July 16, 2002
Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens in our community, my report this evening reflects a few of the many events and accomplishments of students and staff in our schools.
The Class of 2002 was awarded scholarships totaling $13,842,872.00 for future educational opportunities. This year's figure represents an increase of $1,505,151.00 from earnings of last year's class.
Our website has expanded communication opportunities to staff during the summer months and beyond. All Virginia Beach City Public Schools' employees, with a network account, will have access to the school division's Intranet --vbcps.net -- from the convenience of their home or outside their work building. In addition to accessing the Intranet, staff will also have the opportunity, for the first time ever, to subscribe to various school division publications using the new electronic subscription service - vbschools.com X-tra.
Access to the Intranet greatly expands the ability for school division staff to view school-related information and complete job specific applications previously available only at the work site. With the expanded Intranet access, staff will have the option to enroll in available courses offered through the school division, check their current license renewal status, and verify completed training as an employee of Virginia Beach City Public Schools -- from any computer with Internet access.
In mid-August, employees will have the ability to share their thoughts about off-site access to the Intranet through another new feature -- the "opinion board" -- located on the homepage of vbcps.net, under the heading "Applications." The opinion board is intended to serve as a means of soliciting staff input on various topics of interest.
Off-site work access to the Intranet and the opinion board were strategies recommended in the School Board Teacher Communications Plan adopted by the School Board earlier this year.
I'm pleased to report that the 2002 International Baccalaureate (IB) graduates at Princess Anne High School scored among the best students in the world on their end-of-year tests. Sixty-six out of the 67 students who pursued the IB Diploma earned one. The 66 IB seniors earning the full IB Diploma posted a 99 percent pass rate. The worldwide IB Diploma pass rate is 82 percent. A comparison of scores between all international students indicates Virginia Beach is among the world's top IB performers. Another 83 students took IB examinations as either juniors who anticipate earning their IB Diplomas next year or as Certificate Candidates earning IB Certification in one or more subjects. A total of 150 Virginia Beach students sat for 587 IB examinations.
The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) has awarded a total of 14 awards to the Department of Media and Communications Development for a variety of print, mixed media, and electronic media projects for 2001-2002. Especially prestigious was the Golden Medallion Award - one of only five awards presented nationwide - won by the Department for a marketing and public relations campaign it created and conducted on behalf of the Landstown High School Technology Academy. The award is granted as recognition for excellence in educational public relations and will be officially presented at the NSPRA National Convention in San Diego this week.
The Educational Foundation Board of Trustees for The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International recently awarded a $1,000 grant to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for The Reading Bus. The funds will be used to purchase additional materials for preschoolers visiting the bus.
Several congratulations are in order this evening.
Congratulations to Senior Julie Abramova of Kempsville High School for being elected to serve as the National Secondary President of Skills USA-VICA for the 2002-03 school year. SkillsUSA-VICA is a national organization serving a quarter-million high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations.
She was installed into office on June 28th in front of 14,000 conventioneers at the national conference in Kansas City. In her leadership role at the national level, Julia will have many opportunities to travel around our country representing Skills USA-VICA. Her Cooperative Technical Education coordinator is Carolyn Powell.
Kudos to the Office of Technical and Career Education for being responsible for recognition for Compaq Computer Corporation in receiving a Business and Industry Partnership Award from the Virginia Council for Career and Technical Education in Richmond in June. Compaq's support in providing the start up lab for the Computer Network Administrator's course at the Tech Center was recognized.
Congratulations to Cox and Ocean Lakes High Schools for receiving recognition from the Buckle Up Challenge sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health. Schools demonstrating a seat belt usage rate of 70% or better among drivers and passengers that entered and exited school grounds were awarded a certificate of recognition. Ocean Lakes High led the way in 2002 survey results, with 87.9% of their drivers buckled up-the school's initiative was supervised by Ocean Lakes Resource Officer Jim Iman.
Hats off to Woodstock and Pembroke Meadows Elementary Schools for receiving a Dominion Virginia Power Partnership Grants for the upcoming school year. Fifth grade teacher Amy Rogers was responsible for securing the $3,500.00 for Pembroke Meadows to expand opportunities in the school's science lab.
Congratulations to nine students from First Colonial and Kellam High Schools who met the criteria established by the Virginia Beach Quality Alliance to attain TQM certification during the 2001-02 school year. Boaz Brothers, Michael Machinski, and Sarah Sellers earned certification at Kellam High after receiving direction from Teacher Kim Robins. At First Colonial High, Jamie Bright, Jeff Brown, Matt Butler, Robert Nimitz, Steve Nemitz, and Lauren Roberts earned certification after instruction from teacher, Maynard West. In addition, Kellam High students Boaz Brothers and Brett Carey earned $500 scholarships for outstanding scores on their TQM portfolios and panel interviews.
Kudos for Junita Felton, of First Colonial High School, who was recently named the Region II recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award for 2002. She will be recognized by the Virginia Association for the Gifted in September.
Once again the results are in from the Government Finance Officers Association and our Office of Business Services has again qualified for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR). This is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment. Hats off to our Office of Business Services!
Finally, I'd like to end my report this evening with a sincere thank you and congratulations to all of our students and staff involved in planning and implementing the 2002 National Association of Student Council's national conference held at Ocean Lakes High in June. To say that the conference, which drew 2,000 attendees from across our nation, was a huge success, would be an understatement. We are still receiving accolades and high praise from those who attended, many of them declaring that this conference was the best ever! The pride that I felt during my attendance at conference events was enormous and I extend my gratitude to the dedicated staff and students who exceeded expectations and represented this school system admirably. Special thanks to the NASC planning council who were guided by the leadership talents of student co-chairs Allison Murphy and Scott Kelsey and staff such as Daniel Keever, Diane Anderson, and Jerry Deviney. The NASC 2002 National conference was truly an event in which our school system and city can take great pride.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report.