COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 168

August 20, 2004

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Title I School Improvement Requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Public Law 107-100

 

This memorandum serves as a reminder of the obligations that Title I schools in improvement have to implement sanctions required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. NCLB requires school divisions to identify for improvement Title I schools that, for two consecutive years and in subsequent years, do not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in the same subject area(s)- reading and/or mathematics. Certain Title I schools have now been designated as Year One, Year Two, or Year Three School Improvement schools based on 2003-2004 state assessment results. These schools must offer or continue to offer the public school choice option to all students in Targeted Assistance and Schoolwide Program schools. The Board of Educations guidance on public school choice is located at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/nclb/BoardGuidancePSChoice.pdf.

 

Year Two and Year Three schools are also required to provide supplemental educational services (tutorial services) to eligible low-income students. The providers of these services must be selected from the Board of Education approved list that is posted on the Department of Educations website at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/nclb/#supplemental. A school must continue to offer public school choice and supplemental educational services until it achieves two consecutive years of making AYP in the designated subject(s).

 

As a condition of a Title I federal grant award, school divisions assure that a school will offer public school choice and supplemental educational services, if required. These assurances are found in the Applications for 2004-2005 NCLB Federal Funds located at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/OCP/nclb-applications.html. Additionally, the Title I and the consolidated applications include a supplemental document that addresses the implementation of School Improvement sanctions according to the provisions outlined in the federal legislation.

 

It is important that school divisions with schools in Title I School Improvement demonstrate their best effort to implement the legislation as written. With particular reference to public school choice, a school division must demonstrate and document its best effort to implement this requirement with fidelity. The legislation does not consider lack of capacity a justification for not offering the public school choice option to parents. When capacity is an issue, school officials need to employ ingenuity in creating capacity in schools to receive additional students. In addition, if supplemental educational services are offered in a Year One school, they must be offered in conjunction with the provision of choice rather than as a substitute.

 

The U.S. Department of Educations guidance on these issues is very clear. Superintendents should read the full guidance at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/nclb/PublicSchoolChoiceGuidance2-6-04.doc with a particular focus on questions B-11 (supplemental educational services in Year One schools); E-7 (lack of capacity); and E-8 (options to create capacity).

 

Among other significant School Improvement sanctions are: 1) corrective actions that are required for Year Three Title I schools and are listed in Section 1116(b)(7) of the legislation; and 2) the continued revision of the schools improvement plan. (A school division in LEA Improvement must reserve 10 percent of its Title I funds for professional development.)

 

The Virginia Department of Education will conduct a public school choice and supplemental educational services division survey in mid-September. U.S. Department of Education information on Title I School and LEA Improvement can be found at http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/edpicks.jhtml?src=ln.

 

Please direct any questions to the appropriate Title I specialist below.

 

Title I Specialists

        Regions I, II, and V: Mr. Shady Clark, Jr., (sclark@mail.vak12ed.edu) at (804) 225-2901

        Regions III, VII, and VIII: Mrs. Doris (Gabie) Frazier (gfrazier@mail.vak12ed.edu) at (804) 225-2907

        Regions IV and VI: Dr. Robert Bourdeaux (rbourdea@mail.vak12ed.edu) at (804) 225-2904

 

JLD/BAS/saj