COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 185

December 21, 2001

 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Announcement of Award Opportunity for a Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program Grant, Public Law 105-78

 

Purpose. The Department of Education is pleased to announce a third-round competitive grant opportunity under the U.S. Education Departments Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program (CSRD). The purpose of CSRD is to provide financial incentives for schools to implement comprehensive school reform based on reliable research and effective practices. Comprehensive school reform grants are intended to stimulate a coordinated effort by a school to focus on improved student achievement.

 

Eligible Schools. There are two categories of eligible applicants. The first category is Title I School Improvement schools (elementary, middle, high) that have received an Accredited with Warning rating in English, mathematics, or both, for 2001-02 and that have not previously received a CSRD or REA (Reading Excellence Act) grant. In this same category are Title I schools (elementary only) that have received a Provisionally Accredited/Needs Improvement rating because of pass rates lower than the benchmarks in English, mathematics, or both, for 2001-02 and that have not previously received a CSRD or REA grant. Up to 44 grants will be awarded to this group of schools.

 


The second eligible category is non-Title I schools (middle and high) that have received an Accredited with Warning rating in English, mathematics, or both, for 2001-02 and that have not previously received a CSRD or REA grant. Up to five grants will be awarded in this category.

 

Conditions for Awarding CSRD Grants. The Department of Education outlines four critical conditions for awarding CSRD grants to individual schools.

 

(1)         Successful applicants will receive an award of $50,000, renewable for two additional years, provided federal funds are available.

 

(2)         Successful applicants will receive the second- and third- year awards of $50,000, conditional upon the schools end-of-year evaluation and certification of program implementation conducted by the Office of Compensatory Programs in the Department of Education.

 

(3)         Schools receiving grants must commit to sending the principal and other representatives to CSRD workshops and institutes sponsored by the department throughout the grant periods. The first such institute will be held in Roanoke, July 24-26, 2002, with follow-up workshops in November 2002 and March 2003.

 

(4)         The school division and school must engage the services of an external facilitator to assist with the oversight of CSRD program implementation in each school. Schools must reserve at least $3,500 of the grant award to assist with external facilitator fees.

 

National School Reform Models. The U.S. Department of Education has identified 44 national school improvement models that could provide opportunities for increased student achievement, particularly in high poverty schools. Research on the models can be found at http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/natspec/catalog/index.html on the Internet.

 

Through its own research, the Department of Education has determined that 26 of the 44 models are aligned with Virginias Standards of Learning. The research will be posted on the departments website. If your division is in need of a hard copy, please contact Helen Tucker at (804) 225-2902. Additionally, the Office of Compensatory Programs recommends the website of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform (NCCSR) found at www.goodschools.gwu.edu on the Internet.

 

Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshops. Three regional technical assistance workshops have been planned for interested schools and divisions. Interested schools are encouraged to send, at a minimum, the principal and a lead teacher. The school division is also encouraged to send a central office staff person who will be responsible for oversight of the CSRD program. These three individuals will form the school team. (Title I coordinators have traditionally assumed the responsibility for the CSRD school program from the division level.)

 

Following is a listing of the dates and locations of the three regional workshops. It is suggested that school representatives attend the workshops that Title I coordinators indicated on the intent form mailed in early December.

 

Date Location

 

February 5, 2002 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia

February 6, 2002 Omni Newport News, Newport News, Virginia

February 7, 2002 Airport Hilton, Richmond, Virginia

 

All meetings are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with on-site registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided.

 

Application Submission and Contact Information. The complete grant application packet will be sent under separate cover to the Title I coordinator in your division. It can also be found on the Internet on the Departments website under Compensatory Programs, Title I.

 

Applications from individual schools must be received at the Department of Education by 4 p.m., Friday, March 15, 2002. Please contact Brenda Spencer (mailto:spencer8@pen.k12.va.us) at (804) 371-6201 if you have questions.

 

JLD/BAS/saj