Superintendent's Memo #076-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 9, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Diploma Seals

Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia contain provisions for awards for exemplary performance for students who meet the requirements for graduation. Students who demonstrate academic excellence may be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

1. The Governor's Seal shall be awarded to students who complete the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "B" or better and successfully complete college-level coursework that will earn the student at least nine transferable college credits in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge, or dual enrollment courses. (Please note: The requirements for this seal are different from last year as those requirements were in effect for the graduating class of 2009. The seal requirements reflected in this memorandum took effect beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2006-2007 [or the graduating class of 2010], as stated in the regulations approved in 2006.)

2. The Board of Education Seal shall be awarded to students who complete the requirements for a Standard Diploma or Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "A".

3. The Board of Education's Career and Technical Education Seal will be awarded to students who earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma and complete a prescribed sequence of courses in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that they choose and maintain a "B" or better average in those courses; or (i) pass an examination or an occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that confers certification or occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, trade or professional association or (ii) acquire a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Board of Education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements. Please view the following Web link for additional information: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2010/017-10.shtml.

4. The Board of Education's Seal of Advanced Mathematics and Technology will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma and (i) satisfy all of the mathematics requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma (four units of credit including Algebra II; two verified units of credit) with a "B" average or better; and (ii) either (a) pass an examination in a career and technical education field that confers certification from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association; (b) acquire a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia; or (c) pass an examination approved by the Board that confers college-level credit in a technology or computer science area. The Board of Education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements. Please view the following Web link for additional information: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2010/017-10.shtml.

5. The Board of Education’s Seal for Excellence in Civics Education will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma and: (i) complete Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government courses with a grade of "B" or higher; and, (ii) have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies and, (iii) complete 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities. Activities that would satisfy the requirements of clause (iii) of this subdivision include: (a) volunteering for a charitable or religious organization that provides services to the poor, sick or less fortunate; (b) participating in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar youth organizations; (c) participating in JROTC; (d) participating in political campaigns or government internships, or Boys State, Girls State, or Model General Assembly; or (e) participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities that have a civics focus. Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met this community service requirement.

6. Students may receive other seals or awards for exceptional academic, career and technical, citizenship, or other exemplary performance in accordance with criteria defined by the local school board.

Traditionally, seals have been purchased and stored at the Virginia Department of Education. School superintendents are required to submit a request for the number of seals of each type needed for that year’s graduating class. Beginning this year, orders for diploma seals will be taken by accessing the following website: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEVjbTkzQi1xNVk2OENkUDl0TVc4U0E6MA. Once you have entered all of your information, please click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the page and the Department will receive and process your order. Your orders should be sent as soon as possible, but not later than May 7, 2010.

Local school boards determine the design and use of other seals. The Department can only make available those seals specifically outlined in this memorandum and does not have access to any other seals used by local boards.

If you have questions about how to order the seals, please contact the Office of Communications at (804) 225-2400 or by e-mail at policydata@doe.virginia.gov. For questions about a student’s eligibility for a specific Board-approved seal, please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at policydata@doe.virginia.gov.

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