Ahead of the Curve
Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board
Septenber 7, 2004

"Back to School" Edition

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and citizens of our community, my report this evening is a special “back to school” edition.

Tis the day after labor day. . . our football season is already in motion, and school staff have been gearing up for the start of our traditional school year. As many of you know, today marked the official start of our 2004-05 traditional school year. Eighty-one of our sites opened their doors to students today. These schools join our five year-round schools, which have been back to school since July 26th.

School staff were welcomed to the 2004-05 school year with events such as staff breakfasts, meetings, training, and planning sessions. Teachers and staff have been busy preparing for the students’ arrival. In addition to getting classrooms and workspaces ready, educators have devoted time to important tasks such as reviewing student records and analyzing test data.

I’m pleased to report that all of our instructional positions are filled. We welcome 599 new hires to our system this year who come from all over the globe. In addition to our many local new teachers, our new educators come from places such as New Zealand, Australia, the Philipines, Argentina, Spain, Japan, United Kingdom, Columbia, Croatia, and Ireland. Our new teachers also hail from states across our nation such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, California, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Tennessee. Nearly half of the teachers new to Virginia Beach are beginning their first year in the profession. The other half bring hundreds of years of experience and expertise to our system. We welcome them all and appreciate the diversity, knowledge, and talents that they will share.

Student leaders have also been busy with “back to school” campaigns designed to make their fellow students feel welcome and ready to learn.

In order to provide a smooth transition, schools have hosted Open Houses and “Meet the Teacher” nights and have provided many opportunities for students and parents to feel prepared for 2004-05.

Our newest academies opened their doors today, as well. The Salem High School Fine Arts Academy welcomed 123 students who will begin studying visual and performing arts—specifically, visual art, theatre, dance, instrumental music, and vocal music. And the Linkhorn Park Elementary Math and Science Academy welcomed fifty-one students to their new academy for the first time today, as well.

We are looking forward to a very productive and successful school year that provides many opportunities for our students to continue to learn and grow. Best wishes to all for a great 2004-05 school year!

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

Last Modified on November 29, 2004
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