Superintendent’s Memo #198-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 7, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Proficiency in the World Language Classroom Institute for World Language Teachers, September 23-25, 2015

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the “Proficiency in the World Language Classroom” Institute, to be held September 23-25, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a pre-conference Institute in conjunction with the annual Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) conference which takes place on September 24-26, 2015, at the same location.  The goal of this Institute is to provide world language teachers with the training needed to use proficiency oriented core practices in K-12 classrooms, including strategies for implementing the Virginia Foreign Language Standards of Learning, teaching for proficiency, and using authentic resources.

The Institute is open to 50 world language teachers.  Participants may include any K-12 modern world language teacher or world language department chair.  Participants will be expected to incorporate the core practices in their classroom instruction and to share the information with other world language teachers in the division.

The Institute will begin at 8 a.m. on September 23, 2015.  Attachment A contains an agenda of the event.  Materials, hotel accommodations, a continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided.  Participants are required to be present for all event and meal functions.

Institute Registration - The cost for the Institute will be paid by VDOE.  Registration is limited to 50 teachers and the deadline to apply is August 28, 2015.  Divisions may submit nominations for the Institute by e-mailing the application form, Attachment B, to Dr. Lisa Harris, specialist for foreign languages, at  The selection process will address regional representation and priority will be given to registering teachers in their first three years of service who teach in high poverty areas.  Please note that successful submission of the registration form does not guarantee acceptance into the Institute.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status via e-mail on August 31, 2015.

Materials - All materials needed for the Institute will be provided by VDOE.  Participants are encouraged to bring laptops.  Materials will include the 2015 VDOE document Implementing the Foreign Language Standards of Learning in Virginia Classrooms: A Guide for Teachers.  As part of a pilot program, all participants will also receive free access for themselves and their students for one year to the ThisIsLanguage Web site and video program.

FLAVA Conference - Participants must also register before September 2, 2015, for the FLAVA conference to qualify for participation in the pre-FLAVA Institute.  FLAVA conference registration information is located on the Web at:  School divisions are encouraged to cover this expense as this cost is not assumed by the VDOE.

Lodging - VDOE will fund one double-occupancy hotel room for three nights for each participating teacher from school divisions 25 miles or more from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia.  VDOE will make all lodging reservations and cancellations for those participants.  Participants who wish to add on an extra night for the FLAVA conference must contact the hotel individually.  School divisions are encouraged to cover the expense for the fourth night as these costs are not assumed by the VDOE.

Substitute Teachers - School divisions may request reimbursement for substitute teacher expenses for a maximum of three days per attending teacher, by mailing Attachment C, Request for Reimbursement of Substitute Teacher Expenses, to Robyn Smyth, COTA, 110 Shenandoah Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016.  All reimbursement request forms must be submitted no later than October 25, 2015.

Mileage - School divisions are encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants for the Institute, as this cost is not assumed by the VDOE.

Directions - Hotel directions for the DoubleTree by Hilton in Williamsburg, Virginia, may be found at:

For program or registration questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Harris, specialist for foreign languages, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3666.



  1. Institute Agenda (PDF)
  2. Institute Registration Form (Word)
  3. Request for Reimbursement of Substitute Teacher Expenses (Word)