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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 - August 21, 2012

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

Good evening. I’d like to begin this evening by focusing on our strategic plan, Compass to 2015. As you know, strategic objective one states: All teachers will engage every student in meaningful, authentic, and rigorous work through the use of innovative instructional practices and supportive technologies that will motivate all students to be self-directed and inquisitive leaners.

With the start of the new school year, we officially launch our Bring You Own Device - BYOD for short - initiative. Students will be able to bring and use their own laptops, iPads, e-readers, smart phones, and other digital devices in class. BYOD helps us ensure that we are providing a 21st century learning environment for our students.

While students will be allowed to bring their own devices, they will not be required to do so. If technology such as a laptop, iPad, or e-reader is needed for a lesson, it will be provided through school resources. Some students, however, may feel more comfortable using their own devices. I am confident that BYOD will enhance the educational experience for students across the division.

Back to school is at the forefront for all educators at this time of year. We’re busy getting our buildings ready, replacing equipment and technology, training staff, mapping out bus routes, and ordering instructional and food supplies. For example, we have:

  • Replaced 4,000 laptop and 1,200 desktop computers;
  • Welcomed the Class of 2016 – which includes 5,637 freshmen – at their respective schools for orientation;
  • Designed, evaluated, and revised more than 3,000 bus routes;
  • Completed 476 work orders at schools across the division this summer;
  • Replaced stadiums, bleachers, lockers, generators, and HVAC units at various schools;
  • And coordinated hundreds of hours of professional development offerings for teachers and staff.

Full staff returns to work next week and student schedules are arriving in homes now.

Nearly 300 first year teachers and teachers new to Virginia Beach are taking part in a professional learning program this week called Teacher Orientation and Continuous Learning Institute – or TOCLI. The purpose of TOCLI is to orient teachers to VBCPS, their home schools, and the resources available to support them during this all-important first year with the division. In addition, teachers will examine their specific curricula and explore a variety of instructional strategies and best practices.

This is always an exciting but very busy time of year. At the next school board meeting, I will share some of the highlights of our first day of school – which falls on September 4th this year.

Our community partners and volunteers have the “back to school” spirit as well. The Virginia Beach Schools Credit Union is wrapping up its annual backpack donation drive. At a one-day event held on July 28, the organization collected 78 backpacks and more than 260 school supplies ranging from notebooks and folders to pencils, pens, and crayons. In addition, monetary donations of nearly $1,500 will be used to buy more supplies! We are fortunate to have the support of such a caring community.

Here is another great example of our school – community connections. The department of curriculum and instruction partnered with the city to host a “Cops, Kids, and Books” program at Newtown Elementary School this summer. Officers from the third police precinct worked with 45-children during a summer program, reading with students and assisting them in literacy-focused activities. The goal was to keep students reading on grade level. The program also provided some quality interaction between students, staff, and police officers who serve the community.

An amazing piece of student art work is on display over at the police department’s second precinct on Virginia Beach Boulevard right now. Art students from the Renaissance Academy teamed up with the police department for a project entitled “It Takes Us All.” Students were given only limited instructions to create a mural that represents the connection between police, our schools, and citizens. Those who have seen the mural remarked not only on the student artists’ talents but also their optimistic view of our community.

And finally, special “congratulations” tonight, to a teacher who represents her school and our school division well.

Dr. Camilla Walck is an International Baccalaureate biology teacher at Princess Anne High School. She is the recipient of a $5,000 Life Sciences Educator Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Walck is a National Board Certified teacher who has been with VBCPS for 17 years. She was selected as one of six teachers to visit Cardiff, England to collaborate on the IB grading process. VBCPS is lucky to have outstanding teachers like Dr. Walck serving the students in our schools.

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

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Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017