Ahead of the Curve
Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board
April 19, 2005

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening provides a brief sampling of recent school system events and some of the accomplishments of our students and staff.

April 17-23 is National Volunteer Recognition Week, and schools throughout the division have scheduled celebrations to recognize their volunteers. For example, at Centerville Elementary, volunteers were honored with a luncheon in their honor. Birdneck Elementary School celebrated their volunteers and partners with a western themed breakfast, at which volunteers were presented certificates of appreciation and treated to special musical and literary performances by Birdneck students. Volunteers of the Year have been selected from each school and will be recognized at the annual Volunteer of the Year Recognition Dinner, scheduled for May 4th at Salem Middle School.

Salem High School hosted its 2005 Year of the Languages roundtable event on April 14th at Virginia Wesleyan College. The Year of the Languages is designed to celebrate, educate, and communicate the power of language learning. The monthly themes are designed to advance the concept that learning multiple languages promotes understanding and peace in the world.

Futures Academy held its 6th Academy graduation on April 14th. Futures Academy has graduated a total of 124 individuals in its history, and, of these, 39 percent have been promoted to administrative positions. Futures Academy VI graduated 24 students, 6 of whom have already been promoted to administrative positions, including those of Assistant Principal and Administrative Assistant.

Trantwood Elementary School dedicated its new school facility on April 14th. Trantwood was originally built in 1963, serves 565 students, and employs 37 instructional staff members. The school was selected a Blue Ribbon School in 2000, and was one of the first five schools in Virginia Beach to earn SOL accreditation, along with earning numerous other awards and honors throughout its history.

Representatives from over 70 businesses and school departments were recognized for their willingness to employ our students as employees at the 36th Cooperative Office Education Employer Appreciation Luncheon held at the Doubletree Hotel. The event, coordinated by the Office of Technical and Career Education, provided an opportunity for students to present their employers with certificates of appreciation.

On April 11th, VBCPS joined with the City of Virginia Beach to conduct a mock disaster exercise at Cox High School. The scenario involved police, fire, emergency medical services as well as school and additional city personnel to test a joint crisis communications plan developed to address any large-scale emergency occurring in a Virginia Beach public school.

Seatack Elementary School students and their families enjoyed the beauty of art this month while visiting the Chrysler Museum as part of the SAPLINGS program. SAPLINGS, which stands for Students and Parents Learning Intellectual Growth Strategies, stems from a partnership with the Chrysler Museum. Through this partnership, students learn higher order thinking skills using the Chrysler’s art works as the basis for the lessons. Accompanying parents learn how to use art to help further develop these skills in their children. Students from Seatack, Holland, Newtown Road, Lynnhaven, Birdneck, Parkway and Williams elementary schools have benefited from participation in the SAPLINGS program.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Congratulations to First Colonial High School for receiving the Board of Education’s Leadership in Cultural Diversity Award. This award, presented by the Virginia Board of Education, recognizes school leadership in addressing issues of diversity. First Colonial High School was selected as a result of its efforts to improve academic achievement among its African-American student population. Their six-tiered approach, including mentoring, improved parental relationships, and increased community involvement, focuses on promoting a school climate that is culturally responsive to all students.

Hats off to the winners of the 2005 Environmental Art Contest, sponsored by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District. Krissy Fox, a senior at Princess Anne High School, took the Grand Prize, and received a $250 cash award. Honorable Mentions went to Blake Chipoh, Heather Husted, and Jose Torres, all of Ocean Lakes High School. Grand Prize and Honorable Mention winners, along with their parents and teachers, attended an award ceremony on April 16th, and were presented their awards by Mayor Meyera Oberndorf.

Three Virginia Beach school groups and two VBCPS teachers were winners at the 20th Annual Great Computer Challenge held at Old Dominion University on March 19th. This event, which is sponsored by WHRO, has competitions in a variety of categories, including desktop publishing, Web design, CAD, and various programming languages. The three school winners included Independence Middle School for Web Design, Princess Anne High School in Music Competition, and the Advanced Technology Center, which took the award for Visual Basic Programming. In addition, two teachers were honored as the middle school and high school technology educators of the year. Diana Mond, Library Media Specialist at CEL, was selected for her integration of technology, Web Quests, and technology lessons. Jennifer Ludford, social studies teacher at Princess Anne High School was chosen for her use of a variety of technologies to enrich her classes. Congratulations to all the winners!

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

Last Modified on April 22, 2005
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