June 17, 2008
Chairman Edwards, Vice Chairman Bellitto, and members of the Board –
As you know, the 2007-2008 school year came to a close last week, and I would like to begin my report tonight by thanking all of the teachers and staff in our division's 88 schools. Your dedication and hard work produces the outstanding results that Virginia Beach enjoys throughout the year in student achievement, activities and athletics. I appreciate all that you do on behalf of our students and schools, and I wish everyone a restful and enjoyable summer vacation.
Our division's high school seniors started their summer with graduation ceremonies at the Virginia Beach Convention Center June 11 through June 15. We are very proud of the 4,726 graduates and are pleased to announce that the Class of 2008 has accepted more than $24.4 million in scholarships. We are also proud to have continued VBSchools Troop Tube — which broadcast live, streaming video of the graduation ceremonies on the school division's website. The partnership with Cox Hampton Roads allowed for deployed servicemen and women to stay connected to their families at home and for family members who could not make the trip to Virginia Beach to see the graduations live. To date, Troop Tube has been viewed by 4,287 online visitors from 31 states,14 countries and 2 Navy ships.
We are looking forward to another citywide partnership which will be of assistance to students and families regarding healthcare. It is estimated that 1 in 7 students in Virginia Beach does not currently have health insurance, and we know that there is an important link between health, wellness and learning. The school division, along with Bon Secours Health System and the City's Department of Human Services will help enroll Virginia Beach students without insurance in FAMIS. Family Access to Medical Insurance Security is Virginia's health insurance program for children. A Bon Secours outreach coordinator, employed by the Department of Human Services and funded by Bon Secours, will work in various schools throughout the division to assist parents and process applications for enrollment in FAMIS. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's school social worker or school nurse for more information or a referral, or call the Department of Human Services.
During the closing weeks of the school year, many of our students were honored at special events and had noteworthy accomplishments -
The Academy Symphony from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School made its Kennedy Center debut in May. The symphony, under the direction of Frank Garcia, was invited to participate in the Washington DC National Band/Orchestra Festival from a national slate of outstanding ensembles.
The Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men held a Scholars' Breakfast at which African American male students from the division were recognized. The event honors the region's African American high school seniors who are graduating with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Nine students from First Colonial's Legal Studies Academy represented the state at the National High School Mock Trial Competition. The Academy team took 26th place out of a field of teams from 42 states, as well as Guam, the Mariana Islands and South Korea. Special congratulations to junior Maurice G., who was selected as a Top Ten Performer, from a field of over 320 participants.
Two students in the Old Donation Center's Visual Arts Program were award winners in the Doodle-4-Google design competition. Aiah E. was selected as one of 2 state winners in her age division, and Hyland S. was selected as one of 10 national finalists in her division. Hyland won a trip to Google's company headquarters in Mountain View, California and a T-shirt featuring her musical Google design.
Congratulations are in order for many of our staff members as well -
At the Regional School Bus Rodeo, Virginia Beach bus drivers earned several top awards. In the “Conventional Category”, Cheryl Ruffin of Bus 31 won first place and Steve Kilby of Bus 369 won third place. In the “Transit Category”, Tyler Reynolds of Bus 280 earned first place and Kelli Westerman Bus 196 earned second place.
The Superintendent Spotlight Award was presented to ten recipients earlier this month. Individuals were nominated by their peers to be honored for their exemplary contributions to Virginia Beach Schools and for going above and beyond in all aspects of their job duties. I had the opportunity to present these individuals with an award plaque and pin, and VBTV was on hand for several of the presentations. Please join me in congratulating the following ten recipients:
Lastly, this evening, I would like to note the division's plans to save energy costs this summer. Based on the success of last summer's modified work schedule, we will expand the program to all Virginia Beach schools and division offices — with the exception of year-round schools. From June 23 through August 8, the division will operate on a four-day work week. Schools and division offices will be open extended hours Monday through Thursday and will be closed on Fridays. On Monday, August 11, all schools, offices and centers will return to their normal operating hours Monday through Friday.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes the Superintendent's Report for this evening.
Last Modified on Wednesday, July 22, 2015
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