P.O. BOX 2120



August 12, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Supplemental Technology Grants


Federal funds have recently become available to help school divisions implement the statewide Standards of Learning assessment system and purchase assistive technologies for the classroom.


The assessment funds can be used to purchase new scientific and graphing calculators, repair non-functioning calculators, or to purchase calculator batteries. They can also be used to purchase personal digital assistant devices (PDAs) for teacher use in gathering assessment information for the PALS program. See for information on the PALS program. Attachment A of this memorandum provides the assessment grant distribution listing based on Title I eligibility. 

See SUPTS. MEMO NO. 112, June 27, 2003, and SUPTS MEMO NO. 128, June 16, 2004 for a listing of calculators that are approved for use on Standards of Learning assessments in 2004-2005.

The funds for assistive technologies can be used to purchase technologies as specified below:

(assistive technology is defined as any item, piece of equipment or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional and academic capabilities of students with disabilities. Assistive technology can be the means for providing instruction that is universally designed for all learners.) The following is a list of categories for assistive technology that might serve to help guide your decision-making process.


Categories of Assistive Technology:

  1. Computers: desktops, laptops, tablets, personal digital assistants (PDA), interactive white boards.
  2. Communication Aids: digital output devices, digital displays, Braille output devices, and computer software for picture symbols, adapted keyboards.
  3. Learning Aids: software products and expanded site licenses, text to speech, word prediction software, video/DVD technology.
  4. Hearing: classroom and personal FM systems, TTY/TDD systems.
  5. Vision: large monitors, Braille printers, CCTV, screen enlargement/highlighting software.


Attachment A of this memorandum provides the assistive technology grant distribution listing based on Title I eligibility.


To afford maximum flexibility and accommodate the time available, the department will provide direct grants to school divisions. Because these are 2003 grant year federal funds, divisions must encumber the funds by September 30, 2005, and seek reimbursement prior to December 1, 2005. Purchases made with local funds between July 1, 2003 and September 30, 2005, are also eligible for grant reimbursement.


The special reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template. This file is available on the Department of Educations website at:


E-mail your completed request to Richard Schley at In addition, please mail a signed copy of the reimbursement form to the following address:


Richard Schley

Office of Instructional Technology

Virginia Department of Education

James Monroe Building 22nd Floor

101 North 14th Street

Richmond, VA 23219




If you have questions about these grants, please contact Richard Schley (, educational technology specialist, at 804-371-6882. If you have questions about the use of calculators, please contact Deborah K. Bliss (, secondary mathematics specialist, at (804) 786-6418. If you have questions about PDAs, please contact Ginna Glover (, reading and English specialist, at (804) 786-1997. If you have questions about eligible assistive technologies, please contact John Eisenberg( disabilities/assistive technology specialist at(804) 225-2711.