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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 23, 2013

Each month, I share with you evidence of the many programs and activities which make our schools among the best in region, state and nation. But it’s always rewarding when “outsiders” make note of our success as well. Tonight, I have outstanding news on that front. The Washington Post recently announced its list of the top high schools in the nation and I am proud to say that all 11 of our comprehensive high schools are on it. The rankings include those schools which are in the top 9% of schools across the country. The High School Challenge uses the number of Advanced Placement and/or IB tests taken by students at an individual school in 2011-12 divided by the school’s total number of graduates to determine rank. This is by no means the only way to measure a school’s success, but The Post considers it a good indicator of college readiness.

Hampton Roads magazine is also touting the success of our schools. In the March issue, the magazine ranks Princess Anne and Cox high schools among the top five “standout” schools in the area. The magazine based its list on formula using AP test taking percentages and SOL scores along with dropout rates and the number of behavior incidents as reported by the Virginia Department of Education. Salem and First Colonial high schools appeared on the magazine’s “honor roll.”

While it’s always nice when others recognize your successes, we cannot rest on our laurels. There is still plenty of work to be done under our strategic plan, Compass to 2015. Tonight, I would like to focus on our efforts in the area of objective four which reaffirms our commitment to “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.”

We are fortunate that our community is not only willing but eager to support our schools as volunteers, mentors and partners in education. Right now, we have approximately 1,900 community partners and nearly 25,000 volunteers donating their time and talents to our schools. If you were to put a price tag on the 434,000 hours of service contributed this year, it would total about $9 million. That’s amazing!

Just last week, the school division hosted a community celebration to thank the 85 volunteers of the year selected by each school and the 14 model partnerships chosen as exemplary. You can read more about each of these incredible individuals and organizations on the school division website

One more example of a great partnership in action – the school division, local military commands and Lynnhaven Mall are working together this month to support and celebrate our students from military families. The organizations sponsored The Art of Being a Military Child an art contest. Children submitted art work that reflects the challenges and opportunities associated with being a military child. Winners at the elementary, middle and high school levels were announced at a reception earlier this month. You can see all of the artwork on display at Lynnhaven Mall throughout the month of April.

Here’s a great story. Every class and every student at Windsor Woods Elementary School recently took part in World Math Day, using computers instead of calculators. Take a look.

(Plays video)

As you can see, the students were completely engaged in the activity. The school also hosted a math night for parents and families as part of the World Math competition.

Taking math to a bit higher level now, a team of students from Princess Anne High School recently participated in the personal finance division of the Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance. The team, called “Cavaliers International,” advanced to the state championship by earning top region two honors in an online competition. Team members include:

  • Kevin H.;
  • Mager K.;
  • Fredric L.; and
  • Patrick M.

As part of the competition, the team had to review a case study and develop a comprehensive financial plan for the family featured in the case study. In addition, the team had to write a report detailing their recommendations and any assumptions and calculations for the case study family and judges to consider during the team’s oral presentation. I’m happy to say that “Cavaliers International” did a great job and gave an outstanding presentation at the state championship as well. Congratulations to the each of the students and their teacher, Jason Barefoot.

A student from Kempsville Middle School has hit one out of the ballpark with the Norfolk Tides! J.T. M., a sixth-grader, designed the winning artwork for the team’s 2013 season program. His drawing features team mascot, Rip Tide. In appreciation, the Tides invited TJ to throw out the first pitch at the season home-opener.

A big thank you tonight to everyone who came out to support our schools and the Virginia Beach Education Foundation at the annual Pearls of Wisdom oyster roast April 13. Money raised at the event will be used to fund teacher and schoolwide grants next school year.

And finally, congratulations to the recipients of the PTA Principles of American Citizenship awards for the month of February. The following students were chosen for demonstrating the character trait of “honesty”:

  • Entonian H. from Fairfield Elementary School;
  • Aidan B. from Larkspur Middle School; and
  • John Z. from Bayside High School.

Remember, you can read more about the accomplishments of students and staff on the school division's online blog "The Core" on And, be sure to follow us on Twitter and "like" vbschools on Facebook.

That concludes my report for this evening.

Superintendent's Report Archives

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017