SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 85
May 16, 1997
|FROM:||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Superintendent's Advisory Council|
The Superintendent's Advisory Council meets regularly . It is composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study groups, plus the VASS officers and executive director, the superintendent of the Department of Correctional Education, the executive director of the VSBA, and a representative of the Virginia Council for Private Education. The minutes of each meeting are distributed by means of a Superintendent's Memorandum The minutes of the meeting of May 9, 1997, are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please call (804) 225-2073. Thank you. RTL/jd Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office Meeting of the State Superintendent's Advisory Council Friday, May 9, 1997 Present: Superintendents' Group: James L. Ruffa, Dawn Goldstine, Jane Massey-Wilson, Raymond C. Dingledine, III, N. Wayne Tripp, Oliver A. McBride, James M. Anderson, Jr., Walter McFarlane, superintendent, Department of Correctional Education, Alfred R. Butler, president, VASS, George J. McVey, president, Virginia Council for Private Education, and David G. Blount, governmental relations office, VSBA. Department of Education: Richard T. La Pointe, David Boddy, Richard Layman, James Heywood, Thomas A. Elliott, Dan Timberlake, Marsha Hubbard, and Harry L. Smith. Also attending the meeting were Ken Tilley, executive director of VHSL, Mary Alice Seemeyer, director of public information for the Tuition Trust Fund, and Leslie Strickler, president of Etre Communications. Dr. La Pointe opened the meeting, the last of the 1996-97 school year, by informing the Council that Kenneth Magill, assistant superintendent for administration in the Department of Education, was doing well following surgery and expected to leave Chippenham Hospital over the weekend. Richard Layman, field services representative for the Department of Education, is handling Dr. Magill's duties while he is away from his office. The superintendent also announced that Thomas Shortt, director of secondary education, had been appointed acting assistant superintendent for policy and planning. Dr. La Pointe introduced Dan Timberlake, a former analyst in the Department of Planning and Budget, who was appointed to succeed Kathy Kitchen as assistant superintendent of finance in the Department of Education. Dr. La Pointe also congratulated Jane Massey-Wilson for being selected superintendent of the year. Dr. La Pointe referred to comments that the Board of Education has received regarding revisions to the school accreditation standards, including concerns about the impact changes might have on vocational and fine arts education programs. He expressed confidence that some of the suggestions will be reflected in the standards when they are adopted. Dr. Butler said his office has received numerous comments from college personnel who are concerned about the future of elementary guidance programs in the public schools. Dr. La Pointe noted that there had been very few comments about guidance counselors at the public hearings held by the board on proposals affecting accreditation standards. He said he had recommended that the elementary guidance counselor standards be left alone. He said he expects the board will deal with the accreditation revisions when it meets in June. Dr. Goldstine expressed appreciation for the public hearing on the standards that was held on the Eastern Shore. She said the hearing did much to help citizens in the area. Dr. Butler presented a framed resolution to George McVey expressing VASS's gratitude for his contributions to improving public education as a member of the Council. Mr. McVey is retiring as headmaster of St. Christopher's School on July 1. The Council then took up its agenda which included the following items: Standards of Learning Implementation - Dr. Heywood, director of elementary and middle school education for the Department of Education, discussed details of Virginia's early intervention reading program that was proposed by Governor Allen and funded by the Virginia General Assembly early this year. He cited statistics emphasizing the need for early intervention programs for students who need help with reading, and commented on anticipated benefits of the reading initiative. Dr. Heywood noted that four workshops have been scheduled by the Department of Education to provide technical assistance and information to school personnel. Each school division has been invited to send two representatives--a kindergarten teacher and a central office reading instruction person--to the workshops. He asked superintendents of school divisions that have early reading tests to submit them to the Department of Education for approval. He noted that the state reading test will focus on children's phonological awareness, and said the state will pay for the state test but not for local tests. Dr. Anderson expressed the need for a workshop on the reading initiative in the Prince Edward County area. Dr. Heywood explained that University of Virginia personnel who are conducting the workshops, could only provide four of the meetings. Teacher Licensure Proposal Update - Dr. Elliott, assistant superintendent for compliance, reviewed the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure's proposal to revise licensure regulations for public school teachers. Main areas of concern, he said, involve technology standards and how they relate to licensing, and proposed revisions in school accreditation standards and algebra instruction in middle schools. Dr. Elliott said public hearings on ABTEL's proposal probably will be held next September, followed by the Board of Education's review next fall. If that schedule is followed, he stated, the new regulations would become effective for school divisions on July 1, 1998. Dr. Goldstine expressed concern about "putting teachers back in boxes" and said she hopes flexibility will be provided to take care of middle school teachers. Juvenile Law Handbook for Administrators - Marsha Hubbard, specialist for school violence prevention, presented information about the Juvenile Law Handbook, a joint project of the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Department of Education, which is scheduled to be completed by September 1997. She indicated that orientation sessions will be provided to assist local school personnel who will use the handbook. Ms. Hubbard also noted that the DCJS and the DOE have collaborated in organizing a statewide School Safety Task Force representing local and state agencies. Besides developing the Juvenile Law Handbook, the second objective of the task force is to develop a curriculum for a statewide School Resource Officer Training program and to provide training for those officers in the late summer of this year. A copy of the Juvenile Law Handbook will be sent to each school division superintendent and principals, and she said methods of effective ways to orient school personnel in the use of the handbook are being considered. Regional conferences were suggested by Jane Massey-Wilson. Virginia High School League - Mr. Tilley reviewed the Virginia High School League's program during the past year. He informed the council that the league is sponsoring student leaders' conferences and education programs for coaches, and hopes to develop standards for coaches as a long-range goal. He said that the VHSL needs to look at scholarship rules, alternative schools, and home schooling as they relate to interscholastic programs and student eligibility. The Council was also told that the cost of VHSL insurance programs will increase next year. Mr. Tilley indicated that the VHSL will welcome any comments or suggestions regarding its programs and activities. Mr. Ruffa stated that his school division is having difficulty finding experienced licensed coaches. Mr. Tilley noted that the league has provisions for allowing non-faculty personnel to serve as coaches. Tuition Trust Fund - Ms. Seemeyer reported that more than 16,000 children were included in the first enrollment for the Virginia Prepaid Education Program--Virginia's new plan to help families save for tuition and fees for their children to attend college. She said she hopes to visit schools throughout the state to present information about the program. The superintendents expressed their support for the trust fund, and asked what they can do to be of more help to parents. It was suggested that Ms. Seemeyer work with the superintendents through their regional study groups throughout the state. Fire Inspection of Schools - David Boddy, associate director of facilities services, reported that the state fire marshal estimates that 1,500 public schools are not having fire inspections. Next fall, he pointed out, all public schools will be inspected on an unannounced basis by personnel from the fire marshal's office. Mr. Boddy distributed copies of the latest State Code provisions for fire inspections of public schools and school safety audits. He said the state fire marshal has agreed to provide training for school division personnel at five regional fire districts, probably next July or early August. Additional training is available to public school principals through the regional fire offices. Mr. Boddy reported that the fire marshal has agreed to update the school fire inspection guide for principals. He said that the Department of Education is working on a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required by legislation passed by the 1997 General Assembly. Mr. Boddy also reminded the Council that his service is still available to conduct capital improvement programs for school divisions. Dr. La Pointe reminded the council members of the schedule for three one-day regional Instructional Resources Trade Shows sponsored by the Department of Education, the Virginia Education Association, and the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The shows, which are designed to highlight instructional materials that support the new Standards of Learning, will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and are open to teams of six teachers and instructional leaders from each school division. The schedule for the shows is as follows: Tuesday; May 20, New River Community College, Dublin; Thursday, May 22, Spotsylvania County Vocational Center; and Tuesday, May 27, Virginia State University, Colson Auditorium - Harris Hall, Petersburg. Dr. La Pointe concluded the meeting by presenting framed awards to all Council members for their services during the past school year and for the assistance they provided to the state superintendent, the Department of Education, and public schools in the Commonwealth. He also expressed appreciation to George McVey for inviting the council to meet at St. Christopher's School.