P. O. BOX 2120

June 4, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Survey of Local and Regional Alternative Education Programs in Response to HJR 242 and the Appropriation Act of the 1998 General Assembly

  The 1998 General Assembly directed the Department of
  Education (Appropriation Act) and the Board of Education
  (HJR 242) to work with the Commission on Youth to conduct
  a study regarding services for suspended and expelled
  students. This study will investigate and report on the
  availability of regional and local alternative education
  programs that provide educational services for expelled
  and suspended students who cannot be served in
  traditional public school settings due to their dangerous
  and/or disruptive behaviors.  Additionally, this
  investigation will identify the number of students
  served, the criteria for placement, and program

  The findings of the study will result in the development
  of guidelines for alternative educational settings for
  middle and high school students.  The guidelines will
  include "the recommended number of alternative settings
  per 1,000 middle and high school students and average
  incremental costs thereof."

  The first aspect of the study is the gathering of
  demographic data regarding each student who is long-term
  suspended or expelled or placed in an alternative setting
  in lieu of long-term suspension or expulsion during the
  entire 1998-99 school year.  Superintendent's Memorandums
  Numbers 78 (November 20, 1998), 5 (January 29, 1999), and
  92 (April 30, 1999) have addressed this data collection
  effort.  The Department of Education and the Commission
  on Youth appreciate school divisions' efforts to provide
  detailed information. 

  This superintendent's memorandum focuses on the second
  aspect of the study, a local school division survey of
  needs for expansion of programs and costs of programs. 
  The attached survey focuses on alternative education
  programs operated during the 1998-99 school year.  The
  Commission on Youth will send a survey to court service
  unit directors gathering information about alternative
  education programs available to youths known to the court
  service unit.

  Please complete the attached survey and return by July 9,
  1999, to Kim Echelberger, legislative research analyst,
  Virginia Commission on Youth, Suite 517 B, General
  Assembly Building, 910 Capitol Street, Richmond, VA 
  23219-0406.  Note that Section 2 should be copied and
  completed for each alternative education program the
  school division offers or in which it participates.  The
  school division that serves as fiscal agent for regional
  alternative education programs should complete all of
  Section 2 of the survey.  School divisions participating
  in the regional alternative education program shall
  complete only question 1 of Section 2.

  Questions regarding the survey content should be directed
  to Lissa Power-deFur, Associate Director, Special
  Education and Student Services.  Dr. Power-deFur can be
  reached at (804) 225-2818 or   


  Attachment:  A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
               ment will be sent to the superintendent's