P.O. BOX 2120



April 27, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Early Intervention Reading Initiative Application Process for the 2007-2008 School Year


The Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) 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. Participating divisions are required to use the state-provided diagnostic screening instrument, Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), or a diagnostic screening instrument approved by the Department of Education. Attachment A outlines the required information needed for a proposal in order to use a local diagnostic screening instrument. If a school division wishes to use a diagnostic screening instrument other than PALS, it must submit the documentation outlined in Attachment A to the Virginia Department of Education by Friday, June 1, 2007.


Divisions using PALS as the assessment for EIRI will use the complete battery of PALS-K or PALS 1-3 components as provided free of charge by the state. Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, schools and divisions will no longer be permitted to substitute alternative passages for the PALS 1-3 Oral Reading in Context task. Attachment B is a chart outlining the PALS screening process for the school year 2007-2008. All PALS screening results must be reported to the PALS office at the University of Virginia via the PALS website. Please see Attachment C for new guidelines for teachers to use when entering data on the PALS Web site.


Attachment D is the superintendents certification form to certify implementation of the PALS screening instrument or to request approval from the Department of Education for a local diagnostic screening instrument. The superintendents certification form must be completed by Friday, June 1, 2007.


Please note that Attachment D is not a certification of fiscal year 2008 required local matching funds for the Early Reading Intervention program. The Appropriation Act requires the Department of Education to ensure that school divisions have appropriated sufficient local funds to meet required local match for optional School Facilities and Incentive programs in which they have elected to participate. The Appropriation Act requires local school divisions to certify their intent to participate in School Facilities and Incentive programs by October 1 in fiscal year 2008; and requires that the Department of Education ensure that sufficient local funds have been appropriated before releasing state funds for such programs. The certifications will be part of a future memorandum that will verify intent to participate and verify that sufficient local expenditures have been appropriated by the school division to meet local match requirements.


Funding for the initiative is based on the states share of the cost to provide 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 result of the diagnostic screening administered in the fall 2006 for kindergarten and in the spring 2007 for first through third grade. The Governors amended 2006-2008 budget includes $4.1 million in fiscal year 2008 to expand the Early Intervention Reading program to fund 100 percent of eligible students in grades one and two. No formula changes have been proposed for kindergarten or third grade. Funding shall be based on a percentage of the estimated number of eligible students as follows:


Kindergarten - 100 percent of eligible students

Grade 1 - 100 percent of eligible students

Grade 2 - 100 percent of eligible students

Grade 3 - 25 percent of eligible students


If you have questions regarding funding, please contact Brian Logwood, budget director, at or (804) 225-2025. Questions regarding the PALS online services should be addressed to Allison Drake, PALS co-project manager, at or (888) 882-7257. Questions regarding EIRI programmatic issues should be addressed to Ginna Glover, specialist for reading and English, at or (804) 786-1997.