Superintendent's Memo #132-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 6, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Early Intervention Reading Initiative Application Process for the 2011-2012 School Year

The purpose of the Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) 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 literacy 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.

Funding for the EIRI is based on the state’s 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 at 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 assessment administered in fall 2010 for kindergarten and in spring 2011 for first through third grade Funding shall be based on a percentage of the estimated number of eligible students as follows:

Divisions using PALS as the assessment for EIRI must use the complete battery of PALS-K or PALS 1-3 components as provided free of charge by the state.  Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, schools and divisions were no longer permitted to substitute alternative passages for the PALS 1-3 Oral Reading in Context task.

Attachment A is a chart outlining the PALS screening process for the school year 2011-2012 All PALS screening results must be reported to the PALS office at the University of Virginia via the PALS Web site Please see Attachment B for guidelines for teachers to use when entering data on the PALS Web site.

Superintendent’s Memorandum 123-11, dated April 22, 2011, addresses the collection of data relative to compliance with the Standards of Quality and other miscellaneous reporting requirements Within this data collection, school divisions will be required to certify whether they will participate in the EIRI for 2011-2012.  If they are participating, they must indicate that the PALS screening instrument will be used, or a request must be made for approval from the Department of Education for a local diagnostic screening instrument This information is to be provided through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) “SOQ Compliance” application and must be submitted via SSWS to the Department of Education no later than June 3, 2011 School division staff member responsible for EIRI should contact the SSWS contact for their division for further directions on how to provide the data. Attachment C contains a list of division level SSWS contacts.

Please note that the Appropriation Act requires school divisions to certify their intent to participate in 2011-2012 optional Direct Aid to Public Education programs by October 1, 2011, and requires the Department of Education to ensure that sufficient local funds have been appropriated for the required local match before releasing state funds for optional programs.

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 project manager, at or (888) 882-7257 Questions regarding EIRI programmatic issues should be addressed to Thomas Santangelo, elementary English and reading specialist, at or (804) 225-3203.



  1. Chart Outlining PALS Screening Process for 2011-2012 (PDF)
  2. Teacher Guidelines for Entering PALS Data (PDF)
  3. Contact List for SSWS Account Managers (PDF)