Superintendent's Report
October 21, 2003

Mr. Chairman, members of the School Board, citizens of our community, my report this month provides a brief glimpse into the many activities and accomplishments of our students and staff in recent weeks.

Third graders at our Title I elementary schools have been receiving new Scholastic dictionaries– to assist them with class assignments and expand their vocabularies. The Robin Hoods of Virginia Beach and Scholastic, Inc. have partnered with our schools to provide these valuable academic resources to approximately 1,559 students. This donation, valued at $28,062, was initiated by both parties. Stickers encouraging the students to pass the dictionary onto another student when they no longer need it, were placed in each book. Members of the club have been personally presenting the dictionaries to students during 16 school visits. Many thanks to this generous organization for choosing our third graders as the recipients of their service!

On October 8th, our school system paid tribute to 87 outstanding teachers at our annual Teacher of the Year dinner. Each school’s principal was on hand to greet their school’s teacher of the year. It was, thematically, a “starry, starry night” as each teacher of the year was publicly introduced --and awards from the district and honorariums from our Education Foundation were presented to the 2004 teacher of the year finalists and our citywide teacher of the year, Rebecca Gurley. Ms. Gurley, who was also recently named Region II teacher of the year, addressed the audience during the program. Each teacher of the year received a plaque, custom-designed lapel pin, and a commemorative program. Congratulations to all of our 2004 teachers of the year!

On October 9th, Governor Warner visited Plaza Middle School to unveil his Education for a Lifetime - Teacher Recruitment and Retention reforms. Several Plaza Middle School teachers had the opportunity to meet and talk with the Governor during a reception following his announcement. Plaza Middle’s SCA Officers presented the Governor with gifts from the school.

Holland Elementary School hosted their 2nd Annual “Holland Hits the Streets” Family and Community Fair on Saturday, October 11th. The event was a celebration of student, teacher, family and community commitment that resulted in achievement of full accreditation on the 2003Virginia Standards of Learning. The Holland Elementary staff traveled to their three largest school communities, Scarborough Square, The Lakes and Magic Hollow to transport students and parents back to the school for the event. The fair included educational exhibits, food, games, entertainment, door prizes, information booths and lots of fun for the entire Holland family!

On October 13, our school system hosted a staff SOLabration – a Picnic in the Park at Princess Anne Park --for staff delegations from all of our fully accredited schools. The event was designed to celebrate the collective progress and accomplishments of our schools on the 2003 Virginia Standards of Learning Tests. Ninety-five percent of our schools achieved full accreditation in 2003 and the ten schools, which earned accreditation for the first time this year, were publicly recognized at the event. Our system-wide efforts and progress on the Virginia Standards of Learning is certainly cause for celebration!

Several congratulations are in order. . .

Congratulations to Dr. Laurie Godfrey, drama teacher at Tallwood High School, who was recently named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year for the state of Virginia. Dr. Godfrey, who was selected for this honor by the Phi Delta Kappa International Education Association, received recognition during Tallwood’s Open House on October 9th. Tallwood High received a $5,000 donation from Wal-Mart for the school, and Dr. Godfrey received a personalized Teacher of the Year Jacket, a Teacher of the Year certificate, and a one-year membership to PDK.

Kudos to our Office of Organizational Development for leading our district to receive a Certificate of Commitment to Performance Excellence from the United States Senate Productivity and Quality Award for Virginia program. This accomplishment was recognized at the 20th Annual SPQA Virginia Forum for Excellence on September 30th in Williamsburg.

Hats off to our Office of Business Services who, once again, received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. This certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

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