DATE: April 20, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D., Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

Twice-Exceptional Learners:  Summer Institute for Teachers


The Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE’s) Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in partnership with the Office of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM), will sponsor two collaborative special education-gifted education conferences on “Twice-Exceptional Learners:  Summer Institute for Teachers.”  One conference will occur on July 16, 2018, at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia.  The conference will be repeated on July 18, 2018 at the Westin in Richmond, Virginia.  These conferences address instruction strategies for use with twice-exceptional learners.

Each conference will only be available to school division personnel.  Gifted Education and Special Education resource teachers who provide services to twice-exceptional students are the primary target audience.  The VDOE is seeking two to four individuals per school division. Attendees should only register for one conference.  Each conference can accommodate 100 individuals.

Both conferences will include a keynote speaker, Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska.  Dr. VanTassel-Baska is well known in the field of gifted education for her expertise in curriculum and instruction.  Her keynote address, “Interventions in Schools and Classrooms for Twice-Exceptional Students: A Focus on Strengths,” will provide insights into best practices to consider for twice-exceptional learners.  In addition, Dr. VanTassel-Baska will conduct two breakout sessions.

There will be a total of eight different breakout sessions.  Attendees will be able to attend four of the eight sessions.  Attendees will be able to select their sessions on a first come, first serve basis the day of the conference.  Topics will include:

The VDOE will assume the cost of registration and lunch the day of the conference.  Teachers will be provided $100 stipend for participation.  School divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program.  For those needing lodging, a block of rooms is being held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center and the Westin Richmond at the government rate.  Please reference “VDOE Twice Exceptional” when making your reservation. *Cost of lodging will not be covered by the program, any lodging costs will be the responsibility of the participant.

Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis with consideration given to achieve equity across school divisions until all participant spaces are filled.  Please complete the pre-registration survey to express interest in attending.  Once pre-registration surveys are reviewed, acceptance notifications will be sent via email no later than May 23, 2018.
Twice-Exceptional Learners Pre-Registration Survey: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Dr. Teresa Lee, Instructional Specialist, Office of Special Education and Instructional Specialist, at Email link. or at (804) 371-8283 or Dr. Donna Poland, Specialist, Governor’s Schools and Gifted Education, by e-mail at Email link. or at (804) 225-2884.