Superintendent's Memo #039-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 4, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Early Reading Interventions Symposium: March 24, 2011

The Department of Education and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) office at the University of Virginia are pleased to announce the "Virginia Early Reading Interventions Symposium," to be held on March 24, 2011, at the Hilton Richmond Hotel at Short Pump, Richmond, Virginia. The goal of this symposium will be to assist school divisions in providing differentiated classroom reading instruction and intervention services for students in kindergarten through third grade.

The symposium is open to a team of three participants from each division to include the PALS division representative, lead teachers from kindergarten through third grade, and elementary school literacy coaches or reading resource teachers. Participants will be expected to redeliver this professional development to primary teachers in their school divisions. The PALS division representative should coordinate assembling the team to represent the division at the symposium. This includes ensuring that no more than three participants from each division register for the symposium. The PALS division representative will also be responsible for notifying their team of registration and/or lodging confirmation sent by the PALS office.

The symposium will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Attachment A contains an agenda of the event. Materials, a continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks will be provided. Participants are asked to be present for all meal functions.

Registration– The PALS office will manage registration. The deadline for registration is March 14, 2011. Participants may register for the symposium by e-mailing the registration form, Attachment B, to Susan Hughes at A confirmation notice will be e-mailed to the PALS division representative after registration closes.

Lodging – The Department of Education will fund a maximum of three hotel rooms for each school division that is 75 miles or more from the Hilton Richmond Hotel at Short Pump, Richmond, Virginia. Attachment C contains the list of eligible school divisions for Department of Education funding for up to three hotel rooms. After those participants who are traveling 75 miles or more register for the symposium, the PALS office will make all lodging reservations and cancellations for those participants.

Participants not eligible for VDOE-funded lodging will be responsible for making their own lodging reservations and cancellations by the cutoff date on March 14, 2011. An arrangement has been made with the three hotels listed below to accept reservations for the night of March 23, 2011. Please reference "Department of Education, Virginia Early Reading Interventions Symposium" when making the reservation.

For reservations at the Hilton Richmond Hotel at Short Pump, Richmond, Virginia, call (804) 364-3600.

Overflow lodging has been arranged at:

Parking – Parking costs must be paid by the symposium participants or their school divisions.

Mileage – School divisions are encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants for the symposium, as this cost is not assumed by the Virginia Department of Education.

Directions – Hotel directions may be found as follows:

For registration questions, participants may contact Susan Hughes, PALS office manager, by e-mail at or by telephone at (434) 243-8682. For program questions, please contact Thomas Santangelo, English and reading specialist, Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3203.



  1. Symposium Agenda (PDF)
  2. Symposium Registration Form (Word)
  3. School Divisions Eligible to Receive Up to Three Rooms of Paid Lodging (PDF)