Superintendent’s Memo #107-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 20, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  85th Annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference & Exposition June 27 – June 29, 2012 (School Law Clinic, June 26, 2012)

Virginia’s only statewide conference for middle level and high school principals is the Annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference & Exposition.  For 84 years, the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) have collaborated to develop and enhance middle and high school administrators’ leadership skills, increase their understanding of current educational issues, and expand their knowledge base for success.  The 2012 conference will be held June 27 – June 29, 2012, at The Williamsburg Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Williamsburg Marriott), 50 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, Virginia.  A cordial invitation is extended to principals, assistant principals, division superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors of instruction, supervisors, college personnel, and administrators of nonpublic middle and high schools to attend.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Charting Your Course in a Sea of Change.”  It represents the challenges school principals and assistant principals will have moving forward in their increased responsibility for accountability of student achievement.  There will be a conference emphasis on the sea change of expectations and practices required of principals beginning in 2012-2013 including their evaluation of teachers.  (The teacher evaluation guidelines adopted by the Virginia Board of Education become effective July 1, 2012.)  Although the Commonwealth has policies, metrics, and rubrics in place, principals need to not only be comfortable in their knowledge of these evaluation guidelines and other performance indicators, but also be able to implement them effectively, synergistically, and strategically.   It is important that school principals set school expectations that incorporate national, state, and local mandates in guiding student achievement, requiring quality instructional delivery and pursuing leadership goals for success.  This conference addresses national and state mandates important to school principals.

The Title II, Part A – Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting funds may be used to support attendance at this conference.  The conference program addresses the key principles of professional development for principals.  Attending the summer conference will provide participants opportunities to explore their leadership strengths and how they can be enhanced to generate a school culture of performance success.

The VDOE Colloquium will address recent national and state mandates and the school leadership expectations of principals.  In addition, the Colloquium will focus on resources and implementation strategies that have been successfully used in schools to improve instruction in the core curriculum areas – mathematics, science, English, and history/social science.

The Professional Practices Symposium will focus on exemplary practices in content delivery for students in today’s schools.  The fast-paced learning environment necessitated by the global economy requires a competitive edge.  Principals must understand, appreciate and implement effective performance systems.

Pre-conference activities on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, will include the School Law Clinic and School Data As a Leadership Tool workshop. Major concurrent sessions will include pertinent topics identified in the recent statewide 2012 Middle Level and High School Principals Needs Assessment which include nine (9) strands: 1) School Leadership, Administration, and Management; 2) SOL/Curriculum and Instruction/Remediation; 3) SOA/Accountability; 4) NCLB/AYP/Teacher Quality/LEP/Special Education; 5) Assessment and Data Analysis; 6) Instructional Technology; 7) Student Services and Programs (e.g., school safety, discipline, dropout prevention); 8) Personal (e.g., stress management, time management, health and fitness awareness); and 9) Educational Law and Policy.

The 2012 summer conference will officially begin with an opening general session at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.  A preliminary conference program synopsis, Conference At-A-Glance, is provided in Attachment A.  The detailed announcement about the general session speakers, workshop presenters, topics, etc., will be sent via VASSP e-mail blast and posted on the Association’s Web Site.

The Williamsburg Hotel and Conference Center will house all the conference programs.  A conference registration form (see Attachment B) is provided with this memorandum.  Please duplicate the form as needed and share this information with persons who would be interested in attending the conference.  To take advantage of EARLY REGISTRATION, the registration form must be completed and returned by May 28, 2012, to Summer Conference, VASSP, 4909 Cutshaw Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230.

Hotel accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and we encourage you to return the enclosed accommodations application form (see Attachment C) as soon as possible.  All rooms not confirmed with a reservation by May 28, 2012, will be released.

The hotel accommodation form is to be sent via U.S. Mail directly to The Williamsburg Hotel and Conference Center.  Only the enclosed official accommodation form will be accepted by the hotel.  As in past years, the hotel will not accept telephone requests for room reservations (this includes facsimile), written letters, online, or in-person requests.  This procedure helps to assure some degree of fairness so that everyone has an opportunity to receive the conference announcement and respond in a timely fashion.

We look forward to seeing you in June.  If you have questions about the conference or desire additional information, please visit the VASSP Web site at or call the Association at (804) 355-2777.



  1. Conference At-A-Glance (PDF)
  2. Early Registration Form (Word)
  3. Accommodation Form (Word)