COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
December 4, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
As part of year two of the “Excellence in Co-teaching Initiative,” the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) invites your teachers to visit a co-teaching demonstration site in one of twenty middle and high schools across the state. They will observe first-hand as general and special educators share responsibility for co-planning, co-instructing and co-assessing using inclusive and research-based practices. The teachers will have an opportunity to shadow their general or special education counterpart and observe the dynamics of an effective collaborative relationship. After the visit, the teachers may maintain contact with the demonstration site co-teaching team through e-mentoring by e-mail, or video chat solutions such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
To determine which sites are open in your region, contact your regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC). All site visits will be coordinated and pre-scheduled by your regional T/TAC. The number of site visits will be limited so as not to interfere with the ongoing instructional program. Therefore, priority will be given to schools that did not meet their Annual Measurable Objectives for students with disabilities and/or divisions that are significantly below the target for Special Education Indicator 5: Least Restrictive Environment, as indicated in the Division’s Annual Performance Report.
In addition, teachers who are unable to visit a demonstration site can learn about co-teaching online through the Real Co-Teachers of Virginia webshops. In addition to general information about co-teaching, the webshops include videos of demonstration site co-teachers as they co-plan, co-instruct and co-assess; SOL Enhanced Scope & Sequence Lesson Plans adapted for co-teaching; and a variety of resources. These webshops can be accessed through TTAC Online at https://ttaconline.org/Online-Training/MLbTE3FyBnEe7Gh-Rcu3kOu-JEI8V_HS/Online-Training-real-co-teachers-of-virginia
The list of demonstration sites and links to the regional T/TACs are attached. For additional information, please contact your regional T/TAC or Dr. Teresa Lee, Specialist, Office of Special Education Instructional Services, by e-mail at Teresa.Lee@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 371-8283.