Superintendent’s Memo #098-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 22, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program for 2015-2016

The United States Department of Education (USED) has notified the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) that funding is available for the 2015-2016 Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Fee Program grant.  The VDOE will submit a proposal to receive funds to reimburse school divisions for AP/IB test fees for low-income students.  It is anticipated that VDOE will be notified in the fall regarding the status of the federal funding award.

The purpose of this grant is to increase the participation of low-income students in AP/IB 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 and International Baccalaureate courses but cannot afford to take the tests.

Funds provided under this program may be used only to supplement, and not supplant, other non-federal 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 for all AP and IB tests are not eligible for this program, since it would constitute supplanting.  If you have a question about your eligibility, please call the VDOE for specific guidance and technical assistance.

School divisions are responsible for direct payment to the College Board for purchasing the tests.  The VDOE will make reimbursements directly to school divisions based on information provided in the attached survey.  School divisions will be notified of the final reimbursement amounts in fall 2016.  Funds will be electronically transferred to each school division based on the final federal grant award received by the VDOE.

It appears that funding may be available to reimburse school divisions at $38 per AP exam and $98 per IB exam for each exam taken by students qualifying for the AP/IB test fee reduction.

To allocate funds that may be awarded to VDOE in 2016, VDOE must collect certain data that are required by USED.  Please submit projected and actual data for AP/IB tests to be paid for with these federal funds.  To complete the electronic survey, each division must assign a point of contact for the AP/IB Test Fee Payment Program and grant data entry privileges through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS) Portal.  A copy of the survey is attached to assist with the collection of required information needed to complete the electronic survey.  The electronic survey is available at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do, and will open on Monday, April 25, 2016. The completed survey that verifies projected data is due no later than Friday, May 6, 2016.

Once the electronic projected data are submitted, the system (SSWS) will generate a Verification of Projected Data Report (under Reports on the gray menu bar located on the right-hand side of the screen) that must be signed by the division superintendent and e-mailed to Avis Scarborough at Avis.Scarborough@doe.virginia.gov on or before Friday, May 6, 2016.  A copy of this report with original signature must be kept on file locally for audit purposes. The signed e-mailed copy of the Verification of Projected Data Report must also be on file with the VDOE confirming that the school division will adhere to the assurances listed.  Failure to submit projected data reduces the possibility of obtaining federal funds for the division.

To receive a reimbursement, the school division must complete an additional electronic survey in the system (SSWS) that verifies actual data.  This electronic survey is available at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do, and will open on Friday, May 20, 2016.  The completed survey that verifies actual data is due no later than Friday, June 10, 2016.  Once the actual data are submitted, the system (SSWS) will generate a Verification of Actual Data Report (under Reports on the gray menu bar located on the right-hand side of the screen) that must be signed by the division superintendent and e-mailed to Avis Scarborough at Avis.Scarborough@doe.virginia.gov on or before Friday, June 10, 2016.  School divisions cannot receive reimbursements if a signed copy of the Verification of Actual Data Report is not on file with VDOE.

For questions, please contact Cheryl Strobel, associate director, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, at Cheryl.Strobel@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-7578.

SRS/CPS/vdg

Attachment:

  1. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Fee Payment Program Survey (Word)