Superintendent's Memo #219-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 12, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Phase-Out of the Virginia Grade Level Alternative (VGLA) for Students with Disabilities

The purpose of this memorandum is to remind school division staff that VGLA will be phased out for students with disabilities according to the following schedule:

  2011-2012: VGLA mathematics will no longer be available. VGLA will continue to be available for students with disabilities in reading, science, writing and history/social science.
  2012-2013:  VGLA mathematics and reading will no longer be available for students with disabilities. VGLA will continue to be available for students with disabilities in science, writing, and history/social science.

Although VGLA reading and mathematics are being phased out for students with disabilities; VGLA reading will continue to be available for eligible students with limited English proficiency.  At this time, there are no plans to phase out VGLA science, writing and history/social science.

A review of existing data indicates that there are an extremely small number of students with disabilities in grades 3-8 who are unable to demonstrate their knowledge of Standards of Learning content presented in a multiple choice format even with accommodations. Plans are currently underway to allow these students to submit an evidenced-based assessment under an expansion of the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program with special permission from the Department of Education required for participation. Specific procedures regarding this program will be available at a later date.

If you have questions, please contact the assessment staff by e-mail at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2102.

PIW/SLR/cd