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.
I was very pleased to see the editorial by Gordon Morse in Sunday’s Virginian Pilot. Virginia is slipping on funding for schools; in fact, it may have hit rock bottom.
Over the past eight years, I have shared the same message to stakeholders in Chesapeake: We are now in a funding crisis in public education. We continue for the 10th straight year to deal with revenues that have not been restored. The economy has largely recovered, yet state funding reduced in 2009-2010, particularly in support positions, has not been restored. Although dedicated lottery funding has been restored to some extent, sixty percent of lottery funds are still being used to supplant the general fund (tax dollars). State funding to public education as a whole is still below the 2008/2009 levels
Ravi Hutheesing, who recently presented on “Disrupting Education under Millennial Leadership” at the VASS Annual Spring Conference, lives near Charlottesville. He has expressed an interest in working more closely with Virginia school divisions by giving convocation speeches and facilitating interaction between Virginia students and their peers through his Ravi Unites Schools global exchange network. Both the convocation speech and online student interaction opportunity are available to Virginia school divisions at a discounted rate through generous sponsorship. The cost is $6,900.00 per division for the first three contracts. The offer represents more than 50% off his keynote fee, is limited to Virginia, and applies only to 2018 convocations. If you are interested, please contact Ravi directly at Ravi@RaviUnites.com or 202-838-7088.
Jeff Smith, VASS President-elect and Superintendent of Hampton City Schools and Jared Cotton, Region VI Chair and Representative to the VASS Board of Directors and Superintendent of Henry County Schools, recently served as members of two key panels at the state Symposium on Strengthening the Pipeline from School to Work. The symposium, which was held at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, was organized by State Board of Education member Anne Holton who also serves as a Visiting Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government. Both Smith and Cotton discussed how they transformed schools in their divisions to better prepare their students for the world of work and they shared specific strategies for creating work-based learning opportunities and promoting career awareness.
The 2018 Superintendents Professional Conference will be held at the Sheraton Ocean Front Hotel, Virginia Beach, VA, on September 30 - October 3, 2018. Mark your calendar now and spread the word!
For more information: https://sites.google.com/site/2018superintendent/
Five VASS members recently attended a House Education Subcommittee meeting to testify on behalf of an amendment to Senator Newman’s SB 969 which reversed the State Board’s actions to allow a locally developed performance assessment to be used in place of the current SOL test to earn a verified credit in high school history and social science. SB 969 explicitly prohibited the use of a locally developed performance assessment from being used.
The amendment, which was supported by Senator Newman, was seen as a compromise in that it required the state to develop and score a performance assessment in high school history for a verified credit rather than having it done locally. VASS Past President and Poquoson City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Parish, VASS Board Member and Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Scott Kizner, VASS Legislative Chair and Frederick County Schools Superintendent David Sovine, Salem City Schools Superintendent Alan Seibert and Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Amy Griffin were prepared to testify against SB 969 had the amendment not been offered. Due to the more positive language in the amended bill, only Jennifer Parish made remarks in support of the change. The subcommittee voted to pass the amended bill.
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
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