SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 70
April 7, 2000
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council|
The Superintendent's Leadership 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 March 24, 2000, are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard Layman at (804) 225-2024. Thank you. JLD/pg Attachment Meeting of the Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council Friday, March 24, 2000 Present - Leadership Council: Mark A. Edwards, Harry Ward, Edgar B. Hatrick, John H. Kidd, David Martin, Woodrow W. Mullins, Philip L. Worrell, Steven R. Staples, Walter A. McFarlane, superintendent of schools, Department of Correctional Education, Alfred R. Butler, executive director, and Andy Stamp, assistant executive director, VASS. Department of Education: Jo Lynne DeMary, Kenneth Magill, Cameron Harris, Douglas Cox, James Heywood, Anne Wescott, George Irby, Patricia Wright, Charles Finley, Cynthia Cave, Dan Timberlake, Kent Dickey, Harry L. Smith and Ben Smith, Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, and Linda Pemberton, CSR, Inc., Washington, D.C. Need for Teachers The meeting opened with a discussion of the need for public school teachers in Virginia. Dr. Edwards referred to the need for teachers in Henrico County, especially in the fields of mathematics, science, and special education. He expressed support for the teacher scholarship loan program and urged aggressive action to help prepare and recruit public school teachers. Dr. DeMary reported that this problem will be discussed at length by the state Board of Education at a retreat scheduled in April. She said educators from outside of Virginia will be invited to meet with the board and report on teacher recruitment programs in their states. She noted that Connecticut does not have a teacher shortage, and educators from that state will meet with the board and report on action that state has taken to provide teachers needed in public schools. Dr. DeMary emphasized the importance of planning now to prepare legislation for the next session of the Virginia General Assembly. Dr. Hatrick said salaries are only part of the teacher shortage problem. He said the state needs a strategy to entice the brightest and best individuals to enter the teaching profession. He stated that he would like to see the superintendents group develop a strategy to "capture young teachers" for public schools. Reference was made to a resolution agreed to by the recent session of the General Assembly calling for a study of the demand for and preparation of classroom teachers in Virginia. Dr. Butler noted that VASS is sponsoring a conference on the need for teachers on July 6. He asked that the Department of Education look at what other states are doing to deal with the need for teachers and share that information with the superintendents. Special Education Recommendation Dr. DeMary recalled that at the previous meeting of the superintendent's council the members agreed to consider a statement dealing with state regulations for special education programs. The following recommendation was submitted and agreed to by the superintendents: "The members of the Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council recommend that the Virginia Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities not exceed the Federal regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997." SOL Resource Material Patricia Wright and Dr. Heywood distributed copies of teacher resource guides that are being developed for teachers of science, mathematics, and English. Resource material has already been distributed to social studies teachers. The final draft of the resource material for high school and elementary school grades should be ready to be distributed to school divisions by early June. Briefings organized by the Best Practice Centers will be provided in Newport News and Roanoke City to acquaint school personnel with the resource material. Dr. DeMary said production of a videotape might be helpful to acquaint teachers with the material, which is not intended to add content to the SOL. Dr. Staples suggested that consideration be given to scheduling regional training meetings to acquaint school officials and teachers with the resource material. Special Education Hearings Mr. Cox reported on a summary of comments received at public hearings held on revised special education regulations prior to the end of the comment period on March 17. He said more than 1,600 letters had been received. He stated that the department hopes to present the proposed revisions to the Board of Education in May to become effective July 1. He also stated that the president of the board wants to get advocates for changes and school administrators together to discuss revisions that are considered to be reasonable and those that may be adopted. Community Youth Survey Mr. Smith and Ms. Pemberton reported on the Community Youth Survey to be conducted by the state Department of Mental Health Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services and its impact on school divisions. They said they would like to meet with the superintendents regional study groups to explain the purpose and the components of the survey. Dr. Hatrick suggested that the information about the survey be sent to the superintendents for their review prior to the regional meetings. Superintendents were asked to get in touch with Ms. Pemberton if they have comments or suggestions regarding the survey. Other Reports Mr. Finley reported that the Board of Education will discuss the proposed revisions in public school accreditation standards at its retreat in April. Mrs. Wescott gave a brief review of the public education bills and resolutions approved by the 2000 session of the General Assembly. She distributed a summary of public education legislation acted on by the legislature and an index of public education bills considered during the 2000-2002 session. Mr. Timberlake reviewed the budget adopted and sent to Governor Gilmore for the 2000-2002 biennium. A summary of the budget was distributed to superintendents on March 17.