DATE: January 26, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D., Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

Board of Education Approval and Completion of the Regulatory Process for the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation) (8VAC20-131)

At its November 16, 2017 meeting, the Board of Education approved revisions to the Standards of AccreditationThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website. The revisions were published in the Virginia Register of RegulationsThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website VOL. 34, ISS. 8, December 11, 2017 and completed the regulatory review process on January 11, 2018. The regulations become effective with the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year.

The revisions express the Board of Education's commitment to provide a comprehensive picture of school quality and continuous improvement for all schools and students. Further, the revisions provide for the implementation of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate, as required by Chapters 720 and 750 of the 2016 Acts of Assembly. Finally, the revisions build on strengths and address gaps and unintended consequences in the current system, and inform areas of VDOE technical assistance and use of school improvement resources. The revisions include:

  1. Updates to the purpose, philosophy, and goals to reflect expectations for preparation of a Virginia graduate; recognition of multiple areas affecting school quality; and provision of continuous improvement and support.  
  2. Reduction of the number of credits verified by Standards of Learning assessments required for high school graduation and the use of performance assessments.
  3. Increased emphasis on opportunities for internships, work-based learning, and service-based learning experiences in high school.
  4. Increased career exposure, exploration, and planning in elementary, middle, and high school.
  5. Implementation of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate, including an emphasis on the five Cs - critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship.
  6. The establishment of a new school accreditation system that measures school quality through academic indicators, as well as others related to academic performance, and the designation of performance levels for each indicator.

Additional information and resources regarding the implementation of the Standards of Accreditation and Profile of a Virginia Graduate will be provided in the coming months. For more information about the Standards of Accreditation, please visit

If you have any questions, please contact Zachary Robbins, Director of Policy, at 804-225-2092 or