The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 27th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Isle of Wight County Schools (IWCS) is one of 30 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. Programs from IWCS are Little Sprouts, Job Coaching, and ISLE Awards. Little Sprouts is also the only program from Hampton Roads highlighted in the VSBA’s 2023 Showcases for Success Special Edition Newsletter.
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.
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.
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.
The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at www.vsba.org/showcases. It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. The focus of the 2023 VSBA Showcases for Success is Virginia Public Schools: Building a Foundation for Lifelong Success, highlighting unique program offerings in Virginia’s public schools.