Superintendent's Report
November 18, 2003


Mr. Chairman, members of the School Board, and citizens of our community, my report this evening includes highlights from a few recent events and some of the accomplishments of our students and staff.

Our Futures Project Principal’s Academies II and III recently held a graduation celebration for 50 staff members who have completed 77 hours of training in leadership development. Topics addressed during the training included effective school communications and community relations, management of finances, management of human resources, emotional intelligence and high performance, team building and instructional leadership. Members of Academy II included classroom teachers, teacher specialists, a school improvement specialist, a special education coordinator, administrative assistants, and assistant principals. Academy III participants included 24 assistant principals and a director. The Futures Project Academies are coordinated by Olwen Herron in the Office of Organizational Development.

The 24th annual Virginia Beach Elementary SCA Leadership Workshop was held on Saturday, October 25th. One hundred and fifty students and 51 advisors from 39 of our elementary schools were introduced to basic leadership training and encouraged to be good citizens by serving their schools well. The theme for this year’s workshop was “The Art of Leadership”. Students and advisors attended sessions on decision making, group dynamics, effective meetings, and team building. The teams created “leadership works of art” at the end of the day as a culminating activity. The event was coordinated by the Office of Student Leadership, under the direction of Diane Anderson.

Last month, the school division's new School website Guidelines were introduced to our 86 school webmasters. Guidelines were established to implement content and design standards consistently from school to school and to ensure each school website is user friendly and easy to navigate. By the end of the 2003-2004 school year, all our school websites will be designed to align to the established guidelines. Many thanks to the School website Guidelines Committee and our school webmasters for their time and commitment to ensuring that our school websites serve as interactive resources/communications tools and an additional a source of information for parents, students, staff, and the greater community.

Our office of gifted education and academy programs sponsored a special Academies Night on November 17th, to showcase our division’s five high school academy programs. This is the first time that all the academies together have been involved in a collective informational event. Academies Night was held at Larkspur Middle School from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m and current eighth grade students and their parents were invited to attend.
Students and their parents had the opportunity to preview each academy’s specialized curriculum during breakout sessions and academy coordinators and current students were on hand to answer questions. Academy applications are currently available at middle and high school guidance departments as well as on the school division website, at www.vbschools.com. Completed applications are due to students’ guidance offices by Friday, February 6, 2004.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Kudos to Wendy Burke, fifth grade teacher at King’s Grant Elementary, who received an award from the Virginia Council Of Economic Education for her class project entitiled “Rockin Real-life Restaurant”. Ms. Burke was one of only three Virginia teachers recognized by the Council in Richmond on November 6th.

Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Davenport, Principal at Kingston Elementary, for receiving a Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. The award was presented during the Annual Principal’s Conference in October. Dr. Davenport served as the President of the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals in 2002-03.

Hat’s off to Jo Corso, Art Specialist at Princess Anne High, for being named Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA) and to Sharon Clohessy, Teacher Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction, for being selected as VAEA’s Art Supervisor of the Year. These awards were presented at the annual VAEA conference in Portsmouth.

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