Superintendent's Report
September 19, 2000

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and of our viewing audience. My report this evening highlights numerous school division initiatives and individual accomplishments.

As you are well aware, we opened our doors on September 5th to over 77,000 students. Hats off to the many staff members who were responsible for yet another successful new school year opening.

In preparation for the opening of school, approximately 1,000 newly hired and second year teachers were "students" for a week when our Office of Organizational Development, in collaboration with our Department of Curriculum and Instruction, hosted the second annual New Teacher Institute, August 21 Ė 25 at Corporate Landing Middle School. The teachers received training related to organizational culture, classroom management, parent communication and best teaching practices, all with an emphasis on student achievement. The Institute was created to attract, induct, and retain high performing teachers by providing them with training and support throughout their first three years of teaching.

Additionally, training for all staff continues to be an on going focus. In fact, the month of August was devoted to training initiatives for administrators, teachers, and school system staff alike.

Our summer Leadership Conference was held at Ocean Lakes High School for two action packed days, with training provided by local, state, and national education experts. Nearly 400 of our administrators benefited from training strands that are closely aligned to our school divisionís strategic plan.

Staff development for Computer Resource Teachers, Reading Resource Teachers (through the Soar to Success Intervention Program) and all returning teachers was designed to support our staff in serving our students well in the 2000-2001 school year.

In terms of professional development, many educators also take advantage of learning experiences over the summer that enhance their instructional programs. For example, Donna Stewart, a second-grade teacher at Corporate Landing Elementary School, was selected by the Department of Education to travel to Turkey in August. This valuable experience was designed to support the Social Studies SOLs.

Many other training opportunities are scheduled for staff throughout the school year.

I am pleased to announce the school divisionís website -- -- added a new interactive feature in August that allows students, parents, new residents and future residents the ability to determine their correct school assignment based on an address. To access the system, the user simply enters an address on the "school locator" page. Within seconds, the corresponding elementary, middle, or high school to which the neighborhood is assigned is displayed. In addition, each schoolís street address with a map indicating the geographic location of each school, the phone number, e-mail address, and website is listed. Of special note, the school locator also includes current information on each school affected by the approved redistricting changes for the 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 school years.

The school locator has been a joint effort by two departments: Administrative Support Services and Media and Communications Development.

I would also like to bring to your attention that our website has had a new school year makeover. I invite you to visit our site and take a look at all the information we have available.

In addition to Bayside High School, First Colonial, Ocean Lakes, Princess Anne, and Tallwood high schools have all been awarded the 2000 Wachovia Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award. This represents the 4th time First Colonial and Princess Anne have received this honor, the 5th time for Ocean Lakes, and the 7th time for Tallwood High School. Congratulations to these schools!

Iím pleased to report that, for the third consecutive year, our school division has won two prestigious awards for its financial reporting, specifically for the preparation and issuance of the school divisionís comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). Don Tharpe, Executive Director of The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International, notes that "the award represents a significant achievement by the School Board of the City of Virginia Beach and reflects your commitment to the highest standards of school system financial reporting."

The Office of Business Services has also received an award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). According to Stephen Gauthier, Director of the Technical Services Center, "The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management." I commend all who worked on this project. The school divisionís prudent financial practices are noteworthy and it is gratifying to have our efforts realized.

Congratulations to our Office of Business Services!

Finally, Iím pleased to announce that Linda Koutoufas and staff members from Woodstock Elementary School are featured in a statewide Lottery Education Campaign commercial slated for release shortly.

This all came about when the Department of Media and Communications Development received a request from the State Department of Education to participate a campaign to educate the public on the fact that all lottery proceeds now go to education coffers. As a part of the campaign, teachers from around the state are shown teaching and discussing how they are incorporating the standards of learning into their classrooms.

Our Media and Communications staff suggested altering the previous format and featuring Lindaís expertise in staff development on the SOL tests by showing her "teaching the teachers." The State Department and Lottery officials liked the concept and filming took place in June.

Once the commercial was completed, the State Department of Education and Lottery officials were so pleased with the results, they elected to run Lindaís commercial state-wide and not just regionally as the others have been.

This evening we have the privilege of previewing the commercial.

Show Commercial

My congratulations to Linda and the teachers who agreed to be part of this project. I commend you all for a fine effort.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report.