P.O. BOX 2120



August 9, 2002



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001: School Choice Guidelines


This memorandum transmits the guidelines adopted by the Board of Education in July for the provision of public school choice by school divisions with Title I schools identified for improvement under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. A copy of the guidelines is attached, and they are also posted on the departments website. They may be found by selecting the Virginias Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act link on the departments home page, and then selecting the link to Board of Education action. The website is

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires an annual determination of the progress of all schools, divisions, and the state toward attaining specific academic proficiency targets called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). If a Title I school does not achieve AYP targets for two consecutive years, it is identified for school improvement. Under the transition from the Improving Americas Schools Act of 1994 to the NCLB Act, schools have also been identified for improvement if they receive Title I funds and have been Accredited with Warning in English and/or mathematics for two consecutive years, based on Standards of Learning tests for 2000 and 2001.


School divisions with schools identified for improvement must provide all students with the option of transferring to another division school that is not designated as in need of improvement, beginning with the first school year after identification (this September for the identified Virginia Title I schools). If a Title I school remains designated as in need of improvement the second year following identification, the school division must provide supplemental education services to eligible children as defined in the law, using providers from a list approved by the Board of Education according to its established criteria. (The board approved the criteria at its July meeting.)


The boards guidelines indicate that the school division determines the school choice plan, that transportation costs must be paid for the student until the transferring school is no longer identified for improvement, and that parental notification and involvement is required. If a school division is unable to offer a transfer option to all of its students, it must demonstrate that it has followed the boards guidelines for best effort and that alternatives are being provided.


If you have questions, please contact either George Irby, director of compensatory programs, at or at 225-2869, or Cynthia Cave, director of policy, at or at 371-0558.









C: Anne D. Wescott