P. O. BOX 2120
July 10, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Title IV: Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) Principles of Effectiveness

  Under the newly approved Principles of Effectiveness for
  SDFSCA Programs, recipients of SDFSCA State Grants Program
  funds must improve the quality of their drug and violence
  prevention programs by implementing the Principles.  The
  SDFSCA Principles of Effectiveness were published as a final
  rule in the Federal Register, June 1, 1998 and apply to all
  SDFSCA funds obligated on or after July 1, 1998. A copy of the
  notification is enclosed.

  The intent of the Principles is to ensure that recipients of
  Title IV funds use those funds in ways that preserve local
  flexibility, but are most likely to reduce drug use and
  violence among youth.  Further, recipients shall coordinate
  their SDFSCA funded programs with other available prevention
  efforts to maximize the impact of all the drug and violence
  prevention programs and resources available.

  The Principles require that recipient shall:

        Base programs on a thorough assessment of objective data
        about the drug and violence problems in the schools and
        communities served.

        With the assistance of a local or regional advisory council
        where required by the SDFSCA, establish a set of measurable
        goals and objectives and design programs to meet those goals
        and objectives.

        Design and implement programs for youth based on research or 
        evaluation that provides evidence that the programs used 
        prevent or reduce drug use, violence, or disruptive behavior
        among youth.

        Evaluate programs periodically to assess progress toward
        achieving goals and objectives, and use evaluation results
        to refine, improve, and strengthen programs, and to refine 
        goals and objectives as appropriate.

  To address these issues and provide technical assistance to
  school divisions, the Office of Compensatory Programs has
  entered into a collaborative initiative with the Substance
  Abuse Research Center at James Madison University to offer the
  Virginia Effective Practices Project (VEPP).  The project is
  designed to promote and support effective practices in youth
  substance abuse and violence prevention by:

  1.         Disseminating information on effective practices through
             "showcasing" events, a quarterly newsletter, a project
             website (, and other
             dissemination activities; and

  2.         Providing highly individualized training and technical
             assistance to local school divisions in the comprehensive
             planning and evaluation of their SDFSCA Programs.

  The VEPP is guided by the U.S. Department of Education's
  Principles of Effectiveness. Copies of the Principles have
  been provided to school division SDFSCA Coordinators. The
  coordinators will also be sent a copy of the U.S. Department
  of Education document, "Nonregulatory Guidance for
  Implementing the SDFSCA Principles of Effectiveness."

  Questions about the SDFSCA Program in Virginia should be
  directed to Arlene Cundiff in the Office of Compensatory
  Programs at (804) 225-2871.  Questions about the VEPP may be
  directed to Jeanne Martino-McAllister in the Substance Abuse
  Research Center at (540) 568-7097 or (540) 568-3317.


  Enclosure: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments
             will be sent to the superintendent's office.

  cc:  SDFSCA School Division Coordinators