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Virginia Department of Education
Training & Technical Assistance Center 

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November/December 2011              

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Upcoming Events

Everyone Deserves a Bright Future: Designing Transition IEPs for Students with Severe Disabilities

Nov. 29, Dec. 7 & 15 


Putting Students in the Driver's Seat:  Increasing Students' Self-Determination and Creating Environments that Support Self-Determined Behavior


Leadership Development Regional Professional Development Institute

December 6, 2011


School-Wide Activities to Increase Students' Self-Determination Skills Regional Professional Development Institute

February 8, 2012 


The Strategic Instruction Model: Tools for Teachers and Students

January 12, 2012   



Location of all Events:

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School of Education

Williamsburg, VA

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Next Steps for Creating Meaningful
Learning Experiences

Denyse Doerries, Ph.D.

By this time in the school year teachers have a more complete, in-depth picture of what their students know. This brings an acute awareness of learners' differences and may lead teachers to ask, "what next?" For next steps, read a description of the articles that provide strategies to help teachers find out what students know and suggestions for matching this knowledge with effective instructional interventions.  Read more 

 The Planning Meeting Process:

An Excerpt from the Considerations Packet,

Co-Planning for Student Success

By Tina Spencer, M.S.  

Specialists from the College of William and Mary's Training and Technical Assistance Center (W&M T/TAC) research and disseminate free Considerations Packets designed to inform administrators, teachers, and parents of the latest research on an array of topics. The packets may be found on the W&M T/TAC website, This article provides an excerpt from the Considerations Packet entitled "Co-Planning for Student Success" and informs co- teaching partners of their roles and responsibilities before planning, during planning, and after co-teaching lessons. To find out more, click here

From Standards-Based IEP Goal Writing to Instructional Strategy Selection

By Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.

Standards-Based Individualized Education Programs (SB IEPs) will be implemented within the 2011-2012 school year in Virginia. Divisions have the option to adopt this format for all students identified with a disability or only students meeting the criteria for the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) in math in the spring of 2012 and reading in the spring of 2013. Use of SB IEPs is viewed as a mechanism for moving students with disabilities forward to on-time graduation with a standard diploma. Increased access to the general education curriculum as defined by the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL), as well as providing specialized instruction to address need areas are the focus of SB IEPs. To consider all the student's needs, functional and basic skills may be also targeted. Read more

Writing Standards-based IEP Goals 

By Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.

Once standards-based goals are written with a focus on the Virginia Standards of Learning, instructional strategies to address the identified areas for specialized instruction must be identified. What information must be considered to identify appropriate instruction? What questions must be answered to identify appropriate instruction strategies? This vignette offers suggestions for information and questions to be considered at this point in the Individual Education Program (IEP) process. Read more  

Teaching and Learning: Selecting  

the Right Math Strategy  

By Cathy Buyrn, M.Ed.

Educators have access to a wealth of strategy resources. While there are solid strategies available, more time needs to be spent making sure that strategies are appropriately matched to student needs. " Teaching and Learning: Selecting the Right Math Strategy", explores a process for identifying the appropriate entry point for instruction and offers a bank of math strategy resources that can be used to build students' skills. Read more  
"Student Voices: Zach's Story"

By Dale Pennell, C.A.S.

Zack, a gifted college senior, shares the challenges of navigating public education as a student with autism. In this interview, Zack offers insights and suggestions to help educators appreciate and address the needs of students with Asperger's Syndrome.  Read more 
Featured Applications: Reading Applications Across
the Components of Reading 

By Cathy Buyrn, M.Ed.

Teachers are working hard to integrate technology into their instruction, but they can get overwhelmed by all of the resources available. This issue's Featured Applications provides some powerful iPod/iPad/iPhone applications that can be used to support the five essential components of reading. Read more 
Assistive Technology That Supports
Students With Disabilities in the  
Least Restrictive Environment
By Debbie Grosser, M.Ed. and Tina Spencer, M.S. 

This article explores the assistive technology that is readily available to support students with disabilities in general education classrooms, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings. Numerous examples of free resources are provided.  Read more