General Information

VSUP/VaSCL is an educational consortium composed of more than sixty public school divisions from across Virginia.  The organization is dedicated to providing high-quality professional learning and promoting professional collaboration among educators in order to improve instruction and increase student achievement.

History

The Virginia School-University Partnership (VSUP) was founded in 1986, when several public school divisions near Charlottesville, Virginia, joined the National Network for Education Renewal (NNER), initiated by John Goodlad for the purpose of “simultaneously improving schools and the education of educators.”  The NNER, which consisted of thirteen partnerships in as many states, was based on the premise that the needed reformation of America’s education system could best be facilitated by collaborative partnerships among public schools and colleges.  The University of Virginia offered resources and space in support of this local effort. 

Over the next thirty years, VSUP worked to build a strong foundation of support and collaboration among its members.  The original Partnership was composed of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, eight Central Virginia school divisions, and the District of Columbia Public Schools.  In the fall of 2006, VSUP was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization to give the organization greater flexibility in its development and provision of services.  The Virginia School-University Partnership grew to include more than 60 public school divisions from across the state of Virginia.

During the 2016-17 school year, a Strategic Design Committee was formed to revisit the original mission and vision for VSUP.  In May of 2017, the Strategic Design Committee recommended and the Board of Directors voted to alter the bylaws, establishing a new framework for the future, including a name change to The Virginia School Consortium for Learning (VaSCL).

Organization

The Executive Board is responsible for the overall governance of the organization.  The Executive Board is composed of both superintendents (the four VSUP/VaSCL Officers and two at-large superintendents) and five representatives of the VSUP/VaSCL Steering Committee.  The superintendents from each member school division also meet annually.  Meetings feature presentations of interest to the members inclusive of:  the latest educational research, innovative practices, collaborative projects, information from the VDOE, potential grant opportunities and other initiatives.  Additionally, meetings provide a forum for professional discussion around topics of individual and group interest.  

VSUP/VaSCL currently has an operating budget of more than $150,000.  Operating expenses are paid for by conference registration fees and annual membership dues. Membership fees for each school division are based on the following structure:  each school division pays $800 per 1,000 students ADM.  No school division pays less than $1,200 for membership, and no school division pays more than $6,000 for membership.

Each member division is also asked to appoint a representative to serve on the Steering Committee of the VSUP/VaSCL Professional Development Consortium.  This Steering Committee, composed of school division assistant superintendents and other instructional leaders from member divisions, meets three times during the academic year.  The Executive Director works with the Steering Committee members to assess the professional development needs of VSUP/VaSCL members and to plan and coordinate workshops and conferences to address those needs.  These meetings also provide a vehicle for exchanging ideas, sharing innovative programs, and addressing the challenges of local, state, and national initiatives.

Over the next thirty years, VSUP worked to build a strong foundation of support and collaboration among its members.  The original Partnership was composed of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, eight Central Virginia school divisions, and the District of Columbia Public Schools.  In the fall of 2006, VSUP was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization to give the organization greater flexibility in its development and provision of services.  The Virginia School-University Partnership grew to include more than 60 public school divisions from across the state of Virginia.

During the 2016-17 school year, a Strategic Design Committee was formed to revisit the original mission and vision for VSUP.  In May of 2017, the Strategic Design Committee recommended and the Board of Directors voted to alter the bylaws, establishing a new framework for the future, including a name change to The Virginia School Consortium for Learning (VaSCL).

Services

VSUP/VaSCL provides a forum for sharing best practices in education and numerous opportunities for improving instruction using the latest educational research and resources.

A few examples of the specific services provided include:

  • High-quality professional development led by state and national experts designed to meet the current needs of member school divisions.
  • Ongoing access to networking, informally and formally, with other school divisions for professional support and collaboration regarding current instructional issues and challenges.
  • Access to research-based practices.
  • Opportunities to participate in grants, research, and special projects.
  • Access to a Test & Task Bank with more than 12,000 items and more than 45 tasks and rubrics aligned to Virginia Standards of Learning in various content areas.
  • Opportunity for participation in a Community of Practice composed of instructional leaders who meet four times a year to create, review, and revise items, tasks, and rubrics for the VSUP/VaSCL Test & Task Bank.
  • Student Leadership Conference provided free of charge each year for all VSUP/VaSCL member high schools.
  • Leadership initiatives focused on key state and national educational issues.
  • Opportunities for global travel scholarships to learn about education in other countries and to partner with foreign schools.