Superintendent’s Memo #093-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 17, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Multi-Sensory Language Instruction Pilot Project

The Virginia Department of Education Offices of Special Education Instructional Services and Humanities and Early Childhood are seeking K-6 teachers to participate in a multi-sensory structured language instruction pilot project during the 2015-2016 school year.  Approximately 80 teachers will be selected through a competitive application process to participate in the August 3-7, 2015, regionally-based pilot project.  The participants will receive professional development in the Orton-Gillingham instructional approach.  This instructional approach is a direct, systematic approach to teaching language structure for reading remediation.  It is designed to address the needs of struggling readers who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing including those with a specific learning disability such as dyslexia.

Selected teachers will be provided a $500 stipend and the instructional materials needed for implementation.  Follow up and support through a professional learning community and/or coaching will be provided to facilitate implementation during the 2015-2016 school year as a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention in a general education and/or special education setting. Participants will be assigned to a regional Virginia Tech Continuing Education Center or affiliate within a reasonable driving distance from their home.  If driving distance exceeds 75 miles, travel reimbursement will be provided.  Participants will receive continuing education units as well as an opportunity to complete additional requirements to receive an Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator Certificate through the Orton-Gillingham Academy.

Participants will be chosen based on the following criteria:

Completed applications and recommendations are due to the Virginia Department of Education by May 8, 2015.  Once applications are reviewed, notification to participants and registration information will be sent via e-mail by June 5, 2015.  Applicants should provide an e-mail address that will be accessed during June.

If you have questions concerning the instructional project, please contact Dr. Teresa Lee at or by telephone at (804) 371-8283 or Mr. Thomas Santangelo at by telephone at (804) 225-3203.