P. O. BOX 2120
October 3, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Transmitting Current Version of the Standards of Quality

  In 1992, the Board of Education published a document entitled
  Standards and Regulations for Public Schools in Virginia.  That
  document was comprised of the Standards of Quality, the
  Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public
  Schools in Virginia, and an index of the Regulations of the
  Board of Education.  As you know, the Standards of Quality is
  the statutory framework that establishes the minimal
  requirements for educational programs in the Virginia public
  schools.  As with any other state law, the SOQ is subject to
  being amended each legislative session.  Consequently, the SOQ
  as set forth in that document is not current.  Attached is a
  stand alone copy of the Standards of Quality, 22.1-253.13:1
  through 22.1-253.13:8, as amended by the 1997 General Assembly.

  Please note changes in the following key provisions of the SOQ:

  Amended 22.1-253.13:1 C

     to mandate that local superintendents require (1) the
  prevention, intervention or remediation program to include
  either a summer school or other forms of remediation; (2)
  students who are educationally at-risk (bottom quartile of the
  VSAP or do not pass LPT) to take prevention, intervention or
  remediation programs, which may include summer school; (3) any
  student, who does not pass the LPT, to participate in the
  programs of remediation, which may include public summer school

     to permit that the remediation requirement be met by the
  student's attendance in a program of prevention, intervention
  or remediation selected by the parent and is either conducted
  by an accredited private school or a special program determined
  by the division superintendent to be comparable to the required
  public school remediation program

     to mandate that remediation programs, chosen by the
  superintendent, meet the academic needs of the student

     to indicate that state funds, as appropriated, shall be
  provided for attendance in remediation programs for failing the
  LPT, beginning in 1997-98

     to authorize local school boards to develop a remedial
  program standards committee to recommend program components for
  remedial programs and evaluate the success of the programs

     to mandate that remediation programs include, when
  applicable, a procedure for early identification of students
  at-risk of failure of the LPT  

     to address the funding of remedial summer school by
  requiring the Board to establish standards for full funding of
  summer remedial programs that include at a minimum (1) the
  minimum number of instructional hours or equivalent thereof,
  required for full funding and (2) an assessment system designed
  to evaluate program effectiveness.  Language is also added to
  require the state to fund the full cost of summer remediation
  based on the number of students and the state share of per
  pupil instructional costs, provided the programs meet the
  Board's standards

  Amended 22.1-253.13:1 H

     to permit students who are either enrolled in a nonpublic
  school or receiving home instruction and who are enrolled in a
  public school on a less than full-time basis in any
  mathematics, science, English, history, social science,
  vocational education, fine arts, or foreign language course to
  be counted in average daily membership (ADM) on a pro rata
  basis as provided in the appropriation act

  Amended 22.1-253.13:2 B 

     to require the Department of Education to include design
  of summer and after-school remediation programs in the
  technical assistance services provided to local school

  Amended 22.1-253.13:4 A

     to encourage school boards to initiate the LPT as early as
  possible and to utilize the pre-test for fourth graders

  Amended 22.1-253.13:4 B

     to require local school boards to analyze its pass/fail
  rates and evaluate the needs of students who do not pass the
  tests required to obtain the LPT and to use that information to
  design the remediation program

  Amended 22.1-253.13:4 C

     to add nonpublic schools or from home instruction to the
  requirements addressing provision for transfer between
  secondary schools

  Amended 22.1-253.13:5 C

     to require the Board of Education to provide technical
  assistance on professional development addressing the use of
  educational technology

  Amended 22.1-253.13:5 E

     to require that local school boards provide professional
  development in educational technology

  I hope you find this information to be useful and if you have
  any questions concerning these legislative changes you should
  contact Diane T. Atkinson at (804) 371-0035.

  Attachment:  A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.