|FROM:||Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Inclusion of Certain Information in Inservice Training and Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers|
House Joint Resolution (HRJ) 640, adopted by the 2001 General Assembly, requests the Board of Education to review, consider, and address certain recommendations of the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Overrepresentation of African-American Students in Special Education Programs. One of the recommendations contained in HJR 640 is to "encourage cross-disciplinary training for all teachers in the identification of students for special education services."
Virginia regulations require, for initial licensure, coursework that includes information leading to an understanding of the characteristics and the instruction of children with disabilities. However, in an effort to reinforce this knowledge and to provide updated information to all teachers, we are asking that you include topics related to the proper identification of children with disabilities in your plans for inservice training and professional development.
Please note that the Department of Education is preparing material for cultural competency training, an initiative that is potentially very useful in addressing disproportionality in special education, especially at the referral stage. We expect to announce the availability of this material along with training opportunities in the spring of 2002. Additionally, we expect to post a list of resources on our website.
Thank you for your cooperation in this
matter. Questions or comments may be referred to Mr. H. Douglas Cox, assistant
superintendent, Instructional Support Services, at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.