March 17, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Augmenting Mathematics and Special Educator Teams for Middle School and Algebra I in the General Education Classrooms

The Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Education Instructional Services in consultation with the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and in partnership with James Madison University Content Teaching Academy, are sponsoring Augmenting Mathematics and Special Educator Teams (AMSET) Academy at the University’s summer 2017 Content Teaching Academy (CTA).  The two day academy, June 28-29, 2017, is designed for mathematics and special educator school teams working together to enhance student outcomes, especially for students with disabilities, by focusing on improving content understanding, pedagogical strategies, collaboration strategies, and networking within the co-taught classroom.  Sessions will feature evidence-based practices for teaching mathematics to students with learning difficulties, including the use of hands-on materials for integers and algebra and understanding fractions and decimals.  An additional focus will be on the language of mathematics, such as mathematical symbols and vocabulary and effective problem solving for routine and instructional word problems.  The revised 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning will be reviewed with an emphasis on the vertical progression of content from grade six through Algebra I.

Again this year, the department is seeking middle school, mathematics 6-8, and Algebra 1 co-teaching teams to participate in the academy.  The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, stipend ($200), lodging, and meals for all public school participants accepted into the program.  Teachers from schools not meeting the state benchmark for accreditation in mathematics will be given priority.  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 more detailed information regarding this program and how to register, please visit the CTA website.  If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Dr. Teresa Lee, Instructional Coordinator, Office of Special Education and Instructional Services, at Teresa.Lee@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 371-8283 or Ms. Tina Mazzacane, Instructional Specialist, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Tina.Mazzacane@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-4849.

SRS/TL