CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As the education community prepares for the 2020-2021 school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is offering a professional learning opportunity to assist county and school professional staff, including teachers, administrators, counselors, school psychologists, academic coaches, county administrators and instructional leaders in engaging students in meaningful learning activities, no matter how instruction is delivered.

The WVDE Instructional Support Professional Learning Forum, is a virtual training, August 3 through August 7, 2020, featuring a series of nearly 100 online professional learning sessions. The three-day forum focuses on a variety of topics designed to help county and school personnel prepare for the upcoming school year, whether that be through in-person, remote or blended learning. Sessions range from teaching reading comprehension remotely, to virtual speech-language evaluation training, to remote learning with science labs and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, including special needs students. The forum also includes a strand for Technical and Adult Education, with several sessions on topics of interest to Career Technical Education and Advanced Career Education instructors. All sessions will be recorded and made available to registrants after the forum.

“Our greatest hope is for this school year to look and feel like any other; however, we know that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic require us to be prepared to meet student needs in new and innovative ways,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “The Instructional Support Professional Learning Forum is an opportunity for our education community to engage with topic leaders and each other as we prepare to address the unique circumstances of the 2020-2021 school year.”

To date, more than 20,000 individuals have registered for the sessions. Superintendent Burch will provide the virtual keynote providing an overview of re-entry efforts and acknowledging the critical role educators play in the lives of children, especially now. While the sessions are filled to capacity, each of them will be recorded and educators may view the content at a later date.