An innovative collaboration between Old Dominion University and Entrepreneurship and Business Academy (EBA) at Kempsville High School has been named one of eight "model partnerships" by Virginia Beach City Public Schools for the 2019-20 school year.

VBCPS recognizes impactful partnerships every year that demonstrate exemplary school-community collaborations which support academic and social growth of its students.

The longstanding, multi-pronged partnership between ODU and Kempsville High's EBA was lauded by the school division at a recent virtual event.

"As you know more than ever, school and community partnerships are absolutely critical to keep us moving in the right direction," said Aaron Spence, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, said in a video announcement.

"Partnerships that demonstrate exemplary school-community collaborations, and that support the academic growth and social and emotional development of our students, are chosen every year by as model partners."

Old Dominion offers course credit for students who graduate the Academy and move on to the University. The partnership also builds on longstanding partnerships between high school student entrepreneurs through ODU's Strome Entrepreneurial Center. Students from Kempsville High have been attending camps and displaying their innovations at the Strome Center since shortly after its founding in 2014.

As a final element of the partnership, EBA students who develop commercial products are being offered an opportunity to showcase and sell them in The Monarch Way, the retail store in Webb University Center run by ODU student entrepreneurs.

"We were truly surprised and honored to be selected this year," said Nancy Grden, associate vice president of the University's Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE). "It was a team effort of our ODU entrepreneurship partners, including the Strome College of Business, the Strome Entrepreneurship Center/IIE staff and Academic Affairs. The City's EBA is an amazing program, and it is rewarding for us to support their entrepreneurial students and teachers."

Grden added there were more than 24 nominations across VBCPS's 80-plus schools, and the ODU-Kempsville partnership was one of eight selected.

Other model partners included Bayside Middle School and Diamond Springs Elementary School Reading Buddies; Fairfield Elementary School and Providence Presbyterian Church; and Cooke Elementary School and the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office.

The model partnerships are chosen for demonstrating exemplary school-community collaborations and supporting the academic growth and social-economic development of students.

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