VASSP Member Update, October 30, 2023

Articles of Interest  

Portsmouth to begin using school speed zone cameras

Some Prince William Co. teachers, students report feeling safer with weapon detectors in place – WTOP News

Schools to implement ‘ALL In’ plan with added state funding; CIP projects discussed

After School Meals Program    

Virginia schools boosting enrollment with guaranteed acceptance programs | 

National Articles of Interest

Charter schools continue market share gains | K-12 Dive

6 ways to better communicate complex school issues | K-12 Dive

Food insecurity increased as pandemic-era meal waivers ended | K-12 Dive

5 steps to strengthening a career readiness culture | K-12 Dive

DOE Updates

ALL In Tutoring Webinars ??

Audience: Superintendents, Directors, School Principals, Teachers

Contact: Dr. Marcey Sorensen, Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning

To help school divisions plan their ALL In tutoring programs, VDOE is excited to announce the next steps in rolling out our free reading and math digital platforms.  Ignite Reading and Zearn will host a series of webinars in partnership with the VDOE to provide information about the platforms themselves so division leaders can make informed decisions about how to use each of these evidence-based approaches to accelerate student learning in your school division.  After each of these webinars, both companies stand ready to help plan implementation with your school division and prepare for use in your schools.  

If you have chosen to opt-in to using these platforms as a part of your high-intensity tutoring program, please make sure that your division has filled out the interest survey.  

ALL In Digital Platform Update – Ignite Reading 

Ignite Reading is excited to invite you to an Overview Meeting where we will introduce our one-to-one foundational reading skills tutoring program. Dr. Tania McKey, Director of Partnerships, will talk about Ignite Reading’s program format, curriculum, the quality of our tutors, the data you’ll receive, and how we collaborate with districts to ensure your students successfully close decoding gaps. You’ll have a chance to see what a tutoring session looks like and learn at a high level how the program is implemented across schools. Please join us for any one of the five scheduled Overview Meetings below. We look forward to supporting your students to become confident, independent readers.  

Overview Meetings – choose any one of these:  

Monday, 10/30 – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm 

Wednesday, 11/1 – 10:00 am – 11:00 am 

Thursday, 11/2 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 

Monday, 11/6 – 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Wednesday, 11/8 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 

Join all these webinars using this Zoom link

Learn more about Ignite Reading using this overview document.

English Language Proficiency Assessments Test Administration Schedule: 2023-2024
The statewide ELP assessments testing window for the 2023-2024 school year opens January 16 and closes  March 22, 2024. School divisions must assess all English learners (ELs) with an approved ELP assessment during this testing window. A detailed ELP assessment test administration schedule for the 2023-2024 school year is available online and includes information and important dates for administering the assessments. Additional information is available on the Virginia English Language Proficiency Assessment webpage and the Virginia WIDA website

Level Up Virginia Website Launch
Virginians have a new tool to help them plan for their education after high school with a new website launched by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The Level Up Virginia website provides information on educational options such as certificate programs, apprenticeships, the military, trade schools, two-year and four-year colleges, and universities. In addition, the website offers tips for adult learners, students with disabilities, first-generation students, and English language learners. Check out this statewide initiative  to increase postsecondary readiness, enrollment, and completion for all students in the Commonwealth.

Ed. Department Updates


During National Arts and Humanities Month, the White House Domestic Policy Council and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) co-hosted a convening about the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach to arts and culture.  A year, ago, President Biden signed an Executive Order to spur investment and alignment across the federal government, make art more accessible to those from under-served communities, and expand opportunities for artists and scholars.  This meeting is building toward a first-of-its-kind public convening on January 30, 2024: “Healing, Bridging, and Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in Our Communities.” 

Also, Secretary Cardona attended the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition Finals and All-Star Gala Concert in New York City (photos) and celebrated Public Radio Music Day with a video on the importance of music education. Separately, the NEA Big Read, established in 2016, supports Americans reading and discussing a single book in their communities.  Local governments, libraries, school districts, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply for one of an estimated 75 grants to be awarded for programming occurring between September 2024 and June 2025.  Besides funding, communities receive resources, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and audio guides with commentary from artists, educators, and public figures, as well as publicity materials.  For this new cycle, communities will choose from 50 titles.  The application deadline is January 24, 2024.