Superintendent's Memo #051-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

February 27, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2009 Process for Requesting a Waiver of Verified Credits

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide school divisions with information regarding the process for requesting a waiver of the verified units of credit for seniors who meet the requirements.

Students transferring into a Virginia high school for the first time after 20 instructional hours per course of their senior or twelfth-grade year shall be given every opportunity to earn a Standard, Advanced Studies, or Modified Standard Diploma. If it is not possible for the student to meet the requirements for a diploma, arrangements should be made for the student’s previous school to award the diploma.

If these arrangements cannot be made, a waiver of the verified unit of credit requirements may be available to the student seeking a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Please see Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia at 8 VAC 20-131-60.H found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/soa.pdf. This waiver is not available to students seeking a Modified Standard Diploma because that diploma does not require verified units of credit.

Through the division superintendent, the school board may request a waiver of the verified credit requirements for an eligible student by providing a written request no more than 90 calendar days prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date. A request must be submitted on the form provided by the Department, shall document the student’s initial date of enrollment, and show what efforts have been made to comply with the regulations.

This waiver is an option for eligible senior transfer students who are not able to meet the diploma requirements for verified units of credit. However, schools have an obligation to see that all students and parents are aware of the graduation requirements and to provide the support necessary to meet those requirements.

The required waiver form is attached. Please distribute this form and memorandum to school counselors and other school staff responsible for this process. Completed forms should be mailed to:

Joseph A. Wharff
School Counseling Connections Specialist
Virginia Department of Education
Office of Career and Technical Education, 21st Floor
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond Virginia 23218-2120

If you need additional information, please contact Joseph A. Wharff, school counseling connections specialist, Office of Career and Technical Education, via e-mail at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at (804) 225-3770.

PIW / JAW / nlh

Attachment

a. Request for Waiver of the Verified Credit Requirement for a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma Application (Word)