P.O. BOX 2120



April 11, 2008



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Early Intervention Reading Initiative Application Process for the 2008-2009 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 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. 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 request use of a diagnostic screening instrument other than PALS, it must submit the documentation outlined in Attachment A to the Virginia Department of Education by Friday, May 30, 2008.


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 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 B is a chart outlining the PALS screening process for the school year 2008-2009. 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 website.


Attachment D is the superintendent's 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 superintendent's certification form must be completed by Friday, May 30, 2008.

Please note that Attachment D is not a certification of fiscal year 2009 required local matching funds for the Early Intervention Reading Initiative. 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 2009; 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 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 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 2007 for kindergarten and in the spring 2008 for first through 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, elementary specialist for reading and English, at or (804) 786-1997.






a. Proposal Requirements to Use Local Diagnostic Screening Instrument (PDF)

b. Chart Outlining PALS Screening Process for 2008-2009 (PDF)

c. Teacher Guidelines for Entering PALS Data (PDF)

d. Superintendent's Certification Form for 2008-2009 (PDF)