April 22, 2003
Mr. Chairman, members of the Board and citizens of our community, my report this evening provides brief highlights of some of the many events that recently occurred in our school system, as well as, just a few of the many accomplishments of our students and staff in recent months.
Landstown Middle and Brandon Middle Schools' Art Students recently connected with professionals from Norway via videoconference in our Einstein Lab here at the School Administration Building. The distance connection was set up through the NASA CONNECT Program. The participating students then created artwork that reflected what they had learned during the videoconference and their artwork was included in NASA CONNECT's "Dancing In The Night Sky" Project. The project integrated science, technology, art, music, dance, and culture as students learned of the myths and legends of the Northern Lights as well as some of Norway's culture.
After two years of planning and development, the Luxford Elementary Conversation Cafe Art Gallery had its Grand Opening on Tuesday, March 25. Students of the newly developed "Luxford Student Art Council" served as docents for the evening and were responsible for selecting the first pieces to be hung in the café's gallery, using a rubric that they established --based on criteria generated by the students. Funding for the project --to display the professionally matted and framed student artwork --was made possible through the efforts of Sandy Dawson, Luxford Art Specialist, who organized a fundraiser through Square One Art. The school's partnership with the Chrysler Museum included student visits to the Chrysler to get a behind the scenes look at gallery operations. Future plans include displaying additional student work both in the conversation café and in the hallways of the school.
Operation Community Flagship was recently initiated at Seatack Elementary by the school's Partnership Coordinator Eleanor Williams-Brown. The project encourages increased collaboration between military personnel and the school, providing students whose parents are deployed with additional support, providing additional tutors for SOL assistance, and expanding the school's pool of mentors for students. On the first day of spring intersession at Seatack, the USS Oak Hill formalized their partnership with the school, and the Navy Ocean Processing Facility and VF-106 re-committed their relationships with Seatack Elementary.
On April 9th, Technical and Career Education's Cooperative Office Education program held its 34th Annual Employer Appreciation Breakfast at the Founders Inn. Through the business education program, 80 students honored representatives from nearly 70 businesses and offices in our community for providing them with valuable work experiences and helping the students to develop essential skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
On March 27th, our first class of The Futures Project Principals' Academy officially graduated from the program. Twenty-five assistant principals and central office administrators celebrated the completion of professional development activities that help to prepare them to successfully lead our schools in the future. The Futures Academy is coordinated by our Office of Organizational Development.
Last evening, our school division paid tribute to 85 outstanding individuals who donate their time and talents to our students and staff on a daily basis. Our annual Volunteer of the Year Recognition Dinner was held at Salem Middle School. Each school's volunteer of the year was saluted for their contributions to public education in Virginia Beach. Each year our school system benefits from the talents of more than 27,000 volunteers who donate more than 740,000 hours of service to our students and staff.
Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .
Congratulations to the middle and high school winners in the Great Computer Challenge held on March 15th at Old Dominion University. The Challenge is sponsored by the consortium for Interactive Instruction (CII), managed by WHRO-TV that provides regional leadership in advocating the most appropriate uses of technology in the classroom. During the Great Computer Challenge, 39 VBCPS student teams competed in areas such as desktop publishing, computer programming, web design, and graphic arts. Eighteen of our teams received awards.
Hats off to Landstown High School teacher, Julie Moustafa, who was named WHRO Technology Educator of the Year at the Great Computer Challenge. Mrs. Moustafa was selected for her outstanding work in business and information technology education and the implementation of technology in the classroom. She teaches courses, such as Web Development and Administration and Oracle Database Management to students in the Technology Academy. She also volunteers to teach a community outreach class on resume writing to parents in the community through Landstown's Eagle Outreach Program. Ms. Moustafa sponsors the LHS WebMaster's Club which is responsible for creating and maintaining the websites of several clubs and organizations at the school. In addition, she has written curriculum for Technology Academy courses and completed 138 hours of training for Oracle Internet Academy at UCLA last summer.
Congratulations to Bayside Middle School students who won both the regional and state competitions of the Virginia Middle School Art Contest. Their works were recently displayed at the state art conference in Norfolk.
Kudos to Amy Upson, Procurement Specialist in the Department of Budget and Finance's Office of Purchasing, for being named Buyer of the Year for 2003 by the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing (VAGP). Amy received this award during the VAGP's Spring Conference in Richmond.
Congratulations to the Princes Anne High School Band for earning the title Virginia Honor Band on March 8th at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association District 2 Band Festival. They received a Superior rating at the state Marching Festival and a Superior rating at the District Band Festival. The Wind Ensemble received a rating of Superior and the PA High Symphonic Band received an Excellent rating. These scores all contributed to earning the status of Virginia Honor Band for the Cavaliers.
Kudos to the Cox High School's World Quest Team for winning third place in the National Academic World Quest Competition sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America on March 29th in Washington D.C. The Cox team qualified for the nationals by winning the World Affairs Councils of Greater Hampton Roads competition.
Hats off to Rich Ciccone's Third Grade Class at Fairfield Elementary for winning the "Name the Bug" contest sponsored by Pembroke Mall. The Building Bug will serve as an icon for the Mall's multi-million dollar renovation/redevelopment project. The class named Pembroke Mall's mascot for the Mall's renovation project "BOOMER", an acronym for Beautification of Our Mall with Exciting Renovations. Fairfield Elementary receives $500 for an educational project and the third graders were treated to a visit to the Mall to autograph the construction barricade and a class pizza party.
Congratulations to Katie Knapp, Computer Resource Teacher at Windsor Oaks Elementary School, for being selected as a winner in the 2003 Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning, presented by Inspiration Software, Inc. Mrs. Knapp is one of thirty educators in the nation to receive a $750 scholarship to participate in professional development activities.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report for this evening.