July 8, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Mental Health in Schools Conference

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is announcing the Mental Health in Schools Conference to be held August 9-10, 2016, at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The theme for the conference is “Working Together: Coordinating School Mental Health Support,” and will provide participants information and resources to align mental health services – promotion, prevention, and intervention – to maximize effectiveness and improve student outcomes. 

The intended audience for this conference is school personnel that provide mental health/social emotional supports to students in K-12, including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, school social workers, and other student support professionals and administrators.  

Breakout sessions will focus on a variety of topics, including:

In addition, an optional post-conference session on Ethics in School Psychology Practice will be offered to participants.  This session will meet the annual ethics training requirement for the Board of Psychology (BOP) licensure.  Professionals attending this session will need to mark this selection on the registration page. 

Cost and Registration

This is a free professional development opportunity sponsored by VDOE.  Participants are encouraged to register in division teams, to include: school nurse, school psychologist, school social worker, school counselor, and other student support professionals and administrators.  Pre-registration is required.  Attendance is capped at 300 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration is available at http://www.cpe.vt.edu/reg/mhssc/.

Conference Site and Lodging       

Omni Charlottesville Hotel: 212 Ridge McIntire Rd., Charlottesville, Virginia 22903.  Participants are responsible for their lodging costs.  To make a hotel reservation, please call Omni Reservations at 1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) and refer to the Mental Health Supports in Schools Conference.


Day one registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.  Day two conference program will begin at 8 a.m. and end by 3:30 p.m.  The Post-Conference Session: Ethics in School Psychology will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.


Lunch will be served on both days to registered participants.  Breakfast will be provided on Day two only (Wednesday, August 10).   

Conference Materials

Participant materials and an agenda will be provided at the Conference. 

For questions regarding online registration, please contact Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education at (540) 231-5182.  Questions regarding the content of the Mental Health in Schools conference should be directed to Maribel Saimre, school psychology specialist, Virginia Department of Education, by e-mail at Maribel.Saimre@doe.virginia.gov, Dr. Vivian Stith-Williams, school social work specialist, Virginia Department of Education, by e-mail at Vivian.Stith-Williams@doe.virginia.gov, or Joseph Wharff, school counseling specialist, Virginia Department of Education, by e-mail at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov.