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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
April 26, 2011

Chairman Edwards, Vice Chairman Brunke, and members of the Board and the viewing public –

As you know I like to begin my Superintendent’s Report by sharing progress on our Compass to 2015 Strategic Plan. Tonight, I have something a bit different to share—a video which highlights a few of the 21st century skills which are at the heart of the plan. This video is one in a series which will posted in coming weeks on You’ll see students engaged in learning and hear from teachers about how the skills are coming to life in their classrooms.

I will share additional videos highlighting the good work of the division’s teachers and students in future reports.

Virginia Beach students have demonstrated their global awareness – which is an identified 21st century skill - through various efforts to help those devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

  • Students at Bayside Middle School folded 600 paper cranes using Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.  Each crane resulted in a $2 dollar donation by the Bezos Family Foundation to help reconstruction efforts in Japan.
  • At Strawbridge Elementary, more than $2,200 was raised through their “Jammies for Japan” project. Students made a donation in exchange for being allowed to wear pajamas to school.
  • Student musicians from all eleven high schools joined to present Band Aid 2: For the People of Japan, a concert to raise money in support of the Japanese people and reconstruction efforts. The concert provided an opportunity to support relief efforts and showcase Honors Ensemble musicians throughout the division.

A successful Pearls of Wisdom event was music to the ears of Virginia Beach Education Foundation supporters. The foundation held its annual Oyster Roast and Barbecue held at the 24th Street Park. The day’s festivities, which included music by Butter, delicious food, and a silent auction, raised more than $15,000 which will support innovative projects implemented by teachers in our schools.

Delicious food was also on the menu at a recent “What’s New on Our Tray” event held by the Office of Food Services. This taste-testing event was designed to determine what appeals to the palette of students in order to decide future school lunch menu items. More than 225 parents and students rated new food items and learned about locally grown foods, sustainability, and good nutrition.

Several student music groups are getting a taste of success:

  • The Landstown High School Madrigal Singers and the Women's Ensemble, participated in the Disney Honors Choral Festival recently in Orlando. The Festival is a national invitational event that allows students to participate in leadership and musical workshops.
  • More than 1,300 elementary and middle school students recently participated in a first ever all-city music festival at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. The event marked the first time all-city performers had the opportunity to perform on the Sandler Center stage.

April is Youth Art Month and student talent is being showcased throughout the division…

  • The secondary portion of the Annual Citywide Student Art Show wrapped up yesterday, but art aficionados can take in the elementary show at Pembroke Mall through May 15.
  • Artists at Princess Anne Elementary School combined creative energy with civic awareness in an event called “Seasons of Hunger Dinner and Art Gallery.” Guests enjoyed the display of over 1,000 pieces of student artwork at the event which raised more than $2,500 for the Foodbank.

In news from Tallwood High School, students at the Global Studies and World Languages Academy are enjoying some exciting opportunities for global travel. Four academy students received scholarships to travel to Indonesia over spring break as part of the One LENS project. One LENS, which stands for “Look, Engage, Network, Sense: Cultivating Cross-Cultural Literacy Through Film and Digital Stories”, is made possible through funding by the State Department. Through this project, students explore the role of media in an ever-changing global society. During a two-week trip to Jakarta, students will focus on volunteerism and community engagement and use multimedia to motivate others to take an active role in their community and the world at large. Indonesian students will visit Tallwood in October.

You may remember that in a recent report, I highlighted a visit by Chinese students and Educators to Tallwood High school. This visit was the first leg of the Hanban-Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network partnership The second leg of that exchange is taking place this month, with two Tallwood educators and ten students enjoying a twelve-day educational program in China. 

In other academy news, First Colonial Legal Studies Academy, students recently took a “Law School Road Trip,” visiting law schools at William and Mary, the University of Richmond, Washington and Lee, and the University of Virginia.

And, students at Salem High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy recently participated in the annual Folger Secondary School Shakespeare Festival in Washington, DC. The students performed the Merchant of Venice and were awarded the “Spirit of the Festival” Ensemble Award for their poise, dignity, generosity, and professionalism. Well done!

The following congratulations are in order this evening…

Congratulations to students at the Advanced Technology Center who recently brought home the following honors:

  • For the second year in a row, students in the Advanced Technology Digital Design class took first, second and third place in the Virginia Aviation Poster Competition. The theme of the contest was “50 years of Human Space Flight.”
  • And, Engineering Technology students swept the competition at the Club Cable Car competition at T-C-C. Students used Auto Cad Inventor to design and build prototype cable cars.
Congratulations to Luxford Elementary School principal Joanne D’Agostino and Nurse Stacie Anderson for receiving the Mariel C. Furlong Award for Making a Difference. This award honors individuals and corporations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of individuals with food allergies.

And finally tonight, we honor the twenty recent graduates of the Virginia Beach School of Practical Nursing at the Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center. Best wishes to these young medical professionals as they pursue their career goals!

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

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017