The Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) at George Mason University (GMU)

... is part of the statewide system of Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) TTACs. Specialists provide professional development that focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities through targeted technical assistance (TA) to schools. The goal is to help school personnel gain knowledge and skills to prepare students with disabilities for graduation with a diploma or completion of an appropriate program, and successfully prepare them for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.

TTAC at GMU in Region 4 provides assistance to the following school divisions:



TTAC News Brief

"Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that affects the development of both decoding (pronunciation of the written word) and encoding (spelling). " (Mather and Wendling, 2012, p.3) In short: Not all struggling readers are dyslexic. The severity of this neurological disorder is on a continuum. It is not primarily a difficulty with reading comprehension. The term has been used and confused but the full and current definition comes from the International Dyslexia Association. Many states do not use the term dyslexia in their regulations, but others, including Virginia do (Mather & Wendling, 2012).

September 2015



Visible poverty can become a common justification for students' lack of academic progress. For our students, poverty reaches beyond the financial status of a family and is often relative to the situation or the society in which they live. Poverty is a complex issue. Deficits created by poverty may be financially driven, but may also be attributed to family support, community involvement and emotional stability. In the book, The Pact (Davis, Jenkins & Hunt, 2003), three young, successful men speak of beating the odds and state, "Anyone with enough compassion has the power to transform and redirect someone else's troubled life." Effective educators recognize poverty's presence, but do not allow it to become a barrier to education.

May 2015




Special Opportunity!

Visit a Co-Teaching Demonstration Site in Region 4

The Virginia Department of Education has identified 27 co-teaching demonstration sites through the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, including 6 at middle schools and high schools in Region 4. These demonstration sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners throughout the state to observe inclusive practices in action. The co-teaching teams at the demonstration sites share their co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that support successful outcomes for all students.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to one of these model sites, please contact Dr. Lynn Wiley, Director, VDOE TTAC at GMU at or 703.993.4496.