Superintendent's Memo #109-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 15, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Project Graduation Summer Academy Grants

As part of the state's Project Graduation initiative, I am pleased to announce a remediation grant opportunity to assist students who need to earn verified credits to complete their diploma requirements. Grant proposals will be accepted from individual school divisions and from partnerships of school divisions within a Superintendents' Regional Study Group.

Proposals must address the needs of high school seniors, juniors, and sophomores who have not yet earned verified credits in English: Reading, English: Writing, Algebra I, Geometry, History, and/or Science, but have received passing grades for the specific courses associated with those assessments. Special consideration should be given to students in subgroups whose graduation rate falls below that of the subgroup with the highest graduation rate in the school or school division. School divisions and regions should review their graduation data to justify a focus on particular subgroups.

Proposals may include remedial instruction for students in English reading and writing, mathematics, science, or history and social science. To provide additional assistance to students with disabilities who are pursuing Modified Standard Diplomas, Summer Academy proposals that include remediation for students who need to meet the literacy and numeracy requirements of that diploma will be considered as well. Please note that students who complete a Modified Standard Diploma can continue their enrollment in school, as the Modified Standard Diploma is not a terminal diploma.

The Virginia Department of Education will no longer fund the Virginia Online Reading and Algebra I Tutorials.  These diagnostic tools will be unavailable beginning June 15, 2011.

Each Superintendents’ Regional Study Group may apply to receive a Project Graduation Summer Academy Grant. The standard model is for one school division to act as the fiscal agent for each grant; however, several sites within the region may serve students. In addition, more than one grant application from a region will be accepted. Individual school divisions are eligible to apply, although each division may participate in only one grant application.

The Academy must focus on student instruction that is based on data derived from diagnostic instruments and previous assessment results for each student. Data from previous Academies should be used to identify effective strategies and practices. Assessment records for participating students must be properly identified as Project Graduation participants. All Standards of Learning (SOL) tests administered to Project Graduation students must have the "Project Graduation" field populated within PEMSolutions™.

The final grant awards will be based upon approval of the proposal, including all required forms and signatures, and meeting the submission deadlines. The funds will be disbursed on a cost reimbursement basis. Additional information including grant requirements and timelines can be found in Attachment A. Please note that 2011 Project Graduation Summer Academy Grants are funded from the fiscal year 2012 Lottery funds as provided in the state budget adopted by the 2011 General Assembly. Also in the state budget is the provision that the Lottery Department make the first transfer of Lottery funds annually on or before January 1 of each year.  Consequently, payments for the 2011 Project Graduation Summer Academy Grants will not begin until January 2012, following the first Lottery deposit in December.  Full funding for grants is dependent on the fiscal year 2012 Lottery revenues. Cost reimbursement of the approved expenditures will occur after the submission of reimbursement requests to the Department of Education.

If you have questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact Tracy Fair Robertson, English coordinator, Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction, by e-mail at Tracy.Robertson@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 371-7585.

PIW/TFR/vdg

Attachment:

  1. Project Graduation Summer Grant Application 2011 (Word)