COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
March 26, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide school divisions with information regarding the process of requesting a waiver of the verified units of credit for seniors who meet the requirements and to provide all school divisions with a copy of the waiver request form.
Students seeking a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma are required to earn a minimum number of verified units of credit. 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/stds_archive/soa2006.pdf . This waiver is not available to students seeking a Modified Standard Diploma because that diploma does not require verified units of credit.
The Virginia Department of Education may grant this waiver upon request by the local school board. 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
Office of Career and Technical Education Services
School Counseling Connections Specialist
Virginia Department of Education
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 Services, via e-mail at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov, or telephone at (804) 225-3370.