SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 140
October 2, 1998
|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.