COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 8
January 15, 1999

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Standards of Learning Remediation Initiative (Supts. Memo. No. 83)
  Now that the SOL Assessment scores have been received by
  the schools, administrators are scrutinizing the data to
  identify those students who may need remediation.  The
  General Assembly provided $15,250,387 in 1998-99 and
  $16,399,230 in 1999-00 through the Standards of Learning
  Remediation Initiative (reference Supts. Memo. No. 83,
  June 5, 1998) as an incentive to provide the needed
  remediation.

  We are pleased to report that as of this date, 128 of 132
  school divisions have chosen to participate in the
  remediation program.  As administrators plan to use the
  initiative funding, personnel in the Department of
  Education have been asked numerous questions concerning
  this effort. This memo includes the most frequently asked
  questions.  A copy of Supts. Memo. No. 83 is attached for
  your reference.

  Q:  In Supts. Memo. No. 83, Superintendent's Certification,
  Item C,indicates "all students who fail one or more of the
  SOL assessment tests...will be assigned to a remediation  
  program. . ."  Doesthis mean we must require only those who
  fail the SOL tests to attend remediation?

  A:  No, not as a requirement to receive funding from this
  Initiative. A school division is required by the Standards
  of Quality to have certain students articipatein
  remediation. Literally, the Appropriation Act establishing
  the Remediation Initiative is  for students who are
  determined to require remediation based upon their
  performance on the Standards of Learning assessments."
  Thus, remediation programs funded by this Initiative are
  not limited to students who  fail" the SOL tests. However,
  in the recently revised section 22.1-253.13.1C of the
  Standards of Quality, please note the change in the
  language that says  Division superintendents shall require
  such students to take special programs of prevention, 
  intervention or remediation....".  Such students" refers to
  those  who fail to achieve a passing score on any Standards
  of Learning assessment in grades 3, 5 and 8."


  Q:  As we design our programs, are we required to provide
     2.5  hours per week of additional instruction in a 10:1
     ratio?

     A:  No. This formula was used to calculate the amount of money
     to  be awarded to each school division by estimating the 
     remediation time necessary for an estimated number of
     students on free lunch. Once this formula has been
     applied to determine the allocation, it no longer
     restricts divisions as they design remediation programs.
     The intent of the initiative is for remediation to be
     provided for small groups of children, but students may
     vary in the amount of time they need for remediation.

     Q:  If we use teachers in the initiative implementation who
     have already been trained in remediation, as specified
     in Certification Item D, may we use these staff
     developmentfunds to provide remediation?

     A:  Yes. The awards to school divisions were made in two
     categories--"remediation" and "training".  For example,
     the state's share for a division may be $40,628, with
     $34,200 allocated to "remediation" and $6,428 to
     "training".  The    $6,428 was allocated for training
     based on an estimated number of needed teachers at $500
     per teacher.  If the staff members involved in the
     initiative have already received training, the $6,428
     staff development allocation may be pooled with the
     $34,200 to provide remediation services.

     Q:  May we use this initiative to remediate students in
     grade 5(for example) who did not take the grade 3 SOL
     test last year but, based upon local assessment data,
     are at-risk of failing the fifth grade SOL tests?

     A:  Yes.  This is clearly within the intent of the
     initiative to provide remediation for students who are
     at-risk of failing the SOL tests.

     Q:May we use these funds for summer school?

     A:  Yes, but the 1998-99 allocation must be spent by June
     30,1999.  The 1999-00 allocation may be used for summer
     remediation programs after July 1, 1999, and until June
     30, 2000.

     Q:Do we have to report to the Department how we used these
     funds, the program design and number of students
     served?

     A:  No. However, the General Assembly has requested an
     evaluation as to how state remediation funds are used
     and the results produced.  This evaluation may seek
     such data at a later time.

     Q:  What funds may we use for the required "local match"?

     A:  Local funds that are now being used for remediation
     programs may be used to match state funds for the SOL
     Remediation Initiative.

     If you have additional questions or need further
clarification, please contact Dr. James S. Heywood, Director
of Elementary and Middle School Instructional Services, at
804-225-2865.


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