Superintendent's Memo #118-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 22, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps Recruitment and Application

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce the continuation of the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps for the 2011–2012 school year.  This program is designed to reinforce the quality of mathematics instruction in middle schools and to help ensure that students receive a solid foundation in mathematics as they prepare to enter high school.  This initiative addresses middle school mathematics, one of the top 10 areas of critical teacher shortage in 2010–2011.  The Teacher Corps also provides support for middle schools likely to have difficulty finding “highly qualified” mathematics teachers to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps will provide the structure and incentives to place qualified mathematics teachers in middle schools that have been designated as “at risk in mathematics” by virtue of being either accredited with warning in mathematics or not meeting the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) in mathematics performance as required for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Teachers selected as members of the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps should be dynamic, well-qualified teachers who have demonstrated success in teaching mathematics in challenging environments and are willing to teach sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-grade mathematics.  While their priority will be teaching, they also may work with school administrators and faculty to help less experienced teachers.  Upon the approval of a school grant application, participating middle schools may be eligible for funds from the Virginia Department of Education to provide a salary differential to assist in hiring a member of the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps.

Members of the Teacher Corps are eligible for up to a $10,000 salary differential for up to three years from the participating school division contingent upon the availability of state funding.  If an eligible middle school hires an individual new to that school who is accepted into the Teacher Corps, the school may apply to the Virginia Department of Education to receive funding for a $10,000 annual salary differential for the Teacher Corps member.  If a Teacher Corps member is currently teaching at an eligible school, the school may apply for funding to provide a $5,000 annual salary differential for the Teacher Corps member. The salary differential incentive payment is taxable to the recipient and the school division assumes responsibility for ensuring all faxes are remitted.

All state funds are contingent upon available funding by the General Assembly. Additional information about the program, the school grant application, and an application to participate as a teacher in the Teacher Corps program are available at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/career_resources/middle_teacher_corps/index.shtml.

If you have questions about the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps program, please contact Ms. Connie Fisher, teacher quality specialist, Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, at (804) 371–7583 or e-mail at Connie.Fisher@doe.virginia.gov.

PIW/cf