Virginia Department of Education
Training & Technical Assistance Center 

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  May/June 2012        

Upcoming Events

Say Yes to College
May 22-24, 2012
Old Dominion University 
Standards-Based IEP
Work Session
English Focus
May 31, 2012
Omni Hotel, Newport News
2012 Youth Summit
June 11-12, 2012
James Madison University
2012 Summer Institutes 

Region 3
July 30, 2012
Standards-based IEP

July 31, 2012
Fundamentals of Paraphrasing & Summarizing Strategy
The Vocabulary LINCing Strategy

Community College

Region 2  
August 7, 2012
Inclusive Practices: Effective Co-Teaching & Co-Planning
Listening & Note-Taking Strategy

August 8, 2012
Fundamentals of Paraphrasing & Summarizing Strategy
The Vocabulary LINCing Routine

Algebra Show and Tell: A 4th to 8th Grade Math Journey


August 9, 2012
Structure Your Reading
Behavior Tips for Student Success-Part 1 and 2
Collaborative Strategic Reading

William & Mary
School of Education

register now
William & Mary Symposium on Professional Collaboration and Inclusive Education
October 25, 2012
William & Mary
School of Education 

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Using Writer's Workshop in Inclusive Classrooms  

How can teachers engage students in authentic, thoughtful writing experiences?  Listen to our newest podcast where one practitioner shares her experiences with using Writer's Workshop in inclusive classrooms to create a community of proficient student writers.    


Quick Links 



Creating Future Stars: Making the Impossible Possible
By  Denyse Doerries, Ph.D.

This issue of Link Lines presents the stories of students with disabilities who have become "stars" as a result of their determination and support from parents and teachers. It also offers educators strategies to help all students reach their potential stardomRead more    

Student Voices: Chris' Story  

By Debbie Grosser, M.Ed.   

Chris, an active participant in leadership opportunities and a senior at King George High School, shares his school journey as a student with a medical disability. Chris talks about the supports he has received, his accomplishments to date, and his plans for the future. Read more 

Dream ... See ... Reach  ... for the Stars 

By Butler Knight, Ed.S., and Donni Davis-Perry, M.Ed. 

Remember the sparkling glint of possibility you saw refracting off the

fresh faces of your students in September? Take a vacation from "gap land," rekindle the sparks of possibility, and discover the best of what you and your students are accomplishing through a journey of appreciative inquiry. Read more

Creating a Master Schedule that
Supports Inclusive Practices

By Dale Pennell, C.A.S.    

A wise school principal recently said: Our inclusion program has never been as good as it should have been because we had other priorities in our scheduling . . . Now we realize that the education of all students in our building must take top priority. We can provide more and more intensive services for these students if we schedule better. The tail can't wag the dog! (McLeskey & Waldron, 2000, p. 41). Does your school's master schedule limit the effectiveness of your efforts to include students with disabilities in a meaningful way that supports their academic progress? This article provides steps for ensuring that the tail doesn't wag the dog as you develop your next master schedule. Read more  

The Wonderful World of Writing:
Strategies for Effective Writing Instruction

By  Lee Anne Sulzberger, M.Ed.  

How often have you seen students sit motionless in front of a blank sheet of paper? Are they waiting for inspiration or a muse to guide their writing? Click here to learn how you can help students in grades 4 through 12 overcome writer's block and enter the "wonderful world of writing."  

Featured Applications: Building Good
Writers with Powerful Writing Apps

 By Cathy Buyrn, M.Ed. 

As teachers prepare for Virginia's online direct writing assessment in the spring of 2013, they can explore a variety of digital writing applications designed to support students. Read more

Response to Intervention (RtI) and Instructional Consultation Teams (ICT): Powerful School- Based Initiatives Join Forces in Stafford County Schools

By Donni Davis-Perry, M.Ed.    

Find out why Virginia celebrates how Stafford and Falmouth Elementary Schools in Stafford County are implementing response to intervention (RtI) and instructional consultation teams (ICT), two important initiatives supported by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Read more

VDOE Updates  
  • The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has released Standards of Learning (SOL) practice test items in English (grades 5, 8 and End-of-Course), Mathematics (grades 3-8, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II), and Science (grades 3, 5, 8, Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science). Click here to access Practice Item Guides and item examples. You can also find a narrated demonstration of examples of various technology-enhanced item types that appear on the spring 2012 Mathematics SOL tests and a link to practice items for the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST).  
  • A narrated PowerPoint has been posted to the VDOE Web site at, Understanding the 2% Cap for the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST). This resource was designed to assist school divisions in understanding how the 2% cap will be determined when calculating AYP.  
  • A new English Literacy web page is now available. Click here to read Virginia's State Literacy Plan as submitted to the U.S. Department of Education as a part of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program.  The page also contains English Standards of Learning progression charts for reading, writing, grammar, and research.  The progression charts identify the grade level at which specific skills are formally introduced in the 2010 English Standards of Learning.  The page also includes instructional resource links for families and teachers.   

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