P.O. BOX 2120



April 27, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Pre-accreditation Eligibility (PACE) 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 2006 prescribe an annual accrediting cycle for schools and require that schools certify compliance with certain provisions of the standards as a prerequisite to accreditation. 8 VAC 20-131-280F states:


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) 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. The division superintendent shall report to the department compliance with this subsection through the pre-accreditation eligibility procedures in 8 VAC 20-131-290.


Additionally, the Board of Education requires schools and school divisions to report on and 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. Institutions that do not report fall membership will not be accredited independently; however, facilities that provide instruction for 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 entered through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS) Web-based application for the 2006-07 school year named Pre-Accreditation Eligibility (PACE). PACE is accessible at


Please note the following suggestions that will help to expedite your collection and reporting of PACE information:


  1. Follow the instructions for the SSWS application to enter data.


  1. Earlier this year, a contact person in your division reported certain school information through the School and Staff Administration Data Collection (School ID). To eliminate delays in entering PACE data, please have your school and staff administration contact person ensure that a) the name and contact information have been entered for the accreditation (PACE) contact person, and b) 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. NOTE: Do not report Head Start, Even Start, other educational programs, or programs offered under contract to an outside provider as a childcare program.


  1. If the school and staff administration contact person determines that information described above has been submitted incorrectly or that no information has been submitted, he or she must correct the information (using Web-based application directions provided earlier) at least one day prior to entering data in the PACE application.


Anyone entering or reviewing PACE data must have a login and password. Your Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS) account manager must assign a login and password to the following individuals:


1.  The accreditation (PACE) contact person


2.  Any central office staff responsible for entering or reviewing data


3.  Any building principal who will be responsible for entering and reviewing PACE data for his/her school.


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


Additional information related to entering PACE data:


  • PACE information from individual schools is entered through the SSWS PACE application.
  • Instructions for answering questions and verification forms are available through the PACE application.
  • In all instances, corrective action plans are embedded in the PACE data that are entered.
  • The PACE application will open on May 2, 2007, and the divisions data must be submitted to the Department of Education no later than May 30, 2007, in the manner prescribed by the directions on the website.
  • Four workdays after the due date, the PACE application window will lock. Division superintendents needing to enter data beyond this date must contact Marsha Owens, accreditation specialist, at (804) 692-0250 to regain access to the PACE application.
  • After all data have been entered, superintendents and school board chairs must sign the verification report and submit this report and a copy of the schools promotion/retention policy to the Office of School Improvement no later than June 8, 2007. You will access the verification report through a link on the PACE application. This link will be visible only after all data from all schools in the division have been entered into PACE. These two documents may be submitted by FAX (804-786-9763) or mailed to Marsha Owens, Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120. Please be sure that the division name is on both documents.

A detailed timeline is attached to this memo that clarifies further PACE data collection activities. If you have any questions, please contact Marsha Owens at (804) 692-0250 or at