July 15, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2016 General Assembly Revisions to the Standards of Quality

The 2016 General Assembly revised Standards One, Two, Three, Four and Ten of the Standards of Quality (SOQ), §§   22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:10 of the Code of Virginia.  These changes became law effective on July 1, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

Revisions to Standard One22.1-253.13:1)

 

HB 36             Requires each local school board to implement a program of instruction in each Virginia and U.S. Government course in the school division on all information and concepts contained in the civics portion of the U.S. Naturalization Test.

HB 357           Requires at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day or an average of 100 minutes per week during the regular school year for students in grades kindergarten through five. This requirement becomes effective beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. The current requirement for a program of physical activity available to all students in grades six through 12 with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year is not changed. This bill is identical to SB 211 (Miller).

HB 831           Requires the Standards of Learning established by the Board of Education and the program of instruction for grades kindergarten through 12 developed and implemented by each local school board to include computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding.

Revisions to Standard Two (§ 22.1-253.13:2)

HB 1377         Provides that, after September 30 of any school year, any time the number of students in a class exceeds the statutorily prescribed class size limit, the local school division shall notify the parent of each student in such class of such fact no later than 10 days after the date on which the class exceeded the class size limits. The bill requires such notification to state the reason that the class size exceeds the class size limit and describe the measures that the local school division will take to reduce the class size to comply with the limit.  

Revisions to Standard Three22.1-253.13:3)

 

HB 241           Requires the Board of Education to consider assessments aligned to the Standards of Learning that are structured and formatted in a way that measures the content knowledge of students who are English language learners and that may be administered to such students as Board of Education-approved alternatives to Standards of Learning end-of-course English reading assessments.  This bill is identical to SB 538 (Surovell).

HB 381           Requires the Board of Education to prescribe alternative methods of assessment administration for children with disabilities who meet criteria established by the Board to demonstrate achievement of the Standards of Learning. The bill provides that an eligible student's Individual Education Program team shall make the final determination as to whether an alternative method of administration is appropriate for the student.

HB 436           Requires the Department of Education to award recovery credit to any student in grades three through eight who fails a Standards of Learning assessment in English reading or mathematics, receives remediation, and subsequently retakes and passes such an assessment, including any such student who subsequently retakes such an assessment on an expedited basis.

HB 895           Removes existing provisions related to standard and advanced studies diplomas and standard and verified units of credit and requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to: (i) develop and implement, in consultation with stakeholders representing elementary and secondary education, higher education, and business and industry in the Commonwealth and including parents, policymakers, and community leaders in the Commonwealth, a Profile of a Virginia Graduate that identifies the knowledge and skills that students should attain during high school in order to be successful contributors to the economy of the Commonwealth, giving due consideration to critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship; (ii) emphasize the development of core skill sets in the early years of high school; and (iii) establish multiple paths toward college and career readiness for students to follow in the later years of high school that include internships, externships, and credentialing. The bill also sets forth the procedure for the establishment of such graduation requirements. The bill specifies that such graduation requirements shall apply to each student who enrolls in high school as (a) a freshman after July 1, 2018; (b) a sophomore after July 1, 2019; (c) a junior after July 1, 2020; or (d) a senior after July 1, 2021.  This bill is similar to SB 336 (Miller).  The third, fourth and fifth enactment clauses regarding the Board's process differ.  SB 336 was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2016.  The Governor’s recommendation to replace the third, fourth and fifth enactment clauses in HB 895 was agreed to during the Reconvened Session on April 20, 2016.

SB 368            Authorizes the Board of Education (the Board) to review once every two years or once every three years the accreditation status of any school that is not on a triennial review cycle, provided that any school that receives a multiyear accreditation status other than full accreditation is to be covered by a Board-approved multiyear corrective action plan for the duration of the period of accreditation.   The bill requires the Board to review the accreditation status of a school once every three years if the school has been fully accredited for three consecutive years.  The bill also provides that when the Board of Education determines that a corrective action plan submitted by a local school board is not sufficient to enable all schools within the division to achieve full accreditation, the Board may return the plan to the local school board with directions to submit an amended plan pursuant to Board guidance. Finally, the bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to report to the Board on the accreditation status of all school divisions and schools. Currently the Superintendent is required to identify to the Board schools or divisions that do not meet certain criteria.

SB 427            Prohibits the Board of Education from including in its calculation of the passage rate of a Standards of Learning assessment for the purposes of state accountability any student whose parent has decided to not have his child take such Standards of Learning assessment, unless such exclusion would result in the school not meeting any required state or federal participation rate.

Revisions to Standard Four 22.1-253.13:4)

 

HB 831           Requires the Standards of Learning established by the Board of Education and the program of instruction for grades kindergarten through 12 developed and implemented by each local school board to include computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding.

HB 895           Removes existing provisions related to standard and advanced studies diplomas and standard and verified units of credit and requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to: (i) develop and implement, in consultation with stakeholders representing elementary and secondary education, higher education, and business and industry in the Commonwealth and including parents, policymakers, and community leaders in the Commonwealth, a Profile of a Virginia Graduate that identifies the knowledge and skills that students should attain during high school in order to be successful contributors to the economy of the Commonwealth, giving due consideration to critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship; (ii) emphasize the development of core skill sets in the early years of high school; and (iii) establish multiple paths toward college and career readiness for students to follow in the later years of high school that include internships, externships, and credentialing. The bill also sets forth the procedure for the establishment of such graduation requirements. The bill specifies that such graduation requirements shall apply to each student who enrolls in high school as (a) a freshman after July 1, 2018; (b) a sophomore after July 1, 2019; (c) a junior after July 1, 2020; or (d) a senior after July 1, 2021.  This bill is similar to SB 336 (Miller).  The third, fourth and fifth enactment clauses regarding the Board's process differ.  SB 336 was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2016.  The Governor’s recommendation to replace the third, fourth and fifth enactment clauses in HB 895 was agreed to during the Reconvened Session on April 20, 2016.

Revisions to Standard Ten (§ 22.1-253.13:10)

 

HB 894           Requires that the membership of the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee include at least one representative of a four-year public institution of higher education and at least one representative of a two-year public institution of higher education and specifies that the business representative or representatives on the Committee shall represent the business community in the Commonwealth. Instead of periodically making recommendations to both the Board of Education and the General Assembly, the bill requires the Committee to make recommendations to the Board only.  The bill requires an affirmative vote of a majority of the legislative members in attendance and a majority of the nonlegislative citizen members in attendance to adopt any recommendations. The bill also staggers the terms of legislative members and nonlegislative citizen members. 

Note:  This bill contains an emergency clause, and it became effective on April 1, 2016 when it was signed by the Governor.

Recap

 

The chart below depicts the numerous bills amending the Standards of Quality, which were approved by the 2016 General Assembly and signed by the Governor. 

 

§ 22.1-253.13:1
(Standard One)
§ 22.1-253.13:2
(Standard Two)
§ 22.1-253.13:3
(Standard Three)
§ 22.1-253.13:4
(Standard Four)
§ 22.1-253.13:10

 

 For more information, please see:

 

 

SRS/SBW/bj

 

Attachments:

  1. 2016 Standards of Quality: §§ 22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:10 of the Code of Virginia (PDF)