COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 54
March 12, 1999

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.  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.