P. O. BOX 2120
February 20, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents



Thomas L. Shortt, Assistant Superintendent for Policy and Public Affairs

Lan W. Neugent, Assistant Superintendent for Technology

SUBJECT: Diploma Seals

            Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting
  Public Schools in Virginia, effective October 30, 1997, make
  the following provisions in 8 VAC 20-131-50 (D) for awards
  for exemplary performance for students who meet the
  requirements for graduation as follows:

        1.   Students who complete the
             requirements for a standard diploma with an
             average grade of "B" or better in the required
             courses will receive a Board of Education Seal on
             the diploma.

        2.   Students who complete the
             requirements for an advanced studies diploma with
             an average grade of "B" or better and successfully
             complete at least one advanced placement course
             (AP) or one college-level course for credit will
             receive a Governor's Seal on the diploma.

        3.   Students may receive other seals or awards for exceptional
             academic, vocational, citizenship, or other exemplary
             performance in accordance with criteria defined by the local
             school board.

          Please note that, as in the past, the Board or Governor's
  seals are not to be interchanged between diplomas and may only be
  used when the above conditions have been met.  The seal should be
  placed in the lower left quarter of the diploma.  Local school
  boards determine the design and use of other seals.

          Traditionally, seals have been purchased and stored at 
  the Department of Education.  Local school superintendents were 
  required to submit a request for the number of seals of each type
  needed for that year's graduating class.  A form is enclosed for
  your use to request seals for the 1998 graduates.

          This year, we will be providing you with a three-year
  supply of seals to alleviate the necessity of having to order
  each year.  Therefore, in addition to determining how many seals
  you need for this school year, we are asking that you estimate
  the number of seals you will need for the 1998-99 and 1999-2000
  school years.  We will provide those seals to you for future use. 
  Your orders should be sent as soon as possible but not later
  than March 31, 1998. Please also note that a new procedure for
  ordering seals is in place.  Orders will be filled by the Office
  of Production Services, Division of Technology, here in the

          You will be responsible for the safe keeping of
  the seals for that period.  We recommend that the seals for
  future years be maintained in the central office. 
  Experience has found that school building personnel change
  and, frequently, no information regarding the location of
  seals being held for the future was passed on the new
  personnel. This way, it may not be necessary to require
  additional seals because those previously sent have been
  lost or misplaced.

          For information regarding the awarding and/or use
  of the seals, please contact Charles Finley, Principal
  Specialist for Policy Analysis, at 804-225-2092 or by e-mail
  to  Orders for seals or questions
  regarding placing orders should be directed to Ms. Patricia
  Hicks, Office of Production Services, Division of
  Technology, at 804-225-2400.


  Attachment:  Diploma Seal Order Form; A hard copy of this
               memo and its attachment will be sent to the
               superintendent's office