COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 113

May 26, 2006

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Early Intervention Reading Initiative Application Process for the 2006-2007 School Year

 

The Early Intervention Reading Initiative was established by Chapter 924, 1997 Acts of Assembly, to serve children in kindergarten or first grade. Beginning in fiscal year 2001, the Governor and the General Assembly provided funding to expand the Early Intervention Reading Initiative to include students in kindergarten through the third grade.

 

The purpose of the initiative is to provide early reading intervention services to students in kindergarten through the third grade who demonstrate deficiencies reflected in their performance on a diagnostic screening tool. Participating divisions are required to use the state-provided diagnostic screening instrument, PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening), or a diagnostic screening instrument approved by the Department of Education. Attachment A is a chart outlining the screening process for the school year 2006-2007. All PALS screening results must be reported to the PALS office at the University of Virginia via the PALS website.

 

Funding for the initiative is based on the state's share of the cost of providing two and one-half hours of additional instruction each week for an estimated number of students in each school division on a student-to-teacher ratio of five-to-one. The estimated number of students in each school division shall be based on the actual percentage of students who are determined to need services based on the results of the diagnostic screening administered in the fall of 2005 for kindergarten and in the spring of 2006 for grades 1 through 3. Funding shall be based on a percentage of the estimated number of eligible students as follows:

 

Kindergarten - 100 percent of eligible students

Grade 1 - 50 percent of eligible students

Grade 2 - 50 percent of eligible students

Grade 3 - 25 percent of eligible students

 

School divisions that did not participate in 2005-2006 will be funded using free lunch eligibility as a proxy. For these divisions, funding shall be calculated by multiplying the projected number of students in each school divisions fall membership in kindergarten through grade 3 by the estimated percentage of students eligible for the free lunch program in that school division to determine the number of students in need of services. Funding using the free lunch proxy will be adjusted by the same percentages of eligible students as shown above.

 

Attachment B is the superintendents certification form to apply for the incentive funds available under the Early Intervention Reading Initiative in fiscal year 2007. It must be completed, signed, and returned to the Department of Education by June 30, 2006.

 

Fifty percent of the Early Intervention Reading Initiative funds are projected to be disbursed in December 2006, upon receipt of the superintendents certification form. The remaining 50 percent of funds will be released in February 2007 following a report of the number of children identified and served. This information will be supplied to the Department of Education by the PALS office.

 

The Virginia Department of Education and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education have collaborated with Wireless Generation to make PALS available on Wireless Generations handheld computer software platform, known as mCLASS:PALS. As part of Virginias Reading First implementation, some Reading First schools will be using this software. mCLASS:PALS is also available for purchase by non-Reading First Virginia schools.

 

If you have questions regarding funding, please contact Kent Dickey, budget director, at (804) 225-2025 or Kent.Dickey@doe.virginia.gov. Questions regarding the PALS online services should be addressed to Allison Drake, PALS co-project manager, at (888) 882-7257 or PALS@virginia.edu. Questions regarding programmatic issues should be addressed to Ginna Glover, specialist for reading and English, at (804) 786-1997 or Ginna.Glover@doe.virginia.gov.

 

PIW/vjg/vdg

 

Attachments

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2006/inf113a.pdf

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2006/inf113b.pdf