The Region VIII Superintendents Study Group is pleased to announce that the 2019 Superintendents’ Professional Conference will be held at Virginia Beach at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel on September 29th – October 2nd, 2019. You will be joined by other Superintendents across the Commonwealth as they are motivated by informative professional sessions. This conference is for Superintendents only. Here is a link for additional information regarding registration and hotel stay: https://sites.google.com/view/2019-conference/home Hope to see you there!
Superintendent of Southampton County Schools Gwendolyn Shannon, Halifax County Schools Superintendent Mark Lineburg, Superintendent of Richmond County Schools Greg Smith, and Hanover County Schools Superintendent Michael Gill have been selected to receive educational travel scholarships to Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia, July 6-12, 2019. The VASS members will have an opportunity to meet with the Finnish National Board of Education, visit local schools and interact with Finnish educators during their experience which is a comparative study of educational systems. This is the fourth year in which this scholarship has been provided to VASS members by VASS Senior Associate Partner EF Education First. Several superintendents have had great learning experiences in Europe through this program.
Dr. Lisa Floyd, Director of Educational Services for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Services, and a VASS Member has created the video below that highlights the work she and her team are doing to move education services toward personalized learning. Dr. Floyd is making tremendous progress in transforming the educational delivery for incarcerated students. She is providing hope for students who traditionally may not have hope. Enjoy the video.
Superintendents from Region 4 gathered on January 16, 2019, in Warrenton, Va., to hear the latest updates on General Assembly actions and legislative bills that could impact school divisions from VASS Associate Executive Director Andy Stamp and VASS Legislative Chair Dave Sovine. They also heard from VDOE representative Shelley Loving-Ryder who shared information on the Education Equity Series webinar scheduled for February as well as the Virginia is for Learners Innovation Network Summit scheduled for March.
Nearly 250 superintendents and school business officials gathered in Richmond on January 7-8, 2019, for an information-packed conference that explored state and local budgets and legislative advocacy.
Much of the discussion focused on the hot topics of early childhood education, school safety, the teacher shortage and salaries, school construction, and the state budget. An optimistic picture was painted by Delegate Steven R. Landes and Delegate George Barker as they agreed that the General Assembly is poised to work together across party lines to make progress in this short legislative session. They noted that a primary focus of the state will be grappling with the impact of the new federal income tax changes.
Superintendents from Region 7 discussed a wide range of topics with State Superintendent Dr. James Lane during their meeting on December 14, 2018. Dr. Lane emphasized his continued focus on “moving away from toxic testing environment toward deeper, innovative and engaging learning.” He also shared that the Virginia Board of Education will begin to work on updating the Standards of Quality now that their work on the Standards of Accreditation is completed. He predicted that the Board will be reviewing the SoQs through a lens of equity and encouraged superintendents to weigh in with their thoughts during the process. Region 7 superintendents received a legislative update from VASS’ Tom Smith and an update on the work of the Small Rural School Coalition.
Superintendents statewide were relieved and elated after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges reversed its policy banning the mixing of regular high school students and college-registered high school students in college classes, which would have essentially eliminated dual enrollment courses. The policy reversal came at the Commission’s December meeting after an intensive effort on the part of VASS members to educate their community college presidents and inform the Commission about how the policy would eliminate a large number of classes whose resulting low enrollments would make them financially unsustainable forcing school divisions to eliminate the classes altogether and terminate educational opportunities available to a large number of Virginia’s students. They argued that the decision to eliminate mixing of students would be detrimental especially for underrepresented populations who benefit from gaining college credit while in high school. “We applaud the decision of the Commission to ensure that high school students can continue to get a head start on earning college credits,” said VASS Executive Director Ben Kiser.
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce held its Economic Summit on Friday, December 7 in Williamsburg. VASS served as a participating host in support of the Virginia Chamber and its efforts to connect businesses to K-12 education. Workforce development is significant in Virginia’s economy and many of the speakers encouraged collaboration between K-12 education, higher education, and the business community. Kudos to those superintendents who were able to attend. As part of the business panel, representatives from major companies in Virginia cited the business and education partnership as the key for Virginia’s future economy.
A week before Virginia's Cumberland Schools opened their doors to begin a new school year, Superintendent Amy Griffin sent her staff on a professional field trip.
Principals and teachers got up early and boarded buses that took them across the county, and as far away as Richmond, one hour west. Staff spread across nearly twenty "work sites" representing the career pathways Cumberland wants students exposed to and prepared for. Cumberland is full of families that struggle to get by; these pathways promise students a way out of poverty and the chance for a prosperous future.
One day, Rodney Berry was on top of the world, a talented athlete on a path to college, a wonderful opportunity for a kid born to a teen mom who spent his early years in Gilpin Court. The next? He was lying in bed, his knee blown, his college hopes seemingly gone, his dreams for a promising future dashed.
Dr. Jared A. Cotton, Superintendent of Henry County Schools, was named Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday in Roanoke. He was selected by the Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a member of the Virginia State Board of Education, and the Presidents of the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Parent and Teacher Association, the Virginia School Boards Association, the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, and the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
VASS worked with Strategic Value Media to create the guide, a web portal to a large network of vendors that supply goods and services to educators. The guide, which highlights companies that are VASS Business Members, is designed to help school division leaders make efficient and fully informed purchasing decisions.
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