Sep 23

VASSP Representing the Associations Members

Governor McA20150922_112050 (2)uliffe is holding roundtable meetings for community members all across the state of Virginia this fall. VASSP will have a presence at every one of the roundtable meetings, representing the Commonwealth’s school leaders during this import opportunity to interact and provide feedback and suggestions to the Governor. Yesterday, September 22, there was a roundtable meeting held in Manassas County. Carol Robinson, Past VASSP President, and Carole Kihm, current State Coordinator for VASSP, attended the governor’s panel yesterday. Parents from the areas of Arlington, Prince William County, Manassas, and Culpeper were on the panel.
They spoke to Elizabeth Lodal, a State School Board member, Dr. Steve Staples, State Superintendent and Anne Holton, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth.
Here is a summary of what was covered:
State of Virginia- funding for education has been cut 7% over the last 10 years
Virginia has far more challenging students and we have higher expectations
Governor McAuliffe’s top budget priorities are pre K-12 and bringing jobs into the Commonwealth- pre-K for every district in the state
Virginia has the lowest unemployment rate since 2008 at 4.5%
The panel was asked “how can we energize our classrooms?”
The following answers were given by the panel: Technology, empower teachers, give teachers more time for curriculum development, class size is problematic in some areas, project-based learning, partnering older students with younger students for a project, integrated math/science, and humanities programs, STEM programs
Workforce preparation in schools is not what it should be
The SOL Innovation Committee is working hard on the SOL testing piece- ‘Responsibility and Delight” can co-exist
Test taking techniques can alleviate pressure on students
Governor McAuliffe asked “if you were governor for the day, give me one suggestion for change and the answers were: Funding for mental health professionals, invest in teachers, instructional aides in classrooms, deeper penetration of CTE programs in the curriculums

Sep 01

Successful SCA, Successful School

This is a guest post from Andrea Vale, the Director of the Virginia Student Council Association (VSCA):

Successful SCA, Successful School
If you have been fortunate enough to be in a school with a top-notch SCA, you know the impact that strong student leadership can have on the overall climate of your school. Studies have shown that a huge indicator of student success is a positive school climate. It is the job of the VSCA to provide support for administrators, SCA advisers, and develop student leaders across the Commonwealth so that your SCA can provide more service, spirit, and support to all stakeholders.
VSCA provides leadership training throughout the year and in various parts of the state. We will be hosting an Elementary and Middle School Workshop on November 6, 2015 in Williamsburg, VA to provide our youngest leaders the opportunity to work with Alaina Trott, former SCA adviser and current elementary school principal to find ways to make a positive impact in their schools.
In conjunction with the Elementary and Middle School Workshop, we will be hosting an Adviser’s Workshop for all levels led by Lou Miller. Mr. Miller has served as an SCA adviser for over 20 years and currently serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of Student Councils and the President of the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors. I highly encourage administrators to consider sending their SCA adviser to this incredible opportunity for professional growth and development. The number one reason that SCA advisers resign is a lack of administrative support. Show the adviser in your school that you believe in and support the work that they do.
We will also be hosting Regional Workshops throughout the state during the fall. We hope that you will encourage your SCA to attend training that is close to home. These dates will be posted on the VSCA website in September.
The culminating event of the year is the 2016 VSCA State Convention. This year our convention will be held April 8-10, 2015 in Williamsburg, VA. More details on this event will be posted on the VSCA website on October 1, 2015.
Please know that I am always available by e-mail or phone 804. 370.0822. I hope to continue to spread the message of VSCA and support administrators, advisers, and student leaders in any way possible.

Aug 23

School Is Open!

Well, almost. While some divisions have already returned to school, the majority of divisions will welcome back teachers Monday, August 31st, with students returning on Tuesday, September 8. With the new school year right around the corner, what have you decided to do to be a better school leader? As we put the finishing touches on preparation for the 2015-16 year, here are some ideas on how you can improve your leadership.

Grow Your PLN

Take some time to make sure that your professional learning network is robust and getting larger. You can do this by joining Twitter, creating a blog, or participating in Twitter chats to make connections around the world. It is easy, free and professional development any where, any time.

Make a Commitment to Keep Up with Your Professional Reading

Whether you are reading books, articles, blogs or research, make it a priority this year to keep up with professional reading. With all th changes and updates on a consistent basis, as a leader, it is critically important to maintain your professional knowledge.

Participate in Reflective Leadership

Take some time each week to reflect on the previous week. What went well? What needs to be changed? How can you provide a better educational experience for your students? Taking time each week to reflect on how things went will provide you with a greta learning experience and make you a better leader.


And encourage your colleagues to do the same. Our association depends on its members for so much. Our lobbying efforts at the General Assembly are vital to our profession. Because of our membership, our voice caries weight with Virginias politicians. The only way we can provide this type of service is by having a strong membership base.

VASSP wishes all of you a great opening and a fantastic school year.


Aug 03

ESEA Rewrite Debate Shaping up

Congress has begun the work of re-writing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and it figures to be a long and winding road. There are amendments that will need to be debated and compromises that have to be made. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan has called for a law that is based on lessons learned from the previous version, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). According to a recent article in Education Week, there are five take aways from the proposed version of ESEA. They include maintaining an annual testing component, flexibility for for states to create their own accountability system, a requirement to report disaggregated  data for subgroups, Title I money not being allowed to follow the student and wording the prohibits the federal government from offering incentives to adopt any particular set of standards. There have also been a large number of amendments proposed for the bill. Many of these will focus on disadvantaged students and bullying in schools.

Here are the links to some resources on following the ESEA reauthorization: This is the Education Department website on ESEA This is the Executive Branches blueprint for reform This is an update on the bill from The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

May 18

Administrative Vacancy in Texas

We have received information regarding administrative positions in other states.  PROACT Search was recently retained by the Dallas Independent School District (TX) to recruit talented principals for Skyline High School. Based on your experience you or other individuals you know who might be an exceptional candidate for this exciting position.

Skyline High School serves over 4,000 students, and is regularly recognized for its students’ high levels of achievement. Skyline was also the nation’s first magnet school. DISD is seeking an experienced principal with exceptional instructional and operational skills, as well as an individual capable of engaging with diverse groups of stakeholders across the school community.

Below, I’ve included a position profile, as well as links to an online application should you be interested in this opportunity.



May 18

Administrative Vacancies in Orange County Virginia High School

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Brenda Tanner has announced administrative openings at Orange County High School for the 2015 – 2016 school year. Due to retirements, the positions of principal and one assistant principal will be vacant as of June 30, 2015.


If you are looking for a school division led by a superintendent who has served VASSP as a school administrator, please contact Dr. Tanner at the OCPS office at 540 – 661 – 4550 or at


Apr 07

It’s April – Take Time to Recognize Assistant Principals

The week of April 13 – 17  is designated by NASSP as National Assistant Principals Week. This is a great time to recognize the contributions  that Assistant Principals make in your buildings daily.

NASSP has developed several suggestions to help you celebrate the contributions of your assistant principal(s):

  • Contact your local community officials (mayor) to declare April 13-17 as Assistant Principal Appreciation Week for the school(s) in your community
  • Place an article in your local newspaper about the important role of the assistant principal(s) in your school(s)
  • Develop public announcements for your local radio station to promote the recognition of your assistant principal(s)

These are just a few of the samples available from NASSP that you may use to promote the value of the contributions made by assistant principals. You may access more at:


Mar 28

VASSP Members Recognized at 2015 March Board of Education Meeting

Two Virginia school administrators were recognized for their accomplishments at the March 26, 2015 Commonwealth Board of Education meeting in Richmond. Each administrator was presented with a Resolution of Recognition by a member of the board at the beginning of meeting.

A Resolution of Recognition was presented to the 2014 Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia: Mrs. Carole A. Khim, principal at Longfellow Middle School. Fairfax County Public Schools.

A Resolution of Recognition was presented to the Outstanding Secondary School Assistant Principal: Mr. Shawn DeRose, assistant principal, J.E. B. Stuart High School, Fairfax County Public Schools.

Congratulations Carole and Shawn!

Mar 27

State Board Implements SOL Retakes for Middle/Elementary Schools….Now!

During their March 26th meeting, the State Board of Education took unusual action on an item that was scheduled only for “First Review” on their agenda.

The item, last on the Action/Discussion Items list was item I, “First Review of a Resolution Establishing Criteria for Students Eligible for Expedited Retakes of Standards of Learning Tests in Grades 3 through 8.”  Items listed as First Review are usually discussed and moved on to the following month’s agenda for approval. This item, however, was significantly important  for the board to vote approval for implementation now.

The approval of this item will open opportunities for SOL retakes for elementary and middle level students now. Governor McAuliffe had signed approval for this action, but it would have become effective July 1 this year. Students needing retakes for the specified content areas in elementary/middle schools will now have the same opportunities for retakes that are available for high school students.

You may read more about this State Board action at:

Mar 24

Next Generation High School Act

New legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to help traditionally underserved students. This bill, Next Generation (Next Gen) High Schools Act, has been submitted by Senator Tammy Baldwin, D – Wisconsin. According to the NASSP blog, the source of information for this information, this act “… would authorize $300 million for a competitive grant to insure that low performing high schools provide students with challenging and relevant academic career experiences that would allow them to be college and career ready upon graduation.”

So good for them you may be thinking. This has the feel and sound of previous federal legislative programs designed to help children/teens to be lifted up and provided with life skills, education, etc.  If you have been in public education long enough, you have the right to be skeptical.

But, perhaps there may be more to this piece of legislation than others which have come and gone:

  • It is a competitive grant program thus states and school divisions must plan in advance and prepare a proposal for funding – it may not just be a “hand out the money” initiative.
  • NASSP and Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti support this legislation – this adds credibility to the legislation.

Let us keep our eyes and minds open for now and hope that Virginia, as well as other states will benefit from this initiative.

If you are interested in reading more about the Next Gen School Act, please go to:



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