Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board

Superintendent's Report
April 21, 2009

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

April is the Month of the Military Child, and on April 8, Congressman Glen Nye visited Ocean Lakes High School for a roundtable discussion with area military students and families. The Congressman heard questions and comments on various topics including standardized testing, special education, and the challenges of deployments and frequent relocations. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Nye will take back to Washington the information discussed to help craft new policies.

At a citywide celebration on March 20, the school division recognized the generous support of our students and staff during the 2008 United Way Campaign. Together they raised $481,710.  Virginia Beach had the highest employee participation rate of all the neighboring school divisions — 53.2% of our staff made donations and earmarked more than $21,200 for the Virginia Beach Education Foundation and teacher grants. Eighty-two schools conducted student campaigns and collected $65,500. Thank you to all of our students and staff for their generosity and hard work during the fall campaign.  

On March 21, 2,200 Virginia Beach elementary school students from 40 different schools participated in the Shamrock Marathon’s Operation Smile Final Mile. Students ran 25.2 miles over the course of ten weeks at their respective schools and then ran their final mile together at Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  Three Oaks, Alanton, and Kingston Elementary schools had the most students participate.  In conjunction with the race, several schools raised money to benefit Operation Smile.

Additionally, nearly 500 Virginia Beach middle school students participated in the Shamrock’s 8K Middle School Challenge.  Students trained for the race in school running clubs several times a week. Virginia Beach, Kemps Landing, and Lynnhaven Middle schools had the most students race in the 8K event.  

Also in March, Salem High School's Visual and Performing Arts Academy ensembles – the Symphony orchestra and Vox Harmonia – traveled to New York City to perform at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  After individual sets, together they performed selections from Australian composer James Bingham's Requiem. Dr. Bingham was in attendance at the performance.

Congratulations to Lizzie G., an Ocean Lakes High School senior who has been accepted to Gallaudet University’s Hearing Undergraduate Program.  Lizzie, who is neither deaf nor hard of hearing, was admitted to the highly-selective and competitive program because of her exceptional signing skills and her desire to pursue a deaf-related career.  She began taking American Sign Language classes as a freshman at Ocean Lakes High School and will continue to take all of her university courses solely through sign language.

Cox High School’s Model Judiciary Team completed its 2009 season with a seventh year of consecutive wins at the Virginia Supreme Court. Cox students Vicki B. and Cyril C. comprised the only team from the Tidewater area to win their case in the final state competition.

Creeds Elementary student Natalie M. won Patroller of the Year for the Tidewater American Automobile Association (AAA) club. The program recognizes the patrollers that best exemplify leadership qualities and perform their duties effectively and responsibly without incident. As a winner, Natalie and her parents are invited to attend the AAA School Safety Patrol Lifesaver Event in Washington D.C. next month.

The following students received the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs’ Principles of American Citizenship Award for their exemplary demonstration of February’s character trait “honesty”:

Additionally, congratulations to the following students for their exemplary demonstration of March’s character trait "cooperation":

Ocean Lakes High School Academy Physics teacher Mike Leonard has been awarded a 2009 Inspirational Teacher Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Students at MIT nominate the high school teachers who inspired them through dedicated and motivating teaching. Mr. Leonard was nominated by Ocean Lakes graduate Mike Ciuffo, and, as part of the award, he will be invited to access resources at MIT to contribute to his work as high school science teacher.

Lastly this evening, congratulations to the 22 members of the Futures Principals’ Academy Cohort XII. In a special graduation ceremony held earlier this month, they concluded nearly eight months of leadership training as coordinated by the Office of Organizational Development.  The school division is fortunate to have the in-house talent to facilitate this kind of training and capacity building, and we congratulate these new Futures Principals’ Academy graduates on their accomplishment.   

Mr. Chairman and members of the School Board, this concludes my report for the evening.

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