Superintendent's Memo #191-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 17, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Data Collection for the 2009 Review of the Standards of Quality

School divisions have already been notified of the 2009 Review of the Standards of Quality (SOQ), via Superintendent's Memorandum No. 120-09, dated May 1, 2009. This memorandum provides additional information regarding that review.

As noted in Superintendent's Memorandum Number 120-09, the 2009 General Assembly added language to Item 140 of the Appropriation Act requiring the Board of Education to review the SOQ and submit a report by November 1, 2009. Specifically, Item 140 states:

"The Board of Education shall review the current SOQ 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 the 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."

The Board of Education adopted a plan for the review of the SOQ at its meeting on April 30, 2009. This plan requires Virginia Department of Education staff or a consultant to conduct research and collect data from all Virginia school divisions this summer. The draft report for the General Assembly must be submitted to the Board of Education for review early this fall.

In order to collect data from local school divisions, the Department will use an electronic data collection instrument, using the Single Sign-On for Web-based Systems (SSWS). The SOQ data collection instrument will be available in SSWS beginning on July 20, 2009. The division's data must be submitted via the SSWS to the Department of Education no later than July 31, 2009.

The attachment to this memo provides instructions regarding this data collection. Please be advised that the information provided by your division in the SSWS survey will be included in the November 1, 2009 report to the General Assembly. The survey status for all divisions will also be included in the report.

If you have questions or need additional information regarding this data collection and submission, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy and Communications by telephone at (804)225-2092, or by electronic mail at

PIW / MJP / kfg


a. Instructions for SOQ Survey Submission (PDF)