COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 35
June 12, 1998

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program Grants (CSRD)

 
  Attached is a description of a competitive grant opportunity
  for school divisions under the Comprehensive School Reform
  Demonstration Program (CSRD), Public Law 105-78.  CSRD will
  support the implementation of research-based reform in
  schools. Upon approval of the state's application, the grant
  award will be $50,000 per year, renewable for two additional
  years provided federal funds are available.  CSRD provides
  grants for Title I school improvement schools, identified in 
  SUPTS. MEMO NO. 7, February 13, 1998, and a small number of
  middle, junior, and high schools without regard to Title I. 
  The attached CSRD summary  provides school divisions with
  the information necessary to decide whether to apply for the
  grants.  School divisions will be notified of the placement
  of reform model summaries on the Department's website.

  The Department will hold two regional workshops on the application
  process.  The dates are June 23, 1998, and July 7, 1998.  Since the
  grant process is competitive, school divisions planning to apply
  for funds are encouraged to send representatives to the workshops. 
  A form is attached for your use if you have not already responded
  to indicate attendance at one of the workshops.  




                         REGIONAL WORKSHOPS

  Date:  Tuesday, June 23, 1998        Date:   Tuesday, July 7, 1998
  Place: Abingdon High School Library  Place:  James Monroe Building
         Washington County Schools             101 North 14th Street
         Abingdon, VA                          Richmond, VA
  Time:  9:30 a. m. to 3:30 p. m.      Time:   9:30 a. m. to 3:30 p.m.


  If you have questions or need directions, please contact George H.
  Irby, Sr., Director of Compensatory Programs at 804/225-2869.

  PDS/tsc

  ATTACHMENTS: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments will be
               sent to the superintendent's office   

                          ATTACHMENT #1

       Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program

              Virginia's Grant Application Process

                      GENERAL INFORMATION

  Purpose: The purpose of this grant initiative is to provide
  financial incentives for schools to implement comprehensive
  school reform based on reliable research and effective
  practices. CSRD's  emphasis on the core subject academic areas
  of mathematics, science, English, and history and social
  studies conforms with Virginia's reform initiative so that all
  children can achieve the Standards of Learning. These
  comprehensive school reform grants are intended to stimulate a
  coordinated effort by a school to increase student
  performance, covering virtually all aspects of school
  operations rather than a piecemeal, fragmented approach to
  reform.

  Structure: The CSRD identifies nine criteria as the basis of a
  school reform program.  A school must demonstrate how it will
  address each of the criteria based on reliable research and
  effective practices.  The law references 44 school reform
  models that may be used to meet some or all of the nine
  criteria for school reform.  The Virginia Department of
  Education has researched these models in terms of their
  comprehensive approach to reform, their compatibility with
  Virginia's reform initiative, and their record of increasing
  student performance.  None of the reform models is excluded
  from consideration as a basis for a school's comprehensive
  reform program.  However, 26 of the reform models are
  recommended as being comprehensive in their approach to school
  reform, as being compatible with Virginia's reform initiative,
  and as having established a record of promoting student
  performance.  In addition, any school applying for a CSRD
  grant may develop its own research-based reform model.  The
  CSRD application will have guidelines and procedures for
  schools that choose to develop their own reform models.

  Models: School reform model summaries will be placed on the
  Department of Education's website. A school should contact the
  person or organization responsible for the reform model
  immediately if it plans to include the model as part of its
  comprehensive reform program.  Some of the reform model
  organizations may not have the resources to respond to every 
  school's request for materials and training.   A school must
  include a letter of  commitment from the reform model's
  organization that the school plans to use as part of its
  comprehensive reform program.  The commitment from the reform
  model's organization should be contingent on the school
  receiving funding from the Comprehensive School Reform
  Demonstration Program Grant.



  Eligibility:

  Category 1:  Title I Schools in School Improvement.  In this
               category only those schools that are in Title I
               school improvement are eligible.  Thirty-five
               grants for $50,000 each will be awarded in this
               category.  Grants will be renewable for two
               years, subject to the availability of federal
               funding. 

  Category 2:  Title I or Non-Title I Schools Identified as
               Middle, Junior, or High Schools.  Eleven grants
               for $50,000 each will be awarded in this
               category.  Grants will be renewable for two
               years, subject to the availability of federal
               funding. 

  Priority will be given to schools that have not adopted any
  comprehensive school reform program.  School divisions are
  limited to two applications per division.  An effort will be
  made to insure geographical distribution of grant awards
  across the state and among rural and urban school divisions.

  Applications:  Applications will be distributed at the two
  regional meetings designed to provide technical assistance on
  the application process. The deadline for submitting an
  application is October 30, 1998, which should provide time for
  school planning.  School divisions will be notified by January
  4, 1999, as to whether they received grant award(s).