You’re A Star!

You're A Star Award recipient, Melissa Matthiessen stands with award in hand and with Principal Hicks and Special Education Director, Lora Glass.

Congratulations to Melissa Matthiessen on her You’re A Star Award. Ms. Matthiessen was recognized for her contributions to the inclusive VPI pre-K classroom. Additional recipients for the month of October include Beth Willett, psychologist, and Darlene Keener, behavior support coordinator.

Hearing and/or Vision Impairment Resources

October 25, 2019

Attachment A; Superintendent’s Memo No. 257-19

Virginia Department of Education

Resources for Serving Students with Sensory Disabilities

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides information on educational services and resources to support students who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind at its website.  The following links to information and resources are excerpted from the VDOE’s website at Special Education-Specific Disabilities-Sensory Disabilities:

Guidance Documents

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Blindness and Visual Impairment

State Agencies

  • Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) – The VSDB is located in Staunton, Virginia and provides a K-12 educational day program, outreach services, and residential services exclusively for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind.  The VSDB Outreach Services assist early intervention providers, local school divisions, and families in meeting the needs of children with sensory disabilities across the Commonwealth.  The VSDB’s admissions policy is available at its website.            
  • Contact: Pat Trice, Superintendent at (540) 332-9000

Technical Assistance Centers and Training Programs

  • Accessible Instructional Materials Center-Virginia (AIM-VA) The AIM-VA’s extensive library has developed an alternative system for providing accessible educational media under standards set by federal law to students who meet the federal requirements for print disabilities and who are eligible for accessing educational media through an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The AIM-VA, in conjunction with partnering agencies, provides required accessible educational materials to students and training for school division staff, at no cost to Local Educational Agencies.
  • Contact: AIM-VA Help Desk at (866) 926-1879

            Contact:  CFI Office at (877) 567-1122 or TTY relay; (800) 828-1120

  • Radford University Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program Radford University offers Virginia’s only academic program leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Deaf and Hard of Hearing PreK-12.  Courses are taught through combined on-campus, distance education, and varied educational field experiences.  The comprehensive program teaches all communication/instructional approaches used with students who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
  • Contact: Karen Stinson, Graduate Advisor at (540) 831-5549
  • Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Visual Impairment (VI Consortium) The VI Consortium is the only academic program in Virginia for teacher preparation leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Visual Impairment PreK-12.  Classes are offered through combined on-campus, video, and web conferencing through five universities: George Mason, James Madison, Norfolk State, Old Dominion, and Radford.  Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
  • Contact: Kimberly Avila, Coordinator at (703) 993-5625
  • Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB) The HALB provides hearing aids and FM systems for children in Virginia under age 18 whose hearing loss is confirmed by an audiologist.  Devices are loaned for free for up to six months while families/school divisions are waiting for a permanent device to arrive.
  • Contact: Lisa Powley at (866) 596-9367
  • Professional Development for Educational Interpreters – The VDOE provides grant funding to assist Virginia educational interpreters and cued language transliterators with acquiring and maintaining the skills and qualifications that are required to work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing in Virginia public schools.  Free regional workshops and 1:1 mentoring support are available.

For additional information, please contact:

Wanda Council, Education Specialist

Virginia Department of Education

 (804) 371-4059

Revised 10/2019

To download the document, click on the following link:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2019/257-19a.docx

Polar Plunge Registration is Officially Open

The words Polar Plunge 2020 with three penguins wearing goggles while swimming among the letters.

The colony is calling you!

[def: a group of penguins is called a colony]


Shhh… can you hear them? They’re calling you… to PLUNGE!
The Polar Plunge® Festival is Special Olympics Virginia’s premier, annual fundraiser for those brrrr-ave enough to take the challenge.
Join the “colony” as we come together to raise funds and plunge into icy waters at four different locations across Virginia in January and February– all for a cool cause. RegisterRegisterRegisterRegisterRegister ‌ ‌