Superintendent's Memo #086-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 3, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Project Graduation Summer Academies

As part of the state’s Project Graduation initiative, I am pleased to announce a remediation grant opportunity to assist students who need to earn verified credits to complete their diploma requirements. Grant proposals will be accepted from individual school divisions and from partnerships of school divisions within a Superintendents’ Regional Study Group.

The Virginia Department of Education will fund Project Graduation Summer Academies to assist seniors (class of 2009) who did not graduate with their class due to insufficient verified credits, rising high school seniors (class of 2010), rising juniors (class of 2011), and rising sophomores (class of 2012), who have passed the course but still need to pass the associated Standards of Learning assessment in order to earn a verified credit to complete their diploma requirements.

Special consideration should be given to students in subgroups whose graduation rate falls below that of the subgroup with the highest graduation rate in the school or school division. School divisions and regions should review their graduation data to justify a focus on particular subgroups.

Proposals can include remedial instruction for students in English reading and writing; mathematics; science; history and social science. To provide additional assistance to students with disabilities who are pursuing Modified Standard Diplomas, Summer Academy proposals that include remediation for students who need to meet the literacy and numeracy requirements of that diploma will be considered as well. Please note that students who complete a Modified Standard Diploma can continue their enrollment in school, as the Modified Standard Diploma is not a terminal diploma.

Each Superintendents’ Regional Study Group may apply to receive a Project Graduation Summer Academy Grant for the summer of 2009. The standard model is for one school division to act as the fiscal agent for each grant; however, several sites within the region may serve students. In addition, more than one grant application from a region will be accepted. Individual school divisions are eligible to apply, although each division may participate in only one grant application per region.

The final grant awards will be based upon approval of the proposal, including all required forms and signatures, and meeting the submission deadlines. The funds will be disbursed on a cost reimbursement basis. Additional information including grant requirements and timelines can be found in Attachment A.

The academy must focus on student instruction that is based on data derived from diagnostic instruments and previous assessment results for each student. Data from previous academies should be used to identify effective strategies and practices.

Assessment records for participating students must be properly identified as Project Graduation participants. Specific details of how to code assessment records will be provided to project coordinators and division directors of testing.

If you have questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact Tracy Fair Robertson, English coordinator, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 371-7585.

PIW / TFR / yba

a. Project Graduation Summer Academy Grant Application for 2009 (Word)