P.O. BOX 2120



April 26, 2002



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



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 divisions 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 process.


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 2001-2002 school year on an electronic spreadsheet named PACE. As indicated in the March 13, 2002 e-mail to superintendents from Charles Finley, assistant superintendent for accountability services, the following suggestions are made to expedite your collection and reporting of PACE information:


1. To compile and submit the data will require the use of Excel 97 software. Please ensure its availability at the site(s) at which data will be entered.


2. Earlier this year, the school administration contact person in your division reported certain school information through an Excel spreadsheet and a Web-based form. To eliminate delays in submitting PACE data to us, please have your school administration contact person ensure that the name and information has been entered for the PACE (accreditation) contact person AND that the appropriate level of child care ("pre-school" or "school-age") has been indicated under focus areas for each school that operates these programs.


3. Ensure that the contact person for the instructional personnel data collection has reported the number of FTE teaching positions for each school AND the number of teachers for each school who are teaching outside of their areas of endorsement.


4. If the contact persons mentioned in numbers 2 and 3 above determine that incorrect information has been submitted or that no information has been submitted, they must take the necessary steps to correct the information (using Web-base application directions provided earlier) at least one day prior to the downloading of the PACE Excel spreadsheet.


School divisions will only be able to submit PACE data to our office if the above items are in place.


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:


        PACE information from individual schools is submitted to your central office contact person, and that person submits the school divisions PACE information to the Department of Education.

        Except in a few instances, corrective action plans are imbedded in the data that will be submitted electronically.

        Information is to be sent to


The divisions data must be submitted to the Department of Education by Friday, May 24, 2002, 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 Best Practice Center or any member of the accreditation staff at (804) 786-1062.