Ahead of the Curve
Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board
September 21, 2004

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening provides just a brief sampling of recent school system events and some of the accomplishments of our students and staff.

VBCPS welcomed teachers new to our school system at the annual Teacher Orientation and Continuous Learning Institute (TOCLI) held on August 23-25, at Ocean Lakes High School. TOCLI is an orientation/induction program geared toward welcoming all instructional personnel new to Virginia Beach City Public Schools. A welcoming committee greeted each teacher as they walked up to the front doors of the school. Participants attended a variety of sessions including Team Time, Impact Learning with Rich Allen, 21st Century Discipline with Jane Bluestein, Technology Matters, and The Foundation of Success with Mark Scharenbroich. Participants created the 2004 VBCPS TOCLI FISH! Bowl during the closing ceremony in which each team presented their team aquatic creature to Mrs. Taylor and described what they learned about being a part of VBCPS. The three days concluded with the Department of Accountability giving an overview of accreditation requirements and the No Child Left Behind Act. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction also worked with teachers in small groups to review the division curriculum expectations. Additionally, an Information Fair was provided for our new teachers.

As you may know, the Virginia Educational Accountability and Quality Enhancement Act of 1999 requires that all new teachers be supported by a trained mentor. Our comprehensive program has resulted in eight Level II Mentor Teacher Training sessions, five Mentor Contact sessions, and three Level I Mentor Teacher Training sessions that have recently been conducted for those staff members serving as mentors to our new teachers. . . helping to ensure their successful transition to our organization.

With the start of the 2004-2005 school year, subscribers to Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ online subscription service vbschools x-tra now have the option of being notified of school closings and cancellations through their cell phone. This method of notification is offered in addition to the traditional computer-delivery method used by nearly 10,000 current vbschools x-tra subscribers. The school division’s online subscription – vbschools x-tra – can be accessed on the home page of the school division’s website www.vbschools.com.

On August 20th, our school system hosted a community relations training event at Landstown High. One hundred and seventy-five school partnership coordinators and educators from across the state attended the event, which focused on training topics designed to prepare school partnership coordinators and staff to successfully coordinate and manage productive school/community relationships. Topics such as the process for partnership development, establishing school-based student mentorship programs, and partnering successfully with parents were on the day’s agenda. Sixty educators from across Virginia attended our division’s Partners in Education Conference. The culminating session for the conference, “Education and Business in Partnership…Global Challenges, Local Actions,” was a panel discussion featuring perspectives from local officials and national partnership experts. Community sponsors of the conference were Farm Fresh Supermarkets and CiCi’s Pizza, both valuable, long–time citywide partners of the VBCPS.

On August 25th, each of our schools’ media liaisons met at the Advanced Technology Center for training on marketing the good news in our schools. Collectively, our media liaisons were directly responsible for a minimum of 2,774 positive print and broadcast placements between September 2003 and June 2004. Included in these placements are success stories and photographs, all of which focus on staff and student achievement. Each one of our Board members has a copy of the compilation of these stories, and photographs, which appeared in print during the 2003-2004 school year. This compilation contains the impressive and unique achievements that occur in our schools every day. Without a doubt, our school media liaisons truly serve as their school's "good news" ambassadors.

On September 2nd, staff representatives from schools gathered at the Beach to celebrate our school system’s outstanding performance on the 2004 Virginia Standards of Learning Tests. Commendations of Distinction were provided to each school that earned full accreditation. Our staff SOLabration offered the opportunity for teachers, administrators, and staff to enjoy our collective successes.

Several congratulations are in order this evening,

Congratulations to students and staff at Green Run High School for receiving the Gold Improvement Award at the High Schools that Work (HSTW) Conference this past summer. The award is presented to the schools that rank in the top 70 in the HSTW network and that have shown the most improvement in student achievement.

Kudos to Trantwood Elementary students for their continued success in the Stock Market Game. They placed second in the Virginia Council on Economic Education’s Spring Stock Market Game with a portfolio value of $221,070, and were recognized at a luncheon held in their honor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Hats off to Robin Kitsis, Organizational Development Specialist, for being elected chairman of the Region II Staff Development Council. The Council is made up of representatives from the Commonwealth’s fifteen Region II school divisions who meet quarterly to share resources and collaborate on professional development opportunities.

Congratulations to Shelley Fulmer, Director, Office of Internal Audit, who has earned the designation of Certified Government Auditing Professional from the Institute of Internal auditors. This designation is awarded to individuals who have met the requirements of the program, including mastery of a challenging examination, high standards of character, and proof of education and government auditing experience.

Also, hats off to Pamela Hanrahan who has earned her designation as Certified Internal Auditor, also awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors. The CIA designation is awarded to internal audit professionals who have met the rigorous requirements of the CIA program, including a four-part examination, as well as high standards of character, education, and experience. Of the more than 20,000 candidates in 75 countries around the world who took the exam in November 2003, only 3,000 are eligible to become Certified Internal Auditors.

Kudos to Ricardo Randall, Assistant Principal at Corporate Landing Middle School, for being selected as one of Inside Businesses’ “Top 40 Under Forty”. Mr. Randall was one of forty area professionals selected for this honor because of their outstanding leadership and community service.

As you will recall, VBCPS was awarded a site visit from a team of Senate Productivity and Quality Award (SPQA) examiners in June. I’m pleased to report that based on our application and site visit, it was determined that we were eligible for the SPQA Plaque for Progress in Performance Excellence because of our commitment to continued process improvement and organizational effectiveness through our atmosphere of innovation, empowerment, and organizational learning and development. On September 29, we will be formally presented with this award at a ceremony in Richmond.

Finally, it is my pleasure to congratulate some of our school board members who have earned awards from the Virginia School Board Association for attending the VSBA Academy to improve boardsmanship skills and knowledge of curriculum issues. Certificates and VSBA pins have been placed at the seats of Jane Brooks and Michael Stewart who have received Certificates of Recognition; Sandra Smith-Jones for receiving an Award of Achievement; and Dr. Lois Williams for receiving an Award of Excellence. Congratulations on these awards from VSBA!

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

Last Modified on November 29, 2004
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