COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 77
May 29, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
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.  We will distribute the minutes of each  meeting by
means of a Superintendent's Memorandum.

The minutes of the meeting of May 15, 1998, are attached.  If you
have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard
Layman at (804) 225-2024.

Thank you.

PDS/jd

Attachment:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.

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        Meeting of the Superintendent's Advisory Council

                       Friday, May 15, 1998


Present:  Superintendent's Group:  Dr. James L. Ruffa, Dr. Howard
          Wainwright, Dr. Russell L.  Watson, Dennis W. Kellison,
          Dr. Wayne K. White, Dr. Martin J. Loughlin, Dr. Oliver A.
          McBride, Philip L. Worrell, Dr. C. P. Penn, Jr., Dr.
          Deanna W. Gordon,  Dr. Alfred R. Butler, IV, executive
          director, VASS, Frank E. Barham and David Blount,
          Virginia School Boards Association, Kim Failon (for
          George McVey) Virginia Council for Private Education, and
          Claudia Dodson, associate director, Virginia High School
          League.

          Department of Education: Paul D. Stapleton, Kirk
          Schroder, Dr. M. Kenneth Magill, Richard W. Layman, Dr.
          Tom Shortt, Charles W. Finley, Dr. Jo Lynne DeMary, Cam
          Harris, Dr. James E. Laws, Jr., Daniel S. Timberlake, and
          Harry L. Smith.


     The state superintendent of public instruction opened the
meeting and introduced Bob Metcalf, counsel to the attorney
General, who showed a short videotape on binge drinking by college
students.  Mr. Metcalf said surveys show that 38 percent of high
school seniors in the nation have drinking problems.  He commented
on the seriousness of the situation and urged local school
officials to develop policies to prevent the use of alcohol by
teenage students.

     The following items were on the agenda for the meeting:

     VHSL Update - Claudia Dodson reported on current activities of
     the Virginia High School League.  She said that, after a
     statewide survey of female high school athletes, the League's
     executive committee affirmed its commitment to the present
     seasonal alignment for sports activities.  Results of the
     survey are available upon request to the VHSL.  Ms. Dodson
     also presented a gift to Mr. Stapleton for serving for seven
     years on the VHSL Board of Directors.

     Selective Service - Brigadier General M. R. Flores, state
     director of Selective Service, reviewed provisions of federal
     law that require students to register with Selective Service
     when they become 18 years of age.  He said the registration
     program in Virginia is not getting the desired results, and he
     asked the superintendents for their assistance in the student-
     registration process.

     Following General Flores's remarks, Mr. Stapleton introduced
Kirk Schroder, newly-elected president of the state Board of
Education, and Mrs. Cheri Yecke, former member of the Board and now
a deputy for K-12 education in the office of the Secretary of
Education
Mr. Schroder expressed his pleasure for being invited to attend the
Advisory Council's meeting.  He commented very briefly on the
procedure for establishing passing scores on state Standards of
Learning tests.  The Board of Education's decision on the scores,
he said, is anticipated next fall.  Mrs. Yecke announced that she
will attend future meetings of the Advisory Council.

     Standards of Learning Update and Professional Development Plan
     - Dr. DeMary told the Council that school divisions want
     information about the applications they must prepare for
     professional development programs for teachers.  She noted
     requirements of the 1998 session of the General Assembly for
     grant applications, and said the Department of Education has
     tried "to walk a fine line" between legislative requirements
     and development of a "user friendly" application for funds.

     Dr. DeMary specifically requested comments about question
     number 10 on the draft of the application, which she said the
     Department of Education wants to send to division
     superintendents by June 1.  She and Dan Timberlake emphasized
     the importance of using sound judgment as to how the state
     funds are spent.

     Assessment Update and Report Card - Ken Magill said there are
     some assessment issues that need to be reviewed.  He said the
     Department of Education wants a committee of superintendents
     from each study group to meet for that purpose on June 1.  He
     also noted that questions about the Board of Education's
     Report Card had been asked at the meeting of the Virginia
     Association of School Superintendents in Roanoke last month. 
     A second committee of superintendents is representing each
     study group will meet on June 3 and make recommendations
     regarding the Report Card.  The chairman of each study group
     was asked to designate two superintendents to serve on the
     committees.

     Cam Harris reported that a memorandum has been sent to local
     directors of testing concerning action by the 1998 General
     Assembly to phase out the Literacy Passport Test program.  The
     legislation, she noted, has been signed by Governor Gilmore. 
     The LPT will continue to be given to all students graduating
     prior to 2004 and they will be required to pass the LPT to
     receive a standard or advanced studies diploma.  Students in
     the class of 2004 (the sixth grade class in 1997-98) would
     take the LPT, but the results would be used for remediation
     and not for graduation or grade classification.

     She urged school officials to be careful to avoid problems in
     instances where students in a graduating class have two sets
     of test records.  Mrs. Harris also said the Department of
     Education wants to have tests sent directly to schools. 
     Superintendents will be informed of irregularities reported in
     the testing program, she said.

     Mrs. Harris also informed the Council that School Performance
     Report Card data collection forms were being sent to school
     divisions.  The Report Card data, she pointed out, will
     replace data formerly included in the Outcome Accountability
     Report.  Mrs. Harris also called attention to the fact that
     information should be submitted for grades 9-12 instead of
     grades 11-12 as in past reports.

     Accreditation Update - Charles Finley reported that the
     Department of Education is continuing to work on issues
     related to public school accreditation.  The agency will be
     collecting information on pre-accreditation eligibility.  Mr.
     Finley also noted that as of next July 1 all schools will be
     accredited provisionally; a list of those schools will be sent
     to division superintendents.

     Comprehensive Services Act - Dr. Lissa Power-deFur provided
     information about the Comprehensive Services Act and
     amendments passed by the 1998 session of the Virginia General
     Assembly addressing the family assessment and planning team
     process for students whose IEPs call for placement to be
     funded under the CSA.

     Material distributed to the council included information about
     the involvement of the family assessment and planning team for
     special education children, authority of the IEP team,
     disputes about payment or provision of services, and appeals
     to the State Executive Council if CSA funding is denied for
     IEP placement for certain reasons.


     Other Items - Dan Timberlake was asked by the state
superintendent to give a brief update on distribution of school
construction funds provided by the 1998 General Assembly.  Mr.
Timberlake said the procedure has been adopted for drafting
guidelines to be presented to the state Board of Education for
distributing the funds.

     Frank Barham congratulated the Department of Education staff
for work during the session of the General Assembly.  He reported
that the VSBA has scheduled a meeting for June 4 to discuss Charter
Schools made possible by action of the 1998 legislature.  He said
the VSBA has compiled information about Charter Schools from other
states, and has arranged to have an authority from Ohio available
to provide information on this subject.  He also said the VSBA is
developing minimum criteria for school divisions to use in planning
Charter Schools.

     Mr. Stapleton announced that Ken Magill and Richard Layman
have been promoted to deputy superintendents in the Department of
Education and described their duties.  The state superintendent
also announced plans to establish five Best Practices centers.  He
said each center will have five employees.  The centers' mission is
to improve the academic performance of students.  The first three
centers, he said, should be in operation by the time schools open
next fall.  An assistant superintendent will be appointed to
supervise the operation of the centers.  Mr. Stapleton also said an
assistant superintendent for compliance will be appointed in the
Department of Education.