P.O. BOX 2120



March 29, 2002



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Technical Assistance Document on Sample Courses of Study that Satisfy Standard Diploma Graduation Requirements


Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2000-2001, students who wish to receive a Standard Diploma must earn 22 standard units of credit and 6 verified units of credit distributed among content areas and courses as prescribed in 8 VAC 20-131-50.B of Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. During a three-year transition period applicable only to ninth graders in 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003, students have additional flexibility in how they may earn the six required verified credits:

        Two verified units of credit in English

        Four additional verified units of credit of the students own choosing (rather than in specific content areas as prescribed by the Board of Education).


Students may earn the four additional verified credits in courses with end-of-course SOL tests or in courses in computer science, technology, or other areas as prescribed by the Board of Education (8 VAC 20-131-50.B). The board has approved a variety of additional tests and career and technical education licenses and certifications that may be used to verify student-selected credits, thus providing the transitional students with many options and course combinations to earn verified credits. This list of additional tests, licenses, and certifications was posted as an attachment to Superintendents Informational Memorandum, No. 73, May 11, 2001, and is available on the Internet at: /administrators/superintendents_memos/2001/inf073a.pdf.


Attachment A to todays memorandum contains a technical assistance document that outlines a variety of sample courses of study that students who are included in the three-year transition period might use to earn a Standard Diploma. In these examples, students may earn verified credits by using end-of-course SOL tests alone or in combination with other tests, licenses, or certifications that the board has approved. School personnel, students, and parents should remember that the courses of study provided are only samples, and that many additional combinations are possible. For further information please contact Dr. Linda Wallinger (, director of secondary instruction, at 804-225-2880. Questions related to courses in career and technical education should be addressed to Dr. Neils Brooks (, director of career and technical education, at 804-225-2051. For questions related to specific content courses, please contact the content specialists in the office of secondary instructional services as follows:


English Anita Wallace ( or 804-371-7585

Mathematics Deborah Kiger Lyman ( or 804-786-6418

History and Social Science Colleen Bryant ( or 804-786-4640

Science Delores Dalton Dunn ( or 804-371-0778