RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced $62.7 million in Virginia LEARNS Education Recovery grants to help school divisions expand and implement targeted initiatives that would address learning loss among students in Virginia as they continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

“Over the past year, we have worked tirelessly to minimize educational disruptions and meet the social, emotional and academic needs of our children, and we must accelerate these efforts to have an equitable recovery. This funding will enable school divisions to offer extended learning opportunities for those who have fallen behind and create targeted programs to address the impacts of lost instructional time during the pandemic. Our Administration remains committed to providing the necessary resources to our schools to ensure every Virginia student is equipped for success as we move forward.”

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA)

The funding includes $30 million in Virginia LEARNS grants to address unfinished learning due to school closures, including the following reopening and recovery priorities identified by the Virginia Department of Education’s Virginia LEARNS workgroup, Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane:

  • Increased in-person instruction and small-group learning;
  • Targeted remediation, extended instruction, and enrichment;
  • Strategic virtual learning, technology, and staff training;
  • Social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health supports for students and staff;
  • Alternate learning opportunities; and
  • Student-progress monitoring and assessment.

The remaining $32.7 million in funds will be awarded to school divisions to cover costs associated with planning and implementing year-round or extended-year calendars.

In its report last month, the Virginia LEARNS workgroup recommended that school divisions consider extended learning opportunities and alternate schedules as strategies to mitigate the effects of learning loss.

School divisions may apply for one or both Virginia LEARNS grant opportunities through the Virginia Department of Education.

The deadline for divisions to apply is May 28.