Superintendent's Memo #342-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

December 18, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program

The United States Department of Education (USED) posted the 2010 Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Fee Program grant opportunity on September 11, 2009. The Virginia Department of Education has submitted a proposal to receive funds to reimburse AP/IB test fees for low-income students. It is anticipated that the Department will be notified in the spring regarding the status of the funding award.

The purpose of this grant is to increase the participation of low-income students in advanced classes and testing. While a majority of Virginia’s high schools participate in the Advanced Placement program, some divisions have indicated that they have students who are capable of taking Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate courses but cannot afford to take the tests.

Pending availability of funding from the federal AP and IB Test Fee Program, the Virginia Department of Education will pay $56 per AP and $60 per IB exam for each exam taken by public and private school students qualifying for the College Board’s fee reduction or the International Baccalaureate fee reduction. It is anticipated that AP/IB test fees will be reimbursed at least at the same amount as last year’s award for each school division.

Funds provided under this program may only be used to supplement, and not supplant, other federal, state, local, or private funds available to assist individuals identified as low-income students in paying for AP and IB testing. School divisions that have a program in place that pays test fees for all AP and IB tests are not eligible for this program, since it would constitute supplanting.

In order to allocate any funds that may be awarded to the Department in spring 2010, the Department must collect certain data that are required by the USED. These data will be collected in an electronic survey due by January 29, 2010. To complete the electronic survey, each division must assign a point of contact for the Advanced Placement Fee and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program and grant data entry privileges through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS). A copy of the survey is attached to assist with collection of required information to complete the electronic survey. The electronic survey is available at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do, and will open on December 28, 2009.

Once the electronic data are submitted, please submit a hard copy of the verification report found with the electronic survey with the division superintendent’s signature to:

Ann M. Sheehan
Title I Specialist
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120

The signed copy must be on file with the Virginia Department of Education confirming that the school division will adhere to the assurances listed. School divisions cannot receive reimbursements if a signed copy of the assurances (verification report) is not on file with the Department.

A thirty-minute webinar will be held on January 7, 2010, at 1 p.m. to assist school divisions with completing the survey. If your school division is interested in participating in the webinar, please return the attached sign-up sheet no later than January 5, 2010. It may be e-mailed to Helen Tucker, administrative assistant at Helen.Tucker@doe.virginia.gov or faxed to (804) 371-7347.

For further information, please contact Ann Sheehan, Title I specialist, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, by e-mail at Ann.Sheehan@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at(804) 371-2932.

PIW/AMS

Attachments:

a. Worksheet That May be Used Before Submitting Data in Electronic Survey (Word)
b. Advanced Placement Survey Webinar (Word)