April 23, 2002
Good evening. Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report tonight highlights a few of the many activities currently happening throughout our division and touts some of the accomplishments recently achieved by our students and staff.
On March 20th , forty-six Princess Anne High School students participated in Internship Day 2002 with their Partner in Education, the Central Business District Association (CBDA). Thirty-six businesses hosted 46 students for an annual day of job shadowing followed by the CBDA's monthly luncheon meeting. Students experienced work life in fields such as technology, economic development, real estate, law, banking, and public relations.
Kemps Landing Magnet School is one of seven pilot sites across the country that is assisting in the development of a parent involvement certification program developed by the National PTA . Educators, parents, and students at KLMS have already completed the first two steps of the pilot phase and were visited recently by National PTA President Shirley Igo and other education leaders. The input from the KLMS staff and community will help to refine and enhance the program prior to nationwide implementation this fall.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools made front page news again recently in three national publications. The April issue of Ladies Home Journal included a special report on their yearly list of America's Ten Best Cities for Women. This year, Virginia Beach was selected number one for families. Of special note, the school division's website - - vbschools.com - - was a deciding factor in determining the number one spot. Our website was cited as being well-organized and serving as a welcome resource to settle out-of-towners quickly.
In March, Education Week, a weekly publication that highlights school initiatives from across the nation, featured a story on the school division's biotechnology program offered at the high school level. Specifically, the article focused on the hands-on DNA lab at Cox High School. Our school division was recognized as one of the few, nationwide, to offer this program to students other than those enrolled in Advanced Placement program.
The third national publication, NEA Today, featured as a cover story Virginia Beach's Technical Career and Education Center's programs and how they are keeping pace with the changing focus of vocational education. The cover photo of the April issue of NEA Today featured TCE's automotive instructor Mark Maund with two of his students. The article focused on courses that prepare students for careers, not just jobs. Students are gaining more practical skills and intense academic instruction that prepares them simultaneously to enter the work force and college, as demonstrated in Tech Center teacher George Fausel's electronics and repair class.
While we are on the topic of technical and career education center, I am pleased to share with you the Advanced Technology Center's new logo. The logo recently made its' debut on the Advanced Technology Center's website www.vbatc.com/vbindex.html
Kindergarten registration will take place this Thursday at all of our elementary schools. This year parents and students will receive a warm welcome from "Kinderbee." Kinderbee is the artistic creation of Nan Leach, an art teacher at Princess Anne Middle School. Each parent will receive a kindergarten kit, which contains helpful information about their child's new school and information to help prepare them for kindergarten. School staff have planned a variety of activities for the benefit of our new students.
Our annual volunteer of the year recognition dinner was held on Monday evening-89 outstanding volunteers representing each of our schools and the central office were honored for their contributions to public education in Virginia Beach. These talented volunteers have donated countless hours tutoring, mentoring, organizing events and extra-curricular activities, making materials, baking, and even power-washing courtyards - all in an effort to enrich our schools and instructional programs. The Virginia Beach Council of PTAs selected Debbie Ives from Alanton Elementary, Marie Douglas from Lynnhaven Middle, and Steve Zahn from First Colonial High as their Citywide Volunteers of the Year-they will now be considered for recognition by the Tidewater District PTA for regional commendations.
Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .
Mark Clemente, a chemistry teacher at Ocean Lakes High School, was recently named the Citywide 2003 VBCPS Teacher of the Year. Chosen from an initial pool of 85 teachers representing their schools, Mr. Clemente was one of eight finalists selected to receive classroom visits by the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. He is a six-year veteran teacher and has spent all six years teaching at Ocean Lakes High School where he teaches Magnet chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry as part of the Mathematics/Science Academy curriculum at Ocean Lakes, as well as Advanced Placement chemistry. He also serves as the departmental chairman for the Ocean Lakes High School Science Department. Mr. Clemente was awarded a BA in Chemistry with an English minor from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1986. He earned an MS.Ed. from Old Dominion University in 1996.
Congratulations to the Salem High Varsity Girls'Soccer Team for earning a national academic award from the Coaches Association of America. Coach Ken Fabian accepted the award on behalf of the team at the association's convention in Philadelphia in January. To qualify for this award, each member of the team had to maintain more than a 3.25 grade point average for the year. This team's final average was an impressive 3.34! They were one of only three teams in Virginia and one of 120 teams in the nation to receive such a distinction.
Congratulations to Computer Resource teachers Phil Hull, Christopher Farms ES; Gary Lennon, Fairfield ES; Katie Knapp, Windsor Oaks ES; and Michael Rehbaum, Virginia Beach Central Academy whose technology lesson plans were published in the Scholastic, Inc. book - Access Workshop for Teachers by Janet Caughlin. Their lessons were chosen from multiple entries from across the US for inclusion in this publication which has a world wide distribution.
Congratulations to Michael R., a Bayside Middle School seventh grader, who won First Place in the Virginia Middle School Association's art contest. Michael's collage named "Liberty" was carefully crafted after the events of Sept. 11. His art teacher, Susan Carden, entered Michael's work in the state competition.
Two of our Gifted Resource Teachers have been name Gifted Resource Teachers of the Year. Hats off to Angelique Massey, New Castle Elementary School, and Juanita Felton, First Colonial High School who were recently recognized by their peers as being the "best GRTs at the beach". Massey is a 27-year veteran teacher in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, whose strengths lie in differentiating instruction so that gifted students receive additional breadth and depth in course work and in creating classroom environments conducive to students' problem solving abilities. Ms. Felton has spent 39 years in education, and has developed curricula, seminars, research models for gifted students as well as an after-hours course on the American Legal System, which draws high school students from around the city. In addition, she has created opportunities for students to become "professional apprentices" in such fields as engineering, law, and medicine.
As winners of the VBCPS Gifted Resource Teacher of the Year award, Massey and Felton move on to the next level of competition - the 2002 Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award - which is sponsored by the Virginia Association for the Gifted.
Kudos to Kempsville Middle School Assistant Principal, Steve Knott,
who recently qualified as a member of Team USA for the Men's Long Course
Triathlon. He will be competing in the ITU Triathlon World Long Course Championship in Nice, France on September 22, 2002. This competition includes a 2.4 mile swim, 78 mile bike ride and a 18.6 mile run. Steve qualified for this team by placing 10th in the New England Regional Long Course Championship, Timberman Triathlon last August.
For the last few months, I have been highlighting several of our schools that have made great strides in preparing students to meet state standards. Tonight, I'd like to continue to recognize schools that achieved the status of provisional accreditation and are meeting state standards.
Parkway Elementary's most significant achievements on 2001 Virginia Standards of Learning tests were at the third grade level where the 70% passing rate was met, and increases of 16 percentage points in History, 17 percentage points in Math, and 13 percentage points in English Reading and Writing were achieved. At the 5th grade level, 88% of students met passing rates and a 18 percentage point gain in Science was noted. Parkway attributes student gains to support from Curriculum and Instruction, daily remediation sessions, more direct, focused instruction, a tutoring program, and their science grant program.
At Brookwood Elementary, the percentage of students passing the grade three SOL math test and the percentage of students passing the grade 5 SOL English test increased by 20 points. Staff attributes these significant gains to consistent implementation of effective teaching strategies.
At Holland Elementary, improvements were noted in English, Reading, Writing, and Math. Staff credit the use of instructional games and practice tests, reading and literature promotions, and a focus on test taking skills and strategies, as well as, support from C&I to students' improvements.
Salem Elementary is most proud of their 33- point gain in Science at the fifth grade level. They attribute this incredible increase to the efforts of teachers to collaborate on the fourth and fifth grade levels, and to focus on more hands-on learning methods, as well as, their willingness to employ strategies taught by staff from Curriculum and Instruction.
Kempsville Meadows Elementary's most significant gains were in 3rd grade where student pass rates jumped over 18 percentage points in English, over 16 points in Math, and over 23 points in History. Staff at KMES credit the gains to diligent application of best practice methods introduced to their teachers by specialists from Curriculum and Instruction.
Virginia Beach Middle School touts percentage point gains of 12 points in Math, 14 points in English, and 15 points in History. The initiation of a Remediation Recovery program that uses data, support from curriculum specialists, and focusing on data driven instruction, were all instrumental in supporting student success.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report for this evening.