COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 161

November 22, 2002

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

The Virginia State Assessment Program Requirement for Home-Instructed Students

 

School divisions are responsible for administering the Virginia State Assessment Program (VSAP), Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition Form TA, (Stanford 9) to home-instructed students. Parents of home-instructed students, in conjunction with the division superintendent, are to determine the method by which student progress will be measured. Section 22.1-254.1C of the Code of Virginia addresses assessment of home-instructed students as follows:

 

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 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 shall not apply to children who are under the age of six as of September 30 of the school year.

 

Within the VSAP, the Stanford 9 TA is administered during the fall semester to all public-school students in Virginia in grades 4, 6, and 9. During the spring semester, school divisions are required to offer the VSAP testing program to home-instructed students in grades 3, 5, and 8, which use the same levels of the secure Stanford 9 TA administered during the fall semester in grades 4, 6, and 9. Administration of the Stanford 9 TA to home-instructed students in grades 3, 5, and 8 should take place during the spring norming window of April 1-30.

 

Further, a school division that administers Stanford 9 to students in grade levels other than those mandated by the state (typically referred to as off-grade testing) should also offer home-instructed students at those levels the option to participate in testing. However, school divisions are under no obligation to offer testing to home-instructed students for grade levels in which no such testing is offered to public school students in the school division. Administration of the Stanford 9 to home-instructed students in off-grade levels should also take place during the norming window of April 1-30.

 

The Department of Education will continue to pay the cost of materials and scoring for spring semester Stanford 9 testing of home-instructed students. This will include testing of home-instructed students at all off-grade levels, including those grade levels in which public school students are not tested.

 

The following questions and answers explain how this would work in a school division where the VSAP is administered at grades 4, 6, and 9 as part of the state-mandated program during the fall semester, and where the same school division augments the program with off-grade Stanford 9 testing of public school students in grades 2 and 7 in the spring.

 

Question #1

 

 

Yes. The Stanford 9 TA tests should be offered to home-instructed students in grades 3, 5, and 8 because the test forms that are administered to these students are the same as those administered to public school students in the fall of grades 4, 6, and 9.

 

Will the state pay for materials and scoring for these home-instructed students in grades 3, 5, and 8?

 

Yes.

 

Question #2

 

 

Yes, and the state will pay for materials and scoring for those home instructed students.

 

Question #3

 

 

No. Doing so is completely at the divisions option. If the division elects to use this option, the state will pay for materials and scoring for home-instructed students in those other off-grades.

 

A copy of the complete section of the code related to

home-instructed students is attached for your reference. Should you have questions regarding the assessment of home-instructed students in the VSAP, please contact Lolita B. Hall, (lbhall@mail.vak12ed.edu), associate director for assessment and reporting, or by phone: (804)786-9422.

 

Attachment

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2002/inf161a.pdf