April 21, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Twice-Exceptional Learners
The Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in partnership with the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM), will sponsor two collaborative special education-gifted education conferences on “Twice-Exceptional Learners.” One conference will occur on June 22, 2017, at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke. The conference will be repeated on July 10, 2017, at the Four-Points Sheraton in Richmond. These conferences are designed to address identification strategies and service model considerations for twice-exceptional learners.
Each conference will only be available to school division personnel. Gifted Coordinators, Special Education Coordinators, and Resource or Lead Personnel in these specialty areas are the primary target audience. The VDOE is seeking between one to four individuals per school division. Attendees should only register for one conference. Each conference can accommodate 100 individuals.
Both conferences will include a keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Hughes-Lynch. Dr. Hughes-Lynch is well known in the field of gifted education for her expertise in identifying and teaching with twice-exceptional learners. Her keynote address, “Examining Gifted Identification with a Spotlight on Twice-Exceptional Students,” will provide insights into best practices to consider in the identification process of twice-exceptional learners. In addition, Dr. Hughes-Lynch will conduct a breakout session.
There will be a total of six different breakout sessions. Attendees will be able to attend four of the six sessions. Attendees will select their sessions at the time of registration. Topics will include:
- Reading and Writing Assistive Technologies for Twice-Exceptional Students
- Disability Awareness: Impacts on Giftedness (with a special focus on Dyslexia, Autism, and OHI/ADD)
- Behavior and Executive Functioning: Improving Organizational Skills
- Partnering with Parents (parent resources and a parent panel discussion)
- Foreign Language and Twice-Exceptional Learners
- Keynote Speaker’s Breakout – “Developing Content Knowledge in 2e Students: Working Around the Disability”
The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration and lunch the day of the conference. School divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program. To register, please visit http://register.cpe.vt.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&ctourseId=248521. If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Dr. Teresa Lee, Instructional Specialist, Office of Special Education and Instructional Services at Teresa.Lee@doe.virginia.gov or at (804) 371-8283 or Dr. Donna Poland, Specialist, Governor’s Schools and Gifted Education, by email at Donna.Poland@doe.virginia.gov or at (804) 225-2884.