August 20, 2002
Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, as is traditional, my report this evening offers a snapshot of a few recent school division activities and accomplishments.
In preparation for the opening of our traditional school year, our new employees have been attending an Employee Fair at Kellam High yesterday and today. Approximately 250 new employees, primarily teachers, took advantage of this opportunity to obtain their i.d. badges, complete their fingerprinting/background checking requirements, receive information on benefits, such as health care and legal resources, and meet with representatives from employee associations. Training for new teachers will continue throughout the rest of this week.
As you know, Corporate Landing Elementary School opened its doors to students on July 29th, joining Seatack and Williams Elementaries, as our third school to operate on a year round schedule. It has been a smooth opening for all three schools.
This summer has been a busy one for staff. Numerous training opportunities have been offered in preparation for the 2002-03 school year. Over 21,000 registrations for APPLE courses have been logged by Organizational Development since April and staff have been engaged in professional development activities-gearing up for the school year.
Our Administrative Leadership Conference was held August 8th and 9th, offering school administrators opportunities to hone their skills on topics ranging from school safety to current curriculum initiatives. The conference was coordinated by the Office of Organizational Development and was attended by principals, assistant principals, and central office administrators who attended sessions facilitated by our staff and presenters such as award-winning author, Dr. Jane Bluestein, and Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Tom Guskey.
On August 16, our school division hosted a Partners in Education Conference at Tallwood High School offering professional development opportunities to school partnership coordinators. The training was also attended by partnership directors from across the state who are benchmarking our school system's community involvement initiatives. Training topics ranged from aligning school/community partnerships with curriculum and the Standards of Learning to effective parent involvement. The Partners in Education Conference was coordinated by our Office of Community Relations.
On August 19th, eighty-eight of our schools' media liaisons had the opportunity to attend training at Landstown High. Staff from the Department of Media and Communications Development provided resources and information designed to promote school coverage. Last school year our schools received 2,316 print and broadcast placements, communicating the good news about activities in our system.
The spotlight was on Virginia Beach Schools in the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter (VCPN) through a featured article on B.J. McGrath, Project Coordinator of our system's Homeless Education Program, "Project HOPE". During 2001-02, our program coordinated individual service for 129 homeless children, providing alternative transportation services, school supplies, reading programs, and funds for field trips. It is estimated that more than 400 children were able to take advantage of at least one of these needed services.
Congratulations are in order. . .
This summer, the Virginia Beach Association for Secondary School Principals selected Josh Darden, recently retired principal at Bayside High, and Sheree Gillespie, Assistant Principal at Landstown Middle as Administrators of the year. In addition, Barb Sessoms, Principal at Glenwood Elementary, and Liz Warren, Assistant Principal at Point O" View Elementary were named Administrators of the Year by the Virginia Beach Association of Elementary School Principals.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report for this evening.