Teachers participating in professional development


July 16 or 18, 2018

Twice-Exceptional Learners:  Summer Institute for Teachers

Location:  Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA (July 16th);  Westin in Richmond, VA (July 18th).

Target audience:  Gifted and Special Education resource teachers who provide services to twice-exceptional students.  The VDOE is seeking two to four individuals per school division.  Attendees should only register for one conference.

Description: 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:

  • Assistive Technologies for Twice-Exceptional Students;
  • The Role of Inquiry in Working with Special Needs Gifted Learners;
  • Behavior and Executive Functioning: Improving Organizational Skills;
  • Gifted and Autistic:  Understanding, Strategies, and Advocacy;
  • Using Art to Develop Cognitive and Affective Skills in Twice-Exceptional Students;
  • Accommodations for Using Project/Problem-based learning with 2e Students;
  • Supporting Social-Emotional Development; and
  • Differentiating Twice:  Using Special Education and Gifted Education Instructional Strategies.

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.

Registration:  Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis with consideration given to achieving 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.

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


July 17 - 18, 2018

Sensing, Acting, Learning: Strategies for Learners with Visual and Multiple Impairments

Location: The Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton, VA.

Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Target Audience:  Educators and therapists that serve students with visual and multiple disabilities.

Description: Students with visual and multiple impairments have very unique educational needs. When their present levels of performance are at the sensorimotor and early preoperational stages, regardless of chronological age, they learn about their worlds and develop basic skills by participating in experiences that allow them to use sensing and acting systems. Barriers to learning imposed by sensory, cognitive, and motor impairments must be overcome by teams of professionals who can use research-based strategies to design highly effective instructional activities.  Featured presenter Millie Smith is a consultant for students with visual and multiple impairments. She is the co-author of the AER Warren Bledsoe Award-winning book, Visual and Multiple Impairments: A Resource Guide. After nearly thirty years of teaching and outreach consulting at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Millie became a consultant with the American Printing House for the Blind. In that capacity, she wrote the Sensory Learning Kit (SLK) Guidebook and Routines book. Her APH product, SAM: Symbols and Meaning is a program designed to address the needs of students with visual and multiple impairments who have mastered SLK level skills.

Registration: The cost for this two-day training is $30 per person and includes breakfast, lunch, beverages, and materials on both days.  Please visit the registration page for Sensing, Acting, Learning: Strategies for Learners with Visual and Multiple Impairments for lodging information and to book your place.  The registration deadline is July 3rd.

For more Information: Contact Ira Padhye at iapadhye@vcu.edu


August 6 - 9, 2018

The Arc of Virginia 2018 State Convention

Location: Hilton the Main, Norfolk VA.

Target Audience:  Individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and professionals that serve them.

Description: The 2018 State Convention will provide attendees with the latest information on federal and state issues affecting Virginians with developmental disabilities, their families, and more. Session topics will include waiver services, early intervention, inclusive education, employment, self-advocacy, navigating the system, state and federal advocacy updates, wellness and many more! 

Registration and for more Information: Please visit the Arc of Virginia's 2018 Stave Convention webpage, or email tmilling@thearcofva.org.


September 17 or October 3, 2018

Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Location: Region 6 - September 17, 2018 at The Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia;  Region 7 - October 3, 2018 at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon, Virginia.

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Description: Dr. Allison Jackson will lead us through the why, what, and how of creating trauma-sensitive schools. She is a leader in the field of trauma-and-resilience informed practices right here in Virginia! Some questions addressed include:

• What are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and what is the impact on the brain?
• Why should our school communities work together on this national public health crisis?
• How can we plan to respond to the needs, not just react to the behavior, to build resilience in our students?

Each school division in Regions 6 and 7 will be invited to register two school teams (up to six people) for this event. • Who should be on your team? - A decision maker (often a building administrator) - Special educator - School counselor, school psychologist, or teacher leader. This event will lay the groundwork to building a professional learning community in each region. These PLCs will continue the work of understanding the needs of school populations experiencing trauma and develop effective strategies and practices to build resiliency in our students and communities.


For more information: For more information, please contact Helen Barrier (hbarrier@vt.edu) or Patty Bickley (bickley@vt.edu), 800-848-2714.

Sponsored by: T/TAC at Virginia Tech.


September 22, 2018

Parent Camp VA Fall 2018

Location: Northside Middle School, Roanoke, VA.

Time: 10:00am- 2:00pm

Description: Join us for a great day of collaborative learning and conversation about Family Engagement in Virginia! Parent leaders and educators will have the opportunity to attend 3 sessions around hosting your own local ParentCamp and other topics of interest for increasing family engagement.  Sessions will be fast-paced, informative, and participant-focused.  Come ready to share experiences, opinions, hopes, and ideas that will improve the education of all children and their families.  Lunch will be provided.  If you require dietary accommodations, please email Dana Yarbrough at dvyarbrough@vcu.edu.

Registration:  RSVP for Parent Camp VA Fall 2018.  There is no cost to attend Parent Camp.

For more information: Visit the Parent Camp Website or contact Phil Harris by phone at 757-236-5390 or email phil.121.va@gmail.com or Gloria Dalton by phone at 804-371-7420 or email Gloria.Dalton@doe.virginia.gov.

Sponsored by:  The Partnership for People with Disabilities.