P.O. BOX 2120



April 14, 2006



Division Superintendents



Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction



Pre-accreditation Eligibility (PACE) 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. Institutions 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 entered through the single sign-on (SSWS) Web-based application for the 2005-06 school year named Pre-Accreditation Eligibility (PACE). PACE is accessible at


Please note the following suggestions that will help to expedite your collection and reporting of PACE information:


  1. Entering the data will require the use of an Internet browser. Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher or Netscape 6.0 or higher must be used. Please ensure the availability of either browser version at the site(s) at which data will be entered.


  1. Earlier this year, a contact person in your division reported certain school information through the School and Staff Administration Data Collection (School ID). To eliminate delays in entering PACE data, please have your school and staff administration contact person ensure that a) the name and contact information have been entered for the accreditation (PACE) contact person, and b) 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. NOTE: Do not report Head Start, Even Start, other educational programs, or programs offered under contract to an outside provider as a childcare program.


  1. If the school and staff administration contact person determines that information described above has been submitted incorrectly 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 entering data in the PACE application.

Anyone entering or reviewing PACE data must have a login and password. Your Single Sign-On Web Application System (SSWS) account manager must assign a login and password to the following individuals:


1. The accreditation (PACE) contact person.


2. Any central office staff responsible for entering or reviewing data.


3. Any building principal who will be responsible for entering and reviewing PACE data for his/her school.


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


Additional information related to entering PACE data:



In addition to the PACE data submission, school divisions also must send a copy of their promotion/retention policies no later than May 31, 2006, to: Marsha Owens, Department of Education, Office of School Improvement, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120. Please be sure that the division name is on this document.


A detailed timeline is attached to this memo that clarifies further PACE data collection activities. If you have any questions, please contact Marsha Owens at (804) 692-0250 or by e-mail to