VIRGINIA DISTINGUISHED PURPLE STAR SCHOOL - FOR SUPPORTING MILITARY CONNECTED STUDENTS

Military Families

Great Bridge High School (GBHS) is proud to serve the many military families who work and live in our community. Approximately 19 percent of our current student population (~1450 students) is comprised of active-duty, military-dependent youth, and the faculty and staff at Great Bridge High School is committed to providing support, resources and enriching programs to enhance their educational experiences and support their families.

This webpage is designed to provide information to military families that are relocating to Chesapeake and have questions about the Great Bridge zone. In addition, we will link to city resources that outline registration procedures, school locations, academic programs, graduation requirements and calendars.

On July 1, 2018, Virginia Senate Bill 775 was passed. This bill, signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, allows service members’ children to be enrolled into the school division of their intended permanent residence while transitioning to a new duty station. Our school counselors are prepared and ready to assist military families wishing to enroll their student at Great Bridge High School! In addition to our in-school Counselors, Chesapeake Public Schools has a School Liaison Officer, Ms. Tiffany Johnson, who is available to assist incoming military families.

Peer-to-Peer Transition Support

In addition to support from school counselors, administrators and teachers, military-connected students have opportunities for peer-to-peer transition support at through our Student 2 Student (S2S) program. This student-led program is designed to help transitioning newly enrolled students with the goal of overcoming the challenges of adjusting to a new school and to connect military-dependent and civilian youth throughout each school. Each S2S mentor is trained in three modules: Finding the Way, Relationships, and Academics. From this training, our S2S student ambassadors are able to welcome incoming students to Great Bridge High School and assist with preparing departing students for their next school. For more information, parents/guardians may contact Mrs. Roberta Belesimo, our S2S faculty advisor.

Student Opportunities

Great Bridge High School is proud to offer a diploma credit-based Junior Reserve Officer Training program. Aerospace Science, commonly referred to as Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), is a citizenship, community service and self-discipline building program. Students enrolled in our  AFJROTC program are known as cadets and participate in academic and leadership activities. The curriculum includes a variety of academic and leadership subjects that focus on valuable life skills.

Classroom study in Aerospace Science includes the heritage of flight, development of air power, principles of flight, navigation and the space environment. In Leadership Education cadets learn leadership skills such as organization, group dynamics, communication techniques, honor and ethics along with drill and ceremony procedures.

The AFJROTC curriculum supports Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL). Elective credit is awarded for all courses. The Corps of Cadets has an Honor Code and strives to live by it. Cadets participate in a variety of school and community service projects of their own design. Prospective cadets should be willing to participate in these projects. Other cadet activities include field trips to military facilities, historic sites, and higher educational institutions that support JROTC curriculum. Cadets may also participate in summer leadership camps and schools. Students enrolled in JROTC who have completed at least three years in the program may compete for full ROTC college scholarships and appointment to the service academies. The purpose of AFJROTC is to produce better and more productive citizens for America. It is NOT a military recruiting program. Students are not required to enter military service.

Aerospace Science Faculty
Lt. Col. Christian Wendler
SMSgt Patrick Smith