Superintendent's Memo #020-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 28, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Exceptions to One Percent Cap on the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP)

The United States Department of Education no longer grants exceptions allowing states to exceed the one percent cap on the number of proficient scores on the alternate assessment measuring alternate achievement standards that may be counted toward adequate yearly progress (AYP). This provision was effective for the 2008 and 2009 VAAP administrations and will now continue for the 2011 VAAP administration. While the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) may not request permission to exceed the cap on a statewide basis, we are authorized to grant exceptions to school divisions under specified circumstances.

School divisions with VAAP participation data indicating that they will likely exceed the one percent cap are encouraged to examine their data to determine if they might need to apply for an exception. VDOE will consider requests for exceptions related to (1) small "n" issues or (2) demographic anomalies.

If your data for the 2011 VAAP administration indicate that your division will exceed the one percent cap based upon the above-referenced criteria, please complete the following online application ( Additional criteria are discussed in the application. The application should be completed online by March 4, 2011. Questions about this matter may be addressed to John Eisenberg, Director of Instructional Support and Related Services, by telephone at (804) 225-2711 or by e-mail at Thank you for your cooperation.