Superintendent’s Memo #116-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 4, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  K-12 Science Standards of Learning Institutes

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce K-12 Science Standards of Learning (SOL) Institutes to be held in July and August 2012, at four regional locations around the Commonwealth.  The four Institutes are designed to provide an advanced level of support for school division curriculum and instructional leaders as they begin their first year of implementation of the 2010 Science Standards of Learning.

The Institutes will focus on deepening participants’ understanding and application of the rigorous practices and critical reasoning skills embedded in each science standard.   The Institutes will provide participants with examples of how effective science instruction may be enhanced for students in each grade range and how teachers can improve student achievement in content areas of greatest challenge.

These one-day Institutes (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) will be offered in a train-the-trainer professional development format for science coordinators, instructional supervisors, professional development personnel, division lead science teachers, and other administrators with responsibility for science education.  Registration is limited to four participants from each school division.  Division teams of four participants should be structured so there is one designated participant for each of the following grade-band sessions within each Institute:

The Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) and the Regent University Martinson Center for Mathematics and Science will manage Institute registration. Each division superintendent should designate one person to register the four-person team.  Confirmation of the teams’ registration will be e-mailed to this designee, and registration will be closed for that division.  Registration for each of the four sites will be closed when the Institute site is filled, and all registration will be closed on June 18, 2012.  Registration can be completed online at, beginning at noon, May 4, 2012.  Participating teams may select only one site among the four offered at the following locations:

July 30, 2012
Four Points Sheraton, Manassas
10800 Vandor Lane
Manassas, Virginia 20109

July 31, 2012
Crown Plaza Richmond, West
6531 West Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23230

August 2, 2012
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, Virginia 24212

August 3, 2012
The Hotel Roanoke
110 Shenandoah Avenue
Roanoke, Virginia 24016

Lunch and breaks will be provided for participants.  School divisions are encouraged to cover travel expenses and lodging, if needed for division teams, as that cost is not assumed by the VDOE.

Questions regarding registration should be directed to Charity Mack, via e-mail at or by telephone at (757) 352-4123. Other questions regarding the Institutes should be directed to Eric M. Rhoades, science coordinator, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 786-2481; or Barbara P. Young, science specialist, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2676.