Laboratory Schools

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News & Announcements


On June 10, 2024, the College Partnership Laboratory Schools Standing Committee accepted the following college partnership laboratory school applications for first and final review: 

The Standing Committee also directed the VDOE to post the lab school application for public comment and send the applications to be considered by the Board of Education at its next meeting.  

In order to provide appropriate input from parents, teachers, and other interested parties and to obtain information to assist in its evaluation of the lab school application, the Board of Education is seeking public comment on each application through the following forms:  

Public comments for these applications will be accepted through June 20, 2024.  

For Frequently Asked Questions about the Virginia College Partnership Laboratory Schools, visit the Laboratory Schools Frequently Asked Questions page.


elementary student coding a design for a robot 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

Planning Grant Application

The Planning Grant submission window has closed. Completed applications for grant funding must submitted by December 31, 2023 to labschools@doe.virginia.gov.

Laboratory School Application

Section 22.1-349.5 of the Code of Virginia enumerates the minimum elements required to complete a Lab School application. Consistent with these statutory requirements, the Board has established procedures for receiving, reviewing, and ruling upon applications for Lab Schools.

Application Documents:

Completed applications for the approval of a new lab school must be submitted to labschools@doe.virginia.gov.

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.

Planning Grant and Lab School Applications & Awards Interactive Map

EISTC Map Project

Planning Grant Applications

 Laboratory School Applications

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 one-time 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.

Questions about initial start-up cost and per-pupil operating grants should be submitted to labschools@doe.virginia.gov.

Eligible Entities

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 is the list of eligible entities based on the statutory definition provided.

Public

Private, Tag Eligible Entities

Virginia Community College System

Higher Education Centers And Institutes