Superintendent’s Memo #145-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 24, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Save the Date: August 12-13, 2013
                   Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative Summer Institute

The 2013 Appropriation Act provides supplemental grants through the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) to support the new Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative. The Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative was proposed by Governor Robert F. McDonnell and approved by the 2013 General Assembly. To assist school divisions as they transition to tablet computers and digital content, the Department of Education will conduct a summer institute to provide division personnel with information and strategies for successful implementation. This event will be open to all school divisions. Companies will display cutting-edge technologies that include tablet computers, peripheral devices, content, and applications. The two-day institute will be held on August 12-13, 2013, at the Richmond Marriott Hotel and will include sessions on relevant topics such as infrastructure, device management, content, acceptable use and policy issues, professional development, and parent and community engagement. Additional details will be available soon on the Department of Education Web site.

Schools with a 9th grade that administer Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in spring 2013 and are not fully accredited based on school accreditation ratings in effect for FY 2014 will qualify to participate in the Virginia e-Learning Backpack Initiative in FY 2014 and receive: (1) a supplemental grant of $400 per student reported in ninth grade fall membership for the purchase of a tablet computer device for that student and (2) a supplemental grant of $2,400 per qualifying school to purchase two content creation packages for teachers. School divisions may wish to adopt a reimbursement resolution to begin implementing the program during the 2013-14 school year.

If you have questions, please contact Debbie Staughton in the Office of Educational Technology at (804) 225-2047 or via e-mail at