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Virginia Board of Education - Changes to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. Update as of July 2010. Status of Regulatory Action:.

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Virginia Board of Education - Changes to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • Update as of July 2010


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Status of Regulatory Action: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • On July 31, 2009, revisions to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools (SOA) became final.

  • The regulatory changes included the following:

    • prescribing the requirements of the Standard Technical Diploma and the Advanced Technical Diploma;

    • increasing the number of standard units of credit for the Advanced Studies diploma;

    • requiring a course in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement;

    • requiring all students, beginning in middle school, to have an Academic and Career Plan;

    • incorporating graduation rates into Virginia’s accountability system; and

    • incorporating other technical changes.


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2010 General Assembly Actions: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • The majority of the revisions to the SOA were to be implemented beginning with the 2010-2011 school year. Because of legislation passed by the 2010 General Assembly (HB111, HB196, and SB352), the implementation of most of the revisions has been delayed until the 2011-2012 school year.

  • Please note that the incorporation of graduation rates into Virginia’s accountability system (the Graduation and Completion Index) does not have a delayed implementation date, and will be used in the calculation of ratings for the 2011-2012 school year based on data from the 2010-2011 school year.


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Technical Diploma Changes: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • The academic requirements for the two technical diplomas meet or exceed the requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas.

  • The technical diplomas require one standard credit in economics and personal finance. (This change also applies to the Standard and Advanced Studies diplomas.)

  • For the Standard Technical Diploma, a student must earn four standard credits in career and technical education in a career concentration approved by the Virginia Board of Education. If the career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the Virginia Board of Education and the student is eligible to take this assessment, the student must take this assessment to earn this diploma.

  • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.


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Technical Diploma Changes (cont’d): Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • For the Advanced Technical Diploma, a student must earn three standard credits in career and technical education in a career concentration approved by the Virginia Board of Education. For this diploma, students also have the option to either:

    • take one additional credit in career and technical education or

    • take one credit in fine arts.

  • If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the Virginia Board of Education and the student is eligible to take this assessment, the student must take this assessment to earn the Advanced Technical diploma.

  • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.


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Standard Units of Credit: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2011-2012, to meet the requirements for either an Advanced Studies and Advanced Technical diploma, a student must have 26 standard units of credit.

  • The number of verified credits remain at 9 while the number of electives for an Advanced Studies diploma increase from 2 to 3.

  • This change becomes effective with the ninth grade class of 2011-2012.


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The Academic and Career Plan: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • All schools must begin development of a personal Academic and Career Plan for each seventh grade student, for completion by the fall of the eighth grade.

  • The plan shall include the student’s program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary pathway based on a student’s academic and career interests.

  • This change becomes effective in the 2011-2012 school year.


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The Academic and Career Plan (cont’d): Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • The plan shall be reviewed and updated if necessary before the student enters the ninth and eleventh grades.

  • Any personal Academic and Career plans prescribed by local school boards that are in effect as of June 30, 2009, are approved to continue without further action of the Board.

  • This change becomes effective in the 2011-2012 school year.


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Graduation and Completion Index: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • Schools with a graduating class will be required to meet this index, in addition to meeting the required Standards of Learning pass rates, in order to be fully accredited.

  • The inclusion of the index in the accreditation ratings will begin with tests administered in academic year 2010-2011, for accreditation ratings awarded for school year 2011-2012.

  • There is a five-year phase-in period, where schools can be rated Provisionally Accredited. This rating is awarded if the school achieves the minimum thresholds for Standards of Learning tests scores but does not meet a minimum threshold for the graduation rate but meets prescribed benchmarks outlined in the regulations.


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Other Technical Changes: Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • Accreditation Ratings: For tests administered in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 that will be the basis for accreditation ratings in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, the benchmarks for full accreditation will be the same benchmarks that were used for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 ratings.


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Other Technical Changes (cont’d): Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

  • The following technical changes became effective on July 31, 2009 and remain in effect:

    • Double Testing: Clarification that no student shall take more than one test in any content area in each year.

    • Student Records: The State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school must be retained by the receiving school.

    • Virtual Virginia: Credits earned through Virtual Virginia, the online program, would be accepted in Virginia public schools.


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Appendix: Link to May 7 Superintendent’s Memorandum and SOA Web Site

  • http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2010/112-10.shtml

  • And

  • http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/index.shtml


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