P. O. BOX 2120

May 16, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
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.  The minutes of
  each meeting are distributed by means of a Superintendent's

     The minutes of the meeting of May 9, 1997, are attached. 
  If you have questions regarding this information, please call
  (804) 225-2073.

     Thank you.


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

        Meeting of the State Superintendent's Advisory Council

                     Friday, May 9, 1997

  Present:     Superintendents' Group: James L. Ruffa, Dawn
               Goldstine, Jane Massey-Wilson, Raymond C.
               Dingledine, III, N. Wayne Tripp, Oliver A. McBride,
               James M. Anderson, Jr., Walter McFarlane,
               superintendent, Department of Correctional
               Education, Alfred R. Butler, president, VASS,
               George J. McVey, president, Virginia Council for
               Private Education, and David G. Blount,
               governmental relations office, VSBA.

               Department of Education: Richard T. La Pointe,
               David Boddy, Richard Layman, James Heywood, Thomas
               A. Elliott, Dan Timberlake, Marsha Hubbard, and
               Harry L. Smith.  Also attending the meeting were
               Ken Tilley, executive director of VHSL, Mary Alice
               Seemeyer, director of public information for the
               Tuition Trust Fund, and Leslie Strickler, president
               of Etre Communications.

     Dr. La Pointe opened the meeting, the last of the 1996-97
  school year, by informing the Council that Kenneth Magill,
  assistant superintendent for administration in the Department
  of Education, was doing well following surgery and expected to
  leave Chippenham Hospital over the weekend.  Richard Layman,
  field services representative for the Department of Education,
  is handling Dr. Magill's duties while he is away from his
  office.  The superintendent also announced that Thomas Shortt,
  director of secondary education, had been appointed acting
  assistant superintendent for policy and planning.  Dr. La
  Pointe introduced Dan Timberlake, a former analyst in the
  Department of Planning and Budget, who was appointed to
  succeed Kathy Kitchen as assistant superintendent of finance
  in the Department of Education.  Dr. La Pointe also
  congratulated Jane Massey-Wilson for being selected
  superintendent of the year.

     Dr. La Pointe referred to comments that the Board of
  Education has received regarding revisions to the school
  accreditation standards, including concerns about the impact
  changes might have on vocational and fine arts education
  programs.  He expressed confidence that some of the
  suggestions will be reflected in the standards when they are

     Dr. Butler said his office has received numerous comments
  from college personnel who are concerned about the future of
  elementary guidance programs in the public schools.  Dr. La
  Pointe noted that there had been very few comments about
  guidance counselors at the public hearings held by the board
  on proposals affecting accreditation standards.  He said he
  had recommended that the elementary guidance counselor
  standards be left alone.  He said he expects the board will
  deal with the accreditation revisions when it meets in June.

     Dr. Goldstine expressed appreciation for the public
  hearing on the standards that was held on the Eastern Shore. 
  She said the hearing did much to help citizens in the area.

     Dr. Butler presented a framed resolution to George McVey
  expressing VASS's gratitude for his contributions to improving
  public education as a member of the Council.  Mr. McVey is
  retiring as headmaster of St. Christopher's School on July 1.

     The Council then took up its agenda which included the
  following items:

  Standards of Learning Implementation - Dr. Heywood, director
  of elementary and middle school education for the Department
  of Education, discussed details of Virginia's early
  intervention reading program that was proposed by Governor
  Allen and funded by the Virginia General Assembly early this
  year.  He cited statistics emphasizing the need for early
  intervention programs for students who need help with reading,
  and commented on anticipated benefits of the reading
  initiative.  Dr. Heywood noted that four workshops have been
  scheduled by the Department of Education to provide technical
  assistance and information to school personnel.  Each school
  division has been invited to send two representatives--a
  kindergarten teacher and a central office reading instruction
  person--to the workshops.

     He asked superintendents of school divisions that have
  early reading tests to submit them to the Department of
  Education for approval.  He noted that the state reading test
  will focus on children's phonological awareness, and said the
  state will pay for the state test but not for local tests.

     Dr. Anderson expressed the need for a workshop on the
  reading initiative in the Prince Edward County area.  Dr.
  Heywood explained that University of Virginia personnel who
  are conducting the workshops, could only provide four of the

  Teacher Licensure Proposal Update - Dr. Elliott, assistant
  superintendent for compliance, reviewed  the Advisory Board on
  Teacher Education and Licensure's proposal to revise licensure
  regulations for public school teachers.  Main areas of
  concern, he said, involve technology standards and how they
  relate to licensing, and proposed revisions in school
  accreditation standards and algebra instruction in middle
  schools.  Dr. Elliott said public hearings on ABTEL's proposal
  probably will be held next September, followed by the Board of
  Education's review next fall.  If that schedule is followed,
  he stated, the new regulations would become effective for
  school divisions on July 1, 1998.  Dr. Goldstine expressed
  concern about "putting teachers back in boxes" and said she
  hopes flexibility will be provided to take care of middle
  school teachers.

  Juvenile Law Handbook for Administrators - Marsha Hubbard,
  specialist for school violence prevention, presented
  information about the Juvenile Law Handbook, a joint project
  of the 
  Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Department of
  Education, which is scheduled to be completed by September
  1997.  She indicated that orientation sessions will be
  provided to assist local school personnel who will use the
  handbook.  Ms. Hubbard also noted that the DCJS and the DOE
  have collaborated in organizing a statewide School Safety Task
  Force representing local and state agencies.  Besides
  developing the Juvenile Law Handbook, the second objective of
  the task force is to develop a curriculum for a statewide
  School Resource Officer Training program and to provide
  training for those officers in the late summer of this year.

     A copy of the Juvenile Law Handbook will be sent to each
  school division superintendent and principals, and she said
  methods of effective ways to orient school personnel in the
  use of the handbook are being considered.  Regional
  conferences were suggested by Jane Massey-Wilson.

  Virginia High School League - Mr. Tilley reviewed the Virginia
  High School League's program during the past year.  He
  informed the council that the league is sponsoring student
  leaders' conferences and education programs for coaches, and
  hopes to develop standards for coaches as a long-range goal. 
  He said that the VHSL needs to look at scholarship rules,
  alternative schools, and home schooling as they relate to
  interscholastic programs and student eligibility.  The Council
  was also told that the cost of VHSL insurance programs will
  increase next year.  Mr. Tilley indicated that the VHSL will
  welcome any comments or suggestions regarding its programs and
  activities.  Mr. Ruffa stated that his school division is
  having difficulty finding experienced licensed coaches.  Mr.
  Tilley noted that the league has provisions for allowing 
  non-faculty personnel to serve as coaches.

  Tuition Trust Fund - Ms. Seemeyer reported that more than
  16,000 children were included in the first enrollment for the
  Virginia Prepaid Education Program--Virginia's new plan to
  help families save for tuition and fees for their children to
  attend college.  She said she hopes to visit schools
  throughout the state to present information about the program. 
  The superintendents expressed their support for the trust
  fund, and asked what they can do to be of more help to
  parents.  It was suggested that Ms. Seemeyer work with the
  superintendents through their regional study groups throughout
  the state.

  Fire Inspection of Schools - David Boddy, associate director
  of facilities services, reported that the state fire marshal
  estimates that 1,500 public schools are not having fire
  inspections.  Next fall, he pointed out, all public schools
  will be inspected on an unannounced basis by personnel from
  the fire marshal's office.  Mr. Boddy distributed copies of
  the latest State Code provisions for fire inspections of
  public schools and school safety audits.  He said the state
  fire marshal has agreed to provide training for school
  division personnel at five regional fire districts, probably
  next July or early August.  Additional training is available
  to public school principals through the regional fire offices. 
  Mr. Boddy reported that the fire marshal has agreed to update
  the school fire inspection guide for principals.  He said that
  the Department of Education is working on a list of items to
  be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required
  by legislation passed by the 1997 General Assembly.  Mr. Boddy
  also reminded the Council that his service is still available
  to conduct capital improvement programs for school divisions.

     Dr. La Pointe reminded the council members of the
  schedule for three one-day regional Instructional Resources
  Trade Shows sponsored by the Department of Education, the
  Virginia Education Association, and the Virginia Association
  for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  The shows, which
  are designed to highlight instructional materials that support
  the new Standards of Learning, will run from 10 a.m. until 6
  p.m. and are open to teams of six teachers and instructional
  leaders from each school division.  The schedule for the shows
  is as follows: Tuesday; May 20, New River Community College,
  Dublin; Thursday, May 22, Spotsylvania County Vocational
  Center; and Tuesday, May 27, Virginia State University, Colson
  Auditorium - Harris Hall, Petersburg.

     Dr. La Pointe concluded the meeting by presenting framed
  awards to all Council members for their services during the
  past school year and for the assistance they provided to the
  state superintendent, the Department of Education, and public
  schools in the Commonwealth.  He also expressed appreciation
  to George McVey for inviting the council to meet at St.
  Christopher's School.