University sponsors Collaborating for Student Success: The Inclusive School Conference

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 30, 2008 – Educators interested in exploring, developing, and reflecting on practical issues relating to creating inclusive practices through collaboration in K-12 education will have the opportunity to share ideas and learn about best practices, thanks to the third annual Collaborating for Student Success Conference sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center at Virginia Tech.

The conference will be held Oct. 20, 2008, at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A post-conference workshop will follow on Oct. 21.

The purpose of the conference is to guide educators, staff, and family or individuals in exploring why a collaborative school is an essential need for students. School-based teams will especially benefit.

Richard A. Villa will deliver the opening conference keynote speech. Villa, who has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, has worked with thousands of educators to develop and implement organizational and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. He has written over one hundred book chapters and articles on differentiated instruction, collaborative planning and teaching, inclusive education, and school restructuring. Villa’s enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and humorous speaking style has made him well-known throughout the professional education world and Virginia Tech is please to have him join the conference.

Afternoon breakout sessions relating to the inclusive classroom will include such topics as use of technology, differentiation of instruction, strategies for the active classroom, role of the paraprofessional, student self-determination, and team planning.

The post-conference workshop, “Supervising Paraprofessionals in Educational Settings,” will take place on Oct. 21, 2008. This workshop will enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers and administrators who supervise, direct, or manage paraprofessionals in various educational settings. Presenters will share specific strategies and guidelines to assist schools and districts in improving the performance, supervision, and professional development of paraprofessionals. Additional topics will include ideas for building a foundation for effective teamwork and communication. Kent Gerlach, a professor in the Department of Instructional Development and Leadership at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., is the speaker.

Registration is $40 for the Collaborating for Student Success conference and $40 for the workshop. Registration for both the conference and the workshop is $70. Participants may register online, by mail, or by fax by Oct. 6.

For more information, contact the Training/Technical Assistance Center at (800) 848-2714, e-mail Martha Stallings or Diann Eaton, or visit the website.

Written by Emma Newton.