Virginia Department of Education's Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)
Special Technical Assistance Opportunities in Early Childhood
On Friday, October 4th, the VDOE will release two intensive technical assistance (ITA) opportunities designed to assist school divisions and early childhood communities in identifying, developing, and sustaining inclusive opportunities within high-quality early childhood programs for children with disabilities. One is the Early Childhood Education Leaders Communities of Learning for Inclusive Programs, Cohort 3, an online learning community designed to assist teams in examining and exploring how to build and lead a high quality inclusive program in early childhood. The second opportunity is the Inclusive Placement Opportunities for Preschoolers Intensive Technical Assistance Grant. School divisions may improve their inclusive early childhood programs and services by targeting either of the following through the ITA:
- Increase access through developing or expanding models of inclusion for children with IEPs.
- Increase quality of inclusive practices that support the needs of children with IEP’s in inclusive classrooms.
The application deadline for these opportunities is November 15. For more information regarding these opportunities, please contact Margo Vaughan.
The T/TAC at Virginia Tech will be hosting their Fall Assistive Technology Open House on November 15th from 10am-4pm. Educators, related service providers, students, and families are invited to visit with us and explore our library.
Regional Teacher Spotlight
The Phyllis Mondak Award Winners were announced at the early childhood conference Creating Connections to Shining Stars, held in Roanoke in July. Phyllis envisioned a path forward built by strong collaborative relationships between all programs that served young children with and without disabilities. In honor of her work in early childhood, this award was created. Four early childhood professionals received the award. One of the award winners was Amy Spencer from Richlands Elementary School in Tazewell County, nominated by her principal for her hard work and dedication in creating a classroom community for all children.
Amy teaches in a Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) classroom. She has 18 students, 7 of whom have IEP’s. This classroom was previously only for students who have disabilities. Amy says it was support from administration, both at the school board office and in her building that facilitated the shift to a more inclusive environment. Amy says, " I have loved my adventure in ECSE. I was a self-contained teacher for 6 years. I was very passionate about pushing for time in the regular education environment. Kids with developmental delays and other challenges and disabilities learn best from their peers. I am very blessed to work with other people who share my passion."