Free Online Courses for Virginia Preschool Initiative Teachers (Superintendent's Memo #209-18)
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce free, online non-credit courses being offered by the University of Virginia (UVA) in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019 for teachers teaching Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) students during the 2018-2019 school year. The Virginia Preschool Initiative teachers in school divisions that have not received federal VPI+ grant funds will have first priority for enrollment in these online courses. Both courses are closely aligned with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). The 2018 Appropriation Act requires that all VPI classrooms have the quality of their teacher-child interactions assessed once every two years using the CLASS observational instrument, and that all VPI classrooms are observed by June 30, 2020. Additional information will be provided in future Superintendent Memos regarding the implementation of this new initiative and associated opportunities for training and professional development related to CLASS observations.
Course 1: Supporting Young Children’s Social, Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Development throughout the Day
This course is focused on increasing early childhood teachers’ knowledge about specific types of teacher-child interactions that promote the development of social-emotional and self-regulatory skills. Teachers will practice using these interactions in their VPI classroom with the goal of enhancing the supports they provide to children in their classrooms.
Course 2: Supporting Young Children’s Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Language Skills throughout the Day
This course focuses on helping teachers build environments and teacher-child interactions that support the development of children’s thinking, problem-solving, and language skills across content areas – including literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional development. Teachers will complete classroom-based assignments, apply learning in their VPI classrooms, and receive feedback ensuring they can enact the practices learned.