SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 35
June 12, 1998
|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).