Superintendent's Memo #117-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 22, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Guidelines to Implement the Provisions of Section 22.1-302(A) of the Code of Virginia Pertaining to the Employment of Substitute Teachers

Section 22.1-302 of the Code of Virginia was amended in the 2010 Virginia General Assembly to allow the Superintendent of Public Instruction on a case-by-case basis, during one school year to approve an extension of the 90-teaching-day restriction for substitute teachers in a teacher vacancy.  In response to the action of the General Assembly, the Virginia Board of Education approved guidelines to implement the revisions in the Code of Virginia.

The Code section, in part, states the following:

§ 22.1-302. Written contracts required; execution of contracts; qualifications of
 temporarily employed teachers; rules and regulations.

  1. A written contract, in a form prescribed by the Board of Education, shall be made by the school board with each teacher employed by it, except those who are temporarily employed, before such teacher enters upon his duties. Such contract shall be signed in duplicate, with a copy thereof furnished to both parties. A temporarily employed teacher, as used in this section, shall mean (i) one who is employed to substitute for a contracted teacher for a temporary period of time during the contracted teacher's absence, or (ii) one who is employed to fill a teacher vacancy for a period of time, but for no longer than 90 teaching days in such vacancy, unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction on a case-by-case basis, during one school year.

  2. The Board of Education shall promulgate regulations regarding temporarily employed teachers, as defined in this section, which shall provide that such teachers be at least eighteen years of age and that they hold a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate.

    However, local school boards shall establish employment qualifications for temporarily employed teachers which may exceed the Board's regulations for the employment of such teachers. School boards shall also seek to ensure that temporarily employed teachers who are engaged as long-term substitutes shall exceed baseline employment qualifications.

The guidance document was approved by the Board on March 24, 2011, and is now available on the Virginia Department of Education Web site at

If you need additional information about the guidelines, please contact Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, via e-mail at or telephone at (804) 371-2522.