P.O. BOX 2120




March 5, 2004




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Local School Board Policies for Awarding Verified Credit


The General Assembly has passed a bill proposed by the Governor that requires every school division to adopt procedures for awarding units of verified credits, according to the Virginia Board of Educations guidelines. This bill is effective upon the signature of the Governor.


In Chapter 577 of the 2002 Acts of Assembly, the General Assembly enacted legislation that directed the Virginia Board of Education to develop guidelines for the award of verified units of credit for a Standard Diploma to students who have:


(i) Entered the ninth grade for the first time during the school years of 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003; and

(ii) Passed the relevant coursework.


The Board of Education adopted Guidelines for Local School Boards to Award Verified Credits for the Standard Diploma to Transition Students. These were distributed to school divisions through Supts Memo ADM#52, August 9, 2002. Under the Standards of Accreditation, students in the classes of 2004-2006 must earn two verified credits in English and four verified credits in subjects of the students own selection in order to earn the Standard Diploma. These guidelines enable local school boards to award verified credits in science and history/social sciences that may be used to fulfill the requirement of four verified credits of the students own selection. Eligibility for the award of a verified credit by a local school board is restricted to those transition students who have earned fewer than four of the student-selected verified credits required for the Standard Diploma and who have scored within a 375-399 scale score range on relevant Standards of Learning tests after taking a test at least twice. The guidelines provide the basis on which a three-member review panel at the local level decides whether an eligible student who has passed a course should be awarded the verified credit. The guidelines may be found at /administrators/superintendents_memos/2002/adm052.html.


The 2004 General Assembly, in House Bill 1257, has amended this act of the 2002 General Assembly to direct local school boards to adopt procedures, according to the Board of Education guidelines, to award verified units of credit for the Standard Diploma to those students meeting the above-listed criteria. A provision in the bill stipulates that the legislation takes effect immediately upon passage and signature of the Governor.


The legislation requires every local school board to adopt procedures for the award of verified credits in science and history/social sciences, so that eligible students within each school division are given the opportunity to demonstrate achievement in the relevant academic content areas through an appeals process administered at the local level.


If you need additional information regarding the requirements of House Bill 1257, please contact Dr. Cynthia Cave ( director of policy at (804) 371-0558. House Bill 1257 may be found at: