P.O. BOX 2120
February 2, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Instructional Models/Programs to Satisfy Provisions in Standards of Accreditation (SOA)

The Board of Education adopted an initial list of instructional models/programs at its January 11, 2001, meeting to satisfy certain provisions in Regulations Establishing Accrediting Standards for Public Schools in Virginia (SOA) effective September 28, 2000. The board-approved, recommended list can be found in Attachment A.

The revised SOA require schools accredited with warning in English or mathematics to adopt and implement instructional methods that have a proven track record of success at raising student achievement.

  1. 8 VAC 20-131-310 B-E. Action requirements for schools that are accredited with warning.
    1. Any school that is accredited with warning in English or mathematics is expected to adopt an instructional method that has a proven track record of success at raising student achievement in those areas as appropriate.
    2. The superintendent and principal shall certify in writing to the Board that such a method has been adopted and implemented.
    3. The Board shall publish a list of recommended instructional methods which may be amended from time to time.
    4. Adoption of instructional methods referenced in subdivisions B and D of this subsection shall be funded by eligible local, state, and federal funds.
The Department of Education has prepared a Technical Assistance Resource Document (see Attachment B) that provides background information on recommended models, board-approved selection criteria, and disclaimers. In addition, the document includes a list of instructional methods that research studies have shown have a high probability for enhancing student achievement. The information included in the resource document is intended to assist schools that are accredited with warning in selecting and implementing an appropriate instructional model/program.

The revised SOA require each school rated accredited with warning to develop a three-year school improvement plan that is based on the results of an academic review and to submit an annual report documenting the progress of implementing the plan. Processes for selecting instructional models/programs and timelines for their implementation are to be reflected in the school improvement plan, and adjustments to implementation are to be addressed in the annual report.

The revised SOA also require that the superintendent and principal certify that an instructional model/program has been adopted and implemented. Beginning with spring 2001, this certification will become part of the pre-accreditation certification data collection process.

Possible funding sources for selected models include the Standards of Learning Training Initiative, Instructional Materials Incentive Funds, Remediation, Governorís Academic Challenge Grants, At-Risk Four-Year-Old Initiative, and Early Reading Initiative. In addition, several federally funded sources are available for use by schools accredited with warning: Reading Excellence Act Grant, Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Grant, and the Basic Title 1 Grant. If schools decide to use their Basic Title 1 Grant for this purpose, they may need to redirect the use of some of their funds.

For more information about instructional models, please contact Maureen B. Hijar (, director, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at 804-225-3616. For more information on the process for certifying adoption and implementation of instructional models/programs, please contact Dr. Cheri C. Magill (, director, Office of Accreditation, at 804-225-2708.