What is VPI+?
Virginia was one of 13 states that won a four-year federal preschool expansion grant to improve upon the already successful Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) and expand services to four-year olds and their families in high need communities. The Virginia federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) is known as VPI+.
What is the purpose of VPI+?
The purpose of VPI+ is to increase preschool access, quality, and impact while providing preschool programs through participating school divisions and in partnerships with private providers. By the end of the four-year grant period (school year 2018-2019), approximately 13,000 preschool students, at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, will be served in new or improved high-quality preschool slots across the commonwealth.
Where is VPI+?
Students will be directly served through VPI+ in 11 school divisions that represent high-need communities in Virginia. These school divisions are Brunswick, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Giles, Henrico, Norfolk, Petersburg, Prince William, Richmond City, Sussex, and Winchester.
Who is eligible?
There are two requirements, both of which must be met for participation: family income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, AND the children must be age 4 by September 30 of a given school year to participate.
VPI+ by the Numbers
As a result of the federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG), Virginia has been successful in increasing the number of eligible children served in high-quality preschool programs. Since VPI+ augments the already existing state-funded VPI, the number of additional slots available for at-risk four-year-olds in a preschool setting has increased by 1,230 new slots across 65 newly-opened high-quality preschool classrooms for Year 1 of the grant (2015-2016). One hundred thirty-five (135) Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) classrooms with 1,574 eligible children have been improved by providing additional comprehensive services to children and families and by providing high-quality professional development to teachers and assistants. As of December 2015, the total of new and improved preschool slots served by PDG funds is 2,804.
Who are the grant partners?
In addition to the participating school divisions, the VPI+ Implementation team includes a variety of early childhood stakeholders and partners across the following agencies and organizations: the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), and the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia.
- Full-day programs taught by licensed teachers
- The use of developmentally-appropriate, rigorous curriculum, formative assessments to inform instruction, and summative assessments to evaluate the impact of VPI+
- Coaching and capacity building for teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators in partnership with the Center of Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia
- Access to a menu of approved professional development opportunities
- Participation in Virginia’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS) at VPI+ sites, providing more robust monitoring and ensuring continuous quality improvement of programs across communities
- Resources for comprehensive services for children and families
- Improved data quality through integration of preschool data into the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS)
- Partnership with SRI International (SRI) and School Readiness Consulting (SRC) to support the implementation of VPI+ through the collection and use of formative program measures, summative child assessments, and cost-effectiveness data to provide feedback for continuous improvement of instruction and program implementation, administer predictive tests and analyze results to answer pressing questions, and communicate results with VDOE, school divisions, and teachers
For more information, contact:
- Dr. Laura Kassner, Coordinator
- Dr. Dorothy Tate, Preschool Program Specialist
- Cynthia Evans, Administrative Support
- Chris Steele,
Reports and Grants Manager
- Local Contact List (PDF) – includes contact information for the 11 local school divisions
- Governor McAuliffe Announces $17.5 Million Federal Preschool Expansion Grant, December 10, 2014 News Release
- Preschool Development Grants Factsheet (PDF)