Superintendent's Report
May 28, 2002


Good evening. Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report tonight features a few of the many activities happening throughout our division and acknowledges some of the many accomplishments recently achieved by our students and staff.

For the first time in our school system, a student/parent food show was held by Food Services on March 27 at Landstown High School. Three hundred and four students and parents from every school in our city sampled more than forty food and beverage items at this community event. Samples were served from twenty-two booths staffed by cafeteria managers. Each participant completed an evaluation form that will be used by food services in deciding new food service products for 2002-2003. The event was planned and implemented by Food Services Supervisors Edwina Forrest, Chris Geary, Wanda Mabry, and Donna Russell. Hosting and advance product screening was done by Peggy Jefferson, Cafeteria Manager, at Tallwood High School, and Marlene Johnson, Cafeteria Manager, at Landstown High School was responsible for receiving, organizing and storing product samples.

On May 17, students and staff at First Colonial High School welcomed home sailors from their Partner in Education, the USS Bataan. A ceremony was held to celebrate their homecoming and to introduce the sailors to students with whom they had shared e-mails and correspondence during the ship's deployment. The e-pal program was initiated with students from teacher, Jane Amelon's English classes.

On May 22, there was a kickoff for an $8.6 million modernization project at Trantwood Elementary School. Trantwood, built in 1963, will undergo modernization to upgrade the school building with new features that include new classrooms, a media center, art and music classrooms, a larger physical education area, and furniture and new equipment. The physical plant will also be modernized with state-of-the-art technology and with electrical, lighting, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems.

Our school division recently received a donation of approximately 350 books from the members of Rotary International District 7610. This generous gift was part of the organization's "Books for Kids" program. Assistant Superintendent Betsy Taylor assisted with the distribution of the books to students at White Oaks Elementary School.

Two of our computer resource teachers were featured in the publication "Great Teaching with Technology", a Tom Snyder production. Gayle Hartigan's students at Holland Elementary created autobiographies using the software Timeliner 5.0. Students imported files and digital photos into timelines that depicted their lives and then used the slide show format to present their information to fellow students and parents.

Katie Knapp, Computer Resource Specialist at Windsor Oaks, shared her students' use of the software, Graph Master, for a weather watch activity for second graders. Students observed, logged and entered data to create bar graphs which served as visual representation of the weather each month.

During the month of April (Math Month), the sixth grade students at KLMS participated in the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Math-A-Thon. The Tiger Team raised $1818.12 and the Pegasus Team raised $654.88, for a grand total of $2473.00 raised for this community service project.

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) has recently recognized 75 students from our school system with the Award of Educational Achievement for their performance on the High Schools that Work (HSTW) assessment. To qualify for this award, students must have completed four credits in technical and career education courses, completed four credits in college prep level English and three credits in advanced level Math and Science courses, in addition to meeting or exceeding the performance goals set by SREB on the HSTW assessments.

Just last Thursday, our school system paid tribute to our Partners in Education at our annual "Celebrating Community Heroes" Appreciation Breakfast. The event was attended by 500 representatives of community organizations and staff from each of our schools. Fourteen models of effective partnerships were recognized for their mutual benefit and impact on student learning and achievement. Visit our website at vbschools.com to learn more about these model partnerships.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Kudos to Rebecca Gurley, Work and Family Studies Teacher at Lynnhaven Middle School, for winning a Virginia Technical and Career Education Creating Excellence Award for her service learning project entitled "Put Your Best Foot Forward". As a result of this project, students worked with community partners to create career portfolios and to plan and implement an "image" fashion show.

Hats off to students at Indian Lakes Elementary for placing second in the state's Thinking Cup Quiz Bowl. The fifth grade team of Rebekah S., Amanda H., Keenan H., Bryce T., and Jonathon M. worked collaboratively for one hour to answer 100 questions in categories such as history, children's literature, math, science, government, and current events. The students were sponsored by Gifted Resource Teacher, Teri Hughes.

Congratulations to Eric Regna, an eleventh grader at Salem High School, who has been selected for a scholarship which will enable him to study in Japan this summer through the Youth for Understanding International Exchange Program. Eric is currently enrolled in Japanese II via distance learning, an experience that provided the catalyst for this international exchange opportunity.

Congratulations to our 2002 Foreign Languages Teachers of the Year! Heide Hackworth, French and German teacher at Green Run High School was selected as the 2002 Outstanding Foreign Languages Teacher of the Year. Ms. Hackworth is a 14-year veteran teacher, currently, teaching German I, II, IV, V, and French III. She now advances to the state foreign languages teacher of the year competition.

In addition, first year Spanish teacher at Corporate Landing and Landstown Middle schools, Wanda Carrasquillo, was named the 2002 Outstanding Foreign Languages "Rookie" Teacher of the Year. Ms. Carrasquillo serves as the co-sponsor for the Landstown Middle School Spanish Club, and holds a professional membership in the Foreign Language Mentorship Program.

Kudos to Grace Huang, a junior at Princess Anne High School, who was recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Discover Card Tribute program. This national program recognizes juniors who excel in leadership and community service.

Congratulations to students at Cooke Elementary and Computer Resource Specialist, Sheryl Nussbaum - Beach for winning a Notable Achievement Award for their National ThinkQuest entry entitled "Growing Up in Afghanistan." This student created web page received accolades for its informative and innovative design.

Congratulations to Future Problem Solving team members from Kemps Landing Magnet School who made an impressive showing at the 2002 Virginia Future Problem Solving State Championship Bowl at Maury High School in April. The Future Problem Solving team of eighth graders Danielle F., Stephanie G., Megan K., and Tommy S. won second place in the intermediate division (grades 7-9) Future Problem Solving championship competing against 35 other teams from around the state. This team, who is coached by Carolyn Stamm, will be representing the Commonwealth of Virginia at the 2002 International Future Problem Solving Conference in June at the University of Connecticut.

Congratulations to sixth grade Science teacher, Sharon Bowers, who was recently selected by the Virginia Association of the Gifted as their Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region 2.

Kudos to Linda Hayes, Principal at Lynnhaven Elementary, for being chosen WHRO's Technology Administrator of the Year. She was nominated by Lynnhaven's Computer Resource Specialist, Laura Yoakam for her constant encouragement of teachers and students to integrate technology into daily lessons and her support of technology initiatives at the school.

Congratulations to John Nelson, Cisco Networking Academy Instructor at the Tech Center, for writing an article that was published in the Hampton Roads Technology Incubator Newsletter. The article highlighted our student certification program for students interested in the computer networking field.

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.

At Plaza Elementary, third grade performance on the Standards of Learning improved in every area and fifth grade performance improved in science and social studies. Staff attributes these improvements to a tutoring program and new teaching strategies. Teachers motivated students and focused on differentiated instruction and the maximization of instructional time.

At Birdneck Elementary, significant gains have been noted on SOL results for the past 3 years. Most significantly, grade 3 Math has improved by 22 points and history by 32 points. Grade 5 writing has improved by 13 points, and math by 18 points. Contributing to these gains are the more than 1,000 hours of staff development training since 1999.

At White Oaks Elementary, math scores improved by 20%. These gains are attributed to SOL night for fifth graders, Spikes Clud tutoring, assistance from Curriculum and Instruction, and the efforts of a dedicated and hard working staff.

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