SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 38
February 28, 1997
|FROM:||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Home-Instructed Students and the Virginia State Assessment Program (VSAP)|
This memo addresses the responsibility of local school divisions in administering the tests included in the Virginia State Assessment Program (VSAP) to home-instructed students. The VSAP consists of the Stanford Achievement Test, Form TA, Abbreviated (Stanford 9 TA), administered to all students in Virginia in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. Parents of home-instructed students, in conjunction with the division superintendent, determine the method by which student progress will be measured. The section of the Code, Section 22.1-254.1 C, addresses assessment and states: The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on a battery of achievement tests which have been approved by the Board of Education for use in the public schools, or (ii) an evaluation or assessment which, in the judgment of the division superintendent, indicates that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress. In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is not provided by the parent, the home-instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the division superintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education for their child in compliance with subsection A of this section and a remediation plan for the probationary year which indicates their program is designed to address any educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the division superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall make other arrangements for the education of the child which comply with 22.1-254. The requirements of subsection C (i) shall not apply to children who are under the age of six as of September 30 of the school year. As in previous years, the Department of Education will continue to pay the cost of test materials and scoring for home-instructed students. School divisions should extend the VSAP testing program to home-instructed students in all state-mandated grade levels. Further, should a school division administer the Stanford 9 to students in grade levels other than those mandated by the state (typically referred to as "off-grade" testing), home-instructed students should be offered the option to participate in testing at these grade levels also. School divisions are under no obligation to offer testing to home-instructed students in grade levels in which no such testing is offered to regular students in the school division. However, should a school division desire to offer participation in off-grade testing, even at grade levels not tested within the school divisions, the state will continue to pay the costs of test materials and scoring, as has been the practice in the past. The following table offers an example of how this would work in a school division where the VSAP program is administered at grades 3, 5, 8, and 11 as part of the state mandated program and the school division augments the program with testing in grades 4 and 9. Testing for home- State pays costs instructed of materials and Students scoring for home- instructed Students VSAP state- Yes Yes mandated testing in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11 Local "off grade" Yes Yes testing at grades 4 and 9 Other grade Local option Yes levels, not tested locally A copy of the full code related to home-instructed students is attached for your reference. Should you have any questions regarding the assessment of home-instructed students in the VSAP program, please do not hesitate to call Cam Harris, Shelley Loving-Ryder, Dan Keeling, Kevin Hughes, or Judy Singh at 804/225-2107. RTL/mwc Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office.