COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
September 16, 2011
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
On September 14, 2011, Governor McDonnell announced a strategic partnership between the Microsoft Information Technology (IT) Academy program and Virginia public high schools. Speaking about the Microsoft IT Academy program in Virginia, Governor McDonnell said, “In today’s global economy, it is essential that our students are prepared for the highly-skilled, highly-technical jobs that are driving job growth today and will continue to be important economic drivers in the future.”
More than 50 percent of today’s jobs require proficiency with IT skills. That number is projected to increase to 77 percent within ten years. The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to partner with Microsoft to initiate the IT Academy phase one pilot program consisting of 30 high schools and nine career and technical education (CTE) centers (see Attachments A and B for list and map). The pilot sites have been identified to phase in the implementation of the IT Academy program. However, the goal is to aggressively expand the Microsoft IT Academy program to every high school and CTE center statewide by spring 2012. The IT Academy program offers many unique education benefits to fully prepare students for the 21st century and validate their learning through internationally recognized IT industry certifications. The IT Academy is being made available statewide at no direct cost to school divisions.
Benefits of the Microsoft IT Academy include:
Within the next few weeks, all high school principals, CTE directors, and information technology directors will receive additional communication from Microsoft IT Academy personnel to outline the next steps of program implementation and the phase one pilot site rollout. Additionally, each high school and CTE center statewide will receive a Welcome Kit including a plaque, member letter, and posters to display.
If you have questions, please contact Anne Rowe, coordinator for the IT Academy Initiative, Office of Career and Technical Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804)225-3119.
Thank you for supporting this important statewide initiative.