September 2, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence Application Release for Technical Assistance Grant

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) would like to extend an invitation to school divisions to apply for a technical assistance grant for improving autism services. On September 1, 2016, The Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) released its request for applications from Virginia school divisions. The application is for school divisions requesting division-wide technical assistance in developing exemplary services to support students with autism spectrum disorder.

School divisions that have not yet received this grant are eligible to apply for the third cohort. The VCU-ACE will select grant recipients through a competitive review process. The review committee will select between five to eight divisions to receive three years of technical assistance and support beginning in March of 2017. Successful applications will demonstrate a clearly defined strategy for long-term systemic changes across the entire school division.

Recipients of this grant will receive approximately 40 to 50 hours per month of technical assistance from VCU-ACE technical assistance associates. The VCU-ACE model provides supports at the classroom level (bottom-up) and at the division leader level (top-down) and is intended to build capacity though the development of a division specific autism services improvement plan.

Applications must be submitted by December 16, 2016.

Additional details and application requirements can be found in the attached Request for Applications from Virginia School DivisionsThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website. If you have additional questions regarding the application, please contact Daniel Irwin, autism specialist, at; telephone (804) 371-7421.



  1. Request for Applications from Virginia School Divisions (PDF)