Superintendent's Memo #060-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

March 6, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Reading First Comprehension Symposium

The Department of Education is pleased to announce a Reading First Comprehension Symposium to be held on May 16, 2009, at the Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville, Virginia. This Comprehension Symposium is a professional development opportunity provided by the state as a part of the Reading First grant. Dr. Anita Archer will present effective comprehension strategies for kindergarten through third-grade teachers to implement during reading instruction. Dr. Archer is an educational consultant and speaks on effective instruction, classroom management, reading and writing instruction, and the design of effective literacy programs.

This Comprehension Symposium is open to all Virginia elementary administrators; teachers of kindergarten, first, second, and third grades; as well as K-3 English as a second language (ESL) - teachers, Title I teachers, and K-12 special education teachers. The Comprehension Symposium will be held on Saturday May 16, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wytheville Meeting Center. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to participants on the day of the event.

Registration – Registration will be conducted through the Reading First in Virginia office at the University of Virginia. Online registration will begin on March 6, 2009, for schools receiving Reading First funding and March 27, 2009, for all other schools by using the website at

Lodging – School divisions with Reading First grants may use grant funds to pay lodging and mileage costs. Divisions are encouraged to cover lodging and mileage expenses for other participants for the symposium, as the Virginia Department of Education does not have grant funding to cover this cost. A block of rooms has been reserved for May 15, 2009, at the hotels listed below. Reservations must be made by April 15, 2009. Please reference “Department of Education, Reading First Comprehension Symposium.” It is the responsibility of the participants to make any cancellations of lodging if needed.

Directions – Hotel directions may be found as follows:

Questions regarding registration should be directed to the Reading First in Virginia office at (877) 827-3237. Questions regarding the Comprehension Symposium should be directed to Thomas Santangelo, Reading First coordinator, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3203.

PIW / MRA / pes