P.O. BOX 2120

January 26, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Regional Training Opportunities for Vocabulary Acquisition Strategies Across the Middle School Curriculum

During the month of March 2001, the Virginia Department of Education will sponsor five, one day, regional train-the-trainer institutes to introduce a strategic and comprehensive program to teach the acquisition of vocabulary in all content areas. The program, Wordsalive, is research-based, appropriate for middle school students, and designed to enhance student performance on the Standards of Learning assessments.

You are invited to send a team of participants, based on the size of your division, to an institute in your region of the state. These participants will be provided with information, materials, and activities that may be used to train other school personnel. In order for your school division to gain maximum benefit from this training institute, I encourage you to send individuals who are interested in serving as school division trainers/mentors for vocabulary acquisition and have assignments in a variety of content areas.

The institutes, sponsored through an Eisenhower Title II grant, will last from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Department of Education will provide morning coffee, lunch, and breaks for all participants. School divisions will be responsible for the cost of substitute teachers, transportation, and overnight accommodations when required. Arrangements for state rates at nearby hotels will be made and a list of these accommodations will be sent to you upon request.

Regional dates and sites:

March 12, 2001 VMI Lexington
March 13, 2001 Forest Park High School,Prince William County
March 20, 2001 Christopher Newport University, Newport News
March 23, 2001 Longwood College, Farmville
March 26, 2001 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke

To register participants, please fax the attached registration form to Peggy King at (804) 786-1597 before February 20, 2001. Space is limited to approximately 75 participants per site. Letters of confirmation, with directions to the site, will be sent after registration forms are received.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Catherine Rosenbaum (, specialist for language arts, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at (804) 225-2665.