Creating Future Stars: Making the Impossible Possible

By Denyse Doerries, Ph.D.
May/June 2012

The recent Virginia Opera mini concert series displayed the incredible talents of interns who are described as future stars. This form of singing requires years of instruction, coaching, and practice. Not only are the interns required to master the techniques of singing, but singing in different languages-Italian, German, and French! To reach such lofty accomplishments, these performers must have great teachers and coaches, who know how to nurture the star potential in their pupils. 

In this issue of Link Lines, we hear from students with disabilities who have become stars as a result of their self-determination combined with thestar support of families and teachers. Read Student Voices: Chris’ Story to discover how a student who has never walked or breathed on his own became a spokesperson and role model for students with disabilities. Another student “star” is introduced in the story about his journey in the Mathews County Public Schools.  This one student challenged educators to expand their skills to address his needs. He has had a lasting impact on the teachers, students, and the community. Read Dream… See… Reach to learn about this amazing student.

Link Lines’ authors offer educators strategies to help all students reach their potential stardom.  A foundational step is to provide students what they require in order to succeed by creating a well-designed master schedule. The article Creating a Master Schedule That Supports Inclusive Practices provides a 10-step procedure that, if followed, ensures that the services provided are appropriate for the needs of the students. 

Writing is a critical skill for helping students be career ready upon graduation. The Wonderful World of Writing: Strategies for Effective Writing Instruction focuses on how to teach writing strategies that students can apply. Featured Applications: Building Good Writers With Powerful Writing Apps explores the digital tools that can support writing and prepare students to be career ready.

Two elementary schools in Stafford County developed an innovative strategy that integrates Instructional Consultation Teams (ICT) and Response to Intervention (RtI) teams.  The article Response to Intervention (RtI) and Instructional Consultation Teams (ICT): Powerful School-Based Initiatives Join Forces in Stafford County Schools describes a process that supports all students by aligning these two school-wide initiatives.

Educators have the unique ability to see the star qualities and all the possibilities that exist for students. Link Lines continues to provide the evidence-based practices to support teachers in making these possibilities realities for their students.