Superintendent’s Memo #196-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 2, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds
                   Virginia’s Preschool Curriculum Review Rubric and Planning Tool
                   Virginia’s Quality Indicators for Responsive Teaching: Creating a High Quality Preschool Learning Environment

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the release of the 2013 edition of Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds. The purpose of the preschool standards is to provide a set of minimum standards in literacy, mathematics, science, history and social science, health and physical development, and personal and social development. Music and visual arts standards were added this year. The other content areas were reviewed and updated to align with the revised kindergarten Standards of Learning (SOL). The preschool standards were written and designed by a team of highly qualified state and national early childhood experts that included teachers, administrators, researchers, and parents. While separate and distinct, all domains interact with and reinforce one another.

Virginia’s Preschool Curriculum Review Rubric and Planning Tool was updated to include music and the visual arts. The purpose is to help early childhood teachers identify and choose curricula that are based on scientific research and that align with Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning.

Virginia’s Quality Indicators for Responsive Teaching is a new technical assistance tool that complements the preschool standards and the rubric. The purpose of the indicators is to help teachers and parents design environments, materials, and interactions that will support children’s learning. Each section correlates with Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning. The quality indicators may also be used as a self assessment by teachers or as an observation tool by supervisors.

All three documents can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/early_childhood/index.shtml

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Cheryl Strobel, associate director of early childhood education, via e-mail at Cheryl.Strobel@doe.virginia.gov or telephone at (804) 371-7578.

PIW/CPS/as