College Partnership Laboratory Schools
Pursuant to § 22.1-349.1(A) of the Code of Virginia, as amended by Chapter 2 of the 2022 Acts of Assembly, Special Session I, a "College Partnership Laboratory School” (or Lab School) means a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious school in the Commonwealth established by a public institution of higher education, public higher education center, institute, or authority; or an eligible private institution of higher education as defined in § 23.1-628 related to the Tuition Assistance Grant Program. A list of entities meeting this definition is provided at the bottom of the page.
Section 22.1-349.1(B) states that Lab Schools are designed to:
- Stimulate innovative programs in preschool through grade 12;
- Provide opportunities for innovation in instruction and assessment;
- Provide teachers with an avenue for delivering innovative instruction and school scheduling, management and structure;
- Encourage performance-based educational programs;
- Establish high standards for both teachers and administrators;
- Encourage greater collaboration between pre-kindergarten and postsecondary program providers; and
- Develop model programs.
Additional details about enrollment, governance structures, and accountability can be found in § 22.1-349.3 et seq. Lab Schools are subject to all federal and state laws and regulations and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services.
Lab Schools are designated as public schools in Virginia. Like all public schools in the Commonwealth, Lab Schools are subject to the Standards of Learning (§ 22.1-253.13:1), Standards of Accreditation (8VAC20-131), and Standards of Quality (§§ 22.1-253.13:1 et seq.). Additionally, teachers must be licensed by the Board of Education or, in the case of instructors in educator preparation programs, be eligible for a Virginia teaching license.
College Partnership Laboratory School Fund
Section 22.1-349.2 of the Code of Virginia establishes the College Partnership Laboratory Fund (the Fund) for the purposes of establishing or supporting Lab Schools. During its 2022 Special Session, the General Assembly appropriated $100 million into the Fund to be allotted for the following uses:
- $5 million for planning grants to support eligible entities in the design of new college Lab Schools and to assist in drafting and submitting a Lab School application to the Board.
- $20 million for initial start-up grants for approved Lab Schools to make one-time purchases for expenses necessary to launch a Lab School.
- $75 million (or the balance of the fund) for per-pupil operating grants to support ongoing expenses for the operation and maintenance of a Lab School.
Additional information on each grant program and for applying for grants from the Fund can be found in the sections below.
Planning Grant Funds
Eligible entities interested in launching a Lab School may apply for a Planning Grant to support in the design of a new Lab School and to assist in drafting and submitting a Lab School application to the Virginia Board of Education (Board). As established in the Board’s guidelines and criteria - linked below - a Planning Grant is only meant to support the initial short-term costs associated with designing a new Lab School. Types of eligible expenses may include additional staff, consultants, meeting costs, travel, and per diems. Expenditures for furniture or facilities, for example, are not permitted.
The total amount for a start-up grant request is limited to $200,000, with additional funding considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with available funds. The Planning Grant applicant must provide certain financial information, details of deliverables, proof of sustainability, and the capacity to launch of a Lab School in order to be considered for funding. Actual award amounts will be determined based on proposed line-item expenditures, and whether costs are reasonable and necessary.
The Board’s guidelines and criteria establish parameters for how applications will be evaluated and prioritized based on key considerations provided in the guidelines and criteria.
Guidelines and Applications Documents:
- Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Planning Grant Guidelines (Approved by the Board of Education on August 17, 2022)-This is a Word document.
- Instructions for the Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Planning Grant Application-This is a Word document.
- Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Planning Grant Application-This is a Word document.
Completed applications for grant funding must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laboratory School Application
Section 22.1-349.5 of the Code of Virginia enumerates the minimum elements required to compete a Lab School application. Consistent with these statutory requirement, the Board has established procedures for receiving, reviewing, and ruling upon applications for Lab Schools.
- A description of the Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Application Process-This is a Word document.
- Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Application-This is a Word document.
Completed applications for the approval of a new lab school must be submitted to email@example.com.
Board of Education College Partnership Laboratory School Committee
The Board established the College Partnership Laboratory School Committee to assist in reviewing and ruling on applications from eligible entities to open a Lab School. More information on the Committee, including membership, meeting dates, and agendas can be found here.
Initial Start-Up Costs and Per-Pupil Operating Grant Funds
Board-approved Lab Schools are eligible to apply for initial start-up cost and per-pupil operating grants.
- Initial start-up grants should be used for onetime costs necessary for the successful launch of a Lab School, such as staff recruitment, technology, reasonable renovations for classroom space, materials for innovative student programming, etc. Approved Lab Schools are eligible to receive up to $1 million in initial start-up cost funding, with additional funding considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with available funds. Actual award amounts will be determined based on proposed line-item expenditures, and whether costs are reasonable and necessary.
- Per-pupil operating funding grants should be used to mitigate the recurring costs associated with school operation and maintenance. Types of common allowable expenditures include salaries and benefits of instructional and support staff, leased facilities used for Lab School instruction, materials and supplies, etc. The total amount for a per-pupil operating funding grant request amount is limited to the total state and local share of funding for the fiscal year based on those Standards of Quality (SOQ), Categorical, Incentive and Lottery line-items distributed on a per-pupil cost basis using March 31 average daily membership. The total state and local share of funding per-pupil cost amount will be calculated by VDOE using the average statewide per-pupil cost for the noted budget line-items and the awardee’s proposed estimated number of students to be enrolled in the Lab School.
- Neither initial start-up cost nor per-pupil operating grants may be used for major capital expenditures for land acquisition, new construction, building-wide renovations, or IT system development.
Draft Guidelines Documents:
- DRAFT Guidelines and Criteria for the Award and Distribution of Lab School Start-up and Per-Pupil Funding Grants (Board of Education August 17, 2022, Agenda Item I)-This is a Word document.- Note: The Guidelines are pending Board approval.
Questions about initial start-up cost and per-pupil operating grants should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any public institution of higher education, public higher education center, institute, or authority; or an eligible private institution of higher education as defined in § 23.1-628 related to the Tuition Assistance Grant Program is eligible to submit an application for a Lab School to the Board of Education for approval. These same entities are also eligible to apply for grant moneys from the Fund. Below are list of eligible entities based on the statutory definition provided.
- Christopher Newport University
- George Mason University
- James Madison University
- Longwood University
- Norfolk State University
- Old Dominion University
- Radford University
- University of Mary Washington
- University of Virginia
- University of Virginia's College at Wise
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Virginia Military Institute
- Virginia State University
- Virginia Tech
- William & Mary
- Richard Bland College
Private, Tag Eligible Entities
- Appalachian College of Pharmacy
- Averett University
- Bluefield College
- Bridgewater College
- Christendom College
- Eastern Mennonite University
- Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Emory & Henry College
- Ferrum College
- George Washington University (VA campus only)
- Hampden-Sydney College
- Hampton University
- Hollins University
- Liberty University
- Mary Baldwin University
- Marymount University
- Randolph College
- Randolph-Macon College
- Regent University
- Roanoke College
- Shenandoah University
- Southern Virginia University
- Sweet Briar College
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Richmond
- Virginia Union University
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington & Lee University
Virginia Community College System
- Blue Ridge Community College
- Central Virginia Community College
- Mountain Gateway Community College
- Danville Community College
- Eastern Shore Community College
- Germanna Community College
- J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
- Brightpoint Community College
- Laurel Ridge Community College
- Mountain Empire Community College
- New River Community College
- Northern Virginia Community College
- Patrick & Henry Community College
- Paul D Camp Community College
- Piedmont Virginia Community College
- Rappahannock Community College
- Southside Virginia Community College
- Southwest Virginia Community College
- Tidewater Community College
- Virginia Highlands Community College
- Virginia Peninsula Community College
- Virginia Western Community College
- Wytheville Community College
Higher Education Centers And Institutes
- Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
- Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
- Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station
- Jefferson Science Associates
- Virginia Cooperative Extension
- New College Institute
- Virginia Institute of Marine Science
- Roanoke Higher Education Center
- VSU Agricultural Research Station