VDOE Division of Special Education and Student Services Updates

Marianne Moore

  • Virginia’s State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) will focus on increasing graduation rates over the next several years by focusing on instruction in math and reading, attendance, and suspensions.
  • As of July 1, 2015, the Special Diploma is called the Applied Studies Diploma.  Work on the domains and competencies for each domain is continuing and progress is documented in bulletins that can be found on the VDOE Web pages under Graduation Requirements.
  • The Youth and Family Summit was held in June on the campus of James Madison University.  The sessions presented were on the role self- determination plays in seeking and keeping employment.
  • A fall conference was presented to selected LEA teams on increasing youth engagement through Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology.  
  • Secondary Transition grants were provided in Spring 2015 and the divisions that received funding worked with middle school students and some high school students to reinforce college and career readiness by graduation.  


  • Three additional Project SEARCH sites will be developed during the 2015-16 school year through a contract extension with Project SEARCH Cincinnati.  This is a collaborative venture among DARS, VDOE, local school divisions, and a local business.


  • During the 2015-16 school year 2 new Start on Success programs will be developed in collaboration with VDOE, DARS, local school divisions and a local business to provide paid internships to seniors in their last semester.  


  • The Virginia School Nurse Coordinators will meet in Staunton, VA, on February 29, 2016, for a full day’s training. Educational topics will include: working with hearing and vision impaired students, learning teenage slang, Coats disease, and trauma informed care. Congratulations to 21 school nurses who successfully met the requirements for national school nurse certification through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. The Virginia Department of Education in collaboration with the Virginia Association of School Nurses provided a grant opportunity for qualified school nurses to sit for the examination in July. Certification represents a national standard of preparation, knowledge, and practice, specific to nursing in the school setting