Superintendent's Report
August 19, 2003


Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening highlights some of the activities our students and staff have been engaged in recently.

One hundred and twenty middle school students and one hundred and twenty-five high school students participated in our division's annual four-day student leadership workshops organized by the Office of Student Activities. The workshops were held at Virginia Wesleyan College in two separate sessions, one for middle schoolers and one geared toward high school student leaders. This year marked the 30- year anniversary for this citywide program that focuses on building student leaders. Representatives from each middle and high school attended the leadership workshop to gain ideas and skills that would be transferable and beneficial to their own school's SCA. Participants attended sessions such as group dynamics, effective meetings, and team building and left the experience with renewed enthusiasm and skills. The workshops are conducted by VBCPS graduates, who serve as the workshop staff.

Our fourth year-round school, Plaza Elementary, opened its doors to students on July 28th for the first day of school for the 2003-04 school year. Both students and staff look forward to their new schedule, fully confident that it will assist them in sustaining full accreditation as they focus on common assessments and writing across the curriculum.

August has continued to be a busy month for professional development for staff.

The 2003 division wide Administrative Leadership Conference was held last week for more than 400 principals, assistant principals, and central office administrators at Landstown High School. Our administrative staff had the opportunity to attend sessions facilitated by our own VBCPS professionals and to hear nationally known speakers such as Dr. Doug Reeves, Ruby Payne, and Mark Scharenbroich.

Training for all school "partners in education" coordinators was held last week at Ocean Lakes High School. Nearly 100 staff members who will also be responsible for coordinating community engagement efforts at their schools attended sessions such as the process for partnership development, school-based mentorship programs, effective partnerships with parents, funding classroom initiatives through Education Foundation grants, and curriculum focused partnerships.

Forty-six Fourth and Fifth Grade Teachers participated in an educational fieldtrip to Richmond on August 11th. In an effort to better prepare for instruction of the Virginia Social Studies program, they visited historical sites such as the Virginia Historical Society, Valentine History Center, Maggie Walker House, the Museum of the Confederacy, and the Capitol.

This week, our district welcomes 315 teachers who are new to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools this year at our 3 - day Teacher Orientation and Continuous Learning Institute (TOCLI) at Ocean Lakes High. The new teachers are grouped by levels into camps and are participating in sessions such as presentation/facilitation skills, classroom management, team building, and technology. They will also hear from nationally known speakers like Guy Doud, Rich Allen, Mick Lunzer, and Kay Burke.

Our school division's new and improved Intranet website, www.vbcps.net, is up and running with many updated and new features. Some highlights of the new website include an updated home page with a streamlined navigation bar. New categories such as Employee Service Quick Links, Governmental Links, What's New to Our Site, VBCPS Publications, and Our Schools have all been added in an effort to keep employees well informed. In addition, all departments and offices now have their own standardized websites to better serve our staff. The Internet Explorer browser is now compatible with the GroupWise email system, as well, and the School Board Policies area of the Intranet will now house a monthly update archive.

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