|DATE:||May 11, 2018|
|FROM:||Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D., Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction|
Locally Awarded Verified Credits
The purpose of this memorandum is to advise school divisions that effective May 9, 2018, all students are eligible to be considered for locally-awarded verified credits in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science in accordance with the Board of Education's regulations and guidance. Please be aware the number of locally-awarded verified credits and the diplomas to which they may be applied are different for students that entered the ninth grade prior to the 2018-2019 school year, and for those that enter in 2018-2019 and thereafter, as explained in this memorandum.
For students that entered the ninth grade for the first time prior to the 2018-2019 school year, locally-awarded verified credits were previously available to students only for science and history/social science. Those students may now be awarded a total of three locally-awarded verified credits in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science. These changes were adopted by the Board of Education and approved by Governor Northam through emergency changes to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation or SOA) and the Board's Guidance Governing the Use of Locally-Awarded Verified Credits.
First-time ninth graders beginning with the 2018-2019 school year will be able to earn no more than one locally awarded verified credit in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science. These changes were adopted by the Board of Education through the comprehensive revisions to the SOA that will become effective in the 2018-2019 school year.
The criteria for the award of locally-awarded verified credit is summarized below:
- To qualify for locally-awarded verified credits, a student must:
- Pass the high school course;
- Score within a 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the Standards of Learning test after taking the test at least twice; and
- Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process administered at the local level (see Guidance Governing the Use of Locally-Awarded Verified Credits for details).
- Students with credit accommodations are not subject to the limit on the number of locally-awarded verified credits.
- Local school boards must have policies governing procedures used to award locally-awarded verified credit, including the use of a review panel to consider evidence of the student's achievement.
- For students entering the ninth grade for the first time prior to the 2018-2019 academic year:
- No more than three locally-awarded verified credits may be awarded.
- Locally-awarded verified credits cannot be applied toward an Advanced Studies diploma.
- Students that are no longer in school who would now be eligible for a locally-awarded verified credit in English or mathematics may now earn a locally-awarded verified credit, provided that all criteria is met.
- For students entering the ninth grade for the first time in the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond:
- No more than one locally-awarded verified credit may be awarded.
- Locally-awarded verified credits can be applied toward either a Standard or an Advanced Studies diploma.
For questions regarding these changes to the availability of locally-awarded verified credits, please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org: Email link. .