July 1, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Teacher Recruitment and Retention Incentive Awards

The 2016 General Assembly approved funding to attract, recruit, and retain high-quality diverse individuals to teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) subjects in Virginia’s middle and high schools.  This program will provide incentive awards in fiscal year 2017 to teachers who meet specified criteria and are employed in a Virginia public school.

Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis with preference to teachers assigned to teach in hard-to-staff schools or low-performing schools not fully accredited.  Applicants must meet all requirements for one of the following two lists of criteria:

  1. Teachers Reassigned from a Fully Accredited School in a Virginia School Division to a Hard-to-Staff School or a School Not Fully Accredited:

    • Be a teacher employed full-time in a Virginia school division.

    • Hold an active five-year Virginia teaching license (Collegiate Professional or Postgraduate Professional License) with one of following endorsements and be assigned full-time to a teaching position in the corresponding STEM subject area:
      • Middle Education (6-8): Mathematics
      • Mathematics: Algebra I
      • Mathematics
      • Middle Education (6-8):  Science 
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Earth Science
      • Physics
      • Technology Education

    • Regardless of teaching experience, be a teacher who is reassigned from a fully accredited school in a Virginia school division to a hard-to-staff school or a school that is not fully accredited in the 2016-2017 school year.

    • Successful teachers, regardless of teaching experience, selected to participate in the program under this criteria will be eligible to receive a $5,000 initial incentive award after the completion of a year of teaching experience in the hard-to-staff school or a school that is not fully accredited, a satisfactory performance evaluation, and a signed contract in the same school division for the following year.

  2. Teachers New to the Profession or Teachers With Up to Three Years’ Teaching Experience:
    [Applicants must have less than three years of teaching experience.]

    • Be a teacher new to the profession (no teaching experience) or a teacher with up to three years of teaching experience (less than three years’ teaching experience).

    • Be employed as a teacher full-time in a Virginia school division.  

    • Hold an active five-year Virginia teaching license (Collegiate Professional or Postgraduate Professional License) with one of the following endorsements and assigned full-time to a teaching position in the corresponding STEM subject areas:
      • Middle Education (6-8): Mathematics
      • Mathematics: Algebra I
      • Mathematics
      • Middle Education (6-8):  Science  
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Earth Science
      • Physics
      • Technology Education

    • Successful teachers selected to participate in the program under this criteria will be eligible to receive a $5,000 initial incentive award after the completion of the first, second, or third year of teaching with a satisfactory performance evaluation and a signed contract in the same school division for the following school year.

Continuation Awards:

An additional $1,000 incentive award may be granted for each year the eligible teacher (meeting either criteria above) receives a satisfactory evaluation and teaches a qualifying STEM subject in which the teacher has an endorsement for up to three years in the same Virginia school division following the year in which the teacher receives the initial incentive award. The maximum incentive award (initial and continuation) for each eligible teacher is $8,000.  Incentive awards are contingent upon available funding.  The incentive awards are taxable to the recipient, and the school division is responsible for ensuring all taxes are remitted.

The attached application must be received no later than Friday, September 23, 2016.  Original applications (not photocopies, faxes, or e-mails) must be submitted with signatures of the teacher applicant and the division superintendent.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Please mail the application to Dr. Kendra Crump, Director of Licensure and School Leadership, Virginia Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.  Notification will be sent to school divisions of teachers eligible for the grant awards by Friday, December 2, 2016.   A form and instructions to request reimbursement of these funds for teachers accepted into the program will be sent to the school divisions by Friday, April 14, 2017.  Reimbursement forms will be due into the Department of Education by Monday, May 15, 2017.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Crump at (804) 371-2471 or Kendra.Crump@doe.virginia.gov.

SRS/kac

Attachments:

  1. Application for the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Incentive Awards (Word)