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Virginia Beach, VA
Students enrolled: 504

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1008 Ferry Plantation Rd
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

School website
(757) 473-5043
(757) 473-5144
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Old Donation Center address.

June 07, 2015
ODC has gone downhill. My child's experience in 2nd and 3rd grade was amazing. My daughter had Mrs. Brock in 2nd grade and Mrs. Boudreau in 3rd grade and I couldn't have been more pleased. Both are truly excellent teachers. In 4th grade we were not so lucky and had a terrible teacher who has since moved to another school, and our experience with ODC has gone downhill from there. ODC now takes a cookie cutter, one size fits all approach to gifted education. Teaching is uninspired. There is little to no assistance for children struggling with asynchronistic emotional development, let alone children who are twice exceptional, have ADHD or on the spectrum. From my observation there seems to be a not so subtle effort to weed those children out. (this is not bias, as my daughter did not fit into any of those categories, but I can't help but notice that most of the children she started with who did fit those categories have left or really have struggled). Teacher communication was poor in 5th grade, and I was utterly unimpressed with the teachers. At the open house for advancement to Kemps Landing, the principal was lackluster and gave a speech that basically amounted to "Don't get your hopes up, we'll pick who we want to come here, and if you want to play sports or have a life outside of school, this is not the place for you." The whole thing was an utter turn off. I am fortunate to live in a great school district and opted to send my child to her home school gifted cluster program for middle school instead of Kemps Landing. I hope ODC takes a real hard look at itself in the coming years and gets back on track.

- submitted by a parent

December 06, 2014
ODC really dropped the ball on my son. He is highly gifted in math but had struggled with writing and executive function skills. His second grade teacher thought he had dysgraphia but never suggested testing. His fourth grade teacher, who thankfully is no longer there, told him he was lazy and disorganized in front of the other kids. His fifth grade teacher told me that our son was one of the best math students he'd had and he would sometimes give him extra work to do, but for most of the time he was at ODC, he was never challenged in math. The only thing the school wanted to concentrate on was the fact that he was not doing well in language arts, and so consequently he began to hate school. We have since moved out of state and our son has gotten thorough testing, something that seemed impossible to have done in Virginia Beach, and he was diagnosed with high functioning Aspergers, which goes hand-in-hand with problems with executive function skills and attention problems. ODC (and Kemps Landing too) are great schools if your child is not asynchronous in development, but if they struggle with a subject, it's difficult to get a proper diagnosis and help.:

- submitted by a parent

June 12, 2014
We LOVE Old Donation Center. Although the curriculum is based on the same city-wide curriculum as all other VB schools, it is wonderfully differentiated - complete systemic integration of scientific thinking, tons of project-based learning. Every unit includes projects which really enhance the depth of their knowledge and relates it to the real world. Teachers/Administrators are wonderful and caring... right down to the janitorial staff. Very strong parent/PTA involvement allowing for diverse special programs in-school (like the parent-run science lab) and after-school (lots of club options) and really fun activities creating a sense of community (since as a magnet school students live all over the City). Bussing is combined with Kemps Landing (Middle School) but those kids have been very friendly and helpful to the elementary kids. My only concerns are regarding dismissal. First, they dismiss non-bus-riders about 10 minutes before official dismissal time. Then, because of bus delays, the bus riders routinely wait another 30 minutes. Why lose those last 10 minutes of the day? Additionally, verification of who is picking up a child is not done at all in the car lines.

- submitted by a parent

April 26, 2014
Amazing school - can't say enough good things about the level of differentiation and the quality of the teachers and administrators. The level of parent involvement is remarkable and the activities that are offered during and after school add to the already-stellar learning experience.

- submitted by a parent

March 27, 2014
Despite the distance from home, we could not ask for a better learning environment for our child. Differentiated instruction across the board with the most engaging, hands-on learning that I have seen at any school. Devoted and extremely knowledgeable administrators, teachers, and staff along with enthusiastic parents and PTA. The extracurricular activities that are offered are also amazing as well.

- submitted by a parent

March 19, 2013
I have two boys who attend this school. They love it and feel loved by the teachers! Ms Boudreau rocks!! She is teacher of the year!

- submitted by a parent

May 31, 2011
An amazing experience. At this school they incorporate current events into class lessons. Alos they know what information is boring, and they reconize that. they try to make it fun. Like today, were were studying proper nouns and my teacher told us that she knew it was a boring topic, but she made all of our grammer problems into jokes! A great school and wonderfull support.

- submitted by a community member

May 26, 2010
I am about done with my college career and looking back on my past, I have to give credit to ODC. I was a student there from the time they first opened as a full-time school when I was in 3rd grade until 5th grade. The rigor, challenge, and interesting nature of ODC led me to middle school at Kemps Landing Magnet School, then AP classes in high school, and finally to a full academic scholarship at ODU. Of course, I cannot attribute all of my academic success to my elementary days, but if I had to choose a point from which my success started, I would have to choose my time at ODC where I had the most memorable, supportive, and proud teachers and administrators. I can remember having to be bribed by my mother to agree to go to ODC full-time, but I am so grateful she did!

- submitted by a community member

March 19, 2010
I am a parent of two children at ODC and absolutely love the school. My children are thriving at ODC and we feel very lucky that they have had the opportunity to attend such a great school!

- submitted by a parent

January 27, 2010
My daughter has been fortunate to be enrolled in ODC since second grade. The teacher's, administration and everyone at ODC are awesome.

- submitted by a parent

September 17, 2009
I've had 2 children here and we absolutely love this school and highly recommend it to anyone! the teachers are wonderful and they understand gifted kids! Don't let a long bus ride deter you - it is so worth it.

- submitted by a parent

July 14, 2009
Excellent school. The teachers are very welcoming of parent involvement. The PTA is just superb and incorporate so many chance for the children to enrich themselves throughout the year in terms of assemblies, QUEST days, science labs, etc. I couldn't be happier with this school.

- submitted by a parent

October 15, 2008
Plaza Middle School's International Baccalaureate Program is AWESOME! The teachers and students throughout the school are really nice.

- submitted by a student
no rating
July 03, 2008
ODC is a Great school that challenges students to go above and beyond the basic level of learning. I have a son who just finished the 2nd grade and he loves the school. That's what it is all about!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
June 12, 2008
My daughter has been enrolled in the visual art program for 4 years now and will start her 5th 09/08. She loves it there! She has expanded her art talent so much I am in awe of her! She is looking forward to applying for Salem High Schools Art Acad. I know her teachers will help her reach her goal! She loves her teachers and what they have taught her. She will be sad to leave next year!

- submitted by a parent

April 02, 2008
One of the better schools in the Virginia Beach district. However, I believe the public school system has a long way to go in correctly identifying gifted students. The two tests that are administered (Naglieri and Otis-Lennon) are group tests which leave out students who may be highly distractable and need one on one attention. Or, they may leave out students who are creative thinkers in the highly gifted or profoundly gifted range who need their answers interpreted by a tester. Please read article at: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/on_testing.htm I've spoken to a couple of parents who were disappointed in this school and ended up taking their children out. The gifted label on the door, it seems, has made both students and teachers complacent. My child's teacher is on autopilot. There is little communication other than the progress reports and report cards. We need to tailor their curriculum so our nation can be competitive.

- submitted by a parent

January 13, 2008
As a business partner at this school, I find the school's emphasis on preparing students for life outstanding. This is a school that prepares very bright capable children to work in a competitive world. The work ethic is reinforced at a basic level, and children are not afraid to get their hands dirty, even with mundane tasks. Though the population comes from the top one percent of the city's schools, these are not 'hothouse' flowers. Each term, community volunteers offer 'Quest' classes to widen the horizons for students. My company, NavyRackPacks, LLC, has taught a Quest on entrepreneurship for the last three terms-- bringing 'applied sciences' more commonly seen in 'vocational training' to a population of students who often are channeled into more academic routes. The teachers, students and staff have embraced the class and reinforced the idea that this school is preparing the next generation of thinkers, makers, doers.

- submitted by a community member

November 10, 2007
The principal has high academic standards and communicates these standards from the very beginning and repeats these standards throughout the year. Teachers are highly qualified to teach gifted children, and they continue their training throughout the year. Parents are highly involved at Old Donation. You don't have to volunteer a lot of time and you don't have to be an expert. Old Donation focuses on safety of the children on a daily basis, and takes great steps to ensure kids are safe. Discipline is not an issue at this school. Parents and children are told from the beginning that behavior problems will not be tolerated. Children go to this school to learn, and behavior problems interfere with this objective. Children with serious infractions of this rule do not continue their education at Old Donation. There are many extracurricular activities that children are involved in both during and after school.

- submitted by a parent

July 29, 2007
ODC is a superb school for gifted and talented students. The curriculum is appropriately challenging and the teachers/staff are the brightest and the best in the city.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
July 19, 2007
I have taught at ODC for 5 years. Nowhere do teachers receive better training and support from the school administrators and city coordinators to teach and understand the gifted child. This translates to a highly collaborative staff that truly respects and seeks each other out professionally. Ultimately, the ODC student is immersed in a rigorous yet nurturing educational experience.

- submitted by a teacher

October 10, 2005
Unbelievably great public school. Designed for talented and gifted students. Must test for this school early. You must apply late winter, early spring. Academic program is designed with hands on learning an emphasis. Parents give tremendous support to the school. Unique extracurricular activities. School has destination imagination program where students give original thought and solutions to problems. Stresses teamwork, individuality, and out-of-the-box thinking. School itself has old facilites in need of updating. For its educational aspect, you simply can't find a better public school in virginia beach.

- submitted by a parent

October 06, 2005
Old Donation Center (ODC) is an extraordinary school. One of the few, I have found to actually challenge the individual. ODC seems to raise the bar,and the kids impressively meet and often exceed those expectations. The school follows the required curriculum, however adds layers of depth. When my son s 2nd grade class studied economics, the class visited a local restaurant. They toured the restaurant, asked the owner questions, (What was your start up cost? - real business questions) Later in the week the kids ran a restaurant in their class. They designed a menu, staffed it with work stations, prepared the food, has an assembly line to fill the plates, served it to their customers (parents). When the kids were studying archaeology, they a went outside and participated in a dig. ODC keeps the kids engaged and is perfect for bright children whose needs are well beyond average.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: June 7, 2015

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Old Donation Center
1008 Ferry Plantation Rd, Virginia Beach, VA  23455
(757) 473-5043
Last modified Old Donation Center is a Public school that serves grades 2-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Old Donation Center Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top