SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 54
March 12, 1999
|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. We will distribute the minutes of each meeting by means of a Superintendent's Memorandum. The minutes of the meeting of February 26, 1999, are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard Layman at (804) 225- 2024. Thank you. PDS/pg Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office. Meeting of the Public Education Superintendent's Advisory Council Friday, February 26, 1999 Present: Superintendent's Advisory Council: Dennis W. Kellison, Wayne K. White, Martin J. Loughlin, Oliver A. McBride, Mark A. Edwards, Harry Ward (for Russell L. Watson), Howard E. Wainwright, Philip L. Worrell, and Alfred R. Butler, IV, executive director, VASS. Department of Education: Paul D. Stapleton, Richard W. Layman, M. Kenneth Magill, M. Jo Bunce, Charles W. Finley, Kirk Schroder, president of the Board of Education, Cameron Harris, Diane Atkinson, Diane S. Timberlake, H. Douglas Cox, Cynthia Cave, and Harry L. Smith. Legislative Update At Mr. Stapleton's request Diane Atkinson, assistant superintendent for policy and planning, distributed a list of public education bills and resolutions acted on by the 1999 session of the Virginia General Assembly. Mrs. Atkinson said a final report on the legislative session's action on public education bills and resolutions will be sent to superintendents as quickly as possible and they also will receive a book containing copies of legislation enacted by the session of the General Assembly that ended on February 27. Mrs. Atkinson, who was responsible for tracking public school legislation during the session of the General Assembly, reviewed a number of bills and responded to questions asked by superintendents. School Performance Report Card Update Ms. Cameron Harris, assistant superintendent for assessment and accountability, gave a progress report on the Virginia School Performance Report Cards to be distributed to inform parents of the performance of elementary, middle, and high schools. She said the state will send a copy of each school's report cards to division superintendents by March 5. The report cards for individual schools will be distributed by the end of this month. Mr. Schroder suggested that the Superintendent's Report Card Committee, headed by Stewart Roberson, Hanover County superintendent of Schools, be asked to review problems related to the distribution of the report cards and determine how the information can be expedited. Mr. Stapleton stated that he plans to ask committees of superintendents to look at problems related to school improvement plans and transient students. Summer School Remediation Issues Mr. Finley, director of accreditation, referred to provisions in the Standards of Quality dealing with remediation programs for students who fail any of the SOL tests and those failing all of the tests. He pointed out that there appeared to be some confusion about whether students have to be enrolled in summer school for remedial programs. He stated that students cannot earn high school credit for remediation. Dr. Magill, deputy superintendent, said the Department of Education plans to invite a group of public school principals to develop recommendations dealing with accreditation issues to be presented to the Board of Education. Funding Dan Timberlake, assistant superintendent for finance, reviewed budget recommendations of the General Assembly as of February 26, and said a memorandum giving details of the final budget adopted by the legislature for submission to Governor Gilmore would be mailed to superintendents by March 5. He called attention to legislative action dealing with distribution of lottery proceeds and approval of state funds to be used to provide a 6 percent increase in teachers' salaries, effective January 4, 1999. Mr. Timberlake noted that the General Assembly did not make any changes in the basic aid formula. He also reported that the 1999 budget amendments include $14 million in bond money to be used to purchase administrative software by school divisions that used the Columbia System. The bond proceeds, he noted, would be distributed on the basis of $10,000 per school and $25,000 per school division. Reimbursement will not be available until the spring of 2000. He also called attention to the appropriation of funds for an early reading initiative in 1999-2000 and funding to provide five additional Best Practice Centers. The Governor's proposal for funds to employ 400 new elementary school teachers was not approved by the legislature. IDEA Update Mr. Cox, director of pupil personnel services, reported on revisions in IDEA regulations and said a teleconference is scheduled on May 3 by the U. S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, to provide information about the changes. He said preliminary information he had received indicated that the revisions would provide more flexibility in the IDEA regulations. He said he expected to have information within two weeks about the final regulations. Mr. Cox reviewed programs under way for mediation and preparation of IEP guidelines. He also pointed out that Virginia received a state improvement grant for special education amounting to more than $1 million each year for the next five years in Part B funds. Mrs. Bunce reported on plans for the Governor's Best Practice Centers and distributed a report explaining the operations and objectives of the centers. The state superintendent said the Department of Education will work with division superintendents in selecting sites and staffing the centers.