Superintendent's Memo #147-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 22, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

As you know, the Board of Education, on February 19, 2009, approved final revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. The Department has received a number of questions regarding the implementation of the new regulations and wanted to provide some clarification.

The final regulatory revisions approved by the Board in February differ from those revisions that were shared with you in Informational Superintendent’s Memorandum 212, dated September 5, 2008. Please note that the regulations approved by the Board have not completed the regulatory review process required by the Administrative Process Act. The regulatory revisions are currently under Executive Review and, following that review, must be published in the Virginia Register for an additional 30-day comment period. You can find what the Board approved on the Department’s website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2009/02_feb/agenda_items/item_a.pdf. Another superintendent’s memorandum will be distributed once the regulations have become final and are in effect.

Five sections of the regulations underwent substantive change and are described below:

8 VAC 20-131-30. Student Achievement Expectations:

8 VAC 20-131-50. Requirements for Graduation:

8 VAC 20-131-60. Transfer Students:

8 VAC 20-131-140. College Preparation Programs and Opportunities for Postsecondary Credit:

8 VAC 20-131-280. Expectations for School Accountability and 8 VAC 20-131-300. Application of the Standards:

Other technical amendments were made to the proposed regulations.

At this time, the final date for regulatory approval is not known. However, with the following exceptions, (the prohibition of double-testing in grades 3-8, the retention of the Student Testing Identifier for transfer students, and the transfer of Virtual Virginia credits), the regulations will not become effective until the 2010-2011 school year. This means the new graduation requirements will apply to students entering the ninth grade for the first time in that school year (2010-2011) and beyond.

The Department is currently developing the Standards of Learning for the course in Economics and Personal Finance, and the Board of Education is expected to consider them for first review this fall. The Department will also begin reviewing the Board’s existing Guidance Document, located at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/index.shtml, in preparation for the Board to adopt revisions to this document as a result of the regulatory changes. Should you have any questions or issues related to the Guidance Document, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or at SOAComments@doe.virginia.gov.

PIW / MMV / jcj