COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
August 15, 2014
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The General Assembly included funding for planning grants in the 2014 Appropriation Act to assist interested school divisions in planning for the establishment of year-round school programs. $613,312 is appropriated for both fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for planning grants of no more than $50,000 each for school divisions pursuing the creation of new year-round school programs for divisions or individual schools in support of the findings from the 2012 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report, Review of Year-Round Schools, which was issued in October 2012. (See Item 135.R of the 2014 Appropriation Act)
In Superintendent's Memo #177-14 issued July 3, 2014, the department asked school divisions interested in pursuing a planning grant to establish year-round school programs to submit a completed PDF version of an application and related materials to the Office of Policy at Policy@doe.virginia.gov by 5 p.m. August 1, 2014. Those applications have been received and awards are being made to the selected school divisions. However, a balance of $493,312 in funding remains, and, as indicated in Item 135. R of the 2014 Appropriation Act, school divisions with existing year-round school programs may apply for the remaining funds for purposes of planning for the 2015-2016 school year. Individual application awards will be no more than $50,000.
These funds may be used to plan for the enhancement of a current program or to plan for the expansion of a year-round program to an additional location within the school division. Each application submitted for existing programs must indicate that the interested school division currently has a year-round school program, include an explanation as to how the planning grant funds may be used to enhance the current academic program and close the achievement gap (if any), and address the distinctions between the currently existing program and the modified program. Each application submitted for expansion of year-round schooling to an additional location must reflect planning for the 2015-2016 school year and include an explanation as to how the planning grant funds may be used to expand the year-round academic program and close the achievement gap (if any), and address any distinctions between the currently existing program and the expansion program. Implementation must be planned for the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, in order to be considered for selection, applicants must submit a complete response which addresses all of the application requirements. Incomplete applications may not be considered.
In accordance with the Appropriation Act, priority shall be given to schools based on need, based on state accreditation ratings or similar federal designations. Applications shall include evidence of a commitment to pursue implementation in school year 2015-2016.
School divisions with existing year-round programs that are interested in this planning grant funding must submit a complete PDF version of the application and related materials to the Office of Policy at Policy@doe.virginia.gov, by 5 p.m. September 12, 2014. You will find links for the instructions and an application below. Please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at Policy@doe.virgina.gov if you have any questions. For more information about year-round schools, visit http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/year-round/index.shtml.