P.O. BOX 2120
April 20, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Pre-accreditation Eligibility and Reporting of Other Information Required by the Board of Education

The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia adopted by the state Board of Education in 2000 prescribe an annual accrediting cycle for schools and require that schools certify compliance with certain provisions of the standards as a prerequisite to accreditation. The regulations state:

As a prerequisite to the awarding of an accreditation rating as defined in 8 VAC 20-131-300, each new or existing school shall document, in a manner prescribed by the Board, the following: (i) the divisionís promotion/retention policies developed in accordance with the requirements of 8 VAC 20-131-30, (ii) its compliance with the requirements to offer courses that will allow students to complete the graduation requirements in 8 VAC 20-131-50, (iii) the ability to offer the instructional program prescribed in 8 VAC 20-131-70 through 8 VAC 20-131-100, (iv) the

leadership and staffing requirements of 8 VAC 20-131-210 through 8 VAC 20-131-240, and (v) the facilities and safety provisions of 8 VAC 20-131-260" (8 VAC 20-131-280.F).

Additionally, the Board of Education requires schools and/or school divisions to report on and/or certify other requirements not associated with the pre-accreditation process. This information is also being collected as a part of this data collection.

The board also adopted a policy to identify various educational entities in the state that would be recognized as "schools" for accreditation purposes. Although schools that do not report fall membership will not be accredited independently, facilities that provide instruction to students who are reported in fall membership data at other schools are not fully relieved of the responsibility for meeting applicable standards.

Pre-accreditation eligibility and certain other information required by the Board will be collected electronically for the 2000-2001 school year on a form named PACE. Electronically reporting this information will allow for easier storage of information, will incorporate corrective action plans as part of the information gathered, and should result in more efficient reporting and certifying processes.

Directions for supplying and submitting the needed information to the Department of Education are included in Attachment A of this memo. Please note the following:

The divisionís data must be submitted to the Department of Education by Friday, May 11, 2001, in the manner prescribed by the directions attached to this memo.

If you have any questions or require further information or technical assistance, please contact your regional Governorís Best Practice Center or any member of the accreditation staff at (804) 786-1062.