Superintendent's Memo #336-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

December 11, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Academic and Career Plan

The Board of Education included in its 2009 revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, (8 VAC-20-131-5 et seq) provisions for each middle and highschool student to have a personal learning plan that aligns academic and career goals with the student’scourse of study. On February 19, 2009, the Board adopted the revised Regulations, also known as the Standards of Accreditation

The section pertaining to Academic and Career Plans reads:

8 VAC 20-131-140: College and career preparation programs and opportunities for postsecondary credit.

Beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year, all schools shall begin development of a personal Academic and Career Plan for each seventh-grade student with completion by the fall of the student’s eighth-grade year. Students who transfer from other than a Virginia public school into the eighth-grade shall have the Plan developed as soon as practicable following enrollment. Beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year, students who transfer into a Virginia public school after their eighth-grade year shall have an Academic and Career Plan developed upon enrollment. The components of the Plan shall include, but not be limited to, the student's program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary career pathway based on the student's academic and career interests. The Academic and Career Plan shall be developed in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education and signed by the student, student's parent or guardian, and school official(s) designated by the principal. The Plan shall be included in the student's record and shall be reviewed and updated, if necessary, before the student enters the ninth and eleventh grades. The school shall have met its obligation for parental involvement if it makes a good faith effort to notify the parent or guardian of the responsibility for the development and approval of the Plan. Any personal academic and career plans prescribed by local school boards for students in grades 7-12 and in effect as of June 30, 2009, are approved to continue without further action by the Board.

Guidelines for the Academic and Career Plan (ACP) were approved at the September 17, 2009, Board meeting. The full text for the Guidelines can be accessed at the Virginia Department of Education website and at this link:

A one-day workshop will be offered for each division. Attachment A contains the registration form for the workshops with dates and locations listed. A team of four is invited to attend from each division. The workshop session will explain the requirements for the Academic and Career Plan (ACP), information related to the Technical Assistance Document, and the sample template. Also included will be information on career clusters and pathways, the Virginia Wizard, and best practices in the area of academic and career planning. Time will be provided for individual groups to work together to discuss and plan implementing Academic and Career Plans in their division.

Attachment B contains a Technical Assistance Document to the ACP which can be used by divisions when creating and maintaining Academic and Career Plans. The document includes information, resources, and current state regulations related to academic and career planning. An Academic and Career Planning template is also available within the document. Attachment C contains the sample template in Word format, which can be used and modified by divisions to fit the specific needs of the local education agencies.

The ACP Guidelines, Technical Assistance Document, and template can all be accessed from the Virginia Department of Education website,, by clicking on the “High School Graduation” link on the opening page or directly accessed at this link -

If you have questions regarding the Academic and Career Plan, training or resources, please contact Joseph Wharff, school counseling connection specialist, via e-mail at, or by telephone at (804) 225-3370.



  1. Academic and Career Plan Registration Form (Word)
  2. Academic and Career Plan Technical Assistance Document (PDF)
  3. Academic and Career Plan Sample Template (Word)