SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 77
May 29, 1998
|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. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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.