “Each local school board shall develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, remediate potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority for testing, including bubbler-style and cooler-style drinking fountains, cafeteria or kitchen taps, classroom combination sinks and drinking fountains, and sinks known to be or visibly used for consumption. Such plan shall be consistent with guidance published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health. The local school board shall give priority in the testing plan to schools whose school building was constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986. Each local school board shall submit such testing plan and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health. Each local school board shall take all steps necessary to notify parents if testing results indicate lead contamination that exceeds 10 parts per billion.”

In response to the new regulation, the VBCPS water testing team revisited the 2019 results and found that all consumable water outlets were in full compliance at the time they were tested or remediated. However, due to the lowered notification level (>10ppb), VBCPS believes it is in the best interest of the division and the community to retest and remediate any consumable outlets that had results that fell between 10 and 15 ppb. This includes 70 outlets at 29 schools and one administration facility. This testing will be completed during the 2020-21 school year. Families and staff are notified when testing is scheduled to be conducted in their school.

Key points of the VBCPS Safe Water Initiative

  • Initial testing for lead and mitigation has been completed on all buildings built on or before 1986.
  • VBCPS will test consumable water sources at all facilities built before 2014. A list of the schools scheduled for testing during the school year.
  • “Not for Drinking or Cooking” signs will remain at water sources not intended for consumption in pre-2014 facilities.
  • Individual, routine flushing plans are in place for each building to maintain water quality.
  • VBCPS will continue to use the expertise of Virginia Beach Public Utilities and AH Environmental Consultants.

New law in 2020

A new school lead testing bill (SB392 & HB797) became effective July 1, 2020. This legislation stipulates that:

  • “Each local school board shall develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, remediate potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority for testing, including bubbler-style and cooler-style drinking fountains, cafeteria or kitchen taps, classroom combination sinks and drinking fountains, and sinks known to be or visibly used for consumption. Such plan shall be consistent with guidance published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health. The local school board shall give priority in the testing plan to schools whose school building was constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986. Each local school board shall submit such testing plan and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health. Each local school board shall take all steps necessary to notify parents if testing results indicate lead contamination that exceeds 10 parts per billion.”

In response to the new regulation, the VBCPS water testing team revisited the 2019 results and found that all consumable water outlets were in full compliance at the time they were tested or remediated. However, due to the lowered notification level (>10ppb), VBCPS believes it is in the best interest of the division and the community to retest and remediate any consumable outlets that had results that fell between 10 and 15 ppb. This includes 70 outlets at 29 schools and one administration facility. Those buildings are: Alanton Elementary, Brandon Middle, Creeds Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, First Colonial High, Holland Elementary, Independence Middle , Indian Lakes Elementary, Kempsville Elementary, Kempsville Middle, Kings Grant Elementary, Kingston Elementary, Laskin Road Annex, Luxford Elementary, Lynnhaven Elementary, Malibu Elementary, North Landing Elementary, Pembroke Elementary, Pembroke Meadows Elementary, Point O'View Elementary, Princess Anne Elementary, Princess Anne Middle, Princess Anne High, Rosemont Elementary, Rosemont Forest Elementary, Shelton Park Elementary, Technical and Career Education Center, Thalia Elementary, Trantwood Elementary and White Oaks Elementary.

The following schools were tested during the 2020-21 academic year:
Holland Elementary, Kempsville Elementary, Kings Grant Elementary, Kingston Elementary, Pembroke Elementary, Point O'View Elementary, Princess Anne Elementary, Shelton Park Elementary, Thalia Elementary, White Oaks Elementary.

Families and staff are notified when testing is scheduled to be conducted in their school.