Standards of Accreditation
Virginia Board of Education Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools. The accreditation standards:
- Provide an essential foundation of educational programs of high quality in all schools for all students.
- Encourage continuous appraisal and improvement of the school program for the purpose of raising student achievement.
- Foster public confidence.
- Assure recognition of Virginia's public schools by other institutions of learning.
- Establish a means of determining the effectiveness of schools.
Standards For Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia
There are major revisions to the regulations resulting from legislative changes made by the 2012 General Assembly.
- Accreditation Benchmarks change beginning with testing data for the 2012-2013 school year for ratings awarded in the 2013-2014 school year.
- Science and History and Social Science: 3rd grade pass rates increase from 50 percent to 70 percent.
- English: Pass rates for grades 6 through 12 increase from 70 percent to 75 percent.
- Diploma Changes
- A student must earn a board-approved career and technical education credential to graduate with a Standard Diploma, beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014.
- A student must successfully complete one virtual course, which may be non-credit bearing, to graduate with either a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma, beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014.
- The Modified Standard Diploma is folded into the Standard Diploma and applies to students entering ninth grade for the first time in the 2013-2014 school year. Credit accommodations will be provided for students with disabilities. Guidelines for credit accommodations will be issued by the Board of Education.
- As of July 1, 2012, the Standard Technical and Advanced Technical Diploma are eliminated.
- Academic and Career Plan
- Implementation of this Plan, which is required for all students beginning in middle school, would begin in the 2013-2104 school year.
June 2012 Board of Education action items related to major changes:
- Accreditation Benchmark Changes Beginning in 2012-2013 and Implementation of the Academic and Career Plan (PDF)
- Diploma Changes (Summary of Major Revisions to Regulations) (PDF)
- Current Regulations Establishing the Standards For Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Word) – Effective August 29, 2012
- Emergency Regulations Establishing the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Word) – Effective June 5, 2013, through June 4, 2014
- Guidance Document Governing Certain Provisions of the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131) (PDF)
- Fact Sheets:
- Graduation Requirements – Information on college and career readiness, diploma requirements, coursework, assessments, and the Academic and Career Plan.
Please submit any questions you have about the regulations or guidance document to the Office of Policy by phone (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Standards of Accreditation Archives
Documents are PDF files. Standards from 1970 through 1992 are scanned documents and will take longer to download.