COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 190

August 15, 2008

 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Reading First Comprehension Institutes, Reading First Academy for Teachers of Special Education Students, Reading First Online Reading Academies for K-3 Teachers and Teachers of English Language Learners


The Department of Education is pleased to announce the Reading First Comprehension Institutes and the Reading First Teacher Reading Academies to be held in the fall of 2008. These are professional development opportunities provided by the state as a part of the Reading First grant. Attachment A provides detailed information about each. 
 

Participants of the Reading First Comprehension Institutes will be guided through the process of using student assessment information to determine students' instructional reading levels in order to plan and implement differentiated instruction in the content areas with a focus on science and history and social science.
 

The Reading First Academy for Teachers of Special Education Students will provide a professional development experience for teachers who work with students with reading difficulties. The Academy includes sessions built on scientifically-based components of reading instruction with emphasis on interventions for struggling readers, word attack skills, fluency, spelling, vocabulary development, comprehension strategies, and strategies to differentiate instruction within content area text.  This training may be used by teachers to satisfy the reading/English/language arts requirements of the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) approved by the Virginia Board of Education on February 25, 2004. There is no cost for registration or materials. Transportation and lodging expenses will not be reimbursed by the Virginia Department of Education; however, local Reading First funds may be used for this purpose.
   

The Reading First K-3 Online Teacher Reading Academies for K-3 Teachers and Teachers of English Language Learners include a series of sessions built on scientifically-based components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The Blackboard Learning System will be utilized for this course. All coursework will be done online and participation will consist of online discussions and other activities with the instructor and participants. At the end of the online Academy, a certificate of completion will be awarded. 

The Comprehension Institutes and Teacher Reading Academies are open to all Virginia elementary administrators; teachers of kindergarten, first, second and third grades; as well as K-3 English as a second language (ESL) teachers, Title I teachers, and K-12 special education teachers.
   

Registration will be conducted through the Reading First in Virginia website: http://www.readingfirst.virginia.edu and will begin August 20, 2008, for schools receiving Reading First funding, and August 27, 2008, for all other schools. The dates, locations, and registration information for the 2008 fall institutes and academies are located in the attachment.

Questions regarding the Comprehension Institutes and Reading Academies should be directed to the Reading First in Virginia office at (877)827-3237.  Questions regarding the Reading First program should be directed to Thomas Santangelo, Reading First coordinator, via e-mail at Thomas.Santangelo@doe.virginia.gov or telephone at (804) 225-3203.
   

BKCJr/TS/pk

Attachment

a. Reading First Comprehension Institutes and the Reading First Teacher Reading Academies (PDF)