Superintendent’s Memo No. 309-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

November 21, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Clarification of Verified Credit Requirements for Transfer Students

As a result of several inquiries from school divisions and parents regarding verified credit requirements for transfer students, the following information is provided as a review of existing Virginia Board of Education regulations and associated assessment procedures.

Parents or guardians of transfer students should be notified as soon as possible of the graduation requirements for students entering a Virginia public high school. The notification should include definitions of standard and verified credits, information on available diploma types, and numbers of standard and verified credits required for each type of diploma. Specific criteria for determining the number of verified credits required by students who transfer into Virginia public schools are established in the Emergency Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia(SOA).

School divisions shall only require transfer students to take Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to earn verified credits toward graduation requirements:

The Virginia Board of Education has established criteria for students from non-military families that differ from those established for students from active-duty military families. The verified credit requirements for each of these transfer situations are described.

Transfer Students from Non-Military Families

School divisions should determine the number of verified credits needed for the student to earn the desired diploma before administering any SOL tests. To determine the specific SOL tests a transfer student must complete, the school should follow these guidelines:

Note:  “first time” refers to the first time the student enrolls in a Virginia public high school in that grade.

Student’s Grade Level at the Time of Transfer

End-of-Course
Content Area

Standard Diploma Verified Credit Requirements

Advanced Studies Diploma Verified Credit Requirements

During the 9th grade or at the beginning of the10th grade

English: Reading

1

1

English: Writing

1

1

Mathematics

1

2

Science

1

2

History & Social Science

1

2

Student Selected

1

1

During the 10th grade or at the beginning of the 11th grade

English: Reading

1 Reading
or
1 Writing

1

English: Writing

1

Mathematics

1

1

Science

1

1

History & Social Science

1

1

Student Selected

0

1

During the 11th grade or at the beginning of the 12th grade

English: Reading

1 Reading
or
1 Writing

1 Reading
or
1 Writing

English: Writing

Student Selected

1

3

For a student transferring during the 12th grade, every opportunity should be given to earn a diploma; if this is not possible, the local school division should seek to have the previous school award the diploma or request a waiver of the verified credit requirement from the Virginia Department of Education. More information about the procedures for requesting a waiver of the verified credit requirements may be found at: Superintendent’s Memo #070-14

This information is also available on the Virginia Department of Education’s Web site at:
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/student_transfers.shtml.

Using the number of required verified credits in combination with the credits already earned (e.g., credits earned as part of another state’s accountability system, credits earned from substitute tests, credits earned from certifications), the school division can determine which specific SOL tests the student should complete in order to meet the requirements for graduation with the desired diploma.  If the student enrolls in any course for which there is an associated SOL test, the student must take that SOL test.

In all cases where students have earned a standard credit for coursework completed in another state but need to take the associated SOL test for verified credit, school divisions are encouraged to consider what supports should be made available to those students prior to testing. In order to aid preparation, efforts should be made to provide these students and their parent/guardian(s) sufficient notice of testing dates and information about the testing process, as well as options for remediation and retakes that may be available if needed.

Transfer Students from Active-Duty Military Families

Alternate provisions exist for students from military families transferring into Virginia as part of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, under § 22.1-360 of the Code of Virginia. Superintendent’s Memo #091-11 includes information related to students in military families transferring into Virginia from another state.

The school division must consider each of these provisions in order to determine which SOL tests the transfer student from a military family should complete to meet the requirements for the desired diploma.

In all cases where students have earned a standard credit for coursework completed in another state but need to take the associated SOL test for verified credit, school divisions are encouraged to consider what supports should be made available to those students prior to testing. In order to aid preparation, efforts should be made to provide these students and their parent/guardian(s) sufficient notice of testing dates and information about the testing process, as well as options for remediation and retakes that may be available if needed.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the student assessment staff at Student_Assessment@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2102, or Joseph Wharff, school counseling career connections specialist, at CTE@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2052.

SRS/SLR/cb