P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VA 23218-2120




February 22, 2002


TO: Division Superintendents


FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction


SUBJECT: Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Principles of Effectiveness



In July 1998, school divisions were notified (SUPTS. Memo No. 43) about the newly approved Principles of Effectiveness for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) grant program. While slightly modified, these same Principles were codified in the HR 1 No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law by President Bush on January 8, 2002.


The final bill specifies that any program or activity funded through the SDFSCA must meet the following Principles of Effectiveness:


(1)         Be based upon an assessment of objective data about community needs for the activities;

(2)         Be based upon performance measures established by the division;

(3)         Be based upon scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program or activity will be effective;

(4)         Be periodically evaluated with the results used to improve the program or activity;

(5)         Be based on an analysis of risk factors and protective factors; and

(6)         Include consultation with parents.


We direct your attention to a recent letter received from William D. Hansen, the Deputy Secretary in the United States Department of Education. In his letter, Mr. Hansen is very clear that programs selected for funding through the SDFSCA must meet the criteria set forth in the Principles of Effectiveness.


The programs selected for funding by school divisions do not have to be the ones that have been identified by the United States Department of Education. Other federal agencies as identified in his letter are also working to identify and publish lists of effective programs. School divisions are encouraged to research and identify evidence-based programs that fit their particular needs. School divisions are also reminded of the need to be consistent with the Principles of Effectiveness, including the requirement to demonstrate evidence of effectiveness.


A copy of Mr. Hansens letter and a list of the programs previously identified by the United States Department of Education will be mailed to each division superintendent. Questions regarding the Principles of Effectiveness or the SDFSCA Program may be directed to Arlene Cundiff at 804-225-2871(mail