Annual Convention Brings Together 1,000 Education Leaders From Across the Commonwealth

Next week, more than 1,000 school board members, superintendents, division administrators, education officials, and others will attend the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) annual convention in Williamsburg, VA. The convention provides school division leadership the opportunity to learn about nationwide and statewide trends, meet and learn from key policy officials, and bring back new best management practices to their home school divisions.

Convention HighlightsProfessional Development – More than 50 workshops, clinics and critical issues sessions focused on topics such as boardsmanship, developing local capacity, technology integration, school law, best practices, STEM integration, advocacy, school improvement, educational trends, and energy/sustainability practices. • Student Achievement Fair – Highlighting examples of great student achievement and of exemplary programs that are improving student achievement across the Commonwealth. • Exhibitors Scholarship – The scholarship, funded by exhibiting companies at the VSBAʼs annual convention, was made available to spring 2014 graduating seniors who had served as student school board representatives. Scholarship winners will be announced at the convention. • High School Video Contest – The annual student video contest challenged high school students across Virginia to create a 30-second video around the theme of “Whatʼs Super About Public Schools”. The winners will be announced at the opening general session of convention, and the videos will shown to the conventionʼs 1,000 attendees. • Exhibition of School Architecture – From ambience and multi-functionality to sustainable design and security, there is a direct relationship between good design and effective teaching and learning. The VSBA Exhibition of School Architecture gives attendees the opportunity to see this in action. • Education Foundation Workshop – Held in conjunction with the VSBA Annual Convention, this workshop is designed for education foundation professionals, volunteers, and those interested in starting an education foundation. Topics covered will include getting started with foundations, creative fundraising methods, ways that foundations have helped school divisions recover from a natural disaster, and best practices.

General Session Presentations “Leadership and a Culture for Learning: Closing the Gaps Between What Sounds Good & What Gets Done” by Jim Bearden Organizational culture is an intangible, but very real—and powerful— phenomenon. A school divisionʼs true culture is revealed by the behavior of the people working in that division. Creating cultures that reinforce and support behavior essential to learning (student achievement) is one of the most important things division leaders are called on to do. Using plenty of humor and drawing from his corporate and military leadership experiences, as well as from his work with NSBA and multiple state school boards associations, Bearden will offer fresh insights on the relationship between leadership behavior, district culture and student achievement with his keynote presentation.

“Raised Expectations with No Excuses” by Jeffrey May In this session, May will highlight how raised expectations, discipline and “no excuses” led his Westside Elementary School (Roanoke) debate team all the way to Marshall, Texas to debate before the World-Renown Great Debaters of Wiley College. May will explain how incentive programs like step and debate not only improve academics, behavior and attendance, but also how they affect real change within the lives of the children who participate.

“Disruptive Demographics: Implications for K-12 Education in Virginia” by Dr. James Johnson Six disruptive demographic trends of the first decade of the new millennium—the South rises again, the browning of America, marrying out is “in,” the silver tsunami is about to hit, the end of men?, and cooling water from grandmaʼs well…and grandpaʼs too—will dramatically transform all of this nationʼs social and political institutions. Using data from Census 2010 and other sources, Dr. Johnson will describe these trends and assess the specific implications and challenges they pose for the Virginia public education system.

Here is the complete VSBA Annual Convention schedule, along with speaker and presentation details.

About the Virginia School Boards Association The Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through advocacy, training, and services. The Association offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealthʼs educational leaders.

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