Superintendent's Memo #262-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 29, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Strengthening Connections: Weaving a Network of Support Conference, December 6-8, 2010

The Office of Student Services, Division of Special Education and Student Services, Virginia Department of Education, is pleased to announce the student support services conference, Strengthening Connections: Weaving a Network of Support. The conference will be held at the Hospitality House, Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 6-8, 2010. This conference promotes coordinating student services and building partnerships among school personnel, parents, and communities. It is appropriate for student services staff and other support professionals and community prevention coalition members. Family and student service providers in the community are also welcome to attend.

On December 6, specific technical assistance workshops will be provided for liaisons working with children experiencing homelessness, student assistance and Safe and Drug-Free Schools personnel, Family Life Education coordinators, drop-out and re-enrollment specialists, school nurses, and personnel responsible for billing Medicaid for approved school services. Others may attend. There is no fee for the technical assistance workshops; however, participants must register at the online site noted below. Directly following the technical assistance workshops, there will be networking and resource exhibits to visit for all conference participants.

On December 7, multiple conference sessions will occur throughout the day. A half-day session on December 8 will provide an opportunity for participants to assess their local resources and identify potential partners for supporting a positive school climate.

A sample of the topic sessions to be offered during the conference includes:

There is a $40 fee per person to attend the networking and resource exhibits in the late afternoon of December 6 and the December 7-8 conference sessions. This fee includes training materials and selected meals. School divisions are responsible for all travel costs, including, but not limited to, mileage, lodging, and meals not included as part of the conference package. Blocks of rooms are reserved for participants at the Hospitality House under the name "Strengthening Connections."

Please click on the following link to register and for detailed travel information:

Online registration will close on November 22, 2010.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Vivian Stith-Williams, student services specialist, at (804)225-4543 or or Jo Ann Burkholder, safe and drug-free schools coordinator at (804)371-7586 or