COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 140
October 2, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia's Reading Research Forum - Sponsored by Virginia's First Lady, Mrs. RoxaneGilmore, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mr. Paul Stapleton 

 
  It is my pleasure to announce Virginia's first Reading
  Research Forum.  I am also pleased to announce that this
  reading initiative is supported and sponsored by
  Virginia's First Lady, Mrs. Roxane Gilmore.  Mrs. Gilmore
  is an active advocate of reading and serves as co-chair
  of Virginia's Literacy Foundation with former First Lady,
  Jeannie Baliles.  Mrs. Gilmore and I hope that you will
  join us at Virginia's Reading Research Forum.

  "Every Child Reads" is a reasonable expectation for the
  children of Virginia. Research has provided educators
  with the tools to enable almost every child to read on
  grade level by the third grade. If Virginia's children
  are to meet the rigorous expectations of our Standards of
  Learning, they must be able to read in order to acquire
  information from textbooks and other material. Educators
  need to be sure they are using the most effective
  research-based program designs and strategies to enable
  all children to be successful readers. 

  To initiate a statewide effort focused upon enabling all
  children to read on grade level, each school division, as
  well as each college or university that offers a teacher
  preparation program, is encouraged to send a team to
  Virginia's Reading Research Forum, to be held November 2
  and 3, 1998, at the Hotel Roanoke.  The purpose of the
  Forum is to provide key educational leaders with the
  opportunity to learn directly from some of the top
  researchers in the country about the latest research
  regarding effective program designs, teaching methods,
  materials and strategies.  Although the program is still
  in the planning stage, we will be able to hear from
  reading researchers such as Jean Osborn and Louisa Moats,
  as well as the recommendations of the National Research
  Council on "Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young
  Children."  Mrs. Gilmore and I will also be sharing our
  ideas with you regarding the importance of every child
  reading on grade level.

  Based upon the presentations in the forum, and a
  technical assistance guide to be provided following the
  forum, the goal of the Department of Education is to
  provide school divisions with research-based information
  that they can use to self-evaluate their reading
  programs, based on the essential components recommended
  by the research.  Similarly, representatives from teacher
  education institutions will have an opportunity to
  identify the research-based repertoire of skills that
  successful teachers of reading need to be effective with
  all children.

  We hope you will be able to attend this important event. 
  The Department of Education will cover 100 percent of the
  lodging and meal expenses at the Hotel Roanoke for a
  maximum of three representatives from each school
  division and two from each college or university that has
  a teacher preparation program.  There will be no
  registration fee.  Travel expenses and incidental hotel
  expenses will be the responsibility of the attendees. 
  Division superintendents are encouraged to attend and to
  bring two persons from their divisions (for a total of
  three). It is recommended that these additional
  individuals have K-12 responsibility in instruction,
  reading, and/or special education.  The topics of the 
  forum are directed toward those persons who make
  district-level policy and program decisions.

  This is an exceptional opportunity to learn from renowned 
  national researchers.  Attached are registration
  materials. Since the Department of Education will pay the
  cost of lodging and meals for each registered participant
  (up to the maximums stated above), please try to ensure
  that all registered participants attend.  In the
  registration confirmation, there will be a cancellation
  date by which members of your team may withdraw, or by
  which you may insert a substitute, without cost to the
  Department.

  For additional information, please contact Jim Heywood,
  Director of Elementary and Middle School Services, at
  804-225-2865, or Linda Poorbaugh, Language Arts
  Specialist (K-8), 805-786-3925.

  PDS/vdg

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