April 14, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Multi-Sensory Language Instruction Pilot Project

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Office of Special Education Instructional Services in consultation with the Office of Humanities and Early Childhood are seeking K-6 Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, and Reading Specialists to participate in a Multi-Sensory Structured Language Instruction project during the 2017-2018 school year.  Again this year, approximately 80 teachers will be selected through a competitive application process to participate in the July 24-27, 2017, regionally-based pilot project.  The participants will receive professional development in the Orton-Gillingham instructional approach.  This instructional approach is a direct systematic approach to teaching language structure for reading remediation.  It is designed to address the needs of struggling readers who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing including those with a specific learning disability such as dyslexia.

Selected teachers will be provided a $500 stipend and the instructional materials needed for implementation.  Follow up support through a professional learning community and/or coaching will be provided to facilitate implementation during the 2017-2018 school year as a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention in a general education and/or special education setting.  Participants will be assigned to a regional Virginia Tech Continuing Education Center or affiliate within a reasonable driving distance of their home.  If driving distance exceeds 75 miles one way, accommodations and meals will be provided.  Participants will receive a certificate of completion for 30 hours of professional development and may be able to complete additional requirements to receive an Orton-Gillingham classroom Educator Certificate through the Orton-Gillingham Academy.

Participants will be chosen based on the following criteria:

Applications: 

All teachers who wish to participate must submit an online application by following the link teacher applicationThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.   An online recommendation from your principalThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website is also required.   Completed applications and recommendations are due to the Virginia Department of Education by May 5, 2017.  Once applications are reviewed, notification to participants and registration information will be sent via email by May 19, 2017.
If you have questions concerning the instructional project, please contact Kim Bausum-Brown Kim.Bausum-Brown@doe.virginia.gov or at (804) 225-2080.

SRS/KBB/tc