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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
November 23, 2010

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

As you are aware, I like to begin the monthly superintendent’s report with a Compass to 2015 moment if you will. Tonight’s example goes to the heart of Strategic Objective 4 which states: VBCPS will create opportunities for parents, community and business leaders to fulfill their essential roles as actively engaged partners in supporting student achievement and outcomes for student success.

Our partnership with the Virginia Beach Education Foundation is a sterling example of how the division and the community work together to advance student success. Recently, the Virginia Beach Education Foundation, which raises private sector support for our schools, hosted at the Sandler Center its annual TGIF event, which stands for Teacher Grants Improve Futures. At that event, the Education Foundation awarded $100,000 in grants to teachers and schools for innovative projects that support student achievement. While this is notable on its own merits, of particular interest is the fact that the Foundation has aligned its grant guidelines with the tenets of Compass to 2015. It is amazing to think that committed volunteers raise considerable funds that result in meaningful and positive differences in our classrooms. For example, the “Fetch a Good Book” at Salem Elementary will help students enhance their literary skills by reading for nine weeks to a therapy dog and then blogging about their book choices. At Corporate Landing Middle, seventh grade “scientists” will test the Owl’s Creek environment for raising oysters. And at the Advanced Technology Center, engineering students will design and build a remotely operated vehicle using physics, engineering, and design principles. 
Speaking of rich experiences, Teacher Forum recently kicked off this year’s National Speaker Series with Dr. Robert Brooks, author of The Power of Mindsets:  Nurturing Motivation and Resilience in Students. Dr. Brooks spoke to 1,000 teachers, administrators, and students from the Teachers for Tomorrow Program about the importance of educators being ‘charismatic adults’. Charismatic adults are people who believe in children and work hard to advance hope and resilience in their lives.

Our Academies Night this year was highly successful. More than 2,000 people attended this event to learn more about the program offerings at the seven high school academies and advanced academic programs. Parents and students take note: application information is available on the division’s website and from school guidance counselors.  The deadline to apply is February 1, 2011.
Just a few days later, middle and high school students and their families came out in droves for the Annual College Night. They had an opportunity to talk with representatives from over 150 colleges and universities about their programs. In addition, the ACCESS Foundation conducted two financial aid seminars to help students and parents understand options for paying for college.

During Virginia Farm to School Week, November 8-12, all schools served food items grown and produced in Virginia during lunchtime meals. These food items included: broccoli, Virginia Red & Golden Delicious apples, and milk.  Additionally, students and staff in select schools sampled a variety of other Virginia-grown vegetables such as spaghetti squash, butternut squash, green acorn squash, turnip greens, and pumpkin pies.

Early November marked the annual Special Olympics fall championships, hosted at Ocean Lakes High School. More than 1,000 Special Olympians competed for gold in soccer, bocce, roller skating, volleyball, bowling, and golf. More than 600 volunteers - including representatives from a number of our schools- helped make the event a great success. In fact, the School Board was represented at the event, too, with our very own Patrick Salyer in attendance.

The Courthouse Rotary recently visited Ocean Lakes Elementary School to make a very special donation. Each third grade student received a dictionary donated by the Rotarians. The dictionaries were theirs to keep and the students were instructed to work hard to become “excellent spellers” as they use their dictionaries.

Ocean Lakes High School held its tenth annual Community Mentors’ Appreciation Night on November 4.  This event recognizes the significant contributions, outstanding dedication, and valuable service of the Mathematics and Science Academy Mentors and Research Project Advisors who generously give of their time to work with the Academy seniors on their senior projects.  Each Academy senior introduced the mentor or research advisor, presented this person with a framed certificate, and shared the experiences of the mentorship or research project with the audience. 

The Renaissance Academy was formally dedicated on Saturday, November 6 on the “green” rooftop of the school. The highlight of the ceremony was a speech delivered by Renaissance Academy sophomore Kevin O. who credits the Renaissance Academy staff for building his self-confidence, helping him create life goals, and making him a better person. During the dedication ceremony, Deputy Superintendent Sheila Magula accepted a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Plaque from Duane Harver, chief executive officer of RRMM Architects, the architectural firm responsible for the design of the building. To date, this “gold” rating is the highest certification the school division has achieved. However, future building efforts are also designed to obtain LEED certifications.

On November 16, Parent Connection, in partnership with CHKD, presented a workshop on parenting the strong-willed child. CHKD Parent Educator Molly Brown offered tips for parents on how to effectively manage their child’s behavior and how to positively discipline them when necessary. Nearly one hundred parents and family members attended the event, which was held at the Advanced Technology Center.

The following congratulations are in order this evening…

Congratulations go out to 70 high school students throughout the division who decided to dedicate a day off from school on Election Day to work at polling places throughout the city. These civic-minded students gave a total of 557.5 hours assisting the registrar, precinct captains, and poll workers. Comments from the students included, “it feels good to see how the voting process works and be part of it” and “it is our responsibility to get involved.” I’m sure that you will agree that it’s impressive to see our students taking part in this all-important process.

Finally this evening, Kathryn Matney, an instructor at Tallwood High School, was recently recognized for teaching excellence by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI). This international educators group rewards teachers for motivating students to pursue careers in chemistry or chemical engineering through their excellent teaching while giving them the foundation for their academic success. The award carries a cash stipend of $1,000 to be used for classroom purposes and/or professional development. 

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

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017