Deliberate Optimism:

Reclaiming the Joy in Education

Friday, Nov 1 at

JMU's Festival Conference Center

Join the largest annual statewide

gathering of educators exclusively focused

on teaching and working with students in

the middle grades.


Come learn and share

with like-minded educators and enjoy the

energy that only comes with being

around middle grades teachers,                                             

counselors, and administrators.  


Keynote Speaker 

Jack Berckemeyer


With special guests:

Hon. Atif Qarni,

Virginia Secretary of Education

Dr. John Almarode, JMU

Author of From Snorkelers to Scuba Divers

Stephanie Auditore, Executive Director



Conference Links

Online conference registration

Register by mail

Conference Schedule

Program of Sessions

Discounts for VMSA-member schools and

for groups from the same school

Elizabeth Davis MS 
Students Encouraged to 
Create Better Tomorrows

Elizabeth Davis MS (Chesterfield Co.) earned its first-time designation as a 2019 School to Watch. The theme of EDMS is to "imagine tomorrow" and students are encouraged to create a better tomorrow. To read about some of the exemplary middle grades practices at EDMS and other STW-designated Virginia middle schools, read the school profile on the National Forum website.  Click on the name of the school to download the school's STW profile. 

Erin Merrill Named 2019
VMSA Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Prince William

County teacher Erin Merrill who

has been named the 2019 Master

in the Middle Teacher of the Year.

Erin teaches civics at Pennington Traditional School. Erin's students write: "Ms. Merrill

understands us, cares about what we think, and lets us choose a lot of how we do things in the classroom." Erin's influence reaches beyond her own classroom because her passion is contagious and she inspires other teachers to excel. 

Information about the Master in the Middle awards program is found under "Awards & Grants" on the top menu.

William Byrd MS Students Engage in Authentic Interdisciplinary Advocacy for Bees
News & Resources

VMSA Member Schools Designated and Redesignated as Schools to Watch at National STW Conference

New Designation

Elizabeth Davis MS


Elkton MS, Glenvar MS, Lake Ridge MS, Midlothian MS, Montevideo MS, Simpson MS, Tomahawk MS, William Byrd MS, Sterling MS, Eagle Ridge MS, Farmwell Station MS, Saunders MS, Harper Park MS, River Bend MS, St. Clare-Walker MS

Videos and photos

On the Icy Slopes of Adolescence
How neuroscience can help us connect with adolescents
Care, Consistency and Content
The 3 C's of classroom management

Students at William Byrd MS (Roanoke Co.) are not only actively engaged in the science of bee keeping, they have taken their work a step further by becoming involved in an authentic learning experience to advocate with their town council. When they discovered that town ordinance governing bee keeping were outdated, they became involved in a civics lesson: successfully petitioning the town council to change its ordinance. Read more about this story. 

Upcoming Events


Nov. 1, 2019, Harrisonburg, VA


Nov. 7-9, 2019, Nashville, TN

#MSchat Live Twitter Conversation

Every Thursday 8 PM

AMLE Webinars

Keep your middle grades game sharp with AMLE webinars, free to AMLE members. VMSA now offers discounted  memberships when

you join VMSA and AMLE!

Taming of the
How Great Teams Work
from Jack Berckemeyer

Questions? Comments? Items of interest? Email us at contact@vmsa.org

Copyright 2019 Virginia Middle School Association

Questions? Comments? Items of Interest? Email us at contact@vmsa.org

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    VMSA is an affiliate of the international Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE)