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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 - February 19, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

In keeping with Dr. Merrill's tradition, I will begin this monthly report with a look at the progress we are making under our strategic plan, Compass to 2015. Often we focus on 21st century skills and objectives coming to life in our classrooms. This evening, however, I will share a couple of examples of the professional development taking place in alignment with Strategic Objective Five which states: "VBCPS will be accountable for developing essential leader, teacher and staff competencies and optimizing all resources to achieve the school division's strategic goal and outcomes for student success."

The department of school administration and a steering committee recently introduced a new professional learning program for aspiring administrators. LEAD Virginia Beach replaces the old Futures program in helping prepare staff who aspire to become assistant principals and principals. Just before winter break, more than 60 enthusiastic teachers attended an information session for an overview of the program. Staff interested in learning more about LEAD Virginia Beach, should visit the Department of School Administration page of

The LEAD program also provides professional development to current principals, who recently used their collaborative sessions to define their roles as instructional leaders through the lens of mathematics and literacy. They read, reflected and participated in professional discussions on the role of data to improve instruction with a focus on literacy. They also had an opportunity to reflect on their leadership in planning for high quality instruction. The sessions are designed for principals to lead and facilitate their own discussion and to grow from each other's experiences and feedback.

While these are specific examples of professional development opportunities for administrators and future administrators, I should note that this year school year, the division is offering approximately 2500 divisionwide courses and professional learning opportunities for teachers and other VBCPS staff.

As a reminder for our parents and people watching the meeting at home, you can learn more about our strategic plan, Compass to 2015, on the school division website,

While you are visiting the website, be sure to click on "The Core" at the center of the page. In this new blog for the school division you will find stories about the many great lessons and activities taking place in our schools as well as few special announcements about students and staff.

For example, a story posted today highlights a visit by members of the Armed Forces School of Music to Bayside High School. The visit marks the beginning of a partnership between the School of Music and the high school band program.

How do you spell success? For eighth-grader Kenneth R. it is spelled f-e-l-i-f-o-r-m. "Feliform" was the final word Kenneth needed to spell to win the Virginian Pilot Spelling Bee. Now, the Kemps Landing Student will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in May. Congratulations to Kenneth and best of luck.

Students at Virginia Beach Middle School recently experienced the ins and outs of the courtroom by conducting their own mock trials as part of the eighth grade Civics curriculum. Students played key roles from jury members, prosecuting and defense attorneys, courtroom sketch artists and even a bailiff. To enrich this experience even further, the roles of judge were played by Virginia Beach City Public School's very own Dr. Valerie Williams, employee relations specialist, and School Board Attorney, Ms. Kamala Lannetti. The students thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and appreciated the insight and perspective shared by these two attorneys.

Brandon Middle School students put all they've learned about social responsibility to good use this month, to raise money and lend support to the Special Olympics. Students and staff braved the cold for the annual Polar Plunge at the oceanfront. The Brandon Chargers raised more than $12,000 for Special Olympics.

The weather wasn't much warmer January 31st for the Beach Bags Food Drive but the generosity of the community was enough to warm the hearts of volunteers. In total, enough food was donated in 12 short hours to fill 900 Beach Bags! The Beach Bags program provides healthy snacks and meals to disadvantaged students who may not have enough to eat over weekends and school vacations.

In keeping with the spirit of helping others, I'd like to congratulate the winners of the PTA's Principals of American Citizenship. The character trait for December was "kindness." The winners include:

  • Jake F. from Alanton Elementary School;
  • Jessymar B. of Landstown Middle School; and
  • Tedra B. from Ocean Lakes High School.

And finally, I have a special recognition for the members of our school board. February has been designated as School Board Appreciation Month by the Virginia School Boards Association. This year's theme is School Boards Speak Out for Public Schools. Certainly, the members of this Board are tireless advocates for the children and educators in our city. At your seats, you will find certificates of appreciation. We are fortunate that you have chosen to be public servants and are grateful for your dedication. Thank you for all you do for children.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report this evening.

Superintendent's Report Archives

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017