P. O. BOX 2120
November 22, 2000
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Year-round School Incentive Program
Due Date: December 29, 2000

Chapter 858, 2000 Acts of Assembly (formerly Senate Bill 545, passed by the 2000 General Assembly), added §22.1-98.1 to the Code of Virginia, which established the Extended School Year Incentive Program. Item 143 C. 8. g. of Chapter 1073 (2000-2002 appropriation act) provides $400,000 in state funds to support year-round school programs in fiscal year 2001. The funding covers the stateís share of $5.50 per pupil per intersession day that is provided to students in schools at high risk of educational failure.

Consistent with Chapter 858, 2000 Acts of Assembly, divisions with schools that offer year-round calendars during fiscal year 2001 that provide more than 180 days or 990 hours of instruction, via intersession periods that occur between regular instructional segments, are eligible to participate in this program. Intersession programs must provide intensive or accelerated instruction or remedial programs for students at high risk of educational failure. Summer school programs and intersession programs for gifted/talented students are not eligible for funding under this program. Only schools with existing year-round programs (i.e., those operating year-round programs in fiscal year 2001) are eligible for funding under this program.

For purposes of this program, a year-round calendar is defined as one that operates 12 months per year and provides instruction in several blocks or segments, each followed by a shorter break period. This type of calendar differs from the traditional school calendar, which includes a nine-month instructional block that is usually followed by a three-month summer vacation for students. One example of a year-round program is a school that operates four 45-day instructional periods and four 15-day breaks during a given school year.

Grants will be awarded to eligible schools based on an assessment of factors that indicate the risk of educational failure. The school-level factors identified by the department are:

Each of the risk factors identified above will count as points (maximum of 100 per category) to determine a school's "risk" score. For the purposes of this program, schools with higher scores (closer to 500) will be assumed to be at greater risk of educational failure. Schools that operate with a year-round calendar will be ranked according to their risk scores, which will result in a list of schools eligible for funding in priority order. Attachment A to this memorandum provides detailed information about the Year-round School Incentive Program, including eligibility criteria and application requirements.

School divisions must complete a grant proposal to be considered for funding under this program. To facilitate the collection of grant proposals, a downloadable Excel file was created for your use. The Excel file is located on the departmentís website and can be downloaded from the following address:

All of the required forms for the grant proposal, including the superintendentís certification form, are included in this Excel template. All school divisions that wish to be considered must complete the Excel template and return it to the Department of Education by December 29, 2000. Specific instructions for accessing the Excel file are provided in Attachment B to this memorandum.

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, and a calendar template (as described in Attachment B) for each school that is to be considered for funding under this program to: Virginia Department of Education, Attention: Budget Office, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120. Both submissions (Excel file and hard copy submission) are due no later than December 29, 2000. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

After all grants are submitted to the department, the information will be analyzed and the funding distribution will be calculated. As stated previously, this funding distribution will be based on the prioritization of eligible schools based on educational risk factors. The final funding distribution will depend on the number of students participating in the intersession periods in each school funded and the school divisionís composite index.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility criteria, the data collection, or the grant process, please contact the budget office at (804) 225-2025.