COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

PRINS. MEMO NO. 59

September 24, 2002

 

ELEMENTARY / MIDDLE / SECONDARY

TO:

Principals

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI)

 

The 1997 Virginia Acts of Assembly, Chapter 924, Item 140, established the Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI), which has provided money to participating school systems to support the provision of early intervention services to those students identified as in need of additional instruction in reading. The state-provided screening tool since the inception of the EIRI has been the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS). In November, the PALS Project is undertaking an important standard setting procedure, and the assistance of a number of reading experts from around the state will be needed.

 

The standard setting procedure is a part of the overall ongoing process of ensuring the technical soundness of the PALS instruments. In addition to the numerous ongoing reliability and validity studies, a standard setting procedure is necessary to verify task benchmarks. To complete the standard setting process, panels of experts in reading will be assembled to examine PALS tasks and items in detail.

 

The PALS office has already begun assembling lists of potentially qualified experts and very soon will ask for commitments from individuals from around the state to attend one or more days of the standard setting meetings in Charlottesville, which will take place during the week of November 11-15.

 

One or more teachers or school personnel from your division who are experts in reading may be asked to participate in this important endeavor, and we sincerely encourage you to support their efforts to attend these meetings. While we cannot offer any financial assistance to you at this time, we do hope that you will first encourage staff to accept the privilege of participating in these sessions if they are invited to do so, and further that you will provide whatever assistance you can in terms of staffing or leave issues that participation may entail.

 

This is a vital part of the overall goal of the EIRI and any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

 

For more information, please contact, Barbara F. Jones (mailto:bjones@mail.vak12ed.edu), specialist, reading and English, office of elementary instructional services, at (804) 786-1997.

 

PIW/BFJ/vdg