P.O. BOX 2120



March 2, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



2007 Middle and High School

Content/Teaching Academies


The Virginia Department of Education is collaborating with James Madison University (JMU) to sponsor the 2007 Content/Teaching Academies on June 25-29, 2007. The academies will be conducted on the campus of JMU and will be open to all educators in middle and high schools. These academies will provide instruction in each of the four assessed Standards of Learning areas, gifted education, instructional technology, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The academies will integrate Content Enhancement Routines from the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) developed by The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. These research-validated routines implemented by general education and special education teachers enhance opportunities for all students, but especially students with disabilities, to access and succeed in the general education curriculum as well as contribute to building a collaborative school culture. Each academy will focus on the following:


  • Mathematics problem solving skills;
  • Science themes in Earth science;
  • English - innovative practices for teaching reading and writing;
  • History and Social Science US History and Civics/Economics;
  • Gifted education - design and delivery of differentiated curriculum;
  • Instructional technology technologies for content creation and virtual collaboration; and
  • ESL issues of differentiation of instruction in the content areas.


The goal of the Content/Teaching Academies is to combine high-quality subject-area content with high-quality instruction in an intellectually rigorous and stimulating environment. The academy will also include panel sessions where participants will have opportunities to interact with experts regarding collaboration and differentiation. Scholars and master teachers from around the Commonwealth and across the nation will comprise the faculty of the academies. As an added feature, school and central office administrators who do not choose to attend an entire academy may join their colleagues on Thursday and Friday. This strand will begin with a morning session specifically designed for administrators. The planning group for the academies included university liberal arts and teacher education professors, school district administrators and teachers from across the state, and Department of Education specialists.


For more detailed information regarding the Content/Teaching Academies, please visit the website at


For further information, please contact Diane Gillam, specialist, Office of Special Education Instructional Services, at (804) 371-8283 or Paula Klonowski, science coordinator, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, at (804) 371-0249.