Superintendent’s Memo #252-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 9, 2011

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Expansion of the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) by Special Permission for Grades 3-8 Mathematics

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will expand the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) to include grades 3-8 in the content area of mathematics.  The VSEP is an alternative method of assessing students who by the nature of their disabilities are unable to participate in the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments even with testing accommodations.  The difference between the SOL tests and the VSEP is the method of assessment.  Students participating in the VSEP are required to provide evidence of achievement through a Course Work Compilation (CWC) based on the same standards as students taking the SOL tests.

Special permission will be required for a small number of eligible students with disabilities in grades 3-8 who are unable to access SOL mathematics assessments to participate in VSEP. Students with disabilities given special permission to participate in VSEP for grades 3-8 mathematics will likely have experienced a new disability, a rapid deterioration of sensory functions, or a unique disability that prevents them from accessing the SOL assessment even with allowed testing accommodations.

Procedures and sample forms, regarding the special permission requests, are included as an attachment to this correspondence.  The electronic Special Permission Requests form must be submitted to VDOE using the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SWSS) Dropbox located at  Special permission requests for students enrolled in yearlong courses or for first semester block classes must be submitted to VDOE for review no later than October 7, 2011.  Requests, for students in second semester block classes, must be submitted no later than February 10, 2012.  Late submissions will only be accepted if there are extenuating circumstances.

If you have questions, please contact student assessment staff at (804) 225-2102 or by e-mail at



  1. Special Permission Request Submission of a Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) Grades 3-8 Mathematics Course Work Compilation (CWC) (PDF)