P.O. BOX 2120

May 25, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Sequential Electives Required for the Standard Diploma and Modified Standard Diploma

This memorandum clarifies the requirement in the Standards of Quality (' 22.1-253.13:3.B.2 of the Code of Virginia) for students who are pursuing the standard diploma and are expecting to graduate in the spring of 2003 and beyond. The 1999 General Assembly enacted legislation that stated:

The requirements for a standard high school diploma shall, however, include at least two sequential electives and may include a concentration of courses selected from a variety of options. Such concentration may be planned to ensure the completion of a focused sequence of elective courses leading to further education or preparation for employment developed by the school division consistent with Board of Education guidelines and as approved by the local school board. (HB 2477) When considering amendments to the Standards of Quality during the 2000 session of the General Assembly, the "two sequential electives" language was inadvertently deleted. This omission caused considerable confusion because language was included in the revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia adopted by the Board of Education in July 2000 to conform to the General Assembly’s 1999 requirement. Legislation was passed during the 2001 session to restore this requirement to the standards. The Board of Education also adopted the same requirement for the new Modified Standard Diploma as a part of the revised accrediting standards.

Questions concerning general courses to satisfy this requirement should be directed to Mr. Vernon Wildy, associate director of secondary instructional services, at (804) 225-2877 [e-mail to]. Questions concerning career and technical education courses should be directed to Dr. Neils Brooks, director of career and technical education, at (804) 225-2847 [e-mail to].