COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 192
October 15, 1999

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Transmitting Current Version of the Standards of Quality


The Standards of Quality (SOQ) represent the statutory 
framework that establishes the minimal requirements for 
educational programs in the Virginia public schools.  As 
with any other state laws, the standards are subject to 
being amended during each legislative session.  Attached is 
a copy of the Standards of Quality, 22.1-253.13:1 through 
22.1-253.13:8, as amended by the 1999 General Assembly.  The 
revisions became effective July 1, 1999, unless otherwise 
indicated.  The revisions are shown in italics and 
strikethroughs.

Below is an outline of the amendments to the SOQ.  Please 
note that there are two versions of Standard 3, one 
effective until July 1, 2003, and one effective on July 1, 
2003.  I direct your attention to subsection B of Standard 
3, which requires students who will graduate with a standard 
diploma on or after July 1, 2003, to have earned at least 
two sequential electives.  This requirement affects students 
who will begin the ninth grade in the 2000-01 school year 
and graduate in school year 2003-04.





Amended 22.1-253.13:1. Standard 1. Basic skills, selected 
programs, and instructional personnel.

C. Local school boards shall develop and implement a 
program of instruction for grades K through 12 which 
emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, mathematical 
concepts and computations, technological proficiency, and 
scientific concepts and processes; essential skills and 
concepts of citizenship, including knowledge of history, 
economics, government, foreign languages, international 
cultures, health and physical education, environmental 
issues and geography necessary for responsible 
participation in American society and in the 
international community; fine arts, which may include, 
but need not be limited to, music and art, and practical 
arts; knowledge and skills needed to qualify for further 
education and employment or, in the case of some 
handicapped children, to qualify for appropriate 
training; and development of the ability to apply such 
skills and knowledge in preparation for eventual 
employment and lifelong learning. School boards shall 
strive to employ licensed instructional personnel 
qualified in the relevant subject areas, including 
qualified teachers, licensed through the Board of 
Education's provisional licensure procedures, who have 
professional expertise in the relevant subject areas. (HB 
235 and HB 1975)

Local school boards shall also develop and implement 
programs of prevention, intervention, or remediation for 
students who are educationally at risk including, but not 
limited to, those whose scores are in the bottom national 
quartile on Virginia State Assessment Program Tests, who 
do not pass the literacy tests prescribed by the Board of 
Education, or who fail to achieve a passing score on any 
Standards of Learning assessment in grades three, five, 
and eight. Such programs may include summer school for 
all elementary and middle school grades and for all high 
school academic courses, as defined by regulations 
promulgated by the Board of Education, or other forms of 
remediation. Division superintendents shall require such 
students to take special programs of prevention, 
intervention, or remediation which may include attendance 
in public summer school programs, in accordance with 
subsection E clause (ii) of subsection A of 22.1-254 and 
22.1-254.01. The requirement for remediation may, 
however, be satisfied by the student's attendance in a 
program of prevention, intervention or remediation which 
has been selected by his parent and is either:  (i) 
conducted by an accredited private school or (ii) a 
special program which has been determined to be 
comparable to the required public school remediation 
program by the division superintendent. The costs of such 
private school remediation program or other special 
remediation program shall be borne by the student's 
parent. Students required to attend such summer school 
programs or to participate in another form of remediation 
shall not be charged tuition by the local school 
division. Based on the number of students attending and 
the Commonwealth's share of the per pupil costs, 
additional state funds shall be provided for summer and 
other remediation programs as set forth in the 
appropriation act. (HB 2384 and SB 962)

D. 3. Career education programs infused into the K 
through 12 curricula that promote knowledge of careers 
and all types of employment opportunities including, but 
not limited to, apprenticeships, the military, career 
education schools, and the teaching profession, and 
emphasize the advantages of completing school with 
marketable skills. School boards may include career 
exploration opportunities in the middle school grades. 
(HB 1895)

D. 11. A plan to notify students and their parents of the 
availability of advanced placement classes and the 
International Baccalaureate program, the qualifications 
for enrolling in such classes and program, and the 
availability of financial assistance to low-income and 
needy students to take the advanced placement and 
International Baccalaureate examinations. (HB 2553)



E. Each local school board shall employ with state and 
local basic, special education, gifted, and vocational 
education funds a minimum number of licensed, full-time 
equivalent instructional personnel for each 1,000 students 
in average daily membership (ADM) as set forth 
in the appropriation act. Calculations of kindergarten 
positions shall be based on full-day kindergarten 
programs. Beginning with the March 31 report of average 
daily membership, those school divisions offering half-day 
kindergarten shall adjust their average daily membership 
for kindergarten to reflect eighty-five percent of the 
total kindergarten average daily memberships, as provided 
in the appropriation act. (HB 2141)

G. Licensed instructional personnel shall be assigned by 
each school board in a manner that produces divisionwide 
ratios of students in average daily membership to full-
time equivalent teaching positions, excluding special 
education teachers, principals, assistant principals, 
counselors, and librarians, that are not greater than the 
following ratios: (i) twenty-five twenty-four to one in 
kindergarten with no class being larger than thirty 
twenty-nine students; if the average daily membership in 
any kindergarten class exceeds twenty-five twenty-four 
pupils, a full-time teacher's aide shall be assigned to 
the class; (ii) twenty-four to one in grade one with no 
class being larger than thirty students; (iii) twenty-five 
twenty-four to one in grades two and three with no class 
being larger than thirty students; (iv) twenty-five to one 
in grades four through six with no class being larger than 
thirty-five students; and (v) twenty-four to one in 
English classes in grades six through twelve. (HB 1673)

H. Students enrolled in a public school on a less than 
full-time basis shall be counted in average daily 
membership (ADM) in the relevant school division.  
Students who are either (i) enrolled in a nonpublic school 
or (ii) receiving home instruction pursuant to 22.1- 254.1, 
and who are enrolled in public school on a less  than 
full-time basis in any mathematics, science, English,  
history, social science, vocational education, fine arts, 
or foreign language,or health education or  physical education
course shall be counted in the average  daily membership 
(ADM) in the relevant school division on a  pro rata basis
as provided in the appropriation act. (HB 284)


Amended 22.1-253.13:3. Standard 3. Accreditation, other 
standards and evaluation 

B. The Board's regulations on accrediting schools shall 
include in the minimum staffing requirements, according 
to the type of school and student enrollment, 
requirements for employment of (i) principals in 
elementary schools, one half-time to 299 students, one 
full-time at 300 students; principals in middle schools, 
one full-time, to be employed on a twelve-month basis; 
principals in high schools, one full-time, to be employed 
on a twelve-month basis; (ii) assistant principals in 
elementary schools, one half-time at 600 students, one 
full-time at 900 students; assistant principals in middle 
schools, one full-time for each 600 students; assistant 
principals in high schools, one full-time for each 600 
students; (iii) librarians in elementary schools, one 
part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students; 
librarians in middle schools, one-half time to 299 
students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 
1000 students; librarians in high schools, one half-time 
to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-
time at 1000 students; (iv) guidance counselors in middle 
schools, one period per 80 students, one full-time at 400 
students, one additional period per 80 students or major 
fraction thereof; guidance counselors in high schools, 
one period per 70 students, one full-time at 350 
students, one additional period per 70 students or major 
fraction thereof; (v) clerical personnel in elementary 
schools, part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 
students; clerical personnel in middle schools, one full-
time and one additional full-time for each 600 students 
beyond 200 students and one full-time for the library at 
750 students; clerical personnel in high schools, one 
full-time and one additional full-time for each 600 
students beyond 200 students and one full-time for the 
library at 750 students; and (vi) reading specialists in 
elementary schools, one full-time in each elementary 
school at the discretion of the local school board. A 
combined school, such as kindergarten through twelve, 
shall meet at all grade levels the staffing requirements 
for the highest grade level in that school; this 
requirement shall apply to all staff, except for guidance 
counselors, and shall be based on the school's total 
enrollment; guidance counselor staff requirements shall, 
however, be based on the enrollment at the various school 
organization levels, i.e., middle or high school. The 
Board of Education may grant waivers from these staffing 
levels upon request from local school boards seeking to 
implement experimental or innovative programs that are 
not consistent with these staffing levels. (HB 2122)

D. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop 
and the Board of Education shall approve criteria for 
determining and recognizing educational performance in 
the Commonwealth's public school divisions and schools. 
Such criteria, when approved, shall become an integral 
part of the accreditation process and shall include 
student outcome measurements. One year following the 
approval by the Board of such criteria, the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction shall annually 
identify to the Board those school divisions and schools 
that exceed or do not meet the approved criteria. Such 
identification shall include an analysis of the strengths 
and weaknesses of public education programs in the 
various school divisions in Virginia and recommendations 
to the General Assembly for further enhancing student 
learning uniformly across the Commonwealth. In 
recognizing educational performance in the school 
divisions, the Board shall include consideration of 
special school division accomplishments, such as numbers 
of dual enrollments and students in Advanced Placement 
and International Baccalaureate courses, and 
participation in academic year Governor's Schools. (HB 
2077)


(Effective until July 1, 2003)
E. In order to assess the educational progress of 
students, the Board of Education shall also: (i) develop 
appropriate assessments, which may include criterion-
referenced tests and alternative assessment instruments 
which may be used by classroom teachers and; (ii) 
prescribe and provide measures, which may include 
nationally normed tests, to be designated as the Virginia
State Assessment Program, which shall be used to identify 
students who score in the bottom quartile at selected 
grade levels; and (iii) prescribe and provide literacy 
tests in reading, writing and mathematics which shall be 
administered to students in grade six and to students who 
have not successfully passed them in grades seven and 
eight. The Board of Education is authorized to pursue all 
available civil remedies for breaches in test security.  
(HB 2477)

(Effective July 1, 2003)
B.  The requirements for a standard or advanced studies 
high school diploma shall include one credit in fine, 
performing, or practical arts. The requirements for a 
standard high school diploma shall, however, include at 
least two sequential electives and may include a 
concentration of courses selected from a variety of 
options. Such concentration may be planned to ensure the 
completion of a focused sequence of elective courses 
leading to further education or preparation for 
employment developed by the school division consistent 
with Board of Education guidelines and as approved by the 
local school board. (HB 2477)

(Effective July 1, 2003)
E. In order to assess the educational progress of 
students, the Board of Education shall also (i) develop 
appropriate assessments which may include criterion-
referenced tests and alternative assessment instruments 
which may be used by classroom teachers; and (ii) 
prescribe and provide measures, which may include 
nationally normed tests, to be designated as the Virginia 
State Assessment Program, which shall be used to identify 
students who score in the bottom quartile at selected grade
levels; and (iii) prescribe and provide literacy  tests in 
reading, writing and mathematics which shall be  administered
to students in grade six and to students who have not 
successfully passed them in grades seven and eight. The Board
of Education is authorized to pursue all available civil 
remedies for breaches in test security. (HB 2477)

(Effective July 1, 2003)
H. In order to assess the educational progress of 
students as individuals and as groups, each local school 
board shall require the administration of appropriate 
assessments, which may include criterion-referenced 
tests, teacher-made tests and alternative assessment 
instruments and shall include the Virginia State 
Assessment Program, the Virginia State Literacy Testing 
Program, the Standards of Learning Assessments, and the 
National Assessment of Educational Progress state-by-
state assessment. Each school board shall analyze and 
report annually, in compliance with any criteria which 
may be established by the Board of Education, the results 
from the Virginia State Assessment Program and the 
Standards of Learning Assessments and the Virginia State 
Literacy Testing Program to the public. (HB 2477)

22.1-253.13:5 Standard 5. Training and professional 
development

A. The General Assembly and the Board of Education find 
that effective educational leadership and personnel and 
appropriate programs of professional development and 
training and appropriate teacher performance evaluations 
are essential for effective educational leadership and 
personnel and the advancement of public education in the 
Commonwealth. (HB 1725)



C. Consistent with the finding that leadership is 
essential for the advancement of public education in the 
Commonwealth, the Board of Education shall develop 
leadership standards for superintendents and principals, 
which standards shall include training in the 
implementation of the Standards of Learning and training 
in the evaluation and documentation of teacher and 
administrator performance based on student academic 
progress and the skills and knowledge of instructional 
personnel. (HB 2710 and SB 1145)

D. The Board of Education shall sponsor, conduct or 
provide advice on: (i) training and professional 
development of teachers, principals, supervisors, 
division superintendents and other school staff; (ii) 
training for all administrative and supervisory personnel 
in the evaluation and documentation of teacher and 
administrator performance based on student academic 
progress and the skills and knowledge of such 
instructional or administrative personnel; (iii) in-
service programs for school board members on personnel, 
curriculum and current issues in education; and (iii) 
(iv) in cooperation with the Virginia Department for the 
Visually Handicapped, in-service programs in Braille for 
teachers of the blind and visually impaired. The Board 
shall provide technical assistance on professional 
development to local school boards designed to seek to 
ensure that all instructional personnel are proficient in 
the use of educational technology consistent with its 
Six-Year Educational Technology Plan for Virginia. (HB 
2710 and SB 1145)

F. Each local school board shall provide: (i) a program 
of professional development, as part of the license 
renewal process, to assist teachers and principals in 
acquiring the skills needed to work with gifted students 
and handicapped students and to increase student 
achievement, (ii) a program of professional development 
in educational technology for all instructional 
personnel, and (iii) a program of professional 
development for administrative personnel designed to 
increase proficiency in instructional leadership and 
management, including training in the evaluation and 
documentation of teacher and administrator performance
based on student academic progress and the skills and
knowledge of  such instructional or administrative 
personnel. (HB 2710 and  SB 1145)

If you should have any questions regarding this memo or the 
changes to the SOQ, please do not hesitate to contact
Anne Wescott, Director of Policy at (804) 225-2403.  



PDS/ADW/gjm

Attachment

        Note:  A copy of this memo and its attachments will
               be sent to the superintendent's office.





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