P.O. BOX 2120



April 11, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Pre-accreditation Eligibility and Reporting of Other Information Required by the Board of Education


The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia adopted by the state Board of Education in 2000 prescribe an annual accrediting cycle for schools and require that schools certify compliance with certain provisions of the standards as a prerequisite to accreditation. The regulations state:


As a prerequisite to the awarding of an accreditation rating as defined in 8 VAC 20-131-300, each new or existing school shall document, in a manner prescribed by the Board, the following: (i) the divisions promotion/retention policies developed in accordance with the requirements of 8 VAC 20-131-30, (ii) its compliance with the requirements to offer courses that will allow students to complete the graduation requirements in 8 VAC 20-131-50, (iii) the ability to offer the instructional program prescribed in 8 VAC 20-131-70 through 8 VAC 20-131-100, (iv) the

leadership and staffing requirements of 8 VAC 20-131-210 through 8 VAC 20-131-240, and (v) the facilities and safety provisions of 8 VAC 20-131-260 (8 VAC 20-131-280.F).


Additionally, the Board of Education requires schools and school divisions to report on and certify other requirements not associated with the pre-accreditation process. This information is also being collected as a part of this process.


The board also adopted a policy to identify various educational entities in the state that would be recognized as "schools" for accreditation purposes. Schools that do not report fall membership will not be accredited independently; however, facilities that provide instruction for students who are reported in fall membership data at other schools are not fully relieved of the responsibility for meeting applicable standards.


Pre-accreditation eligibility and certain other information required by the board will be collected through a Web-based application for the 2002-2003 school year on a spreadsheet named PACE. This spreadsheet and all accompanying directions may be found by going to the following website:


The following suggestions are made to expedite your collection and reporting of PACE information:


1. To compile and submit the data will require the use of Excel 97 software. Please ensure its availability at the site(s) at which data will be entered.


2. Earlier this year, the school administration contact person in your division reported certain school information through an Excel spreadsheet and a Web-based form. To eliminate delays in submitting PACE data to us, please have your school administration contact person ensure that the name and information has been entered for the PACE (accreditation) contact person AND that the appropriate level of child care ("pre-school" or "school-age") has been indicated under focus areas for each school that operates these programs.


3. If the contact person determines that incorrect information has been submitted or that no information has been submitted, he or she must take the necessary steps to correct the information (using Web-based application directions provided earlier) at least one day prior to the downloading of the PACE Excel spreadsheet.


School divisions will be able to submit PACE data to the departments database only if the above items are in place.


Directions for supplying and submitting the needed information to the Department of Education are available at the website mentioned above. Please note the following:



If you have any questions or require further information or technical assistance, please contact Jan Callis, Ed Holstrom, or Cheri Magill in the office of accreditation at (804) 786-1062.