VBCPS - Ahead of the Curve
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lauren Nolasco
Date: 01/28/15 Phone: 757.263.1234
News Release No. 045 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: lauren.nolasco@vbschools.com

Virginia Beach City Public Schools putting
Student Discipline Task Force to work

In a School Board retreat held Jan. 26-27, Dr. Aaron Spence, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), outlined recommendations on future work priorities in a post-entry plan report. In the report, "Charting the Course for Every Student, Every Day: Dr. Aaron Spence's Post-Entry Plan Report to the Community," Spence identified five leverage points that emerged as priorities for his work with the division: high quality teaching and learning, talent management, student-centered culture, culture or respect and community engagement. As part of student-centered culture, Spence named as a work priority implementing a task force of stakeholder groups to review issues of poverty, race and diversity in order to prepare recommendations for improved discipline and academic achievement.

Today he is following up with a first step: Announcing the creation of a Student Discipline Task Force. This task force, made up of administrators, teachers and community members, will be analyzing the division's current student discipline data with the goal of making recommendations to assist the school division in achieving three objectives:

  • Reducing the number of suspensions administered throughout the division;
  • Closing the disproportionate gap that exists in the number of suspensions and/or expulsions administered to African-American male students compared to those administered to students in other demographic groups; and
  • Maximizing instructional time for all students in the classroom.

"It might be fairly stated this is not an issue that is unique to Virginia Beach. Nonetheless, if we are going to be the premier school division in this nation, this is an issue that we must and will resolve together," Spence said. "This task force will help us identify procedures and processes we need to implement to ensure all students - no matter what gender, race or socioeconomic status - can walk through our doors feeling welcomed, believed in and loved."

Dr. Charles Corprew, an associate professor of psychological science at Loyola University, has been named chairman of this task force. Corprew, a graduate of and former teacher at Green Run High School, has extensively researched the factors associated with both resilient and vulnerable outcomes for African-American families and youth.

The task force, which was organized this month, will meet consistently throughout the spring. For more information about Spence's post-entry plan, visit vbschools.com.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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