Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

Action:
Revisions to comport with legislation approved in the 1999 and ...
Stage: Fast-Track

Part I
Definitions and Purpose

8VAC20-131-5. Definitions.

The following words and terms apply only to these regulations and do not supersede those definitions used for federal reporting purposes or for the calculation of costs related to the Standards of Quality (§ 22.1-253.13:1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). When used in these regulations, these words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accreditation" means a process used by the Virginia Department of Education (hereinafter "department") to evaluate the educational performance of public schools in accordance with these regulations.

"Additional test" means a test, including substitute tests approved by the Board of Education that students may use in lieu of a Standards of Learning test to obtain verified credit.

"Class period" means a segment of time in the school day that is approximately 1/6 of the instructional day.

"Combined school" means a public school that contains any combination of or all of the grade levels from kindergarten through grade 12. This definition does not include those schools defined as elementary, middle, or secondary schools.

"Credit accommodations" means adjustments to meet the standard and verified credit requirements for earning a Standard Diploma for students with disabilities.

"Elementary school" means a public school with any grades kindergarten through five.

"Eligible students" means the total number of students of school age enrolled in the school at a grade or course for which a Standards of Learning test is required unless excluded under the provisions of 8VAC20-131-30 G and 8VAC20-131-280 D relative to limited English proficient (LEP) students.

"Enrollment" means the act of complying with state and local requirements relative to the registration or admission of a child for attendance in a school within a local school division. This term also means registration for courses within the student's home school or within related schools or programs.

"First time" means the student has not been enrolled in the school at any time during the current school year (for purposes of 8VAC20-131-60 with reference to students who transfer in during the school year).

"Four core areas" or "four core academic areas" means English, mathematics, science, and history and social science for purposes of testing for the Standards of Learning.

"Graduate" means a student who has earned a Board of Education recognized diploma, which includes the Advanced Studies Diploma, the Standard Diploma, and the Special Diploma Applied Studies Diploma.

"Homebound instruction" means academic instruction provided to students who are confined at home or in a health care facility for periods that would prevent normal school attendance based upon certification of need by a licensed physician or a licensed clinical psychologist.

"Locally awarded verified credit" means a verified unit of credit awarded by a local school board in accordance with 8VAC20-131-110.

"Middle school" means a public school with any grades 6 through 8.

"Planning period" means one class period per day or the equivalent unencumbered of any teaching or supervisory duties.

"Recess" means a segment of free time exclusive of time provided for meals during the standard school day in which students are given a break from instruction.

"Reconstitution" means a process that may be used to initiate a range of accountability actions to improve pupil performance, curriculum, and instruction to address deficiencies that caused a school to be rated Accreditation Denied that may include, but not be limited to, restructuring a school's governance, instructional program, staff or student population.

"School" means a publicly funded institution where students are enrolled for all or a majority of the instructional day and:

1. Those students are reported in fall membership at the institution; and

2. At a minimum, the institution meets the preaccreditation eligibility requirements of these regulations as adopted by the Board of Education.

"Secondary school" means a public school with any grades 9 through 12.

"Standard school day" means a calendar day that averages at least five and one-half instructional hours for students in grades 1 through 12, excluding breaks for meals and recess, and a minimum of three instructional hours for students in kindergarten.

"Standard school year" means a school year of at least 180 teaching days or a total of at least 990 teaching hours per year.

"Standard unit of credit" or "standard credit" means credit awarded for a course in which the student successfully completes 140 clock hours of instruction and the requirements of the course. Local school boards may develop alternatives to the requirement for 140 clock hours of instruction as provided for in 8VAC20-131-110.

"Standards of Learning tests" or "SOL tests" means those criterion referenced assessments approved by the Board of Education for use in the Virginia assessment program that measure attainment of knowledge and skills required by the Standards of Learning.

"Student" means a person of school age as defined by § 22.1-1 of the Code of Virginia, a child with disabilities as defined in § 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia, and a person with limited English proficiency in accordance with § 22.1-5 of the Code of Virginia.

"Student periods" means the number of students a teacher instructs per class period multiplied by the number of class periods taught.

"Verified unit of credit" or "verified credit" means credit awarded for a course in which a student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or an additional test approved by the Board of Education as part of the Virginia assessment program.

"Virginia assessment program" means a system used to evaluate student achievement that includes Standards of Learning tests and additional tests that may be approved from time to time by the Board of Education.

8VAC20-131-10. Purpose.

The foremost purpose of public education in Virginia is to provide children with a quality education giving them opportunities to meet their fullest potential in life. The standards for the accreditation of public schools in Virginia are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools. The mission of the public education system is to educate students in the essential academic knowledge and skills in order that they may be equipped for citizenship, work, and a private life that is informed and free. The accreditation standards:

1. Provide an essential foundation of educational programs of high quality in all schools for all students.

2. Encourage continuous appraisal and improvement improvement and appraisal of the school program for the purpose of raising student achievement.

3. Foster public confidence.

4. Assure recognition of Virginia's public schools by other institutions of learning.

5. Establish a means of determining the effectiveness of schools.

Section 22.1-253.13:3 B of the Code of Virginia requires the Virginia Board of Education (hereinafter "board") promulgate regulations establishing standards for accreditation.

The statutory authority for these regulations is delineated in § 22.1-19 of the Code of Virginia, which includes the requirement that the board shall provide for the accreditation of public elementary, middle and secondary schools in accordance with regulations prescribed by it.

These regulations govern public schools operated by local school boards providing instruction to students as defined in 8VAC20-131-5. Other schools licensed under other state statutes are exempt from these requirements.

Part III
Student Achievement

8VAC20-131-30. Student achievement expectations.

A. Each student should learn the relevant grade level/course subject matter before promotion to the next grade. The division superintendent shall certify to the Department of Education that the division's promotion/retention policy does not exclude students from membership in a grade, or participation in a course, in which SOL tests are to be administered. Each school shall have a process, as appropriate, to identify and recommend strategies to address the learning, behavior, communication, or development of individual children who are having difficulty in the educational setting.

B. In kindergarten through eighth grade, where the administration of Virginia assessment program tests are required by the Board of Education, each student shall be expected to take the tests; students who are accelerated shall take the tests of the grade level enrolled or the tests for the grade level of the content received in instruction. No student shall take more than one test in any content area in each year. Schools shall use the Virginia assessment program test results in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of a set of multiple criteria for determining the promotion or retention of students. Students promoted to high school from eighth grade should have attained basic mastery of the Standards of Learning in English, history and social science, mathematics, and science and should be prepared for high school work. Students shall not be required to retake the Virginia assessment program tests unless they are retained in grade and have not previously passed the related tests.

With such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly, the Board of Education shall provide the same criteria for eligibility for an expedited retake of any Standards of Learning test, with the exception of the writing Standards of Learning tests, to each student regardless of grade level or course.

C. In kindergarten through grade 12, students may participate in a remediation recovery program as established by the board in English (Reading) or mathematics or both.

D. The board recommends that students in kindergarten through grade 8 not be required to attend summer school or weekend remediation classes solely based on failing a SOL test in science or history/social science.

E. Each student in middle and secondary schools shall take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests following course instruction. Students who achieve a passing score on an end-of-course SOL test shall be awarded a verified unit of credit in that course in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-110. Students may earn verified units of credit in any courses for which end-of-course SOL tests are available. Middle and secondary schools may consider the student's end-of-course SOL test score in determining the student's final course grade. However, no student who has failed an end-of-course SOL test but passed the related course shall be prevented from taking any other course in a content area and from taking the applicable end-of-course SOL test. The board may approve additional tests to verify student achievement in accordance with guidelines adopted for verified units of credit described in 8VAC20-131-110.

F. Participation in the Virginia assessment program by students with disabilities shall be prescribed by provisions of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. All students with disabilities shall be assessed with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments where necessary.

G. All students identified as limited English proficient (LEP) shall participate in the Virginia assessment program. A school-based committee shall convene and make determinations regarding the participation level of LEP students in the Virginia assessment program. In kindergarten through eighth grade, limited English proficient students may be granted a one-time exemption from SOL testing in the areas of writing, science, and history and social science.

H. Students identified as foreign exchange students taking courses for credit shall be required to take the relevant Virginia assessment program tests. Foreign exchange students who are auditing courses and who will not receive a standard unit of credit for such courses shall not be required to take the Standards of Learning tests for those courses.

8VAC20-131-50. Requirements for graduation.

A. The requirements for a student to earn a diploma and graduate from a Virginia high school shall be those in effect when that student enters the ninth grade for the first time. Students shall be awarded a diploma upon graduation from a Virginia high school.

The Advanced Studies Diploma shall be the recommended diploma for students pursuing baccalaureate study. Both the Standard Diploma and the Advanced Studies Diploma shall prepare students for postsecondary education and the career readiness required by the Commonwealth's economy.

When students below the ninth grade successfully complete courses offered for credit in grades 9 through 12, credit shall be counted toward meeting the standard units required for graduation provided the courses are equivalent in content and academic rigor as those courses offered at the secondary level. To earn a verified unit of credit for these courses, students must meet the requirements of 8VAC20-131-110.

The following requirements shall be the only requirements for a diploma, unless a local school board has prescribed additional requirements that have been approved by the Board of Education. All additional requirements prescribed by local school boards that have been approved by the Board of Education remain in effect until such time as the local school board submits a request to the board to amend or discontinue them.

B. Requirements for a Standard Diploma.

1. Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2013-2014 and beyond, students shall earn the required standard and verified units of credit described in subdivision 2 of this subsection.

2. Credits required for graduation with a Standard Diploma.

 

Discipline Area

Standard Units of Credit Required

Verified Credits Required

 

English

4

2

 

Mathematics1

3

1

 

Laboratory Science2,6

3

1

 

History and Social Sciences3,6

3

1

 

Health and Physical Education

2

 

 

Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education7

2

 

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

 

Electives4

4

 

 

Student Selected Test5

 

1

Career and Technical Education Credential8

 

Total9

22

6

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least two different science disciplines: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one course in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

4Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality.

5A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career and technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

6Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for (i) the student-selected verified credit and (ii) either a science or history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the Board of Education as an additional test to verify student achievement.

7Pursuant to § 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia, credits earned for this requirement shall include one credit in fine or performing arts or career and technical education.

8Students shall earn a career and technical education credential approved by the Board of Education that could include, but not be limited to, except when a career and technical education credential in a particular subject area is not readily available or appropriate or does not adequately measure student competency, in which case the student shall receive satisfactory competency-based instruction in the subject area to satisfy the standard diploma requirements. The career and technical education credential, when required, could include the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness assessment.

9Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a noncredit-bearing course or a required or elective credit-bearing course that is offered online.

Beginning with first-time ninth-grade students in the 2016-2017 school year, students shall be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan which documents that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation requirement, as provided in 8VAC20-131-350.

3. The Board of Education shall establish, through guidelines, credit accommodations to the standard and verified credit requirements for a Standard Diploma. Such credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include:

a. Approval of alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements;

b. Modifications to the requirements for local school divisions to award locally awarded verified credits;

c. Approval of additional tests to earn a verified credit;

d. Adjusted cut scores required to earn verified credit; and

e. Allowance of work-based learning experiences.

The student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan would specify any credit accommodations that would be applicable for the student.

Students completing the requirements for the Standard Diploma may be eligible to receive an honor deemed appropriate by the local school board as described in subsection H of this section.

C. Requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma.

1. Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2013-2014 and beyond, students shall earn the required standard and verified units of credit described in subdivision 2 of this subsection.

2. Credits required for graduation with an Advanced Studies Diploma.

 

Discipline Area

Standard Units of Credit Required

Verified Credits Required

 

English

4

2

 

Mathematics1

4

2

 

Laboratory Science2

4

2

 

History and Social Sciences3

4

2

 

Foreign Language4

3

 

 

Health and Physical Education

2

 

 

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education

1

 

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

 

Electives

3

 

 

Student Selected Test5

 

1

 

Total6

26

9

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

2Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement.

4Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one language or two years of two languages.

5A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

6Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a noncredit-bearing course, or may be a course required to earn this diploma that is offered online.

Students completing the requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma may be eligible to receive an honor deemed appropriate by the local school board as described in subsection H of this section.

Beginning with first-time ninth-grade students in the 2016-2017 school year, students shall be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan which documents that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation requirement, as provided in 8VAC20-131-350.

D. In accordance with the requirements of the Standards of Quality, students with disabilities who complete the requirements of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas shall be awarded Special Applied Studies Diplomas.

E. In accordance with the requirements of the Standards of Quality, students who complete prescribed programs of studies defined by the local school board but do not qualify for a Standard Diploma, an Advanced Studies Diploma, or a Special an Applied Studies Diploma shall be awarded Certificates of Program Completion. The requirements for Certificates of Program Completion are developed by local school boards in accordance with the Standards of Quality.

F. In accordance with the provisions of the compulsory attendance law and 8VAC20-360 8VAC20-30, Regulations Governing General Educational Development Certificates Adult High School Programs, students who do not qualify for diplomas may earn a high school equivalency credential.

G. At a student's request, the local school board shall communicate or otherwise make known to institutions of higher education, potential employers, or other applicable third parties, in a manner that the local school board deems appropriate, that a student has attained the state's academic expectations by earning a Virginia diploma and that the value of such a diploma is not affected in any way by the accreditation status of the student's school.

H. Awards for exemplary student performance. Students who demonstrate academic excellence and/or outstanding achievement may be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

1. Students who complete the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "B" or better, and successfully complete college-level coursework that will earn the student at least nine transferable college credits in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge, or dual enrollment courses shall receive the Governor's Seal on the diploma.

2. Students who complete the requirements for a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "A" shall receive a Board of Education Seal on the diploma.

3. The Board of Education's Career and Technical Education Seal will be awarded to students who earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma and complete a prescribed sequence of courses in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that they choose and maintain a "B" or better average in those courses; or (i) pass an examination or an occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that confers certification or occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, trade or professional association or (ii) acquire a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Board of Education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements.

4. The Board of Education's Seal of Advanced Mathematics and Technology will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma and (i) satisfy all of the mathematics requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma (four units of credit including Algebra II; two verified units of credit) with a "B" average or better; and (ii) either (a) pass an examination in a career and technical education field that confers certification from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association; (b) acquire a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia; or (c) pass an examination approved by the board that confers college-level credit in a technology or computer science area. The Board of Education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements.

5. The Board of Education's Seal for Excellence in Civics Education will be awarded to students who earn either a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma and (i) complete Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government courses with a grade of "B" or higher; (ii) have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies; and (iii) complete 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities. Activities that would satisfy the requirements of clause (iii) of this subdivision include: (a) volunteering for a charitable or religious organization that provides services to the poor, sick, or less fortunate; (b) participating in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar youth organizations; (c) participating in JROTC; (d) participating in political campaigns or government internships, or Boys State, Girls State, or Model General Assembly; or (e) participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities that have a civics focus. Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met this community service requirement.

6. The Board of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded to students who demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one other language and meet additional criteria established by the Board. Such seal will be awarded to eligible students graduating from public high schools in the Commonwealth beginning in 2016.

6 7. Students may receive other seals or awards for exceptional academic, career and technical, citizenship, or other exemplary performance in accordance with criteria defined by the local school board.

I. Students completing graduation requirements in a summer school program shall be eligible for a diploma. The last school attended by the student during the regular session shall award the diploma unless otherwise agreed upon by the principals of the two schools.

J. Students who complete Advanced Placement courses, college-level courses, or courses required for an International Baccalaureate Diploma shall be deemed to have completed the requirements for graduation under these standards provided they have earned the standard units of credit and earned verified units of credit in accordance with the requirements for the Standard Diploma and the Advanced Studies Diploma, as specified in subsections B and C of this section.

K. Students shall be counseled annually regarding the opportunities for using additional tests for earning verified credits as provided in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-110, and the consequences of failing to fulfill the obligations to complete the requirements for verified units of credit.

8VAC20-131-60. Transfer students.

A. The provisions of this section pertain generally to students who transfer into Virginia high schools. Students transferring in grades K-8 from Virginia public schools or nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education shall be given recognition for all grade-level work completed. The academic record of students transferring from all other schools shall be evaluated to determine appropriate grade placement in accordance with policies adopted by the local school board. The State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school shall be retained by the receiving school.

B. For the purposes of this section, the term "beginning" means within the first 20 hours of instruction per course. The term "during" means after the first 20 hours of instruction per course.

C. Standard or verified units of credit earned by a student in a Virginia public school shall be transferable without limitation regardless of the accreditation status of the Virginia public school in which the credits were earned. Virginia public schools shall accept standard and verified units of credit from other Virginia public schools, Virginia's virtual learning program, Virtual Virginia, and state-operated programs. Standard units of credit also shall be accepted for courses satisfactorily completed in accredited colleges and universities when prior written approval of the principal has been granted or the student has been given credit by the previous school attended.

D. A secondary school shall accept credits toward graduation received from Virginia nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE). The Board of Education will maintain contact with the VCPE and may periodically review its accrediting procedures and policies as part of its policies under this section.

Nothing in these standards shall prohibit a public school from accepting standard units of credit toward graduation awarded to students who transfer from all other schools when the courses for which the student receives credit generally match the description of or can be substituted for courses for which the receiving school gives standard credit, and the school from which the child transfers certifies that the courses for which credit is given meet the requirements of 8VAC20-131-110 A.

Students transferring into a Virginia public school shall be required to meet the requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50 to receive a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma, except as provided by subsection G of this section. To receive a Special an Applied Studies Diploma or Certificate of Program Completion, a student must meet the requirements prescribed by the Standards of Quality.

E. The academic record of a student transferring from other Virginia public schools shall be sent directly to the school receiving the student upon request of the receiving school in accordance with the provisions of the 8VAC20-150, Management of the Student's Scholastic Record in the Public Schools of Virginia. The State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school shall be retained by the receiving school.

F. The academic record of a student transferring into Virginia public schools from other than a Virginia public school shall be evaluated to determine the number of standard units of credit that have been earned, including credit from schools outside the United States, and the number of verified units of credit needed to graduate in accordance with subsection G of this section. Standard units of credit also shall be accepted for courses satisfactorily completed in accredited colleges and universities when the student has been given credit by the previous school attended.

Students transferring above the tenth grade from schools or other education programs that do not require or give credit for health and physical education shall not be required to take these courses to meet graduation requirements.

G. Students entering a Virginia public high school for the first time after the tenth grade shall earn as many credits as possible toward the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50. However, schools may substitute courses required in other states in the same content area if the student is unable to meet the specific content requirements of 8VAC20-131-50 without taking a heavier than normal course load in any semester, by taking summer school, or by taking courses after the time when he otherwise would have graduated. In any event, no such student shall earn fewer than the following number of verified units, nor shall such students be required to take SOL tests or additional tests as defined in 8VAC20-131-110 for verified units of credit in courses previously completed at another school or program of study, unless necessary to meet the requirements listed in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection:

1. For a Standard Diploma:

a. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the ninth grade or at the beginning of the tenth grade shall earn credit as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50;

b. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the tenth grade or at the beginning of the eleventh grade shall earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one each in English, mathematics, history, and science. Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence may substitute a certificate, occupational competency credential or license for either a science or history and social science verified credit pursuant to 8VAC20-131-50; and

c. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade or at the beginning of the twelfth grade shall earn a minimum of two verified units of credit: one in English and one of the student's own choosing.

2. For an Advanced Studies Diploma:

a. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the ninth grade or at the beginning of the tenth grade shall earn credit as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50;

b. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the tenth grade or at the beginning of the eleventh grade shall earn a minimum of six verified units of credit: two in English and one each in mathematics, history, and science and one of the student's own choosing; and

c. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade or at the beginning of the twelfth grade shall earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one in English and three of the student's own choosing.

H. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time after the first semester of their eleventh grade year must meet the requirements of subdivision G 1 c or G 2 c of this section. Students transferring after 20 instructional hours per course of their senior or twelfth grade year shall be given every opportunity to earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma. If it is not possible for the student to meet the requirements for a diploma, arrangements should be made for the student's previous school to award the diploma. If these arrangements cannot be made, a waiver of the verified unit of credit requirements may be available to the student. The Department of Education may grant such waivers upon request by the local school board in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Board of Education.

I. Any local school division receiving approval to increase its course credit requirements for a diploma may not deny either the Standard Diploma or the Advanced Studies Diploma to any transfer student who has otherwise met the requirements contained in these standards if the transfer student can only meet the division's additional requirements by taking a heavier than normal course load in any semester, by taking summer school, or by taking courses after the time when he otherwise would have graduated.

J. The transcript of a student who graduates or transfers from a Virginia secondary school shall conform to the requirements of 8VAC20-160, Regulations Governing Secondary School Transcripts.

K. The accreditation status of a high school shall not be included on the student transcript provided to colleges, universities, or employers. The board expressly states that any student who has met the graduation requirements established in 8VAC20-131-50 and has received a Virginia diploma holds a diploma that should be recognized as equal to any other Virginia diploma of the same type, regardless of the accreditation status of the student's high school. It is the express policy of the board that no student shall be affected by the accreditation status of the student's school. The board shall take appropriate action, from time to time, to ensure that no student is affected by the accreditation status of the student's school.

8VAC20-131-110. Standard and verified units of credit.

A. The standard unit of credit for graduation shall be based on a minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction and successful completion of the requirements of the course. When credit is awarded in less than whole units, the increment awarded must be no greater than the fractional part of the 140 hours of instruction provided. If a school division elects to award credit on a basis other than the 140 clock hours of instruction required for a standard unit of credit defined in this subsection, the local school division shall provide the Board of Education with satisfactory proof, based on Board guidelines, that the students for whom the 140 clock hour requirement is waived have learned the content and skills included in the relevant Standards of Learning. In addition, the local school division shall develop a written policy approved by the superintendent and school board that ensures:

1. That the content of the course for which credit is awarded is comparable to 140 clock hours of instruction; and

2. That upon completion, the student will have met the aims and objectives of the course.

B. A verified unit of credit for graduation shall be based on a minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction, successful completion of the requirements of the course, and the achievement by the student of a passing score on the end-of-course SOL test for that course or additional tests as described in this subsection. A student may also earn a verified unit of credit by the following methods:

1. In accordance with the provisions of the Standards of Quality, students may earn a standard and verified unit of credit for any elective course in which the core academic SOL course content has been integrated and the student passes the related end-of-course SOL test. Such course and test combinations must be approved by the Board of Education.

2. Upon the recommendation of the division superintendent and demonstration of mastery of course content and objectives Upon waiver of the 140 clock hour requirement according to Board of Education guidelines, qualified students may receive who have received a standard unit of credit and will be permitted to sit for the relevant SOL test to earn a verified credit without having to meet the 140-clock-hour requirement.

3. Students who do not pass Standards of Learning tests in science or history and social science may receive locally awarded verified credits from the local school board in accordance with criteria established in guidelines adopted by the Board of Education.

C. The Board of Education may from time to time approve additional tests for the purpose of awarding verified credit. Such additional tests, which enable students to earn verified units of credit, must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:

1. The test must be standardized and graded independently of the school or school division in which the test is given;

2. The test must be knowledge based;

3. The test must be administered on a multistate or international basis, or administered as part of another state's accountability assessment program; and

4. To be counted in a specific academic area, the test must measure content that incorporates or exceeds the SOL content in the course for which verified credit is given.

The Board of Education will set the score that must be achieved to earn a verified unit of credit on the additional test options.

D. With such funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly, the Board of Education will provide opportunities for students who meet criteria adopted by the board to have an expedited retake of a SOL test to earn verified credit.

Part VI
School Facilities and Safety

8VAC20-131-260. School facilities and safety.

A. Each school shall be maintained in a manner ensuring compliance with the Virginia Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63). In addition, the school administration shall:

1. Maintain a physical plant that is accessible, barrier free, safe, and clean;

2. Provide for the proper outdoor display of flags of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia;

3. Provide suitable space for classrooms, administrative staff, pupil personnel services, library and media services, and for the needs and safety of physical education;

4. Provide adequate, safe, and properly-equipped laboratories to meet the needs of instruction in the sciences, technology, fine arts, and career and technical programs; and

5. Provide facilities for the adequate and safe administration and storage of student medications; and

6. Carry out the duties of the threat assessment team established by the division superintendent and implement policies established by the local school board related to threat assessment, pursuant to § 22.1-79.4.

B. Each school shall maintain records of regular safety, health, and fire inspections that have been conducted and certified by local health and fire departments. The frequency of such inspections shall be determined by the local school board in consultation with the local health and fire departments. In addition, the school administration shall:

1. Equip all exit doors with panic hardware as required by the Virginia Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63); and

2. Conduct fire drills at least once a week during the first month of school and at least once each month for the remainder of the school term. Evacuation routes for students shall be posted in each room.; and

3. Additionally, Conduct at least one two simulated lock-down drills and crisis emergency evacuation activity should be conducted early in the activities each school year, one in September and one in January.

C. Each school shall have contingency plans for emergencies that include staff certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich maneuver, and emergency first aid.

Each school building with instructional or administrative staff of ten or more shall have at least three employees with current certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator. If one or more students diagnosed as having diabetes attend such school, at least two employees shall have been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon.

Each school building with instructional or administrative staff fewer than ten shall have at least two employees with current certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator. If one or more students diagnosed as having diabetes attend such school, at least one employee shall have been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon.

D. In addition, the school administration shall ensure that the school has:

1. Written procedures to follow in emergencies such as fire, injury, illness, allergic reactions, and violent or threatening behavior. This shall include school board policies for the possession and administration of epinephrine in every school, to be administered by any school nurse, employee of the school board, employee of a local governing body, or employee of a local health department who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine to any student believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction. The plan shall be outlined in the student handbook and discussed with staff and students during the first week of each school year;

2. Space for the proper care of students who become ill;

3. A written procedure, in accordance with guidelines established by the local school board, for responding to violent, disruptive or illegal activities by students on school property or during a school sponsored activity; and

4. Written procedures to follow for the safe evacuation of persons with special physical, medical, or language needs who may need assistance to exit a facility.

Part VII
School and Community Communications

8VAC20-131-270. School and community communications.

A. Each school shall promote communication and foster mutual understanding with parents and the community. Each school shall:

1. Involve parents, citizens, community agencies, and representatives from business and industry in developing, disseminating, and explaining the biennial school plan; on advisory committees; in curriculum studies; and in evaluating the educational program.

2. Provide annually to the parents and the community the School Performance Report Card in a manner prescribed by the board. The information contained therein will be for the most recent three-year period. Such information shall include but not be limited to:

a. Virginia assessment program results by percentage of participation and proficiency and disaggregated by student subgroups.

b. The accreditation rating earned by the school.

c. Attendance rates for students.

d. Information related to school safety to include, but not limited to, incidents of crime and violence.

e. Information related to qualifications and educational attainment of the teaching staff.

f. In addition, secondary schools' School Performance Report Cards shall include the following:

(1) Advanced Placement (AP) information to include percentage of students who take AP courses and percentage of students who take AP tests;

(2) International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge course information to include percentage of students who are enrolled in IB or Cambridge programs and percentage of students who receive IB or Cambridge Diplomas;

(3) College-level course information to include percentage of students who take college-level courses including dual enrollment courses;

(4) Number and percentage of (i) graduates by diploma type as prescribed by the Board of Education, (ii) certificates awarded to the senior class including GED credentials high school equivalency preparation program credentials approved by the Board, and (iii) students who do not complete high school;

(5) As a separate category on the school report card, the number of students obtaining board-approved industry certifications, and passing state licensure examinations, national occupational competency assessments and Virginia workplace readiness skills assessments while still in high school and the number of career and technical education completers who graduated; and

(6) Number and percentage of drop-outs.

3. Cooperate with business and industry in formulating career and technical educational programs and conducting joint enterprises involving personnel, facilities, training programs, and other resources.

4. Encourage and support the establishment and/or continuation of a parent-teacher association or other organization and work cooperatively with it.

B. At the beginning of each school year, each school shall provide to its students' parents or guardians information on the availability of and source for receiving:

1. The learning objectives developed in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-70 to be achieved at their child's grade level or, in high school, a copy of the syllabus for each of their child's courses, and a copy of the school division promotion, retention, and remediation policies;

2. The Standards of Learning applicable to the child's grade or course requirements and the approximate date and potential impact of the child's next SOL testing; and

3. An annual notice to students in all grade levels of all requirements for Standard Diploma and Advanced Studies Diploma, and the board's policies on promotion and retention as outlined in 8VAC20-131-30.

The division superintendent shall report to the department compliance with this subsection through the preaccreditation eligibility procedures in 8VAC20-131-290.

Part VIII
School Accreditation

8VAC20-131-280. Expectations for school accountability.

A. Schools will be accredited annually based on compliance with preaccreditation eligibility requirements and achievement of the school accountability requirements of 8VAC20-131-300 C.

B. Each school shall be accredited based, primarily, on achievement of the criteria established in 8VAC20-131-30 and in 8VAC20-131-50 as specified below:

1. The percentage of students passing the Virginia assessment program tests in the four core academic areas administered in the school with the accreditation rating calculated on a trailing three-year average that includes the current year scores and the scores from the two most recent years in each applicable academic area, or on the current year's scores, whichever is higher.

2. The percentage of students graduating from or completing high school based on a graduation and completion index prescribed by the Board of Education. The accreditation rating of any school with a twelfth grade shall be determined based on achievement of required SOL pass rates and percentage points on the board's graduation and completion index. School accreditation shall be determined by the school's current year index points or a trailing three-year average of index points that includes the current year and the two most recent years, whichever is higher. The Board of Education's graduation and completion index shall include weighted points for diploma graduates (100 points), GED recipients of high school equivalency credentials approved by the Board (75 points), students not graduating but still in school (70 points), and students earning certificates of program completion (25 points).

The graduation and completion index calculation for a school shall be increased by three points for each student who obtains both a diploma and an industry certification, industry pathway certification, a state licensure, or an occupational competency credential in a career and technical education program, when such certification, licensure, or credential is approved by the Board of Education as student-selected verified credit; however, the additional three points shall not be used to obtain a higher accreditation rating.

The Board of Education's graduation and completion index shall account for all students in the graduating class's ninth-grade cohort, plus students transferring in, minus students transferring out and , deceased students , and students who fail to graduate because they are in the custody of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, or local law enforcement. Those students who are not included in one of the preceding categories will also be included in the index.

For the purposes of the Standards of Accreditation, the Board of Education shall use a graduation rate formula that excludes any student who fails to graduate because such student is in the custody of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, or local law enforcement.

3. The number of students who successfully complete a remediation recovery program.

4. Schools, with grade configurations that do not house a grade or offer courses for which SOL tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110 are administered, will be paired with another school in the division housing one or more of the grades in which SOL tests are administered. The pairing of such schools will be made upon the recommendation of the local superintendent. The schools should have a "feeder" relationship and the grades should be contiguous.

C. Subject to the provisions of 8VAC20-131-350, the governing school board of special purpose schools such as those provided for in § 22.1-26 of the Code of Virginia, Governor's schools, special education schools, alternative schools, or career and technical schools that serve as the student's school of principal enrollment may seek approval of an alternative accreditation plan from the Board of Education. Schools offering alternative education programs and schools with a graduation cohort of 50 or fewer students as defined by the graduation rate formula adopted by the board may request that the board approve an alternative accreditation plan to meet the graduation and completion index benchmark. Special purpose schools with alternative accreditation plans shall be evaluated on standards appropriate to the programs offered in the school and approved by the board prior to August 1 of the school year for which approval is requested. Any student graduating from a special purpose school with a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma must meet the requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50.

In addition, pursuant to § 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code of Virginia, any school board, on behalf of one or more of its schools, may request the Board of Education for approval of an Individual School Accreditation Plan for the evaluation of the performance of one or more of its schools as authorized for special purpose schools.

D. When calculating the passing rates on Virginia assessment program tests for the purpose of school accreditation, the following tolerances for limited English proficient (LEP) and transfer students will apply:

1. The scores of LEP students enrolled in Virginia public schools fewer than 11 semesters may be removed from the calculation used for the purpose of school accreditation required by 8VAC20-131-280 B and 8VAC20-131-300 C. Completion of a semester shall be based on school membership days. Membership days are defined as the days the student is officially enrolled in a Virginia public school, regardless of days absent or present. For a semester to count as a completed semester, a student must have been in membership for a majority of the membership days of the semester. These semesters need not be consecutive.

2. In accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-30, all students who transfer into Virginia public schools are expected to take and pass all applicable SOL tests in the content areas in which they receive instruction.

3. All students who transfer within a school division shall have their scores counted in the calculation of the school's accreditation rating. Students who transfer into a Virginia school from home instruction, or from another Virginia school division, another state, or another country, in grades kindergarten through 8 shall be expected to take all applicable SOL tests or additional tests approved by the board as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110. If the transfer takes place after the 20th instructional day following the opening of school, the scores on these tests may be used in calculating school accreditation ratings.

4. Students who transfer into a Virginia middle or high school from home instruction, or from another state or country, and enroll in a course for which there is an end-of-course SOL test, shall be expected to take the test or additional tests for that course approved by the board as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110. If the transfer takes place after 20 instructional hours per course have elapsed following the opening of school or beginning of the semester, if applicable, the scores on those tests may be used in calculating school accreditation ratings in the year the transfer occurs.

5. Students who enroll on the first day of school and subsequently transfer to a school outside of the division for a total amount of instructional time equal to or exceeding 50% of a current school year or semester, whether the transfer was a singular or multiple occurrence, and return during the same school year shall be expected to take any applicable SOL test. The scores of those tests may be used in calculating the school accreditation rating in the year in which the transfers occur.

E. The Board of Education may adopt special provisions related to the administration and use of any Virginia assessment program test in a content area. The Board of Education may adopt special provisions related to the administration and use of the graduation and completion index, as prescribed by the board. The Board of Education may also alter the inclusions and exclusions from the accreditation calculations by providing adequate notice to local school boards. The board may add new tests or discontinue the use of existing tests in the Virginia Assessment Program by providing adequate notice to local school boards.

F. As a prerequisite to the awarding of an accreditation rating as defined in 8VAC20-131-300, each new or existing school shall document, in a manner prescribed by the board, the following: (i) the division's promotion/retention policies developed in accordance with the requirements of 8VAC20-131-30, (ii) compliance with the requirements to offer courses that will allow students to complete the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-50, (iii) the ability to offer the instructional program prescribed in 8VAC20-131-70 through 8VAC20-131-100, (iv) the leadership and staffing requirements of 8VAC20-131-210 through 8VAC20-131-240, and (v) the facilities and safety provisions of 8VAC20-131-260. The division superintendent shall report to the department compliance with this subsection through the preaccreditation eligibility procedures in 8VAC20-131-290.

8VAC20-131-300. Application of the standards.

A. Effective no later than the academic year 2016-2017, schools Schools that meet the preaccreditation eligibility requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-280 F shall be assigned one of the following ratings as described in this section:

1. Fully Accredited;

2. Conditionally Accredited: New School

3. Partially Accredited according to criteria in one or more of the following categories:

a. Approaching Benchmark-within specified margin(s)

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

b. Improving School-meets criteria for improvement over previous year and/or for student growth

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

c. Warned School

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

d. Reconstituted School

2. Accredited with Warning in (specified academic area or areas and/or in achievement of the minimum threshold for the graduation and completion index);

3 4. Accreditation Denied;

4. Conditionally Accredited;

5. Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate.

B. Compliance with the student academic achievement expectations shall be documented to the board directly through the reporting of the results of student performance on SOL tests and other alternative means of assessing student academic achievement as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110. To facilitate accurate reporting of the graduation and completion index, the State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school shall be retained by the receiving school. Compliance with other provisions of these regulations will be documented in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Board of Education.

C. Accreditation ratings defined. Accreditation ratings awarded in an academic year are based upon Virginia assessment program scores from the academic year immediately prior to the year to which the accreditation rating applies and on graduation and completion indexes (for schools with twelfth grade) established for the current year. Effective no later than the academic year 2016-2017, accreditation Accreditation ratings are defined as follows:

1. Fully accredited.

a. With tests administered in the academic years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 for the accreditation ratings awarded for academic years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 respectively, a school will be rated Fully Accredited when its eligible students meet the pass rate of 70% in each of the four core academic areas except, the pass rates required shall be 75% in third-grade through fifth-grade English and 50% in third-grade science and history/social science.

b. For schools housing grade configurations where multiple pass rates apply, the results of the tests may be combined in each of the four core academic areas for the purpose of calculating the school's accreditation rating provided the school chooses to meet the higher pass rate.

c a. With tests administered beginning in the academic year 2012-2013 for the accreditation ratings awarded for school year 2013-2014 and beyond, a A school will be rated Fully Accredited when its eligible students meet the pass rate of 75% in English and the pass rate of 70% in mathematics, science, and history and social science. Additionally, each school with a graduating class shall achieve a minimum of 85 percentage points on the Board of Education's graduation and completion index, as described in 8VAC20-131-280 B 2, to be rated Fully Accredited.

d b. For accreditation purposes, the pass rate will be calculated as single rates for each of the four core academic areas by combining all scores of all tests administered in each subject area.

2. Accredited with Warning (in specific academic areas and/or in achievement of the minimum threshold for the graduation and completion index). A school will be Accredited with Warning (in specific academic areas and/or in achievement of the minimum threshold for the graduation and completion index) if it has failed to achieve Fully Accredited status. Such a school may remain in the Accredited with Warning status for no more than three consecutive years.

2. Conditionally Accredited: New School. New schools that are comprised of students from one or more existing schools in the division will be awarded a Conditionally Accredited: New School status for one year pending an evaluation of the school's eligible students' performance on SOL tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education to be rated Fully Accredited.

3. Partially Accredited: A school which meets criteria as prescribed by the Board of Education will be designated as Partially Accredited according to the specific categories shown below.

a. Approaching Benchmark: (within specified margins)

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. Based on components of the graduation and completion index as described in 8VAC20-131-280B 2, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index when its eligible students meet pass rates required for full accreditation and its graduation and completion index is within a narrow margin of the minimum threshold as prescribed by the Board.  A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the Board.

(2) Pass Rate. Based on tests administered in the previous  academic year, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate if the school does not meet the requirements for full accreditation in all of the four core academic subject areas but the pass rate in each subject area either: (1) meets the pass rate required for full accreditation; or (2) is within a narrow margin of the pass rate required for full accreditation, as defined by the Board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the Board.

b. Improving School: (meets criteria for improvement and/or student growth over previous year)

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. Based on components of the graduation and completion index as described in 8VAC20-131-280B 2, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index when its eligible students meet pass rates required for full accreditation, but its graduation and completion index is not within the established narrow margin of the minimum threshold prescribed by the Board; however it has achieved sufficient improvement in its graduation and completion index from the previous year, as prescribed by the Board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the Board.

(2) Pass Rate. Based on tests administered in the previous academic year, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate if the school does not meet the requirements for full accreditation or for Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate, but in each of the four core academic subject areas, one of the following criteria is met: (1) the pass rate meets the benchmark required for full accreditation; ( 2) the pass rate is within a narrow margin of the benchmark required for full accreditation, as defined by the Board; (3) the school has demonstrated sufficient improvement in its pass rate from the previous year as defined by the Board; or (4) the school has demonstrated sufficient  student growth, as defined by the Board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the Board.

c. Warned School:

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. A school will be designated as Partially Accredited: Warned School-Graduation and Completion Index if it has failed to achieve Fully Accredited, Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index or Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index status. Such a school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Warned School-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years.

(2) Pass Rate. A school will be designated as Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate if it has failed to achieve Fully Accredited, Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate or Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate status. Such a school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years.

d. Reconstituted School. A Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School rating may be awarded to a school that is being reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-340 upon approval by the Board of Education. A school awarded this rating under those circumstances will revert to a status of Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited by the end of the agreed upon term or if it fails to have its annual application for such rating renewed.

3 4. Accreditation Denied. Based on a school's academic performance and/or achievement of the minimum threshold performance for the graduation and completion index, a school shall be rated Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited or Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate, Partially Accredited for the preceding three consecutive years or for three consecutive years anytime thereafter.

In any school division in which one-third or more of the schools have been rated Accreditation Denied, the superintendent shall be evaluated by the local school board with a copy of such evaluation submitted to the Board of Education no later than December 1 of each year in which such condition exists. In addition, the Board of Education may take action against the local school board as permitted by the Standards of Quality due to the failure of the local board to maintain accredited schools.

4. Conditionally Accredited. New schools that are comprised of students from one or more existing schools in the division will be awarded a Conditionally Accredited-New status for one year pending an evaluation of the school's eligible students' performance on SOL tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education to be rated Fully Accredited. A Conditionally Accredited-Reconstituted rating may be awarded to a school that is being reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-340 upon approval by the Board of Education. A school awarded this rating under those circumstances will revert to a status of Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited by the end of the agreed upon term or if it fails to have its annual application for such rating renewed.

5. Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate. With tests administered in the academic years 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 for the accreditation ratings awarded for academic years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016 respectively, a school will be rated Provisionally Accredited -Graduation Rate when its eligible students meet SOL pass rates to be rated Fully Accredited but fails to achieve a minimum of 85 percentage index points on the Board of Education's graduation and completion index, but achieve the following minimum benchmarks for each year:

 

Graduation and Completion Index Benchmarks for Provisionally Accredited Ratings

 

Academic Year

Accreditation Year

Index Percentage Points

 

2010-2011

2011-2012

80

 

2011-2012

2012-2013

81

 

2012-2013

2013-2014

82

 

2013-2014

2014-2015

83

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

84

The last year in which this rating shall be awarded is the 2015-2016 accreditation year, based on tests administered in the 2014-2015 academic year.

8VAC20-131-310. Action requirements for schools that are Accredited with Warning or Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate designated Partially Accredited in the following categories: (1) Improving School-Pass Rate; (2) Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index; and (3) Warned School.

A. With such funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly, the Department of Education shall develop a school academic review process and monitoring plan designed to assist schools rated as Accredited with Warning Partially Accredited in the following categories: (1) Improving School-Pass Rate; (2) Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index; and (3) Warned School. All procedures and operations for the academic review process shall be approved and adopted by the board.

Schools rated Accredited with Warning or Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate Partially Accredited in the following categories: (1) Improving School-Pass Rate; (2) Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index; and (3) Warned School must undergo an academic review in accordance with guidelines adopted by the board and prepare a school improvement plan as required by subsection F of this section.

B. Any school that is rated Accredited with Warning Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate because of pass rates in English or mathematics shall adopt a research-based instructional intervention that has a proven track record of success at raising student achievement in those areas as appropriate.

C. The superintendent and principal shall certify in writing to the Board of Education that such an intervention has been adopted and implemented.

D. The board shall publish a list of recommended instructional interventions, which may be amended from time to time.

E. Adoption of instructional interventions referenced in subsections B and D of this section shall be funded by eligible local, state, and federal funds.

F. A three-year School Improvement Plan must be developed and implemented, based on the results of an academic review of each school that is rated Accredited with Warning or Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate Partially Accredited in the following categories: (1) Improving School-Pass Rate; (2) Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index; and (3) Warned School, upon receipt of notification of the awarding of this rating and receipt of the results of the academic review. The plan:

1. Shall be developed with the assistance of parents and teachers and made available to the public;

2. Must include the components outlined in subsection G of this section; and

3. Must be approved by the division superintendent and the local school board and be designed to assist the school in meeting the student achievement standard to be Fully Accredited as outlined in 8VAC20-131-300.

G. The improvement plan shall include the following:

1. A description of how the school will meet the requirements to be Fully Accredited, for each of the years covered by the plan;

2. Specific measures for achieving and documenting student academic improvement;

3. A description of the amount of time in the school day devoted to instruction in the core academic areas;

4. Instructional practices designed to remediate students who have not been successful on SOL tests;

5. Intervention strategies designed to prevent further declines in student performance and graduation rates;

6. Staff development needed;

7. Strategies to involve and assist parents in raising their child's academic performance;

8. The need for flexibility or waivers to state or local regulations to meet the objectives of the plan; and

9. A description of the manner in which local, state, and federal funds are used to support the implementation of the components of this plan.

As part of its approval of the school improvement plan, the board may grant a local school board a waiver from the requirements of any regulations promulgated by the board when such a waiver is available.

H. The school improvement plan and related annual reports submitted to the board shall provide documentation of the continuous efforts of the school to achieve the requirements to become rated Fully Accredited. The board shall adopt and approve all policies and formats for the submission of annual reports under this section. The reports shall be due no later than October 1 of the school year.

8VAC20-131-315. Action requirements for schools that are denied accreditation.

A. Any school rated Accreditation Denied in accordance with 8VAC20-131-300 shall be subject to actions prescribed by the Board of Education and shall provide parents of enrolled students and other interested parties with the following:

1. Written notice of the school's accreditation rating within 30 calendar days of the notification of the rating from the Department of Education;

2. A copy of the school division's proposed corrective action plan, including a timeline for implementation, to improve the school's accreditation rating; and

3. An opportunity to comment on the division's proposed corrective action plan. Such public comment shall be received and considered by the school division prior to finalizing the school's corrective action plan and a Board of Education memorandum of understanding with the local school board.

B. Any school rated Accreditation Denied in accordance with 8VAC20-131-300 shall be subject to actions prescribed by the Board of Education and affirmed through a memorandum of understanding between the Board of Education and the local school board. The local school board shall submit a corrective action plan to the Board of Education for its consideration in prescribing actions in the memorandum of understanding within 45 days of the notification of the rating. The memorandum of understanding shall be entered into no later than November 1 of the academic year in which the rating is awarded.

The local board shall submit status reports detailing implementation of actions prescribed by the memorandum of understanding to the Board of Education. The status reports shall be signed by the school principal, division superintendent, and the chair of the local school board. The school principal, division superintendent, and the chair of the local school board may be required to appear before the Board of Education to present status reports.

The memorandum of understanding may also include but not be limited to:

1. Undergoing an educational service delivery and management review. The Board of Education shall prescribe the content of such review and approve the reviewing authority retained by the school division.

2. Employing a turnaround specialist credentialed by the state to address those conditions at the school that may impede educational progress and effectiveness and academic success.

C. As an alternative to the memorandum of understanding outlined in subsection B of this section, a local school board may choose to reconstitute a school rated Accreditation Denied and apply to the Board of Education for a rating of Conditionally Accredited Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School. The application shall outline specific responses that address all areas of deficiency that resulted in the Accreditation Denied rating and may include any of the provisions of subsection B of this section.

If a local school board chooses to reconstitute a school, it may annually apply for an accreditation rating of Conditionally Accredited Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School as provided for in 8VAC20-131-300 C 5 C3d. The Conditionally Accredited Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School rating may be granted for a period not to exceed three years if the school is making progress toward a rating of Fully Accredited in accordance with the terms of the Board of Education's approval of the reconstitution application. The school will revert to a status of Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited by the end of the three-year term or if it fails to have its annual application for such rating renewed.

D. The local school board may choose to close a school rated Accreditation Denied or to combine such school with a higher performing school in the division.

E. A local school board that has any school with the status of Accreditation Denied shall annually report each school's progress toward meeting the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited to the Board of Education. The local board shall submit such report in a manner prescribed by the Board of Education no later than October 1 of each year. Such reports on each school's progress shall be included in the Board of Education's annual report on the condition and needs of public education to the Governor and the General Assembly submitted on November 15 of each year.

8VAC20-131-360. Effective date.

A. The provisions in 8VAC20-131-30 B relating to double testing and the provisions in 8VAC20-131-60 C relating to Virtual Virginia shall become effective July 31, 2009.

B. Graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50 B and C for the Standard Diploma and the Advanced Studies Diploma shall become effective with the ninth-grade class of 2013-2014.

C. Schools with a graduating class shall meet prescribed thresholds on a graduation and completion rate index as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-280 and 8VAC20-131-300 for accreditation ratings earned in 2010-2011 and awarded in 2011-2012.

D. Accreditation ratings prescribed in 8VAC20-131-300 C 1 a shall become effective with tests administered in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 for ratings awarded in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

E. Accreditation ratings prescribed in 8VAC20-121-300 C 1 c shall become effective with tests administered in 2012-2013 for ratings awarded in 2013-2014 and beyond.

F. The Academic and Career Plan prescribed in 8VAC20-131-140 shall become effective in 2013-2014.

G. Unless otherwise specified, the remainder of these regulations shall be effective beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year.

H. The revision of the graduation rate formula, for purposes of the Standards of Accreditation, as described in 8VAC20-131-280 is effective as of July 1, 2016.