Community — 07 October 2009

Mount Vernon, Patrick Henry and William Ramsay elementary schools and all five of the citys public middle schools will participate in the U.S. Department of Education Supplemental Educational Services Pilot during the current school year. As a result, students of families meeting specific income eligibility guidelines can receive free tutoring instead of opting to unregister from a school going under improvement initiatives, as allowed by the No Child Left Behind Act.

SES affords each eligible student an opportunity to get additional academic help at a time that works best for the family, said ACPS Title I Director John Grymes. Participating in the SES pilot is great for the Alexandria City Public Schools because more families have signed up for SES than public school choice over the past three years.

The Alexandria schools in the program qualify because their status is considered Title I Improvement after failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress two years in a row under the No Child Left Behind Act.

In late September, the Department of Education notified Virginia Superintendent Patricia Wright that eight school systems would be allowed to take part in the pilot, including ACPS.

Parents can choose the appropriate services for their children from a list of state-approved providers, according to ACPS, and the tutoring must take place outside of regular school hours. The Title I Program pays the cost of tutoring to the service providers. Each eligible family will receive an SES application by Friday with detailed information on how to apply for services.

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