mountainsThe Institutes on Academic Diversity are committed to providing educators with high quality, research-based support in differentiating instruction. We offer two annual events for teachers, administrators, and other instructional personnel.

The Institutes take place on the University of Virginia grounds in Charlottesville, VA, and are a stone’s throw from Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello and a short drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sessions end by 3:45 each day, allowing participants to soak up the cool, little city that is Charlottesville or zip out to one of the many wineries in the area.

Our Summer Institute on Academic Diversity (SIAD) provides a unique, intimate conference experience. Already attending? More information HERE


GROUP (5+)$785$805



Our 2017 Summer Institute will take place July 10th-14th.

See below for an overview of our 2017 Summer Institute. Our final program is linked here. Our menu for the week is linked here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Carol presents in both the morning and afternoon, spending the morning with an introduction to principles and practices of differentiation as well as exploring the impact of learning environment on a classroom. In the afternoon she facilitates a session for participants more experienced with differentiation and delves into the complexities of readiness differentiation. Alternate sessions take place in the morning and afternoon to allow participants to focus in smaller groups. Participants will dive deeper into how to lead and manage a differentiated classroom.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Carol presents in the morning on High-Quality Curriculum. The afternoon sessions will focus on unit design and analysis within content areas focusing on the characteristics of high-quality curriculum. A Special Topic session is offered in the second half of the morning for participants who want to explore the attributes of high-quality rubrics. There will also be afternoon sessions for administrators focused on supporting teacher with various components of differentiation.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Carol presents in the morning on Assessment to Inform Instruction. A Special Topic session is offered in the second half of the morning for participants who want to explore grading in a differentiated classroom. The afternoon sessions divide into content area and administrator sessions with a focus on assessment.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Carol presents in the morning on Modifying Instruction. In the afternoon participants will break into content areas and learn more about instructional strategies to use when they have groups that differ based on readiness, interest, and learning profile.  Administrators will focus on instructional leadership as well as information on how to plan for and lead a district initiative with differentiation as the goal.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Carol ends the week with Leading a Differentiated Classroom and an opportunity to synthesize the information from the week.


Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed.D., is William Clay Parrish, Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education where she is also Co-Director of the University’s Institutes on Academic Diversity. Prior to joining the faculty at UVa, she was a public school teacher for 21 years. During that time, she taught students in high school, preschool, and middle school and also administered programs for struggling and advanced learners. She was Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in 1974. Carol is author of over 300 books, book chapters, articles, and other educational materials. She was named Outstanding Professor at Curry in 2004 and received an All-University Teaching Award in 2008. In 2016, she was ranked #16 in the Education Week Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings for “University-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling,” and as the #3 voice in Educational Psychology. She works throughout the United States and internationally with educators who seek to create classrooms that are more effective with academically diverse student populations.

Catherine Brighton, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Institutes on Academic Diversity, is Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Affairs, Associate Professor in the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, and Co-Principal Investigator on two sponsored research projects focused on teachers’ use of literacy data to inform instruction. She earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology (Gifted Education emphasis) at the University of Virginia. Prior to that, she served as a curriculum coordinator/assistant principal, teacher of the gifted, and classroom teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, (Charlotte, NC). She is the Past-President of the Virginia Association for the Gifted, Treasurer of the American Educational Research Association, Special Interest Group in Research for Giftedness and Talent, and the former Program Chair for the Research and Evaluation Division of the National Association for Gifted Children, from whom she received the 2005 Early Leader Award.

Tonya R. Moon
Tonya R. Moon, Ph.D.,  is a Professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and a co-director of the Institutes on Academic Diversity. Tonya spends her professional career actively engaged in teaching assessment, research, and statistics courses at the University and conducting research in K-12 classrooms investigating teachers’ use of data for designing instructional actions. Tonya has published and presented widely on the topics of assessment, differentiation, identification of gifted students, and program evaluation. She is the co-author with Carol Tomlinson on the ASCD text, Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classroom, and the author of a chapter on differentiation and assessment within a diverse classroom setting in the recently released Handbook of Human and Social Factors in Assessment. She works both nationally and internationally with educators on issues associated with assessment.

Dack photo
Hilary Dack, Ph.D.,  is an Assistant Professor of Middle Grades Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her areas of specialization include differentiating instruction and high-quality curriculum design in K-12 general education classrooms. Hilary’s current research focuses on how teacher education programs prepare preservice and early career teachers to respond effectively to academic diversity. Her recent publication on experiential instructional techniques in social studies received the American Educational Research Association’s 2015 Social Studies SIG Outstanding Paper Award. Hilary teaches courses on instructional design to undergraduate middle grades and secondary teacher candidates. Before earning her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, she taught 7th and 8th grade American history, language arts, science, math, and English as a second language. Her publications on engaging curriculum and the importance of cultural awareness, co-authored with Carol Tomlinson, have appeared in Educational Leadership and Phi Delta Kappan.

Kristi Doubet
Kristina Doubet, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Education at James Madison University, where she has received the College of Education’s “Distinguished Teacher Award” and its “Madison Scholar Award.” As a consultant and ASCD Faculty Member, Kristi has partnered with over 80 schools, districts, and organizations around initiatives related to differentiated instruction, Understanding by Design, and classroom assessment. In addition to publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters on curriculum, instruction, and assessment, she has co-authored the ASCD book Differentiation in Middle and High School: Strategies to Engage All Learners (with Jessica Hockett), the Corwin book The Differentiated Flipped Classroom: A Practical Guide to Digital Learning (with Eric Carbaugh) and the AMLE book Smart in the Middle: Classrooms that work for Bright Middle Schoolers (with Carol Tomlinson). Kristi taught middle and high school English and language arts for ten years, and has also served as an instructional coach in elementary and middle school classrooms.

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Kelly Hedrick, Ed.D., is the Principal the Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics and Arts at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, VA. She is the former Director of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development having overseen gifted programs and curriculum development K-12. Prior to that she directed K-12 gifted education and academy programs which included 7 specialized programs at the high school level. Dr. Hedrick has worked as a classroom teacher at the elementary and middle school levels, and served as a middle school resource teacher. The National Association for Gifted Children awarded her a 2005 Doctoral Student Award. She was named Outstanding Leader for Program Development & Support for Gifted Learners by the College of William and Mary (2011). She is the 2015 Virginia Association for the Gifted Leader of the Year. She presents on gifted education, curriculum, differentiation, and related topics at the state and national levels in addition to serving as a consultant to school divisions outside Virginia Beach focusing on curriculum, instruction, and leadership for differentiation.

marcia imbeau
Marcia B. Imbeau, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she teaches graduate courses in childhood education and gifted education. She has been actively involved in university and public school partnerships, working regularly with her interns and their mentor teachers as a university liaison and teaching courses in curriculum development, differentiation, classroom management, and action research. The new Common Core Standards are an embedded feature of her work regarding differentiation, curriculum development and classroom management. She has been recognized for her teaching and was awarded the College of Education and Health Professions Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and 2003. Marcia has taught in general education classrooms, programs for students identified as gifted and talented and university-based enrichment programs for advanced learners. Among her publications are Differentiating Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom (with Barbara Gartin, Nikki Murdick, Darlene Perner), A Differentiated Approach to Common Core (with Carol Tomlinson), Parallel Curriculum Units K-5 (editor), Managing a differentiated classroom: K-8 (with Carol Tomlinson), Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom (with Carol Tomlinson).

Jennifer Maeng, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is a former high school science teacher and has led a number of grant-funded professional development projects for elementary, middle, and high school science teachers. In addition, she has written and presented about differentiated instruction, educational technology integration, inquiry, and nature of science instruction for both research and practitioner audiences.

Laurie A. Thiesfeld, is a teacher at the Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics and Arts at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a 34 year veteran teacher with experience in teaching mathematics at the middle and high school levels. She began her teaching career at Westside Public School in Omaha, Nebraska where she co-authored the district assessments and coordinated a math competency program for graduation requirements. Mrs. Thiesfeld has taught 15 years in Virginia Beach Public Schools. In 2013 she was awarded the Kemps Landing Teacher of the Year at the gifted magnet school. This year Laurie received the Gifted Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach Public Schools and the Region II Gifted Teacher of the Year award. She currently serves as the math department chair and coordinates the tutoring services for the building.