COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
July 26, 2013
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The 2012 General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia (HB 1061 and SB 489) to strengthen postsecondary education and workplace readiness opportunities for all children and consolidate the number of approved diplomas. This legislation eliminated the Modified Standard Diploma, beginning with students entering the ninth grade in 2013-2014 (students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) who are currently in high school will continue to have the Modified Standard Diploma as a diploma option). This legislation also required the Board of Education to make provisions for students with disabilities to earn a standard diploma through credit accommodations.
On March 28, 2013, the Virginia Board of Education approved the proposed credit accommodations available to students with disabilities who meet the required participation criteria. These credit accommodations were developed to create pathways for students with disabilities earning standard and verified credits towards receiving a Standard Diploma. The Virginia Department of Education has developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) documents, webinars and other informational materials to assist school division personnel, parents, and students to better understand the new diploma requirements and credit accommodations. Please visit the Virginia Department of Education Web site for more details http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/credit_accommodations.shtml.
In addition to the information on the Web site, four professional development training sessions on the Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities will be conducted by the Division of Special Education and Student Services on the dates and locations indicated below. Divisions may send up to four staff members to any of the sessions. Divisions are urged to send staff who work closely with special education students in determining graduation requirements and can then share the information with additional staff members back in that division. Examples of appropriate participants include, but are not limited to, Lead Special Education Teachers at the high school level, Guidance Counselors, lead instructional staff, and lead Career and Technical Education teachers and administrators.
August 12, 2013 – Wytheville, Virginia: http://ruralretreat1.eventbrite.com/
August 13, 2013 – Charlottesville, Virginia: http://charlottesville2.eventbrite.com/
August 14, 2013 – Prince William, Virginia: http://princewilliam3.eventbrite.com/
August 15, 2013 – Williamsburg, Virginia: http://williamsburg22.eventbrite.com/
If you have any questions regarding registration for the trainings, please contact Cathy Pomfrey at Cathy.Pomfrey@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-3252. If you have any questions regarding the purpose or audience of the training, please contact Samantha Hollins, director, Special Education Program Improvement, at Samantha.Hollins@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804)786-2900.