Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Mark Lineburg
Spring is a busy time of year in our schools, and we are looking forward to several exciting events and activities as the school year comes to a close. To begin with, our school board is continuing to host a series of public hearings at each elementary school to discuss our facilities needs and possible changes to our elementary configuration. Excellent dialogue among board members, school administrators, teachers, parents, students and community members has resulted, and many ideas and concerns have been shared. As we all know, our schools are aging and access to some buildings is limited because the infrastructure does not accommodate disabled students and citizens. We will continue to listen to suggestions and work with all our school communities to do what is best for Bristol’s children for decades to come. We also have a link for facilities comments on our district web site at www.bvps.org.
As the year winds down all our schools will host culminating events such as concerts, awards ceremonies and graduations, and we encourage everyone to attend and enjoy these student-centered programs. Concerts at Virginia Middle and High will feature over thirty All-District performers, seven Virginia Tech Honor Band participants, and three members of the All-Virginia Choir. Our annual Spring Festival is Friday April 12, at Virginia High School, and this year’s event will include a performance of Xanadu in addition to the our crowing of the 2013 Mr. and Ms. VHS. Please come out and enjoy an event at your children’s schools.
Our winter extra-curricular programs recently finished successful seasons with our Scholastic Bowl team’s winning the Clinch Mountain District title! Our basketball teams also have a lot to be proud of with our girls’ winning the district tournament championship. Our boys had a great run as well losing to the eventual state runner-up in the Region D Championship game and falling to the eventual state champion in the semifinal playoffs. Five Bearcat wrestlers competed in the state tournament and took home numerous medals in regional tournaments throughout the season. Of course, we are looking forward to spring sports and with twelve high school teams taking the track, field, and court there will be exciting action almost every evening until June. So come on out and enjoy some sunshine, fresh air and a Bearcat game!
April and May are key testing months in all our schools, and we will begin administering spring SOL tests as early as April 15. Please help us give our students their best opportunity to succeed by encouraging them to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy breakfast throughout our testing window. We also hope you will visit the Virginia Department of Education web site for helpful tips and practice questions that can give your children an advantage on end-of-the-year exams. Some excellent resources can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/practice_items/index.shtml We will also administer Advanced Placement tests at Virginia High School where our increases in test participation and pass rates placed us among just over 500 schools nation-wide to be recognized by the prestigious College Board for our achievements.
In closing, we want to assure families that we are doing everything we can to keep your children safe with us during the school day and while at school events. We conducted tornado preparedness drills in every building, and we have worked hand-in-hand with the Bristol Virginia Police Department and Sheriff’s Office to increase police presence in our schools. Officers continue to visit each building on a near daily basis, and they have conducted active shooter training for all our faculty and staff. While we continue to review our crisis plans and provide safety training to our employees, the best way to prevent a tragedy at school is to engage in positive communication with teachers, administrators, and students to help us maintain a welcoming school climate. Please take time to contact your children’s teachers and principals, and do not hesitate to visit our schools to discuss any issues or concerns you might have. We have to work together to educate and protect our children, and we welcome any input you can provide.
We only have a few more weeks of school remaining, and we need to make these the safest and most productive of the year! Please encourage your children to participate in or attend extra-curricular activities, prepare well for their tests, attend school every single day, and communicate with their teachers, counselors, and principals if they feel threatened or bullied. We hope you will support your children by attending events and visiting schools. Let’s finish this year safely and strong!
Dr. Mark Y. Lineburg
Superintendent Bristol Virginia Public Schools