Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board

Superintendent's Report
November 18, 2008

Chairman Edwards, Vice Chairman Bellitto, and members of the Board –

Following the summer construction of Luxford Elementary School’s Dragon Trail, students, staff, parents, and community partners celebrated its opening on October 29th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and inaugural run.  More than 20 companies and organizations donated their time, resources, and expertise to make the $200,000 track a reality.  Among the special guests praising this community collaboration and the fitness efforts of the “first, fast, and famous” Luxford Dragons was Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt.   LaShawn spoke with students and led the way on the first lap of the new Dragon Trail.  

Throughout the fall, our schools have continued their parent outreach efforts with various special events and family programs.  Administrators and staff at Seatack Elementary School recently held one of their events at a neighborhood community center, making it easier for parents to attend.  During the “Tea with the Principal and Teachers” event, Seatack staff members spent two hours meeting with families, participating in activities, and discussing the benefits of year-round schools.

Last week, the Virginia Beach Education Foundation held its annual T.G.I.F. Celebration at the Sandler Center to honor its 2008-2009 grant recipients.  After reviewing 256 applications, the Foundation awarded 128 Building Futures Grants and 7 School-wide Grants totaling $132,000.  Additionally, the Foundation’s 2009 Commemorative Print was unveiled after more than 3,700 votes were cast online for the 11 submitted prints.  The artwork of Thoroughgood Elementary School’s Dottie Holtz was selected and is available for purchase on vbschools.com.  All proceeds from print sales support future grant projects.

Congratulations to Cathy Peterson, Gifted Resource Teacher at Princess Anne Middle School.  The Virginia Association of the Gifted selected her as the Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region II.  Only one recipient from each of the Association’s nine regions is selected, and Cathy was honored at the state conference held in Roanoke last month.   

Erika Hitchcock was recently presented with a State Commendation by the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly to recognize her outstanding contributions as an educator.  Delegate Joe Bouchard presented the House Joint Resolution to Erika at Old Donation Center where she is a visual arts teacher and the 2008 Citywide Teacher of the Year.

Ocean Lakes High School physics teacher Mark Clemente is one of thirteen individuals who will be working on the Virginia Physics “Flexbook” project.   This is a collaborative effort of the Commonwealth’s Secretaries of Education and Technology and the Department of Education.  The Flexbook will allow educators to create and compile supplemental materials relating to 21st century physics in an open-source, web-based format.  This pilot project is also aimed at evaluating the potential cost savings of using electronic texts as well as analyzing the value add for teachers when offered the capability to customize a text to their needs for any given year or for any set of students through simple editing.

Lastly this evening —  As we highlighted in July, seven Beach District high schools were among the 17 schools from across the state that qualified for the 2008 Claudia Dodson Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award.  The Virginia High School League has also announced the “Stay in the Game” award recipients for the 2007-2008 school year.  This sportsmanship award recognizes schools that had no player or coach ejections during the year.  Congratulations to Bayside, First Colonial, Green Run, Landstown, Ocean Lakes, Salem, and Tallwood High Schools for being among the 96 schools in the state to earn this recognition.

Mr. Chairman and members of the School Board, this concludes my report for the evening.


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