Superintendent's Report
February 18, 2003

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and citizens of our community, my report this evening highlights a few recent school system events and several noteworthy honors and achievements of staff and students.

Last evening our school system honored the 68 schools achieving full accreditation on the Virginia Standards of Learning for 2002-2003. "SOLabration 2003" was held at the Pavilion to pay tribute to the stellar performance of these 68 schools. Delegations from the schools were invited to tout their achievements in any way that they chose. Their incredibly creative and humorous approaches entertained the more than 900 people attending the event and emphasized the dedication, teamwork, and camaraderie necessary for creating climates that support student achievement in our schools. Congratulations were delivered to the audience from local and state officials, including Governor Warner via video, and our Cabinet members served as the announcers of the accredited schools. Many thanks to the staff that worked diligently to coordinate an event of this magnitude-- SOLabration 2003 truly was a night when the stars came out, a time to reflect on the collective accomplishments of which we can all be proud.

College Park Elementary recently hosted its first Lesson Fair, designed to present practical instructional strategies to raise student achievement. Presentations included strategies for reading/writing, mathematical problem solving, building student teams and professional teams, parent communication, technology tools for teachers, and a make and take Science session. Presenters were College Park staff and staff from Central Office. This practical and enjoyable lesson fair received rave reviews from those attending and increased the staff's repertoire of instructional strategies.

On February 11th and 12th, fourteen of our schools served as hosts for international music concerts performed by choirs from our Sister Cities of Miyazaki, Japan, Bangor, Ireland and Moss, Norway. Students had the opportunity to interact with members of the choirs while eating lunch with the visiting delegations, learn more about their culture and music, and even capture a few autographs! Thanks to our administrators and staff and students for providing the foreign visitors with positive and lasting impressions of American education.

Several congratulations are in order this evening...

Congratulations to Woodstock Elementary School First Grade Teacher, Lori Lerner, and her class who recently won the First Place Children's Choice Award in the Virginia Flower and Garden Show at the Pavilion in January. Ms. Lerner's First Grade Class designed and planted a miniature garden with the theme "Kid's Carnival".

Hats off to our Partner in Education, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, who was recently selected to receive the Virginia State Reading Association's Literacy Award for 2003. The organization partners with several of our schools to bring the "BEAR" (Be A Reader) Program to students, thus extending classroom instruction and enhancing literacy.

The Virginian Pilot's INFOLINE recently chose two of our teachers who use "Classroom Connection" regularly to be recognized as Crystal Apple Award Winners. Fred Montgomery, Princess Anne Middle, and Lisa Scott, Ocean Lakes Elementary, were the VBCPS staff members so honored by the Pilot.

Congratulations to Cox High School Guidance Counselor Cheryl Brumfield who was recognized by The University of Miami's Office of Admission for her commitment and dedication to the field of guidance. A former student who is now a freshman at UM nominated Brumfield. A total of 35 high school guidance counselors from around the world were invited to UM for an all-expenses paid weekend in which they toured the campus and learned about the University's academic programs. The culminating event was the presentation of the awards.

Finally, February has been designated as School Board Recognition Month by the Virginia School Boards Association. I'd like to take just a moment to say thank you to our School Board members for all of the time, energy, and devotion they demonstrate to our school system. Whether making policy or approving curriculum, our Board keeps the focus on what is best for the children of Virginia Beach. They represent and serve our community well and their public service is an excellent example for the tradition of volunteerism that is a hallmark of American society. We appreciate our School Board's service to public education and to the students of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools!

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks for this evening.