March 17, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Adapted Physical Education Content Teaching Academy (CTA)

I am pleased to announce that the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and the Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in collaboration with James Madison University (JMU), will offer a K-12 Adapted Physical Education (APE) Content Teaching Academy in June 2017. Participants will learn about the unique complexities of working with students with special needs and explore a variety of innovative hands-on instructional strategies through engaging collaborative learning activities. The Academy aims to empower physical educators to adapt skillfully and modify curriculum, instruction, tasks, equipment, and/or environment to address the individualized needs and abilities of each child so that all students can successfully learn, participate, and maximize physical development. Participants will explore the importance of physical activity and its contribution to physical, emotional, and cognitive development. They will learn about assessment methods for eligibility for services and instructional design; development of individualized education programs (IEP); adaptations and the use of assistive technology for physical education; behavior management; collaboration and consultation skills; advocacy, inclusion practices; and community and family resources. This high-quality staff development also provides opportunities for sharing effective teaching and learning practices that improve the health and educational performance of all children.

The Academy will be held June 26-30, 2017 at JMU in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis with space limited to 100 PreK-12 health and physical education teachers and program supervisors.  The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, meals, lodging, and tuition for three semester hours of graduate credit.

To register and for more detailed information regarding this professional development opportunity, please visit the CTA website at link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  If you have additional questions, please contact Deborah Johnson, Instructional Specialist, Office of Special Education Instructional Services, by email at or by telephone at (804) 371-2725; or Vanessa Wigand, Coordinator for Health Education, Physical Education, and Driver Education, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by email at or by telephone at (804) 225-3300.