Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board
July 19, 2005

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening includes brief highlights of some recent activities and accomplishments of our students and staff.

Summer school is well underway providing opportunities for Virginia Beach students to enroll in 38 courses at the high school level and 15 courses at the middle school level. Also students are participating in fast track tutoring followed by SOL test retakes in twelve subject areas, elementary remedial classes, and summer enrichment camps.  In total, over 8, 700 students are participating in summer school programs this year. 

As you may have seen on the news last week, even during the summer break, school staffs are continuing to focus on the importance of reading. At Birdneck Elementary, Summer Santa Claus and his friends – teachers and staff from the school – along with Santa, dressed in his holiday bathing suit, visited the Wadsworth Shores community last Friday. The group rode in a special jeep-mobile rather than a sleigh as they distributed ice cream and books to Birdneck students.

For the second year in a row, Mark Maund, Automotive Instructor at the Technical and Career Education Center, and his class are the recipients of a donated luxury car. Last year it was a BMW and this year it’s a $50,000 Honda Acura SUV! Mr. Maund and two of his students won the automotive state competition in Virginia last year and went on to participate in the National TEAM HONDA competition in New York at the National Automotive Technology Competition --which was part of the New York International Auto Show. As a result of their winning state performance and their participation in the Nationals, Honda donated the car to the Tech Center so that students could use it for training purposes. Well done!

The 11 th Annual VBPS Education Foundation Golf Tournament, recently held on June 23 rd at Heron Ridge, raised $41,000, and included an “Educator’s Challenge” event in the morning where one hundred and eight city and school staff “tee’d” off in a Captain’s Choice round of golf.  The “Business Leader’s” tournament was held in the afternoon for 132 golfers. The event received support from 36 sponsors, 66 additional donors, and 42 volunteers. Funds generated at this event support the Education Foundation’s Building Futures Grant program.

First Colonial High School students had the experience of working with United States Military Concert Band artists-in- residence this past school year. The West Point saxophonists offered performances and instructional clinics for FC band students.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . . .

Congratulations to staff and students in the Middle Years Program Academy at Plaza Middle School. On June 23 rd they were fully authorized to provide the Middle Years International Baccalaureate curriculum. As a result Plaza Middle School joins the elite group of schools world wide that are authorized to teach this rigorous program of study. There are only eight authorized IB Middle Years Programs in Virginia and 132 in the United States.

Students from Kemps Landing Magnet School placed first nation-wide in the 2005 Fifth National Garrett Morgan Symposium on sustainable transportation for the future. The eighth graders were sponsored in the competition by Hampton Roads Transit (HRT). Their winning entry proposed a UniModal plan that involves a form of magnetic levitation on a suspended track, and incorporated several ideas that have already been explored for the Hampton Roads Area. KLMS students scored highest in their written work, presentation, and the questions they asked, resulting in the highest scores for all possible categories. Kemps Landing Student Krista O., her father, and teacher Dennis Borgerding, traveled to San Jose, California to receive their award on Saturday, June 25 th. Congratulations!

Kudos to the Technical and Career Education Center for garnering a Business and Industry “Creating Excellence” Partnership Award from the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Advisory Committee for Technical and Career Education. The Tech Center’s partnership with Stihl Incorporated has resulted in a state-of-the-art Outdoor Power Equipment training facility in which students are trained and industry-certified as outdoor power equipment service and repair technicians.

Hats off to our chief information officer Ramesh Kapoor who was recently selected to represent Educational Technology Professional Leadership—for a large school division for a term of three years on the Virginia Educational Technology Advisory Committee.

Congratulations to staff and students at First Colonial High School for also ranking in the top 1,000 in Newsweek Magazine’s annual listing of the top 1,000 high schools in the country. FC ranked #547 --and joined Princess Anne High School who ranked #143, Ocean Lakes High ranking # 632, and Cox High with a rank of # 671 --who we reported last month had also made the list. The magazine annually ranks public schools according to the ratio of the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Hats off to Jessica H., one of our recently graduated seniors from Tallwood High School, who won a brand new Saturn Ion 1 donated by Saturn of Virginia Beach. Saturn offered the opportunity to participate in a drawing for the car to all Beach high schools during their Celebrate Life All Night After-Graduation Parties. At the end of each party, a name was drawn and one student from each high school was invited to Saturn for the grand drawing. Congratulations, Jessica!

Finally, kudos are in order for the Department of Media and Communications Development for receiving 15 awards in the 2004-05 Publications and Electronic Media Contest sponsored by the National School Public Relations Association. The awards were received for a variety of print, mixed media, and electronic media projects such as the VBCPS School Guide, our Elementary Parent/Student Handbook, and our website.

Thanks to all who have brought recognition to the school division. You help to keep us true to our motto: Ahead of the Curve.

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

Last Modified on March 30, 2006
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