Superintendent’s Memo #281-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 7, 2011

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  2012 Governor’s Summer Residential Program

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce that the 2012 Governor’s Summer Residential Program will include seven Summer Residential Governor’s Schools (SRGS) and five Governor’s Foreign Language Academies (GFLA).  The SRGS offer gifted high school students opportunities for intensive study in academics, mentorships, and visual and performing arts.  The GFLA offer full-immersion academies for French, German, and Spanish; a partial-immersion academy for Japanese; and a Latin Academy.  The SRGS and GFLA are available to students enrolled in public and accredited private schools as well as home-schooled students.  The attachment to this memorandum provides a list of important dates associated with the application process for these programs.  The availability of these programs is contingent upon the provision of state funds by the 2012 General Assembly.

Student Applications
Applications, information, and administrative guides for the 2012 SRGS and GFLA are available electronically through the Virginia Department of Education’s Web site.  SRGS information is available at, and GFLA information can be found at The GFLA Web page also includes links to information about the Virginia STARTALK Arabic, Chinese, and Russian Academies.  The availability of the STARTALK academies is subject to annual grant funding to Virginia Commonwealth University.

Students may attend only one Governor’s Summer Residential Program during their high school career.  Public high school students may apply through their schools.  Home-schooled students may apply by submitting a completed application to the principal of the public high school they are zoned to attend.  The student’s application then becomes part of that school’s application process.  Private school students may apply through their schools.  Virginia residents who attend private schools outside the Commonwealth should contact the appropriate specialist below.  For eligibility and nomination requirements specific to each program, as well as detailed application submission procedures, please refer to the administrative guides available from the respective Web sites mentioned above.

Application Process
Every school division is guaranteed representation in the SRGS academic programs, which include agriculture; humanities; and mathematics, science, and technology.  Admission to the visual and performing arts, life sciences and medicine, and mentorship programs is competitive; students are selected based on the strength of their applications, their ranking in the school division or private school region, and the needs of the programs.

Acceptance in the GFLA is competitive.  A statewide selection committee reviews student applications, including submissions of unedited samples of oral and written work for full-immersion academies.  Schools must order the required testing materials by December 15, 2011, which include speaking and composition topics for French, German, and Spanish Academy nominees, and a grammar test and essay topic for Latin Academy nominees.  Order forms are available at the GFLA Web address listed above.  There are no testing materials for nominees to the Japanese Academy, as this program accepts beginners.

Gifted education coordinators and foreign language personnel should review the administrative guides carefully for detailed information about the application process. Student/parent guides have also been developed for students considering the academics and mentorship programs, the visual and performing arts program, or the foreign language programs.

Per Student Tuition Costs
The cost of the Governor’s Summer Residential Programs is shared by the state and the nominating school division or private school.  A division’s share for each student is based on the division’s current (2010-2012) composite index, not to exceed 50 percent of the program tuition.  Public school divisions may not assess tuition for participation in these programs for students enrolled in a public school.  Costs for private school students are the private school’s responsibility and are set at 50 percent of the tuition cost.  The 2012 tuitions reflect the individual per student tuition costs and are listed below.



Foreign Language Academies




Mathematics, Science, and Technology


Life Sciences and Medicine


Mentorships in Engineering and Marine Science


Visual and Performing Arts


Verification Reports
School divisions and private schools must guarantee funding for all nominees.  The verification report form, signed by school division superintendents, and the Head of School Tuition Certification form, signed by the head of each nominating private high school, indicate their assurance that funding for tuition will be provided for all students they nominate.  Please refer to the respective administrative guides for further details.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Governor’s Summer Residential Program.  For information about the Governor’s Foreign Language Academies, please contact Ms. Lisa Harris, foreign language specialist, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3666.  For information about the Summer Residential Governor’s Schools, please contact Dr. Donna Poland, specialist for Governor’s Schools and Gifted Education, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2884.



  1. Important Dates Associated with 2012 Governor’s Summer Residential Programs (PDF)