I am the proud principal of John B. Dey Elementary School in Virginia Beach, VA. HOME OF THE SOARING SEAGULLS!
Today as I update this blog, I am watching the rain pour once again. Apparently, construction and rain are not friends. However, Team John B. Dey is all about thinking positively and making things work on behalf of kids. With that said, we have to change our SNEAK PEAK plan along with our Kindergarten Open House plans. Parking for the SNEAK PEEK events will be at GNMS bus loop, the Tennis Center, and available spots on the JBD campus. The new dates and times are as follows:
Welcome to my new blog! My hope is to add a layer of communication and to keep everyone updated on what is going on around John B. Dey. Anyone who has passed by the school recently cannot help but notice that there are no less than 100 construction workers on site. Soon, there will be even more as night shifts will begin to have 24 hour progress taking place. To come to work everyday in the middle of all of this feels surreal. I am currently sitting in my office, which remains the oasis amid the chaos of demolition, stacked boxes, and piles of furniture. Marshall, the construction site supervisor, tells me about new ‘opportunities’ that arise daily. Marshall also tells me that we will be down to the wire, but we will get ‘er done. That doesn’t mean the school will be done, that just means we will be ready to start the 18-19 SY. The projected completion date is Dec. 2019.
You may be wondering what exactly is getting done. Grab your coffee and settle in for the answers to the most FAQs:
Are we getting a new school?
No…we are not getting a new school. The construction in the back is leading many people to believe that we are like Great Neck Middle School. That school did build a new school in the back, then tore down the existing school. There is no room on the JBD property for that to happen. What you are seeing in the back of the school is the new front entrance, cafeteria, and gym. This is a phased/occupied modernization. The gym and café will be new and all a part of the first phase.
Will the classrooms look different?
Yes. They will be lighter and brighter and each grade level will have additional extended learning areas for collaboration, special projects, STEM, and state of the art technology,etc. Lots of natural light with sand, sky, and sun colors because we are at the beach!
What will happen to the existing cafeteria?
The existing cafeteria is becoming the Learning Commons. That’s the upgraded version of a library. The LC will have 15,000 amazing book titles along with an innovation center/maker space with 3D printers and pens, tech devices, and collaboration spaces. This will open in October of 2018.
Where will the main office be?
The main office will be where our library used to be, exactly to the left of the new front entrance.
How do I know it is safe for my child to start in September?
Safety is our top concern. We will have many additional security cameras, we have an extra security assistant, and buzzers on the front door.
What about the portables? How do I know they are safe?
The “Cottages” are tucked in the back and connected with a boardwalk. There are 7 additional cameras being added to the outside area. The extra security assistant will be mainly assigned to that area and will continuously ‘parole’ the location. Each cottage is connected to the intercom system as well as being equipped with a phone that directly connects to the main office. All safety drills are conducted according to the safety guidelines and all teachers are trained to know what to do for each type of situation.
Stay tuned for more details to come. Thanks for visiting my blog. It will not always be just about construction. I will be sharing articles, the latest and greatest buzz in education, and just fun and interesting things that are going on in the life of JBD.