Superintentent's Report, November 21, 2000

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and members of our community, my report this evening again features just a sampling of the many activities taking place throughout our school system and just a few of the many accomplishments earned by our students and staff. Photos of some of these recent happenings accompany this monthís report. Hopefully, this addition to my report will provide a visual opportunity for all of us to get the same picture of what a productive month it has been!

Iíd like to begin by highlighting some recent events.

In partnership with the City, on October 27th, our school system co-hosted Community Quality Day VII . Nearly 175 participants from Virginia Beach and the region attended the event which featured Brian Kaznova, external consultant to The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, two-time Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner . Other speakers and sessions focused on quality principles and practices in schools, the military, and business.

We have a new special limited edition to the school divisionís bus fleet. Weíve named this special bus, decorated with colorful characters, the Reading Bus. The concept of the Reading Bus was developed in an effort to promote literacy to preschoolers, ages 2- 5 years, through early intervention.

Once on board the bus, preschoolers will be introduced to an assortment of stimulating and enjoyable activities designed to encourage reading as a life-long skill. Each month, a unique reading activity will be introduced to preschoolers. Every book, poem, and nursery rhyme on the Reading Bus has an associated activity designed to make reading a fun and stimulating activity. Children and their parents will participate in a variety of hands-on activities using puppets, blocks, puzzles, and music.

The Reading Bus volunteer staff will work with parents to help foster an early appreciation of reading for their preschooler. Parental involvement on the Reading Bus will help create a foundation of reading skills, preparing each child for the challenges of school.

Starting in January, the Reading Bus will welcome preschoolers and their parents to "ride the wave to reading." The Reading Bus is scheduled to be unveiled on Thursday, December 14 at 9:00 a.m., at the Naval Amphibious Base Ė Little Creek; one of 11 designated Reading Bus stops in Virginia Beach.

Thanks to Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Services, Administrative Support Services, Transportation and School Plant Services. And, special thanks to Ocean Lakes High School art students for their creative contributions.

On November 2nd, our school division hosted a live TV call-in show on School Bus safety. Transportation officials from six area school divisions appeared together in our VBTV studio. This unprecedented, joint effort generated 23 on-air phone calls and an opportunity for the transportation directors to provide factual information about pupil transportation and safety in Hampton Roads. Thank you to our own Karen Gulbranson, in Media and Communications, for hosting the event, and to David Pace for serving admirably as our representative.

Our 2001 Teachers of the Year were honored at a dinner on November 9th. The event was attended by nearly 300 people who applauded each of these outstanding educatorís dedication and commitment to the teaching profession. Highlights of the evening included recognition of four finalists and an address by Marilyn Jernigan, VBCPS 2001 Teacher of the Year.

On November 14th, Kempsville Meadows Elementary School kicked off their new partnership with Verizon Wireless.†† Verizon officially presented 20 phones to the school as part of the school's "Parenting Partnerships" program, which focuses on increasing communication between parents and teachers. The phones will ensure that teachers have the opportunity for necessary communication with the parents of their students.††††††††††††††††

The eighth grade science department at Landstown Middle School has developed a website that offers notes, practice quizzes and tests, homework assignments, announcements, and some science tutoring assistance. The site was developed under the lead of science teacher, Dale Hirst to assist students and their parents in keeping up with the latest science information and assignments.

To date, our Department of Human Resources has held 18 of the 19 scheduled informal employee input meetings. While attendance at the meetings has been small, the participants have brought forth good issues and ideas.

Once again, I am proud to report that our students and staff have been the recipients of numerous honors and achievements. Iíd like to share just a few of their accomplishments with you.

Congratulations to Mary Dildy, school nurse at Landstown Middle School, for being selected State School Nurse of the Year. Ms. Dildy has been a nurse in our school system for ten years. During that time, she has actively trained staff in health related matters, assisted with classroom instruction on subjects from the cardiovascular system to hygiene, and has facilitated support groups for students with specific medial needs. Hats off to Mary Dildy for this state honor!

Seventeen Ocean Lakes High School students recently participated in the first annual Regional Mathematics contest at Christopher Newport University and won the AAA Division Championship. In addition, Ocean Lakes swept the first place level in individual awards, as well.

Kudos to Matt R., Ryan H., Nicole C., Shadi Z. , Josh H. , Jeff J., Samantha P., and faculty sponsor, Jo L.

The Cityís Department of Parks and Recreation recently recognized several of our students at an event held in honor of their 100 youth volunteers. Receiving special recognition for giving back to the community through community service were members of the Tallwood High School Key Club, and individuals:

A.J. B., First Colonial High School

Calvin C., Ocean Lakes High School

Desiree D., Larkspur Middle School, and

Kyle T., Kempsville Middle School

Congratulations to these students for providing exemplary models of youth community service!

Sharon Smith, a teacher at Pembroke Elementary, has received an Outstanding Woman in Education Award from Regent University. Ms. Smith has recently completed her masterís degree in Cross Categorical Special Education. She serves on Pembrokeís planning council and the principalís advisory committee and is the schoolís yearbook editor. Congratulations to Ms. Smith!

And finally, Congratulations to Fairfield Elementary Schoolís principal, Sophia Stubblefield, for earning the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principalís School Bell Award! Dr. Stubblefield was presented the award in Williamsburg for her significant accomplishments, specifically, her innovative instructional programs, such as the comprehensive staffing and service to students with learning challenges and the development of programs like "Wee Falcons" and extended day kindergarten.

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