Virginia Beach closing 14 before-school, after-school programs due to 'severe' staffing shortages

Posted at 2:27 PM, Nov 16, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announced Tuesday that it will close three of its before-school and 11 of its after-school programs due to "severe, ongoing staffing shortages."

The closures, which will impact more than 300 participants, will go into effect January 3. Programs selected for closure were ones with the lowest registration numbers citywide.

The 14 program closures are as follows:

  • Bayside Elementary School (after-school)
  • Corporate Landing Elementary School (after-school)
  • Creeds Elementary School (after-school)
  • Fairfield Elementary School (after-school)
  • Kempsville Elementary School (after-school)
  • Landstown Elementary School (before-school)
  • Linkhorn Park Elementary School (after-school)
  • Malibu Elementary School (after-school)
  • North Landing Elementary School (after-school)
  • Pembroke Meadows Elementary School (after-school)
  • Salem Elementary School (after-school)
  • Three Oaks Elementary School (before-school)
  • White Oaks Elementary School (before-school, after-school)

According to Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, hiring and onboarding qualified team members has been a consistent struggle throughout the pandemic, and after months of borrowing staff from other department units, the staffing situation has become unsustainable.

The Out-of-School Time Programs are currently down approximately 35 percent of the part-time positions needed to run the programs.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation said that even after four recreation center-based afterschool programs were closed and 19 afterschool programs were consolidated into 10 schools, the staffing situation was still not where it needed to be to avoid closing programs.

"Closing programs and reducing services – especially when it relates to childcare – is our worst-case scenario," said Michael Kirschman, Director of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. "We know that this will put many parents in a very difficult position trying to secure alternative childcare, but we have done everything in our power to avoid this and we are sorry that it's come to this point."

The reopening of programs will be continuously evaluated as staff are hired and onboarded, but there is no timeline for if or when reopening will be possible. If a program is able to reopen, current participants will have first priority for registration.

To see a full list of closures and consolidations, click here.