P.O. BOX 2120




December 20, 2002




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Announcement of Award Opportunity for Comprehensive School Reform Grant, Public Law 107-110



The Department of Education is pleased to announce a fourth round of competitive grants under the U.S. Education Departments Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) program. The purpose of the grant initiative is to provide financial incentives for whole-school reform, specifically in schools that are not succeeding in effectively teaching all children. The program offers an opportunity for schools to implement reforms based on scientifically-based research and effective practices. These grants are intended to stimulate a coordinated effort by a school to increase student performance.


Eligible Applicants. Up to 14 grants will be awarded for 2003-04. Eligible are Title I School Improvement schools (elementary, middle, high) that have received an Accredited with Warning rating in English, mathematics, or both, for 2002-03 and that have not previously received a CSR grant. Also, eligible are Title I schools (elementary only) that have received a Provisionally Accredited/Needs Improvement rating because of pass rates lower than the benchmarks in English, mathematics, or both, for 2002-03 and that have not previously received a CSR grant.




Conditions for Awarding CSR Grants. The following conditions have been established for awarding CSR grants to individual schools.


(1)         Successful applicants will receive an award of $75,000, renewable for two additional years, provided federal funds are available.


(2)         Successful applicants will sign a Memorandum of Agreement that will require schools to undergo a student achievement evaluation review before being approved for second- and third-year funding.


(3)         The school division and school must consent to receive the services of a CSR technical assistance provider to aid with program implementation in each school. It is anticipated that the CSR technical assistance provider will visit the school once each week. It will be the responsibility of the school to build travel costs for the technical assistance provider into the CSR operational budget. The CSR award has been increased to accommodate anticipated costs associated with the use of a technical assistance provider. The Department of Education will be responsible for selecting the individuals, providing training, and entering into a contractual agreement for their services.


(4)         Schools receiving grants must commit to sending a central office representative, the principal, and other school representatives to CSR workshops and institutes sponsored by the department throughout the grant periods. The first such institute will be held in Roanoke, July 23-25, 2003, with follow-up workshops in November 2003 and March 2004.


National School Reform Models. The U.S. Department of Education has identified 44 national school improvement models that could provide opportunities for increased student achievement, particularly in high poverty schools. Research on the models can be found on the Internet at


Through its own research, the Department of Education has determined that 26 of the 44 models are aligned with Virginias Standards of Learning. The list of 26 models is available on the departments website at Also on the website is a list of models approved by the Board of Education. The website of the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform (NCCSR) found at on the Internet is another recommended source.


Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshops. A technical assistance workshop has been planned for representatives from interested schools and divisions. It will be held in conference rooms C, D, and E in the James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street, in Richmond on January 30, 2003, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be the responsibility of the participant and will be available on-site.


Schools are encouraged to send the principal, a lead teacher, a central office staff person, and others who will be directly involved with the implementation of the CSR program. These individuals will form the school team. (Title I coordinators have traditionally assumed the responsibility for the CSR school program from the division level.) To help us to anticipate attendance, please complete and return the attached response form by January 17, 2003.


Application Submission and Contact Information. The complete grant application packet will be sent under separate cover to the Title I coordinator in your division in mid-January. It will also be on the Internet on the Departments website at School personnel are encouraged to begin the planning process prior to the technical assistance opportunity.

Applications from individual schools must be received at the Department of Education by 4 p.m., Friday, March 21, 2003. Please contact Bob Bourdeaux (, Diane Jay(, or Brenda Spencer

( at (804) 371-8973 if you have questions.