Standards of Accreditation
News & Announcements
New Guidance Regarding the Sequential Elective Graduation Requirement
As of March 21, 2021, the Board of Education has approved new flexibility regarding the sequential elective graduation requirement, which is available in the Guidance Document Governing Certain Provisions of the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8VAC20-131)-This is a Word document.. In addition, the Superintendent of Public Instruction has issued a waiver of the sequential elective graduation requirement for certain students graduating in 2020-2021 who are unable to meet the requirement due to COVID-19. Please see Superintendent's Memo #067-21-This is a PDF document. for detailed information on both the newly approved flexibility and the waiver.
The Virginia Board of Education's Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (also referred to as the “Standards of Accreditation”) are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in all of Virginia's public schools. The Standards of Accreditation:
- Provide an essential foundation of educational programs of high quality in all schools for all students.
- Encourage continuous appraisal and improvement of the school program for the purpose of raising student achievement.
- Foster public confidence.
- Assure recognition of Virginia's public schools by other institutions of learning.
- Establish a means of determining the effectiveness of schools.
Standards of Accreditation
The Standards of Accreditation (SOA) support continuous improvement for all schools and college, career, and civic readiness for all students. The SOA was revised in 2017 to include graduation requirements aligned with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and school accreditation standards that reflect new measures of quality and performance.
- Standards of Accreditation – full text – These regulations were approved by the Board in November 2017 and are effective as of the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
- Emergency Amendments to the Standards of Accreditation-This is a Word document. – These amendments address the availability of Locally-Awarded Verified Credits and are effective as of May 9, 2018.
This guidance document incorporates both guidance adopted by the Board of Education and guidance issued by the Virginia Department of Education, and will be regularly updated as additional guidance is issued. Please direct questions about the SOA or this guidance document to the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOA Fact Sheets & Printer-Friendly Handouts
- Standards of Accreditation: Impact on Schools & Impact on Students – Information detailing how the revised SOA impacts schools (school accountability, school-quality indicators, accreditation ratings) and students (requirements for graduation).
- School Accreditation – Information briefly explaining the indicators and performance levels that will go into determining a school’s accreditation rating.
- Graduation Requirements – Information briefly explaining graduation requirements for students entering the ninth grade in fall 2018 (Class of 2022).
- Frequently Asked Questions – Answers to questions submitted by school divisions
- School Accreditation Ratings
- School Quality Profiles
- Graduation Requirements – Information on college and career readiness, diploma requirements, coursework, assessments, and the Academic and Career Plan.
Standards of Accreditation Archives
Documents are PDF files. Standards from 1970 through 1992 are scanned documents and will take longer to download.