P.O. BOX 2120



April 8, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



From Vision To Practice: A Summer 2005 School Improvement Academy for School Division Administrative Teams and Teachers from Schools in Title I School Improvement


The Department of Education is pleased to announce a two-part School Improvement Academy entitled, From Vision To Practice to be held Tuesday, July 26, 2005, through Friday, July 29, 2005, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Part 1 of the Academy (July 26-27) will focus on providing teachers with effective teaching strategies and/or programs presented by their peers throughout the state. The peer presentations will be divided into three strands: 1) mathematics instruction; 2) reading/language arts instruction; and 3) school/community factors. The goal of the sessions will be to assist schools with increasing student achievement in order to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) targets and reduce the achievement gap. Recommended attendees for Part 1 are teachers from school divisions with schools in the school improvement status. Attendance will be limited to four teachers from each school in Title I School Improvement.


Part 2 (July 28-29) will focus on providing technical assistance to administrative teams in school divisions that currently have schools in Year 1, Year 2, or Corrective Action (Year 3) of School Improvement. The technical assistance of Part 2 will focus on assisting school division personnel to understand challenges that have placed them in School Improvement; and develop innovative approaches for addressing these challenges. Administrative teams for Part 2 of the academy should consist of the division superintendent or designee, principals who have schools in Title I School Improvement, and Title I and Title III coordinators from divisions or schools in Title I School Improvement.


Part 1 of the Academy will feature Kay Tolliver, Presidential, Disney, and Kilby-Award-winning teacher who has been teaching at East Harlem/Tech/PS 72 in New York City for the past 30 years. Miss Tolliver was the subject of a Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary, Good Morning Miss Tolliver. Over the years, Miss Tolliver has developed unique class projects that assist students in connecting both mathematics and language skills. Also featured will be presentations from exemplary teachers throughout Virginia.


Part 2 of the Academy will feature presentations from nationally known speakers on the following topics: 1) schools-within-a-school; 2) same gender classes; 3) using educational management companies; 4) successful community/business partnerships; and 5) building leadership capacity. Participants will have the opportunity to develop innovative approaches for their schools as a result of their participation in the academy.


The Outreach Program Services at Virginia Tech will manage registration.  Materials, a continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks will be provided.  Participants are asked to be present for all meal functions.  The cutoff date for reservations is June 27, 2005. For reservations, call the Hotel Roanoke at (540) 853-8298, and reference the School Improvement Academy. A block of rooms has been reserved at the state rate of $68 per night excluding taxes and surcharges.


Overflow lodging has been arranged at the Holiday Inn Airport, Roanoke at (540) 366-8861 and The Holiday Inn Express, 815 Gainsboro Road, Roanoke, Virginia at (540) 982-0100. The cutoff for reservations is June 27, 2005, for both hotels. A block of rooms has been reserved at both sites at the state rate of $68 per night excluding taxes and surcharges. Lodging and travel costs to and from the institute will be the responsibility of the attendees; however, these related academy expenses are authorized activities and can be charged to your local Title I or Title III budget, pending availability of funding. 


Attachment A contains a registration form to be returned by fax on or before July 19, 2005, to Nancy Rakes, conference registrar, Outreach Program Services at Virginia Tech.  Her fax number is (540) 231-3306.  If for any reason an individuals attendance plans change, please cancel the reservation with the hotel, and contact Ms. Rakes ( at Virginia Tech.  Hotel directions may be found at for the Hotel Roanoke, for the Holiday Inn Airport, and for

the Holiday Inn Express.


If you have questions related to the institute, please contact Rita Ghazal at (804) 225-2904.