P. O. BOX 2120
January 8, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: 1999 School Census
In accordance with the provisions of 22.1-281 through
22.1-286, Code of Virginia, March 1 through July 15, 1999,
is designated as the period during which the 1999 school
census will be conducted and completed.  Your summary of
census returns is due on or before Thursday, August 16,

Included with this memorandum are the Superintendent's
Summary of Census Returns reporting form, sample copies of
other census forms, instructions, recommended procedures and
state statutes relating to the census.  Your designated
school census contact person will also receive this

School divisions will submit only a summary count of all
people ages 5-19 residing in their respective counties,
cities, and towns to the Department of Education.  This
single statistic will be reported on the Superintendent's
Summary of Census Return form (Form SA.030) and subsequently
verified with division superintendents. 

The Department of Education will provide census enumeration
forms (SA.028) upon request.  These forms may be ordered by
calling the Office of Management Information Systems, 
804-225-2099.  Please allow one to two weeks for delivery.

Should you have any questions or require additional
information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Mona
Mallory, (804) 225-2949.


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


                    Table of Contents


     Instructions for Completing 1999 School Census
        Form SA.028 
     Instructions for Reporting Census Data to the Dept. of
     Suggested Procedures for Planning and Conducting the School
          School Census Schedule 
          Selection of Personnel 
          Training of Personnel
          Organizing and Conducting the School Census
          Editing Census Data and Retention of Records 

Appendix A.  Form SA.028 (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix B.  Sample Verification Form (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix C.  State Statutes Relating to the Triennial 
             Census (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix D.  Sample Enumerator Identification (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix E.  Sample Notice Explaining Purpose of Census
             (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix F.  Sample Pre-Census Questionnaire (NOT INCLUDED)

Appendix G.  Sample Call Back Notice (NOT INCLUDED)






I.  Instructions for Completing 1999 School Census Form SA.028

     A.   March 1, 1999, through July 15, 1999, is designated
          as the period during which the 1999 school census
          will be conducted and completed.

     B.   Include in the school census all persons residing in
          the county, city, or town who will have reached or
          passed their fifth birthday on December 31, 1999 and
          who will not have reached their twentieth birthday
          on December 31, 1999.

     Persons who are domiciled in orphanages or charitable
     institutions or who are dependents living on any federal
     military or naval reservation or other federal property
     shall be included in the census for the school division
     within which the institutions or federal military or
     naval reservation or other federal property is located.

     Persons who are confined in State hospitals, State
     training schools or State training centers for the
     mentally retarded, or mental institutions, State or
     federal correctional institutions, the Virginia School
     for the Deaf and Blind at Hampton or the Virginia School
     for the Deaf and Blind at Staunton shall be included in
     the census for the school division within which the
     parents or guardians of such persons legally reside.

     C.   Provisions must be made so that a census of the
          children who reside in an incorporated town may be
          tabulated.  Distribution of the State sales tax
          and/or the local sales tax is dependent upon the
          ratio of the school age population of each
          incorporated town to the school age population of
          the entire county in which the town is located. 
          (See Section 58.1-605, Paragraph G and Paragraph H
          and Section 58.1-638, Paragraph D, Code of
          Virginia.)  Please note that while separate census
          totals are required for each incorporated town, only
          the two towns of Colonial Beach and West Point are
          required to file census returns with the Department
          of Education, since they constitute separate school

     D.   The school census is to be taken by family.  One
          form should be used for each family.  If there are
          insufficient spaces on one form for all children of
          the family (ages 5-19) an additional form should be
          used and attached to the first form.

     E.   A local school division may use the form provided by
          the Department of Education for taking the census or
          a form of its own design.  If a local division uses
          a form of its own design, the form must include all
          data items on Form SA.028.  If a local school
          division elects to use the enumeration forms
          provided by the Department of Education, copies may
          be ordered by calling the Office of Management
          Information Systems, 804-225-2099.  Please allow one
          to two weeks for delivery.

     F.   Enumeration forms are not to be returned to the
          Department of Education.  The forms should be filed
          in an appropriate order in the division
          superintendent's office so that they may be
          conveniently referenced, if necessary.  They must be
          kept for a period of three years from the end of the
          fiscal year in which the last entry was made, or
          until audited (State), whichever comes first, after
          which they may be destroyed.

     G.   Specific instructions for completing each item on
          the enumeration form follow.  See Appendix A. for a
          copy of form SA.028.

     Item 1 County, City or Town - Enter the name of your
            county, city or town

     Item 2 District, Ward, or Other - Local school division
            authorities may modify and use this item to their
            own advantage by adapting it to fit the local plan
            for recording addresses.

     Items 3, 4     Names of Parents ( ), Guardians ( ), or
                    Other ( ) - List the names in the order
                    prescribed.  Check in the parentheses to
                    indicate whether persons listed are
                    parents, guardians, or other.

     Item 5 Address of Residence - Local school division
            authorities may modify and use this item to their
            own advantage by adapting it to fit the local plan
            for recording addresses.

     Item 6 Names of Children - List the names of all       
            persons in the family ages 5-19 as of December
            31, 1999.

     Items 7, 8, 9  Dates of Birth - Record the date of birth
                    by month, day, and year for each child
                    listed under item 6.

     Item 10   Age in years on December 31, 1999 - Record the
               age of each child on December 31, 1999.  Age
               may be determined by the census enumerator from
               the date of birth, or if data processing
               equipment is to be used, age may be determined
               by computer program.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Do not
               include any persons born on or after January 1,
               1995 OR - any persons born on or before
               December 31, 1979, in the census count reported
               to the Department of Education.

               If person was born in:        He/she is:

                         1994                  age 5
                         1993                  age 6
                         1992                  age 7
                         1991                  age 8
                         1990                  age 9
                         1989                  age 10
                         1988                  age 11
                         1987                  age 12
                         1986                  age 13
                         1985                  age 14
                         1984                  age 15
                         1983                  age 16
                         1982                  age 17
                         1981                  age 18
                         1980                  age 19

II.  Instructions for Reporting Census Data to the Dept. of

     A. The information needed to submit census returns to the
        Department of Education is taken from Form SA.028. 
        School divisions report ONLY the total count of all
        persons age 5-19, inclusive.

     B. This count must be received by the Department of
        Education on or before August 16, 1999.

     C. This count will be reported on Superintendent's
        Summary of Census Returns (Form SA.030). 

     D. The Department of Education will verify counts with
        division superintendents.  See Appendix B. for a
        sample verification form.

III. Timetable

     March 1, 1999            Commence census

     July 15, 1999            Complete census

     August 16, 1999          Report data to Department of

     September 15, 1999       Dept. of Ed. completes

     October 1, 1999          Counts for Distribution of State
                              Sales Tax given to Department of
                              Education Budget Office

IV.  Suggested Procedures for Planning and Conducting the
     School Census

     A.  Introduction

     While the Triennial School Census has always been
     important demographic information for planning and other
     purposes, the advent of the state sales tax, of which one
     percent is distributed to the localities on the basis of
     the school census data, has made an accurate school
     census imperative for each locality to receive its
     equitable share of this money.  See Appendix C. for a
     copy of the state statues relating to the triennial

     Division superintendents have expressed concern about
     some problems connected with the school census, including
     suggestions for:

          (1) Procedures for selecting and training personnel
              to conduct the school census

          (2) Procedures for organizing and conducting the
              school census to ensure complete and accurate

          (3) Procedures for editing and tabulating school
              census data and preparing school census reports

          (4) Review of the school census forms and
              instructions for possible improvements

     The following suggestions are provided for conducting the
     school census and for preventing problems which might

     B.  School Census Schedule

     Planning for the school census should begin not later
     than the spring of the year preceding that in which it
     will be taken since funds must be included in the budget
     for the next fiscal year to cover the cost of the school

     Coincident with this, the person who is to be responsible
     for the school census should be appointed.  While the
     division superintendent is responsible for the school
     census, it is customary for the superintendent to appoint
     someone to be in charge.  For consistency throughout
     these procedures, this person will be called the census

     After appointment, the census director, in cooperation
     with the division superintendent, should prepare a budget
     and a tentative schedule for the school census.

     A major cost factor of the school census is the expense
     of enumerators and clerical help employed to edit and
     tabulate the results.  A decision must be made concerning
     the basis on which enumerators will be paid (e.g., per
     name of child, per housing unit, travel expenses) and how
     much they will be paid per pay unit.

     Decisions also must be made with regard to several
     factors concerning how the school census will be
     conducted.  Among these are:

          1.  Whether a pre-census will be used.  (A 
              pre-census is an in-school count of children,
              taken before the actual census.)

          2.  Whether State-provided forms or locally designed
              forms will be used.

          3.  Whether automatic data processing (ADP)
              equipment and procedures will be used for
              editing and tabulating.  If ADP equipment is to
              be used, sufficient time must be allowed for
              such things as system design, forms design, and
              computer programming and testing.

     C.   Selection of Personnel

          Director of School Census - The person responsible
          for the school census should be appointed by the
          school board on the recommendation of the division
          superintendent, to act as an agent for the school
          board, in compliance with Section 22.1-282 of the
          Virginia Code.  The agent appointed might be: (1) a
          person already under full or part-time contract in
          the school division; (2) a private corporation that
          specializes in conducting a census; or (3) any other
          person considered by the division superintendent to
          be qualified for this task.

          The census director should be: (1) thoroughly
          familiar with school law as it relates to the school
          census; (2) thoroughly familiar with the geographic
          areas to be covered by the school census; (3)
          competently trained in organization and
          administration of a school census; (4) prepared to
          provide training sessions for the division census
          enumerators; and (5) prepared to provide adequate
          help and sufficient time to complete the school

          Enumerators - School census enumerators should be
          carefully selected.  These personnel are responsible
          for conducting thorough and accurate counts.  School
          divisions should give careful consideration to the
          qualifications needed for employment as enumerators
          and to the various local opportunities that may
          exist for recruiting suitable people.

     D.  Training of Personnel

          All enumerators should receive some training before
          they go into the field.  While this training does
          not have to be elaborate or extensive, it can be of
          great help in obtaining a better school census.  In
          most instances, training can be completed half-day
          to a day.  Some areas which should be covered in
          the training session include: (1) an explanation of
          the purpose of the school census and what it means
          to the locality and to the State; (2) a review of
          the State laws pertaining to the school census; (3)
          an explanation of the overall school census
          organization, as well as the responsibilities
          assigned to the enumerators; (4) a detailed review
          of the forms and instructions for taking the school
          census; (5) an opportunity for the enumerators to
          make several "practice runs" with emphasis on
          completing the job on the scene and checking all
          information before the forms are turned in; (6)
          instruction about the methods and forms required for
          accounting purposes; and (7) suggestions to enable
          enumerators to deal with persons who might not want
          to furnish information required for the school
          census and what to do about hazards such as dogs.

          Clerical personnel who will be editing and
          tabulating the school census data should be
          adequately trained for their assignment.  This
          training should include familiarization with: (1)
          Forms and instructions that the enumerators will
          use; (2) Forms from which data will be cross-checked, 
          such as teachers' registers or pre-census
          forms; (3) Forms and instructions that will be used
          for tabulation; and (4) Forms and instructions for
          preparing summary reports.

     E.   Organizing and Conducting the School Census

          1.  Organization of the County/City/Town

              As a general rule, counties, cities, and towns
              will be divided into areas, zones or tracts to
              which enumerators will be assigned to take the
              school census.  In some instances, it may prove
              helpful to work with other units of the local
              government such as planning commissions, zoning
              boards, and local tax authorities.  This is
              particularly true if there is to be an
              accounting of each and every housing unit.

              The following are some methods of division that
              can be used: (1) utilizing a census tract
              number, block number, and parcel number (similar
              to U. S. Census); (2) elementary or other type
              school zones; (3) magisterial district or other
              local government division; (4) and by
              utilization of natural boundaries, roads, and

              The school census director should make
              arrangements with the appropriate authorities
              for taking the school census in orphanages or
              charitable  institutions or on any federal
              military reservation or other federal property
              located within the county, city, or town.

              With respect to the school census on federal
              military reservations, dependents of personnel
              living on military reservations are to be
              included in the school census for the county,
              city, or town within which the military
              reservation is located.  Members of the military
              services who are under 20 years of age are to be
              included in the school census for the county,
              city, or town that is the legal residence of
              their parents or guardians.

              Attention is called to the situation that in any
              county wherein is situated any incorporated
              town, provision must be made for obtaining a
              census of the children who reside in any such
              towns, inasmuch as the distribution of the State
              sales tax and/or the local sales tax is
              dependent upon the ratio of the school age
              population of the town to the school age
              population of the entire county.  However,
              census data must be reported to the Department
              of Education only for the towns that constitute
              separate school divisions.

          2.  Assignment of Enumerators

              Once the county, city, or town has been divided
              into census areas, enumerators can be given
              their assignments.  The number of enumerators
              assigned to an area will depend upon the size of
              the area, the population density, and the time
              period planned for taking the school census.  If
              it is warranted, a team of enumerators,
              sufficient in number to perform the job, can be
              assigned to a given area.  The team may be
              headed by one person who would be responsible
              for seeing that all or designated phases of the
              school census are carried out properly.  That
              person's responsibilities could include seeing
              that all forms are completed properly and
              editing and tabulating census information for
              the area.

              Each enumerator should be given a map which
              clearly indicates the area for which he or she
              is responsible.  A complete description of the
              area should accompany the map.

              Each enumerator also should have some means of
              identification such as a lapel tag with his or
              her name, and a statement that identifies the
              person as an official school census enumerator. 
              (See Appendix D. for sample.)  The enumerator
              also should carry a letter or memorandum from
              the division superintendent which briefly
              explains the purpose of and authorization for
              the school census.  (See Appendix E. for

          3.  Using a Pre-Census Questionnaire

              A pre-census questionnaire is a means of taking
              a pre-census count of in-school children.  It is
              a preliminary survey of the in-school population
              that can provide the school census director
              advance information that can be useful in
              planning and as a check against the actual
              census to make certain that all housing units
              have been visited and all children in school are

              The pre-census questionnaire is filled out in
              advance of the actual school census.  Sufficient
              time must be allowed for the forms to be
              organized and filed.  Each child in school fills
              out a form listing his or her name, age, or date
              of birth, address, and parents' or guardians'
              names and addresses, and the names of all other
              children in the family ages 5-19.  (See Appendix
              F. for sample.)  Other items of information may
              be added as needed.  Each teacher who is
              responsible for attendance accounting should see
              that each student completes one of the pre-census forms.

              When completed, the forms are organized
              according to the needs of the local school
              census plan.  For example, they could be filed
              sequentially by street (with elimination of
              duplicates), and then checked against a
              directory of the county, city, or town.  For
              each directory listing for which there is no
              pre-census questionnaire, a form listing the
              street and house number is inserted.  This file
              provides a complete list of residences for each
              street as well as numerical counts of housing
              units and children that can be used in assigning
              enumerators.  When the actual school census
              forms are completed, they are filed in the same
              manner and checked against the pre-census file.

              It is also important to keep a record of all
              pupils who enter or withdraw from school after
              the pre-census forms have been initially
              completed.  This can be done by having the
              principal of each school make certain that a
              form is completed and forwarded to the school
              census director when a child registers to enter
              school or when he or she withdraws from school.

              An inherent weakness of the pre-census in-school
              count is that it does not account for families
              with children not attending public schools, such
              as children who have not started to school,
              those who have graduated or dropped out, and
              those who are attending non-public schools
              (private, parochial, schools on military
              reservations).  While there is no direct
              incentive for them to do so, non-public schools
              may cooperate in providing this information if

          4.  Publicity

              Experience has shown that adequate publicity can
              be of assistance in obtaining a satisfactory
              school census.  The community should be informed
              during the school year of the local school
              division's plans for conducting the school
              census as well as its purpose and value. 
              Subsequently the local school division could
              publicize the school census in several ways: (1)
              A memorandum could be sent to each housing unit
              in the county, city, or town stating the
              background and need for the school census, the
              dates when the school census and follow up will
              be conducted locally, and a list of items to be
              completed on the school census; (2) A release in
              the newspapers with a copy of the actual form;
              (3) Releases over radio and/or television.

          5.  Conducting the School Census

              Within the period specified by the
              Superintendent of Public Instruction, the
              locality decides when it will conduct the school
              census.  Conducting the school census before the
              end of the school year has the decided advantage
              of finding the most people at home with the
              least follow-up.

              In addition to identification credentials,
              enumerators should be provided with forms,
              pencils, maps, and instructions needed for
              taking the census.  The enumerators should be
              thoroughly familiar with the procedures that
              they will be required to use such as editing,
              cross-checking, tabulating, and completion of
              accounting forms.  They should also notify the
              school census director or his representative of
              any special problems that they encounter, such
              as persons who are consistently not at home,
              persons who refuse to provide the necessary
              information, inability of the enumerator to
              carry out his responsibilities in the time
              available, and changes in residence.

              Consideration should be given to the areas to
              which enumerators are assigned.  Some advantage
              is gained when an enumerator has some knowledge
              of the area in which he or she is working.

              If potentially troublesome areas seem to warrant
              it, special arrangements should be made for
              enumeration, such as enumerators working in
              pairs rather than alone or teams of many
              enumerators canvassing the area at one time.

          6.  Follow-up Procedures

              Follow-up procedures must be established for
              homes where occupants were unavailable or where
              the information was not complete.  The follow-up
              should be considered when the plan for the
              school census is established.  Perhaps the
              simplest procedure is for the enumerator to
              continue to make calls until the information is
              obtained.  A second procedure is for the follow-up
              calls to be made by a team of enumerators who
              are specially trained for the purpose.  Also, a
              notice requesting the resident to call the
              enumerator has proved successful.  (See Appendix

     F.   Editing Census Data and Retention of Records

          Procedures should be established for editing the
          data from the census forms as a part of the overall
          school census organization plan.  Some editing
          procedures to be considered include the following:

          1.  Completion of Forms - This, of course, is the
              responsibility of the enumerators.  All
              applicable items on the form should be completed
              for each entry.

          2.  Accuracy of Data - All entries should be edited
              to ensure accuracy of data.

          3.  Cross-Checking Against Other Data - Enumerators'
              returns should