COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
March 19, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia adopted by the Virginia Board of Education in 2009 prescribe an annual accrediting cycle for schools and require that schools certify compliance with certain provisions of the standards as a prerequisite to accreditation. 8 VAC 20-131-280F states:
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 division’s promotion/retention policies developed in accordance with the requirements of 8 VAC 20-131-30, (ii) 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. The division superintendent shall report to the department compliance with this subsection through the pre-accreditation eligibility procedures in 8 VAC 20-131-290.
Additionally, the Virginia 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 has adopted a policy to identify various educational entities in the state that are 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 for the 2009-2010 school year will be entered through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems’ (SSWS) Web-based application named Pre-Accreditation Eligibility (PACE). PACE is accessible at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do.
Please note the following suggestions that will help to expedite your collection and reporting of PACE information:
1. Follow the instructions for the SSWS application to enter data.
2. Earlier this year, a contact person in your division reported certain school information through the Educational Registry Application (ERA). To eliminate delays in entering PACE data, please have your ERA 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 child care provider.
3. If the ERA contact person determines that information described above has been submitted incorrectly or that no information has been submitted, he or she must correct the information (using the Web-based Educational Registry Application (ERA) directions) 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 for Web Systems’ (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, and
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 department’s database only if the above items are in place.
Additional information related to entering PACE data:
A detailed timeline is attached to this memo that clarifies further PACE data collection activities. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Whitley at (804) 225-3122 or by e-mail to Mary.Whitley@doe.virginia.gov. Should you have questions regarding the ERA application, please contact ResultsHelp@doe.virginia.gov.