JROTC Cadets at Virginia Tech

On June 24, 2018, 362 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets, along with 71 JROTC instructors, from 36 high schools in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina converged upon Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg, Virginia for a 6-day summer camp.
During this period all of the cadets participated in adventure training activities which consisted of rappelling off of a twenty-foot or forty-foot tower, undergoing drownproofing lessons, navigating an obstacle course, learning the basics of air rifle safety and familiarization, and a few other adventurous training activities. In addition to these activities, the cadets also received classroom instruction and hands-on practice in various Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) areas. These areas included computer coding, developing assists for the elderly, engineering a solution to a real-world challenge, and investigating how diseases spread and the methods that can be used for their diagnosis.
Additionally, these cadets received information on how to apply to college, what to look for in a college, and what to expect in college experiences. These classes, as well as those mentioned above, were spearheaded by Virginia Tech faculty and staff, who volunteered their own time, along with several high school teachers, to provide this educational experience for these young high school students who were tasked to develop design projects during their stay.
This was also a leadership camp where cadet leadership positions were changed each day in order to provide leadership training and experience to as many cadets as possible. Being militarily-oriented, the cadets marched in formation wherever they went. During their 6 days at Virginia Tech the cadets marched approximately 50 – 60 miles. This was a lot of marching and an accomplishment in itself.
This mixed adventure training and STEM project camp was the first of its kind, designed to increase awareness and interest in STEM career opportunities and foster academic competencies in specific STEM fields. It served to provide educational empowerment by cultivating student attitudes, aspirations and behaviors to embrace change and innovation with assertiveness and conviction along with the adventure training for an added twist.
The Fourth Brigade of the U.S. Army Cadet Command sponsored this camp with assistance from the Virginia Tech Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and 360 Cradle to Careers (a nonprofit organization). The cadets were housed in one of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets dormitories and ate their meals at the dining facility on campus. Undoubtedly, if you ask most cadets they will tell you that the food court-style dining facility was one of the best, if not the best experience they had while there. While most of the events took place on campus, Historical Smithfield Plantation, located nearby, provided the site for several of the outdoor activities.
The camp culminated on Friday, June 29 when the cadets took turns displaying and explaining the various projects they undertook during the course of that week. This project display was open to the public and various school districts had representatives who attended. These displays were impressive and some of the comments from the cadets were that they wished they had more time to further develop their ideas and they some planned to take what they had learned and further their research/study when they returned to school.

Press Release from 4th Brigade JROTC

2 students at a table
Jordan Apperson and Kelly Farmer
JRTC Students
Jayce Payne, Katie Byers, Kelly Farmer, and Jordan Apperson

Chromebooks

As the first week of school draws to a close, we look forward to the Chromebook distribution process in the coming weeks. There is much energy and excitement surrounding this Pathways 2022 Strategic Plan initiative. To support a successful launch, we invite all CCPS stakeholders to utilize the comprehensive Chromebook FAQ document located at www.ccps.us under the parent tab. This document addresses 1:1 logistics including the $40 technology fee, distribution plans, student usage, and parent role. Additionally, this resource will be regularly updated throughout our inaugural year to ensure that all CCPS families are knowledgeable and informed. Should the answer to your question not be included in this document, please reach out to the CMS/CHS administration or Central Office staff.

Caroline Positioned for Success

On August 1, 2018 the Virginia Department of Education released preliminary accreditation results for schools across the Commonwealth. Based upon these projections, Caroline County Public Schools is positioned to experience the most successful accreditation ratings experienced over the past ten years.
These rankings reflect the Virginia Department of Education’s first implementation of the newly adopted accreditation model. The 18-19 school year serves as the Department of Education’s transition between the old and new Standards of Accreditation. For the current school year, the VDOE measured school performance utilizing the accreditation system deemed most favorable for each school.
Previously, accreditation status was based primarily on Standards of Learning (SOL) results, but now calculations will take into account a series of School Quality Indicators. These will include student achievement in the areas of math, English, and science; student growth in math and English; achievement gaps among race, ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and English learners; and chronic absenteeism. Virginia high schools are also measured on three additional indicators: dropout rate, graduation completion index, and college, career, and civic readiness index (Class of 2022).
The new Standards of Accreditation include three ratings: accredited, accredited with conditions, and accreditation denied. Based upon preliminary data, it is anticipated that 4 out of 5 schools will achieve full accreditation. While one school is expected to earn a rating of accredited with conditions, achievement data indicate tremendous growth and momentum for achieving full accreditation status for the 19-20 school year. Official statewide, division, and school pass rates will be released to the public on August 22 with finalized accreditation ratings being published on September 27.

Caroline County Public Schools Starts 2018-19 School Year with All Teacher Positions Filled

Caroline County students will return for the 2018-19 school year to all classroom positions being fully staffed. There are immeasurable benefits to having a qualified teacher in every classroom. At the beginning of 2017-18, Caroline had seven teacher vacancies which were staffed by long-term substitutes, which is never an ideal situation.

Even with today’s shortage of teacher candidates, CCPS was able to recruit and hire for all teaching positions. Caroline implemented numerous strategies to ensure we were hiring the best and the brightest for 2018-2019. In addition to listing openings on the CCPS website, the Human Resources Department reached out to local colleges for available graduates, posted openings on Indeed, and advertised on the CCPS Facebook page which has 4,227 followers. The administrative staff recruited graduates from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York colleges and offered 15+ early letters of intent. This was the second year of an employee referral incentive funded by Grand Canyon University, which provided the referring staff member a gift card in return for a successful teacher referral. Additionally, the division offered a signing bonus for many of their hard-to-fill positions.

“I am delighted that we are starting off the year fully staffed. In the past, we have started with vacancies and had to use long-term substitutes,” said School Board Chairman, George Spaulding.

Teacher retention will be the focus for this school year. Once CCPS finds good teachers, we want to keep them here.

CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate

In 2015, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) received a number of recommendations from the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee regarding the future of teaching and learning in the commonwealth. It was noted that earning a diploma must be about more than passing a prescribed series of courses and tests. Additionally, the board also heard from higher education, businesses and the military that graduates need skills and attributes such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship to be successful in life.

In response, the board elected to redesign the high school experience and develop a “Profile of a Virginia Graduate.” In December 2017, the Board of Education adopted the Profile of a Graduate which describes, “the knowledge, skills, experiences and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the work force and to be “life ready” in an economy and a world characterized by rapid change.” The board determined that a life-ready Virginia graduate must:

  • Achieve and apply appropriate academic and technical knowledge (content knowledge);
  • Demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors (workplace skills);
  • Build connections and value interactions with others as a responsible and responsive citizen (community engagement and civic responsibility); and
  • Align knowledge, skills and personal interests with career opportunities (career exploration).

The Profile of a Graduate was referenced by the Board of Education as they reviewed the commonwealth’s diploma standards to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for success after high school. This new legislation which was passed by the 2016 General Assembly, and signed by Governor Terry McAulliffe, requires that diploma standards align with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate. The graduation changes are noted below and become effective with first-time ninth graders in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year (graduating class of 2022).

  • Emphasis on “5 C’s – critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship
  • Reduction in credits verified by SOL test
    • Advanced Diploma  = 9 verified credits to 5 verified credits
    • Standard = 6 verified credits to 5 verified credits
  • Introduction of broader types of assessments (Performance Based Assessments)
  • Stronger connections to careers and workforce
  • Emphasis on “real world” problems

Caroline County Public Schools is passionate about the adopted changes and has worked throughout the 2017-2018 school year with various stakeholder committees to develop a CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate. Using the CCPS strategic plan, Pathways 2022, as a guiding document, the school-based committees have generated short and long-term goals aimed at identifying clearly defined K-12 leveled learning experiences and 5C’s mastery rubrics, engagement strategies, and higher order thinking question banks to support the purposeful inclusion of critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship within the classroom. Additionally, the creation of experiential learning opportunities are being further developed, such as internships, externships, apprenticeships, volunteer work, and capstone projects which support career exploration.

The finalized CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate model was unveiled to the school board and instructional leaders in July 2018 and rolled out to the student body, staff, and community at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The purposeful alignment of curriculum and instruction with the CCPS Profile of a Graduate will support the attainment of the division’s vision: “Empowering the next generation of learners, thinkers, and leaders.”

CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate

The CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate website is online! Start now at http://graduate.blogs.ccps.us/ or http://graduate.blogs.ccps.us/ or

Logo graphic that says explore today, impact tomorrow. Profile of a Graduate.

2018-2019 1:1 Chromebook Parent Video

Updated: 8/14/2018

CCPS is excited to launch a secondary 1:1 initiative during the 2018-2019 school year. As outlined in our strategic plan, Pathways 2022, every 6th through 12th grader will receive a Chromebook during the second week of school. This digital device will become an essential learning tool within our blended learning classrooms. The purposeful integration of technology will enhance students’ college and career readiness and 21st century skills such as creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration, and digital citizenship.

To support parental awareness regarding the 1:1 initiative, one parent/guardian per household will be responsible for viewing the CCPS 1:1 Parent Orientation Video currently available on the CMS and CHS websites. Thank you for completing this brief 15-minute video by Friday, August 17 to prevent uninterrupted delivery of your student’s device. Thank you!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSet-oi7QUhobnfcE7NHYalNYJQXPZDB-dntKGU_yO2L6XYufw/viewform

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSet-oi7QUhobnfcE7NHYalNYJQXPZDB-dntKGU_yO2L6XYufw/viewform