VASSP Member Update, November 6, 2023

Articles of Interest  

‘Crisis on our hands’: Education, community leaders host panel on student literacy in Newport News – The Virginian-Pilot

‘Back to normal’: Next Va. budget faces big bills for Medicaid, education

Albemarle County Public Schools reinstate student resource officer program

Vape Detection Systems Installed At Alexandria High School Campuses | Del Ray, VA Patch

National Articles of Interest

How to support school communities in the wake of a mass tragedy | K-12 Dive

Use home visits to strengthen connections for newcomer students | K-12 Dive

Here’s what Biden’s AI executive order could mean for schools | K-12 Dive

3 ways to create a disability-inclusive curriculum | K-12 Dive

Reimagining the Teaching Job

Tennessee rushes to revamp its A-F letter grades for rating schools

Supreme Court grapples with school officials’ First Amendment rights in social media case | K-12 Dive       

DOE Updates

Virginia Literacy Act Training Requirements Update

Reading specialists are required to take the nine-module Canvas course after attendance at the reading institutes, hosted by Virginia Literacy Partnerships, to meet the training requirements for reading specialists as outlined in the Virginia Literacy Act. The Canvas modules will cover the following topics:

Reading Science and Explicit Instruction,

Data Literacy,

Phonological Awareness,

Targeted Instruction,



Vocabulary and Oral Language,

Comprehension, and

VALLS and VLA implementation.

These modules will prepare reading specialists to successfully implement evidence-based literacy instruction and supports for students needing additional services and allow them to continue to be the building experts that we need them to be as we implement evidence-based literacy instruction in our schools and school divisions. 

In addition, per the Virginia Literacy Act, teachers will receive training in evidence-based literacy instruction and science-based reading research. VDOE will provide a list of approved professional development programs that meet the requirements of the legislation later this spring, that will include the canvas modules offered by VLP.

School divisions will have flexibility in the selection of a professional development program for their teachers from the approved list to best meet the needs of their educators and communities. While the list of professional development will not be available until Spring 2024, we can share that LETRs training will be an allowable option among others.

Power of Parents Resources
Virginia ABC, in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the “Power of Parents” resources. he Power of Parents handbooks can help guide middle and high schooler in positive decision making and support ongoing conversations about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and substance abuse.  See additional information and resources on the website.  

Canvas’s Training Services Portal Weekly Sessions
Educators can participate in training sessions each week via Canvas’s Training Services Portal. To find any of the sessions listed below, first make sure you are logged into your Canvas account for your local school division. Click the Help button found on the lower-left of the screen and select Training Services Portal. Select the Live Training Calendar to register. Upcoming 4 p.m. sessions include:  
11/2: Managing Assessments with New Quizzes
11/3: Elementary Dashboard for Teachers
11/6: Gradebook and SpeedGrader
11/7: Getting Started with Canvas Badges

ALL In Tutoring

On September 8, Governor Youngkin outlined Virginia’s ALL In plan that defined high-intensity academic tutoring. This tutoring focuses on supporting those students who failed their SOLs or who demonstrated risk of failing, establishes options for tutors, schedules, ratios, and resources to ensure that tutoring can be successful in every school across the Commonwealth.

The hallmark of ALL In tutoring is learning acceleration. It is essential that tutoring match on grade level content and supports students connecting lost learning to what they are learning in the classroom every day.

Everyone is encouraged to be ALL In and become tutors, elevate educators, improve attendance and volunteer. Local school divisions will need a hands-on approach to serve the students in local communities and the students will need an investment from all stakeholders in order to close the gaps that the pandemic has left behind.  To aid school divisions in identifying tutors in their communities, the VDOE is creating a database of volunteers interested in helping students accelerate their learning. If you are interested in signing up to be a tutor, please complete the application. The Virginia Department of Education will share access to this list of potential volunteer tutors with school divisions indicating who could provide services in both reading and math for their students.  School divisions will ensure the proper processes have been followed regarding background checks and professional learning for alternative educators. For more information, visit the ALL In Tutoring webpage.