Change in Project Graduation Funding Allocation Process Effective with Fiscal Year 2017 – In an effort to serve all targeted students in Virginia’s public schools and reduce administrative requirements necessary to access the grant funding, Project Graduation will shift from application-based grant funding to formula-based funding beginning in fiscal year 2017. For more information, see Superintendent's Memo 133-16.
Since its first establishment under Governor Mark Warner in 2003, Project Graduation funding has been available to school divisions to provide instructional support for students in need of verified credits for graduation. Instructional support activities provide intervention and/or remediation to assist targeted students who have received passing grades for standard credit-bearing course(s) but failed the required Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment needed to earn verified credit(s) to complete their diploma requirements. Support activities may be offered by individual school divisions or by regional partnerships of school divisions.
First priority: Seniors or term graduates lacking verified credits needed to graduate in any core subject, i.e., English, mathematics, history, or science
Second priority: Current juniors lacking verified credits in mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) or English (English/reading, or English/writing)
Third priority: Current freshmen or sophomores lacking a verified credit in mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II)
- Use of a mathematics diagnostic assessment for Algebra I students
- Use of SOL Assessment Student Detail by Question report (SDBQ) to target instruction (provided with score reports in PearsonAccess)
- Use of varied instructional strategies
- Low student-teacher ratio (approximately 10:1 to 18:1)
- All SOL tests administered to Project Graduation students must have the “Project Graduation” field populated within PearsonAccess for tests associated with the remediation.
Project Graduation funding is provided through Lottery proceeds, which are available by January of each year. Beginning in fiscal year 2017, school division formula-based allocations will be paid on a recurring basis twice monthly between January and June each year.
The funding method for each school division incorporates multiple factors including:
- the number of first-time test takers failing an end-of-course assessment in mathematics, English reading/writing, science, and history and social studies (test results will be used from the previous spring’s Standard of Learning (SOL) test administration);
- the school division’s Composite Index of Local Ability-to-Pay;
- a cap on the minimum and maximum received by a single school division; and
- a 50 percent hold harmless allocation for fiscal year 2017 only based upon actual Project Graduation funding reimbursements received in fiscal year 2015, unless a school division allocation was limited by the maximum funding cap. This one-time hold harmless allocation will be provided for fiscal year 2017 only as a transition to the new funding formula. It will not be a component of the formula in fiscal year 2018 and beyond.
- teacher/tutor salaries/stipends;
- student incentives to encourage participation;
- instructional resources aligned to the current SOL, for tutorials and administration of approved substitute tests;
- materials and supplies necessary for instruction and assessment;
- student transportation; and
- administrative costs associated with implementation and administration of special education requirements.
- Funds may not provide for components of physical or technological infrastructure, including electronic devices such as tablet devices, computers, and calculators.
- Funds provided under this program will supplement, not supplant, federal, state, and local funds that local educational agencies and schools would otherwise receive.
- All Standards of Learning tests administered to Project Graduation students must have the “Project Graduation” field populated within PearsonAccess for tests associated with the remediation.
- The Board of Education has approved a number of substitute tests that students may take to earn verified credits toward graduation.
- SOL Substitute Tests for Verified Credit (PDF) – effective beginning 2014-2015 School Year
- The board also has approved a schedule of career and technical examinations for licensure or certification that may be substituted for SOL tests to earn student-selected verified units of credit. Tests for licensure or certification that require the demonstration of knowledge and skills beyond what is associated with a single course may result in the awarding of two units of verified credit.
- Guidelines for Administering the Read-Aloud Accommodation for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments (PDF)
For questions regarding SOL assessments and testing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.