P. O. BOX 2120
April 18, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Invitational Symposium on National Board Certification, July 14-15, 1997

  On July 14 and 15, 1997, an invitational symposium on the
  National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  certification will be conducted in Colonial Williamsburg. 
  The two-day symposium will be co-sponsored by the Virginia
  Education Association (VEA), the Virginia Association of
  School Superintendents (VASS),  and the Virginia Department
  of Education.  Expenses incurred in connection with the
  symposium will be paid by the sponsoring organizations.
  Nominations must be received on the attached form on or
  before June 2, 1997.

  The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards,
  created in 1987, is designed to compliment, not replace,
  existing state licensure procedures for teachers. 
  Currently, the National Board has certificates available in
  six areas: Early Childhood/Generalist; Middle
  Childhood/Generalist; Early Adolescence/Generalist; Early
  Adolescence/English Language Arts; Early Adolescence through
  Young Adulthood/Art; and Adolescence and Young
  Adulthood/Mathematics.  During the 1996 General Assembly
  session, funding was appropriated to establish an incentive
  grant program for teachers seeking certification from the
  National Board.  The appropriation includes $75,000 for each
  year of the biennium.  This funding will provide seventy-five
  $1000 grants to pay half of the $2000 cost of applying
  for national certification.  In the 1996-97 school year only
  eight teachers applied for grants.

  The statewide symposium scheduled for July 14 and 15 is
  designed to share information about this professional
  opportunity with eligible teachers.  The certification
  system,  including the standards, the assessment, and the
  professional development of providing teachers with the 
  opportunity to strengthen their practice through self-

  Invitational Symposim on National Board Certification
  Page 2
  April 10, 1997

  examination,  will be featured during the symposium.  The
  first day of the symposium will focus on these three
  elements of the National Board certification.  On the second
  day the symposium will be  devoted to the "nuts and bolts"
  of the certification process and will involve Virginia board
  certified teachers.  The Virginia board certified teachers
  will conduct small group sessions on ideas and strategies
  essential in preparing a school-site portfolio including the
  descriptions of their practice, student work, videotapes of
  their classroom activities,  and preparation strategies
  required for the assessment activities.  An extension of the
  symposium will be the establishment of regional network
  teams using Virginia board certified teachers as team
  leaders to mentor teachers applying for certification in the
  fall of 1997.  Grants will be provided to support regional
  network teams.

  The overall objective of the sponsoring organizations is to
  increase the number of  eligible Virginia applicants for
  National Board Certification.  If you are interested in
  seeking national board certification and participaing in the
  two-day symposium,  please complete and return the attached
  application on or before June 2, 1997.  Individuals selected
  to participate in the symposium will be notified regarding
  logistics immediately following the June 2 deadline.

  If you have any questions regarding National Board
  Certification or the symposium, please do not hesitate to
  contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott at (804) 371-2522.


  Attachment:  A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.