P.O. BOX 2120
March 30, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference and Exposition, June 24-27, 2001

A cordial invitation is extended to principals, assistant principals, division superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors of instruction, supervisors, college personnel, and administrators of nonpublic secondary schools to attend the annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference and Exposition to be held June 24-June 27, 2001, at The Homestead in Hot Springs. This event is sponsored by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP).

This annual conference is designed to develop and enhance middle and high school administrators’ leadership skills, increase their understanding of current issues, and expand their knowledge base for educational change. The theme for this year’s conference is "Inspiring Creative Leadership: Advancing Your Success." A major focus of the conference will be on implementing the Standards of Learning and improving student achievement on the SOL assessments. Much attention has been given by program planners to ensure conference attendees a wide offering of presentations and general sessions.

A pre-conference clinic on school law will be held on Sunday, June 24, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Participants attending the clinic will hear outstanding national and state presenters on topics that address recent court decisions affecting legal and policy issues surrounding student conduct, discipline, new IDEA regulations, teacher and principal evaluation for assessment, and legislation enacted at the recent session of the General Assembly.

The conference will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 25, and will feature a Standards of Learning (SOL) symposium immediately following lunch, which will include a moderated question and answer session with VDOE assistant superintendents.

The SOL symposium will include a group of 40-minute concurrent sessions, to be repeated once, led by VDOE staff members. The format of the sessions is designed to provide participants with information on revised Standards of Learning and the most recently developed instructional resources and training programs that are being provided to school divisions. Sessions will provide participants with strategies for using these resources.

The conference sessions will include strategies for analyzing classroom practices and methods for improving instruction, monitoring SOL implementation, analyzing and interpreting SOL assessment data for instructional purposes, and using instructional technology to teach the SOL.

A preliminary conference program synopsis, Conference At-A-Glance, is provided in Attachment A. The detailed announcement about the general session speakers, workshop presenters, topics, etc., will be mailed to you in mid-May.

The Homestead will house all the conference programs. Hotel accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and we encourage you to return the enclosed accommodations application form as soon as possible. All rooms not confirmed with a reservation by May 21, 2001, will be released.

A conference registration form (see Attachment B) and a hotel accommodations application (see Attachment C) are also provided with this memo. Please duplicate the forms as needed and share this information with persons who would be interested in attending the conference. To take advantage of EARLY REGISTRATION, the registration form must be completed and returned by May 21, 2001, to Summer Conference, VASSP, Box K 170, Richmond, VA 23288.

Hotel accommodation forms are to be sent via mail directly to The Homestead. Only the enclosed official accommodations application form will be accepted by the hotel. As in past years, the hotel will not accept telephone requests for room reservations (this includes facsimile), written letters, or in-person requests. This procedure helps to assure some degree of fairness that everyone has an opportunity to receive the conference announcement and respond in a timely fashion.

We look forward to seeing you in June. If you have questions about the conference or desire additional information, please call VASSP at (804) 288-2777 or Dr. Patricia Wright, assistant superintendent for instruction, at (804) 225-2979.