Superintendent’s Memo #091-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 15, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Web-based Data Collection and Application Requirements for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017)

The Virginia Preschool Initiative provides programs for at-risk four-year-old children that include quality preschool education, health services, social services, parental involvement, and transportation.  Programs must provide services for the entire school year and must operate on a half-day or full-day schedule.  Programs operating half-day will receive state funds prorated at 50 percent.  For a new program in the first year of implementation only, a program operating less than a full school year will receive state funds on a fractional basis determined by the pro rata portion of the school year the program is provided.

The program guidelines are available at the following Web site:

Current VPI Application and Data Submission

School divisions must submit using the VPI application accessed through the Department of Education’s Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS) portal.  Access to the VPI application in the SSWS portal should be requested through the school division’s SSWS account manager.  Instructions are available in Attachment A.  School divisions that are eligible and choose to participate will also submit budget and program summary information.

All school divisions, regardless of participation, are required to submit the data in the VPI application in SSWS and the division superintendent must certify electronically in the VPI application in SSWS that the data are correct by May 15, 2016.  Please contact your local finance office to determine eligibility status.  You can also reference Superintendent’s Memorandum No. 054-16, dated March 16, 2016. The Superintendent’s Memorandum can be accessed at the following link:


It is anticipated that fiscal year 2017 state funds for the program will be distributed based on an allocation formula providing the state share based on each division’s composite index capped at 0.5000 of $6,125 per child for 100 percent of the estimated unserved at-risk four-year-olds in each locality as projected by the Department of Education. The projected local distribution of state funds for each locality for school year 2016-2017 is included in the “Budget Calculator” section of the VPI application in SSWS.  This section provides the estimated formula-driven entitlement available to each locality.  If the locality chooses to serve fewer children than the total number allocated by formula, insert the local projected number of children to be served in the calculator in the “Local Projection” fields.  The projected state and local shares of cost will automatically be recomputed for your information. 

In the event the 2016-2017 funding allocations change from those shown in the application due to final state budget actions affecting fiscal year 2017, updated information will be provided to you when it becomes available.

The cost for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) materials and access to the PALS Online Score Entry and Reporting System is an allowable expense in the local VPI budget. The PALS office Web site can be found at: http://pals.virginia.eduThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

The Department of Education is also providing notice in this program application regarding the potential availability of fiscal year 2017 funding for supplemental grants that may be used for one-time expenses, other than capital, related to start-up or expansion of the VPI program.  All requirements of the VPI program must be met.  Further information regarding the exact amount of funds available and the application requirements will be provided after the Fall Verification Report is submitted that determines the actual amount of state funds used in fiscal year 2017.

Future Application and Data Submission

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the Department of Education will fund VPI programs based on VPI preschool data collected on the Fall Student Record Collection. During the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, school divisions will be required to reconcile the data submitted in the Fall Virginia Preschool Initiative application in SSWS and the Fall Student Record Collection application in SSWS.  Reports and edit checks will be available in both applications to assist with this new process in data verification. All other VPI data will still be collected in the VPI application in SSWS.

If you have program questions, please contact Cheryl Strobel, associate director, early childhood education, at (804) 371-7578 or  Budget questions should be directed to the budget office at (804) 225-2025 or



  1. Instructions for Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Data Collection and Application Requirements for 2016-2017 (PDF)