P.O. BOX 2120
March 16, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Regional Training Institutes on Reading Comprehension Instructional Strategies

During the months of May and June 2001, the Virginia Department of Education will sponsor five, two-day, regional train-the-trainers institutes to introduce a strategic and comprehensive program for teaching reading comprehension in all content areas. The program, called Interactive Reading, is research-based, appropriate for students in grades 4 through 8, and designed to improve reading comprehension and 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 reading comprehension and have assignments in a variety of content areas. I would also encourage you to include building administrators, since they are the leaders in the implementation of instructional strategies.

The institutes, sponsored through an Eisenhower Title II grant, will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the first day and from 9 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. on the second day. Morning coffee, lunch, and breaks will be provided for all participants. Additionally, the cost of overnight accommodations for the night between the workshop days will be provided to those participants who must travel more than 30 miles to reach the training site. Double occupancy would be appreciated, if appropriate for your team to do so. School divisions will be responsible for the cost of substitute teachers, transportation, and any other overnight accommodations required. Arrangements for state rates at nearby hotels will be made and a list of these accommodations will be sent to you after your registration has been received.

Regional dates and sites:

May 21-22, 2001 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke

May 23-24, 2001 Higher Education Center, Abingdon

May 29-30, 2001 Radisson, Hampton

May 31-June 1, 2001 George Mason University, Prince William

June 4-5, 2001 Doubletree, Charlottesville

To register participants, please fax the attached registration form to Peggy King (804) 786-1597 before May 1, 2001. Space is limited to approximately 90 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.