Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board

Superintendent's Report
May 20, 2008

Chairman Edwards, Vice Chairman Bellitto, and members of the Board –

As you know, May is an important month in our annual testing schedule. Beginning May 5th, many of our students have participated in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing. Last week, our schools began the administration of End-of-Course and SOL tests which will continue through early June.

These standardized tests are only one measure of the student learning and achievement that occur daily within our school division. We know that our students, staff and parents work hard to prepare for these tests, but we also know that their work together throughout the year is what ensures the academic success and positive growth of our students. I wish our students and staff every success during these weeks of testing and with their preparations for the upcoming close of the school year.

I would also like to take a moment to extend special congratulations to Amanda Ash for being selected as the school division's 2009 Teacher of the Year. We surprised Amanda with this announcement last week during a visit to the Open Campus Center where she is an English teacher and Department Chair. The Teacher of the Year selection committee was impressed by her ability to motivate students to learn, her innovative use of technology and her enthusiasm for the profession. Congratulations to Amanda on a well-deserved honor.

Across the school division, April and May have been busy months with a variety of educational events –

In honor of Virginia Beach Student Leadership Week, the City-Wide SCA sponsored its annual Official for a Day program on April 30th. More than 100 students shadowed city and school officials in the morning followed by a luncheon at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

First Colonial's Legal Studies Academy students worked with Holland Elementary fifth graders to teach them the basics of the courtroom trial process. Holland students visited the Academy courtroom, and they will perform a mock trial for third graders next month.

Representatives from the Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union presented financial education lessons to Green Run Elementary students during Financial Fitness Week. And, Malibu Elementary third graders learned about saving money from Congresswoman Thelma Drake and Betsy Duke of TowneBank.

Virginia Beach Central Academy also welcomed guest speakers in April. ODU President Dr. Roseann Runte spoke with students in recognition of Women's History Month.

Bayside Health Sciences Academy students scrubbed in for a field trip to the Sentara School of Health Professions. They rotated through various stations for hands-on activities related to surgical tech, cardiovascular tech, and registered nursing.

New teachers and their mentors gathered for a division-wide Celebration of Partnership event at Ocean Lakes High School. Dr. J. Victor McGuire, founder of the National Association for Beginning Teachers, was among the guest speakers who shared his strategies on how to best engage students in the learning process.

Our students continue to excel in various contests for scholarships and awards -

Six students in the Technical and Career Education Center's Culinary Arts Program won scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $80,000 in the annual C-CAP competition. Another T.C.E. student, Travis H., was featured on the cover of the magazine Tomorrow's Technician for his work in the Automotive Service Technology Program.

Destination Imagination teams from five schools earned top honors at the State Tournament in April. Students from the Old Donation Center, Great Neck Middle, Kemps Landing Magnet, First Colonial High, and Ocean Lakes High School qualified to represent the state at the D.I. Global Finals in Tennessee this week.

Fifth-grade students and music teachers from Kingston, King's Grant, Fairfield and Lynnhaven elementary schools participated in the All-Virginia Elementary Chorus Concert last month. Forty-one schools participated across the state of Virginia.

Fairfield Elementary 2nd graders Jullian P., Noah G. and Olivia H. received a Superior rating in Desktop Publishing at the Great Computer Challenge held at ODU. Students from Shelton Park Elementary also earned recognition for their work in publishing and graphic arts.

Architecture students from Landstown High School swept the awards at the Tidewater Builders Association Young Designers competition. Zach B., Tony S. and Teanna J. each won scholarships with their designs.

Plaza Middle School students Rachel W. and Sarah O. earned first place awards in a regional foreign language competition. They earned "Superior" ratings in the French speaking category.

Our teachers and staff are also earning special recognition locally and across the state -

The Virginia Beach Police Department awarded School Security Officer Bart Flora its "Class Act Award" for his outstanding work at Princess Anne High School.

Glenn VanHouten and Janet Kreider were named 2008 Technology Integrators of the Year in WHRO's Excellence in Technology awards program. Janet is a business instructor and department chair at First Colonial High School, and Glenn is the Gifted Resource Teacher at Shelton Park Elementary School.

Congratulations to Cathy Peterson who was selected as the Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region II. Cathy is the Gifted Resource Teacher at Princess Anne Middle School and is one of eight statewide winners selected by the Virginia Association for the Gifted.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes the Superintendent's Report for this evening.

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