P. O. BOX 2120
March 7, 1997


Division Superintendents


Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction

James M. Anderson
VASS President and Superintendent of Schools,
Prince Edward County Schools

Alfred R. Butler
Executive Director of VASS

SUBJECT: 1997 Annual Conference of Division Superintendents

  The Annual Conference of Division Superintendents is
  scheduled for April 20-23, 1997, at the Roanoke Airport
  Marriott, Roanoke, Virginia. This is the ninth conference
  co-sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the
  Virginia Association of School Superintendents.  There will
  be a $150 registration fee for the entire three-day
  conference and a special one-day fee of $75 for Monday only. 
  Registration for the conference will begin at 5:00 p.m. on
  Sunday April 20.  The conference will end by noon on
  Wednesday, April 23, 1997.

  The goal of the VASS 1997 Annual Conference is to provide
  superintendents and their staff members with information,
  skills, and opportunities enabling them to develop strong
  accountability systems in their local school divisions and
  to assist state policy makers in the development of
  Virginia's accountability system.  The title of the
  conference, Defining Accountability: Our Turn, denotes the
  active role which superintendents, assistant
  superintendents, and public information officers may play in
  this process.

  The conference sessions have been designed to provide the
  latest information about accountability in other states as
  well as Virginia.  Conference participants will learn about
  different measures of accountability, consequences which
  motivate educators, and how to build capacities for improved
  accountability.  Authorities such as Pat Forgione,
  Commissioner of the National Center for Educational
  Statistics, and Charles Abelmann, co-author of Holding
  Schools Accountable will be addressing these issues.  The
  participants will also learn about how they may be more
  effective as school division leaders from Robert Eaker, Dean
  of Middle Tennessee State University School of Education and
  Annual Conference Keynote Speaker.

  A special feature of the conference will be a two-hour
  workshop designed to assist school division leadership teams
  with educating members of their communities about test
  results and other accountability measures.  The workshop
  will be conducted by Pat Jackson who is a well-known
  authority on school public relations.  The workshop will
  take place on Monday, April 21, immediately following a
  status report on the state assessment and SOA revisions
  which will be provided by representatives from the
  Department of Education and Harcourt Brace.  A special one-day
  registration fee of $75 per person has been established
  for Monday to encourage superintendents to have members of
  their leadership teams participate.

  The conference will also provide participants with an
  opportunity to offer recommendations for the development of
  Virginia's accountability system.  Douglas Carnine,
  University of Oregon Professor and Consultant to the
  Virginia State Board of Education on the state assessment
  and SOA revisions, will be available to hear comments and
  provide a national perspective on the process of developing
  accountability statewide.

  In addition to these sessions, the traditional golf, tennis,
  and volleyball tournaments are planned as well as the Annual
  Picnic and numerous receptions.  Monday's luncheon will
  feature guest speaker Jim Graham, former VASS President and
  retired superintendent from Wise County.  Tuesday's Annual
  Conference Banquet will feature the 1998 Virginia
  Superintendent of the Year award ceremony and VASS President
  James M. Anderson as the Banquet Speaker.

  Conference participants are encouraged to preregister by
  completing the enclosed form and returning it to Alfred R.
  Butler, Executive Director, VASS, 405 Emmet Street,
  Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 by Monday, April 7, 1997. 
  For room reservations, please mail the enclosed reservation
  form directly to the Roanoke Airport Marriott.  Following is
  a brief outline of the conference:

  Sunday, April 20

     11:00 a.m.          Golf Tournament
      1:00 p.m.          Tennis Tournament
      5:00 - 7:00 p.m.   Registration
      7:00 - 8:00 p.m.   Reception
      8:00 p.m.          General Session and Keynote Speaker

  Monday, April 21

      7:00 -  8:35 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast
      8:00 - 4:30 p.m.   Registration & Consultation Sessions
      8:45 - 3:30 p.m.   General Session
     10:10 -10:30 a.m.   Break * Exhibits * Refreshments
     12:30 - 2:00 p.m.   VASS Luncheon
      5:00 - until       Volleyball Tournament and Picnic
      7:00 - 8:30 p.m.   Picnic
      8:30 - until       Reception

  Tuesday, April 22

      7:00 - 8:30 a.m.   Buffet Breakfast
      8:00 - 12:00 noon  Registration
      8:45 - 12:00 noon  General Session
     10:00 - 10:20 a.m.  Break * Exhibits * Refreshments
     12:00 - 5:00 p.m.   Open: Individual and Group R & R
      6:00 -  7:00 p.m.  Reception
      7:00 - 9:00 p.m.   Banquet

  Wednesday, April 23

      7:00 - 8:30 a.m.   Breakfast
      8:45 -11:15 a.m.   General Session
      8:45 -  9:45 a.m.  VASS Business Meeting