COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 210

December 12, 2003

 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Announcement of Award Opportunity for a Comprehensive School Reform Grant (CSR), Title I, Part F, of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

 

The Department of Education is pleased to announce a fifth round of competitive grants under the U.S. Department of Educations Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) program. The purpose of the grant initiative is to provide financial incentives for whole-school reform, specifically in high- poverty schools that are not succeeding in effectively teaching all children. The program requires schools to implement reforms based on scientifically-based research and effective practices. These grants are intended to stimulate a coordinated effort by a school to increase student performance.

 

Eligible Applicants. Up to 15 grants will be awarded for 2004-2005. Eligible are Title I schools (elementary, middle, and high) that have received an Accredited with Warning rating in English, mathematics, or both, for 2003-2004 and that have not previously received a CSR grant. Also eligible are Title I schools that have received a Provisionally Accredited/Needs Improvement rating because of pass rates lower than the benchmarks in English, mathematics, or both, for 2003-2004 and that have not previously received a CSR grant.

 

Conditions for Awarding CSR Grants. The following conditions have been established for awarding CSR grants.

(1)         Successful applicants will receive an award of $75,000, renewable for two additional years, provided federal funds are available.

(2)         Successful applicants will sign a Memorandum of Agreement that will require schools to undergo a student achievement evaluation review before being approved for second- and third-year funding.

(3)         The school division and school must consent to receive

the services of a CSR Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) to assist program implementation in each school. It is anticipated that this individual will visit the school once each week. Applicants will be required to build technical assistance costs such as travel into the CSR operational budget. The Department of Education will be responsible for selecting the individuals, providing training, and entering into a contractual agreement for their services.

(4)         Schools receiving grants must commit to sending a central office representative, the principal, a designated on-site program coordinator, and lead teacher to CSR workshops and institutes sponsored by the Department of Education throughout the grant period. The first such institute will be held in Roanoke, July 14-16, 2004, with follow-up workshops in the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005. Overnight lodging, meals, and travel costs associated with these technical assistance opportunities are an authorized expense from the grant.

 

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 on the Internet at http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/catalog/index.shtml. Through its own research, the Virginia Department of Education has determined that 26 of the 44 models are aligned with Virginias Standards of Learning. The list of 26 models is available on the Department of Educations website at

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/ModelsDocument.doc.

The website of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform (NCCSR) found at http://www.goodschools.gwu.edu/ on the Internet is another recommended source of information.

 

Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshop. A technical assistance workshop has been planned for representatives from interested schools and divisions. The team should consist of the school principal, a lead teacher, and a central office staff person (traditionally the Title I coordinator) who will be directly involved with the implementation of the CSR program. The workshop will include an in-depth review of the application as well as a session on examination of school data. Participants are asked to bring their spring 2003 Standards of Learning data. The workshop will be held at the Sheraton Richmond West Hotel on Friday, January 23, 2004, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Breaks and workshop materials will be provided; lunch will be available on-site and will be the responsibility of the participant.

 

Registration Information. Registration information can be found in Attachment A. Attendees should be notified quickly of this opportunity, because the workshop registration deadline is January 12, 2004. Registration information should be returned by fax to Diane Jay at (804) 371-7347.

 

Overnight Accommodations. For those in need of lodging, a block of rooms at the state government rate has been reserved. Lodging costs are the responsibility of the participant or school division. Please contact the hotel directly at (804) 285-2000 to make reservations, and refer to the Virginia Department of Education Workshop to ensure the $77 rate for single or double occupancy. Lodging reservations must be made by January 12, 2004.

 

Application Submission. The complete grant application packet will be available after January 9, 2004, on the Internet on the departments website at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/CSRD.html. School personnel are encouraged to download the application and attachments to begin the planning process prior to the technical assistance workshop. Bring all materials to the January 23, 2004, meeting. Applications must be received at the Department of Education by 4 p.m., Friday, March 12, 2004.

 

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Robert Bourdeaux, Title I specialist, at rbourdea@mail.vak12.edu or (804) 225-2904; or Diane Jay, Title V specialist, at djay@mail.vak12ed.edu or (804) 225-2905. Directions to the Sheraton Richmond West Hotel are included in Attachment B.

 

JLD/RB/DJ/sw

Enclosures

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2003/inf210a.doc

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2003/inf210b.pdf