P. O. BOX 2120
September 29, 2000

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction Program
Report and Certification for Fiscal Year 2001
Due Date: October 27, 2000


Item 143 C. 10. c. through f. of Chapter 1073, 2000 Acts of Assembly (2000-2002 appropriation act), contains several provisions regarding participation in the optional K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program. These provisions include the following:

  1. By November 1 of each year, school divisions must provide data to the Department of Education that each school receiving funds through the K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program has a pupil-to-teacher ratio in kindergarten through grade three as of September 30 that meets the criteria as shown in Attachment A.
  2. School divisions may elect to have eligible schools participate at a higher pupil-to-teacher ratio, with a commensurate reduction of state and required local funds, if local conditions do not permit participation at the established ratio.
  3. The Superintendent of Public Instruction may grant waivers to school divisions for the maximum class size requirement in schools that have only one class in an affected grade level in a primary school.
  4. School divisions are required to provide a local match for the state funds based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay.
To facilitate the collection of data for fiscal year 2001 related to the pupil-to-teacher ratio and the maximum class size requirements indicated in provision number one on the previous page, a downloadable Excel file is available for your use. This Excel file contains a data collection template, instructions for entering data into the template, and a certification form that must be signed by the division superintendent.

The information requested in this file must be completed by all school divisions with schools participating in the K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program in fiscal year 2001 and returned to the Department of Education by October 27, 2000. Samples of the three parts of the Excel file are enclosed with this memo as Attachments B, C, and D.

The Excel file used to submit the required data is located on the departmentís website and can be downloaded from the following address:

To download the Excel file, you may enter the complete Web address as printed above (to go directly to the file location) or log onto the department's website at From thisinitial home page, select the drop-down box titled "DOE Offices," click on "Finance," click on "Budget Office," click on "Current Data Collections," and click on "K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction Program FY 2001."

You must use Microsoft Excel version 97 or later to use all of the features contained in the spreadsheets. If you do not have Excel 97 or later, please contact the budget office staff at (804) 225-2025 for assistance. Please follow the steps below to access the file from the website:

  1. After you click on the file name on the website, you will be prompted to open the file or save it to a drive. You may choose either option.
  2. A box will appear warning you that the file contains macros. The box will prompt you to disable the macros or to enable the macros. Note: in order for the template to operate correctly, you must click on the "ENABLE MACROS" button.
The Excel file consists of three spreadsheets. The first spreadsheet contains instructions for entering data into the data collection template. Please review the "Instructions" worksheet carefully, as it provides guidance for entering required data into the data collection template.

The second spreadsheet, labeled "K-3 Data Collection Template," contains the actual template where data on the number of K-3 teachers and the maximum individual class size will be entered for schools participating in the K-3 program in fiscal year 2001. Schools projected to participate in fiscal year 2001 are pre-coded in this spreadsheet; the spreadsheet will also allow divisions to enter additional eligible K-3 schools for participation in fiscal year 2001 that are not pre-coded on the spreadsheet. The third spreadsheet, labeled "Supts. Certification Form," contains the certification form that must be signed by the division superintendent and returned to the department in hard copy.

Please submit the completed Excel file to the department via e-mail at ( Please return a hard copy of the certification form, signed by the division superintendent, to: Virginia Department of Education, Attention: Budget Office, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120. Both submissions (Excel file and signed certification form) are due no later than October 27, 2000. The department is required to provide a report of this information to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations, House Education, Senate Finance, and Senate Education and Health Committees by December 1, 2000.

After your data is submitted to the department, the actual schoolwide pupil-to-teacher ratios for participating schools will be calculated based on September 30, 2000, fall membership. The data will be analyzed to ensure that participating schools comply. Schools not meeting these requirements based on the data submitted and data from the 2000 fall membership will have their funding adjusted to the appropriate pupil-to-teacher ratio tier.

For 2000 fall membership, enrollment is being collected separately for the ten localities comprising the five jointly-operated school divisions statewide. Compliance with the required schoolwide pupil-to-teacher ratios and maximum individual class sizes will be determined with the school enrollment and teacher data aggregated for the two localities. However, payment of entitlements will be made to each locality separately based on each localityís portion of students reported in fall membership for each participating school. The relevant composite index for each locality also will be applied.

After all data are analyzed and necessary funding adjustments are made (to include recalculating entitlements for all schools based on actual 2000 fall membership), a follow-up report will be sent to all school divisions that will provide updated fiscal year 2001 entitlements. School divisions will be asked to review this information and provide final approval for any funding adjustments, additional schools, etc.

Divisions are requested to notify the department regarding any special circumstances that would affect the departmentís list of participating schools, such as school name or grade configuration changes effective for the 2000-2001 school year. After final approval is obtained for all school divisions, state funds for the K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program for fiscal year 2001 will be transmitted on a semi-monthly schedule beginning in January 2001.

If you have any questions regarding this data collection, please contact the budget office at (804) 225-2025.