P.O. BOX 2120




June 18, 2004




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Early Intervention Reading Initiative Application Process for the 2004-2005 School Year


The Early Intervention Reading Initiative was established by Chapter 924, 1997 Acts of Assembly, to serve children in kindergarten or first grade. Beginning in fiscal year 2001, the Governor and the General Assembly provided funding to expand the Early Intervention Reading Initiative to include students in kindergarten through the third grade.


The purpose of the initiative is to provide early reading intervention services to students in kindergarten through the third grade who demonstrate deficiencies reflected in their performance on a diagnostic screening tool.


Attachment A is a chart outlining the screening process for the school year 2004-2005. All screening results must be reported to the PALS office at the University of Virginia. Participating divisions are required to use the state-provided diagnostic screening instrument, PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening), or a diagnostic screening instrument approved by the Department of Education.


Funding for the initiative is based on the state's share of the cost of providing two and one-half hours of additional instruction each week for an estimated number of students in each school division on a student-to-teacher ratio of five-to-one. The estimated number of students in each school division shall be based on the actual percentage of students who are determined to need services based on the results of the diagnostic screening administered in the fall of 2003 for kindergarten and in the spring of 2004 for grades 1 through 3 multiplied by each school divisions fall membership in kindergarten through grade 3. Funding shall be based on a percentage of the estimated number of eligible students as follows:


Kindergarten - 100% of eligible students

Grade 1 - 50% of eligible students

Grade 2 - 50% of eligible students

Grade 3 - 25% of eligible students


School divisions that did not participate in 2003-2004 will be funded using free lunch eligibility as a proxy. For these divisions, funding shall be calculated by multiplying the projected number of students in each school divisions fall membership in kindergarten through grade 3 by the estimated percentage of students eligible for the free lunch program in that school division to determine the number of students in need of services. Funding using the free lunch proxy will be adjusted by the same percentages of eligible students as shown above.


In order to determine spring 2004 shipping numbers, division contact persons were asked in January to pre-register online via the PALS website. Attachment B is the superintendents certification form to apply for the incentive funds available under the Early Intervention Reading Initiative in fiscal year 2005.


Fifty percent of the Early Intervention Reading Initiative funds are projected to be disbursed in December 2004, upon receipt of the superintendents certification form. The remaining 50 percent of funds will be released in February 2005 following a report of the number of children identified and served. This information will be supplied to the Department of Education by the PALS office.


The Virginia Department of Education and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education have collaborated with Wireless Generation to make PALS available on a handheld computer software platform, known as mCLASS:PALS. As part of Virginias Reading First implementation, Reading First schools will be using this software.


Questions regarding funding should be addressed to Kent Dickey (, budget director, at (804) 225-2025. Questions regarding the PALS online services should be addressed to Heather Partridge (, PALS co-project manager, at (888) 882-7257. Questions regarding programmatic issues should be addressed to Barbara F. Jones (, specialist for reading and English, at (804) 786-1997.