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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Superintendent's Report to the School Board
July 21, 2009

Mr. Chairman, before I begin my traditional monthly report, I would like to share with you truly outstanding news regarding the division’s Standards of Learning test results.

Based on the preliminary analysis of data, the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment projects that 100 percent of our schools will earn full SOL accreditation. Staff is still in the process of drilling down into scores for individual schools and subject areas, but we are confident that all necessary benchmarks have been met.

Here are a few of the highlights from the district level:

  • Science pass rates equal or exceed 92 percent at all middle schools.
  • English pass rates equal or exceed 90 percent at 13 of 14 testing middle schools.
  • Pass rates for all core subjects meet or exceed 85 percent at the high school level.
  • Pass rates for both English and history exceed 80 percent at all 56 testing elementary schools.

Clearly, the hard work of our students, teachers and entire school community is paying off.  The collaboration between schools and central administration, and the continued support of our parents are all integral components of our success. Many thanks to all.

I also want to share with you some stellar news from Bettie F. Williams Elementary.  The school’s unadjusted pass rate for fifth-grade history increased 39 percentage points! That’s the largest increase of any test - at any level. What makes this news even more remarkable is that Williams Elementary missed full accreditation last year based on the school’s history scores.  Obviously, amazing things happened at Williams this year to produce these results. For example:

  • More frequent assessments allowed staff to quickly review data and identify student needs;
  • The teachers worked effectively in professional learning communities to share ideas and provide an interdisciplinary approach to social studies instruction;
  • The increased use of technology enhanced social studies instruction; and
  • Parents were involved by helping their children with online and hands-on activities related to social studies lessons at home.

This wonderful news deserves a hearty round of applause. Please join me in celebrating our collective achievement!

We also applaud the service of over 200 retiring employees who were recently honored at the school division’s annual retirement dinner.  Collectively, these retirees served Virginia Beach schools for 5,123 years. Special recognition was given to the following six retirees, each with over 40 years of service: Barbara McMillan, Malveen Lewis, Betsy Taylor, Lorraine Bennett, Georgia Christie, and Liz Warren.  Guidance department chairperson Barbara McMillan retired with the longest tenure of 48 years, and Malveen Lewis, retiring after 42 years of service as a bus driver, was the most senior retiree at 82-years-young.

Last month, the school division also celebrated the accomplishments of more than 5,000 high school seniors during graduation ceremonies.  Nearly 4,000 virtual guests from 35 countries and 46 states watched the special events live via webcasts on VBSchools Troop Tube.  Additionally, we are pleased to share that the Class of 2009 has accepted more than $25.7 million in scholarships as reported to high school guidance offices.  We congratulate all of our graduating seniors on the completion of their high school careers and wish them continued success in the future.

Congratulations to the winners of the Virginia Beach Robotics Competition held at the Advanced Technology Center. Kevin Pace, electronics teacher at the Technical and Career Education Center, organized the first-ever event. Students worked together in teams to problem solve and test their electronics and engineering skills as they designed  award-winning robots.

The Virginia Beach associations of Secondary School Principals and Elementary School Principals announced the following recognitions for the 2008-2009 school year:

  • High School Principal of the Year, Brian Baxter
  • Middle School Principal of the Year, James Pohl
  • Elementary School Principal of the Year, Larry Ames
  • Secondary Schools Assistant Principal of the Year, Daniel Keever
  • Elementary School Assistant Principal of the Year, Joanne Pereira

Congratulations to these administrators.

The children’s television program “How In The World” won a 2009 Award of Excellence in the 13th Annual Videographer Awards - an international competition designed to honor excellence in video production. “How in the World” is produced quarterly by the school division and VBTV for elementary and middle school students, and it features topics that are linked to various Standards of Learning objectives.  To watch the most recent episode on VBTV, visit for air dates and times.

Lastly this evening, the Virginia High School League recently announced that six Virginia Beach high schools were among the award recipients for two of its annual honors.

  • Five of our high schools have been awarded the 2009 Claudia Dodson VHSL Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award.  Congratulations to: First Colonial, Kempsville, Landstown, Princess Anne and Tallwood high schools. They are among 17 high schools across the state to be recognized for demonstrating that “sportsmanship is a priority and expectation within their schools and school communities.”
  • Cox High School earned its fourth consecutive Wachovia Cup for Athletics among Group AAA schools.  The Wachovia Cup is awarded to the school in each group classification that has achieved the best overall record in VHSL state-level competition. This year the Falcons won state championships in field hockey and boys soccer and earned additional Wachovia points for their success in boys and girls tennis, boys and girls volleyball, girls soccer, baseball, golf, and wrestling.   

Congratulations to all six high schools for these state recognitions.

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



Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017