Superintendent's Memo #098-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 17, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Collection of Data Relative to Compliance with the Standards of Quality and Other Certifications for 2008-2009

Each year as a part of the annual report to the General Assembly on the condition and needs of public education in Virginia, the Board of Education is required to report the level of compliance by local school boards with the requirements of the Standards of Quality (SOQ). This requirement is in response to § 22.1-18 of the Code of Virginia. The information required to prepare the majority of this report is not available to the Department of Education from other sources. The complete text of the current standards can be found on our website at:

As was the case with the prior submissions, the Department will use an electronic data collection instrument, using the Single Sign-On for Web-based Systems (SSWS), to collect your compliance data. The Standards of Quality Compliance application will be available in SSWS beginning on Monday, April 20, 2009.

The following suggestions are offered that will help to expedite your collection and reporting of SOQ Compliance information:

  1. A contact person in your division reports certain school information through the Educational Registry Application (ERA). To eliminate delays in entering SOQ Compliance data, please have your ERA contact person ensure that the name and contact information have been entered for the SOQ Compliance contact person.
  2. If the ERA contact person determines that information described above has been submitted incorrectly or that no information has been submitted, he or she must take the necessary steps to correct the information (using Web-based application directions) at least one day prior to entering data in the SOQ Compliance application.

As with other electronic data collection applications, anyone entering or reviewing SOQ Compliance data must have a login and password. Your school division SSWS account manager must assign a login and password to the following individuals:

  1. The SOQ Compliance contact person.
  2. Any central office staff responsible for entering or reviewing data.

School divisions will be able to submit SOQ Compliance data to the Department’s database only if the above items are in place.

Additional information related to entering SOQ Compliance data:

As was the case with the 2007-2008 submission, all divisions will be asked to certify compliance with requirements that are not part of the Standards of Quality. Please note that none of these certifications will be included in the Board’s annual report for 2009 because the requirements are not part of the Standards of Quality.

Any legislative changes to the Standards of Quality approved by the 2009 General Assembly will be included in the 2009-2010 submission. More information regarding these changes will be transmitted through another superintendent’s memorandum to be issued this summer.

Please note: The budget amendments adopted by the General Assembly on February 28, 2009, related to the 2008-2010 biennial budget contain the following language:

The Board of Education shall review the current Standards of Quality to evaluate the appropriateness of the existing staffing standards for instructional positions and the appropriateness of establishing ratio standards for support positions, with the objective of maximizing resources devoted to the instructional program. The findings of this review, its associated costs, and its final recommendations for rebenchmarking shall be submitted to the Governor, the Chairmen of House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, and the Joint Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education Funding established pursuant to Item 1, paragraph H. of this Act no later than November 1, 2009.

School divisions will likely be asked to provide additional data to the Department in support of this review. Additional information will be provided after the revised 2008-2010 budget is approved by the Governor following the reconvened General Assembly session in April.

If you have questions regarding the 2008-2009 compliance submission, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy and Communications at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at For your convenience, you may also e-mail the completed and signed form to us at If you require assistance with the ERA application, please send questions to

PIW / MMV / kfg


a. General Instructions – SOQ Compliance Submission Using the Virginia Department of Education Single Sign-On for Web Application Systems (PDF)
b. Simplified Listing of Requirements in the Standards of Quality (PDF)