CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Students in Charlottesville City Schools will have a better shot at reading skills and comprehension, thanks to two grants from the state. The grants total around $146,000.

They will help keep extended literacy programs going. One of the programs targets students who need extra help with reading.

“We’re really excited this year because were focusing our efforts on K–12 students which will give us the opportunity to give the best shot at getting the students back on grade level. It also allows them to build up motivation and confidence,” said Jenifer Davis, lead literacy coordinator for Charlottesville City Schools.

Davis plans to get community feedback on spending.


RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam has awarded more than $7.7 million in state grants to support the development and implementation of year-round and extended-year instructional programs in 57 schools in 11 school divisions.

“Extended school year programs offer more engagement, more quality instruction, and more opportunities to succeed for students who require additional or individualized attention to meet the Commonwealth’s expectations for student performance,” said Governor Northam. “I congratulate all of these schools and divisions for their willingness to adopt alternative calendars as we work together to narrow and close achievement gaps and create equitable educational outcomes for all Virginia students.”

The Extended School Year Grant Program was created by the 2013 General Assembly in response to a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study that found that achievement of historically underperforming students improved faster in extended-year programs than in schools following traditional calendars. 

“Research suggests that extended-year and year-round schooling can help prevent students from forgetting important skills and information over the summer,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “There is evidence that disadvantaged students tend to lose more content knowledge than their peers over long breaks. Since the Commonwealth’s students come from a variety of different backgrounds and home lives, these grants will provide greater stability for students who need it most.”

The 2019 Appropriation Act requires that in awarding the planning grants, priority be given to schools based on need as identified through state accreditation ratings and performance on school quality indicators.

“Equity means providing the supports and services students need to be successful when they need them,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “This can include providing the additional instructional time and support services that are possible with an extended-year or year-round schedule. The first step is to engage families and school communities to build consensus about the potential benefits of adopting a non-traditional calendar.” 

The following start-up and implementation grants were awarded to support new and existing year-round or extended-year programs in the following divisions and schools:

  • Carroll County — $295,000 for existing programs at Carroll County High, Carroll County Middle, Fancy Gap Elementary, Gladesboro Elementary, Gladeville Elementary, Hillsville Elementary, Laurel Elementary, Oakland Elementary, Regional Alternative Education Center, and St. Paul School
  • Charlottesville — $96,709 for existing programs at Burnley-Moran Elementary, Clark Elementary, Greenbrier Elementary, Jackson-Via Elementary, Johnson Elementary, and Venable Elementary
  • Chesterfield County — $473,600 for programs at Bellwood Elementary and Falling Creek Elementary
  • Hampton — $818,656 for existing programs at Bethel High, Hampton High, and Phoebus High
  • Hopewell — $1.5 million for programs at Carter G. Woodson Middle, Dupont Elementary, Harry E. James Elementary, Hopewell High, and Patrick Copeland Elementary
  • Newport News — $2.01 million for existing programs at Carver Elementary, Ethel M. Gildersleeve Middle, George J. McIntosh Elementary, Hidenwood Elementary, Horace H. Epes Elementary, L. F. Palmer Elementary, Lee Hall Elementary, Newsome Park Elementary, Sedgefield Elementary, and Willis A. Jenkins Elementary
  • Petersburg — $2.04 million for existing programs at Cool Spring Elementary, Lakemont Elementary, Petersburg High, Pleasants Lane Elementary, Walnut Hill Elementary, and Vernon Johns Middle
  • Winchester — $280,993 for existing programs at Daniel Morgan Middle and John Handley High

Planning grants were awarded to support the development of new year-round or extended-year programs in the following divisions and schools:

  • Charlottesville — $50,000 for new programs at Clark Elementary and Jackson-Via Elementary
  • Grayson County — $48,038 for new programs at Fairview Elementary, Fries Elementary, Grayson County High, Grayson Highlands School, Independence Elementary, and Independence Middle
  • Salem — $50,000 for new programs at Andrew Lewis Middle, East Salem Elementary, G.W. Carver Elementary, South Salem Elementary, and West Salem Elementary
  • Waynesboro — $100,000 for new programs at Kate Collins Middle and Waynesboro High

The 2019 Appropriation Act authorized $7,150,000 in start-up and implementation grants of up to $300,000 extended school year or year-round school — with certain schools rated as Accredited with Conditions eligible for up to $400,000 — for each year of the biennium.

The 2019 General Assembly also approved $613,312 for planning grants of up to $50,000 per school division or individual school for each year.