Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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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.

"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 F 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, Advanced Technical, Standard, Standard Technical, Modified Standard, Special, and General Achievement diplomas.

"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 (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.

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 should shall take the  [ test tests ] of the grade-level enrolled or the   tests  for the grade level of the content received in instruction. No student shall  [ be required to ]  take more than one test in any  [ single ]  content area in  [ any tested grade 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.

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.

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  [ classes class  ] of 2003-042009-2010 2010-2011 ]  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 Education[7 ]

 [1 2 ]

 

 

 [ Foreign Language, ]  Economics  [ or and ]  Personal Finance

1

 

 

Electives4

6  [ 5 4 ]

 

 

Student Selected Test5

 

1

 

Total

22

6

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall be at or above the level of algebra and 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 and geometry Algebra II. The board may shall approve additional 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 may 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 one course in either world history or geography or both. The board may shall approve additional 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.

 [7 Pursuant 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.]

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 I K of this section.

C. Requirements for a Standard Technical Diploma.

 [1. Beginning with the ninth-class of 2010-2011 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 Technical Diploma.

 

Discipline Area

Standard Units of Credit Required

Verified Credits Required

 

English

4

2

 

Mathematics1

3

1

 

Laboratory Science2,5

3

1

 

History and Social Sciences3,5

3

1

 

Health and Physical Education

2

 

 

Fine Arts [ , or ] Foreign Language,  [ Economics or Personal Finance ]

1

 

 

 [ Economics and Personal Finance ]

 [ 1 ]

 

 

Career and Technical Education4

4

 

 

Electives

 [ 2 1 ]

 

 

Student Selected6

 

1

 

Total

22

6

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three [different] course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra Functions and Data Analysis, or 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 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 completed to satisfy this requirement must include a career concentration as approved by the board.  [ For concentrations that require less than four courses students must complete additional courses that are related to the student's career concentration. If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the board and the student is eligible to take the assessment, then the student must take this assessment. ]

5Students 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 as an additional test to verify student achievement.  [ If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the board, then the student must take this assessment. ]

6A 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.

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

C. D. Requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma.  [ (*Contingent upon passage of the VDOE legislative proposal ]  Any student who meets the requirements for both the Advanced Studies and the Advanced Technical diploma may choose between these two diplomas.) 

  [1. Beginning with the ninth-class of 2010-2011 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  [ or and ] Personal Finance

1

 

 

Electives

2 3

 

 

Student Selected Test5

 

1

 

Total

24 26

9

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall be at or above the level of algebra and 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 may shall approve additional 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 may 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 may 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.

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 I K of this section.

E. Requirements for an Advanced Technical Diploma.  [ (*Contingent upon passage of the VDOE legislative proposal ]  Any student who meets the requirements for both the Advanced Studies and the Advanced Technical diploma may choose between these two diplomas.) 

 [1. Beginning with the ninth-class of 2010-2011 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 Technical 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

 

 

 [ Economics and Personal Finance ]

 [ 1 ]

 

 

Fine Arts or  [ Economics Career and Technical Education ]

1

 

 

Career and Technical Education5

 [ 4 3 ]

 

 

Student Selected Test6

 

1

 

Total

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 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 courses to satisfy this requirement.

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

 5Courses completed to satisfy this requirement must include a career concentration as approved by the board.  [ For concentrations that require less than four courses, students must complete additional courses that are related to the student's career concentration.] If a career concentration includes a specific assessment approved by the board, [and the student is eligible to take the assessment,] then the student must take this assessment [to fulfill this [requirement].

6A 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.

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

D. F. Requirements for the Modified Standard Diploma.

1. Every student shall be expected to pursue a Standard Diploma or , Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma, or Advanced Technical Diploma. The Modified Standard Diploma program is intended for certain students at the secondary level who have a disability and are unlikely to meet the credit requirements for a Standard Diploma. Eligibility and participation in the Modified Standard Diploma program shall be determined by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team including the student, where appropriate, at any point after the student's eighth grade year.

2. The school must secure the informed written consent of the parent/guardian and the student to choose this diploma program after review of the student's academic history and the full disclosure of the student's options.

3. The student who has chosen to pursue a Modified Standard Diploma shall also be allowed to pursue the Standard Diploma, or Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma or Advanced Technical Diploma at any time throughout that student's high school career, and the student must not be excluded from courses and tests required to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.

4. Students pursuing the Modified Standard Diploma shall pass literacy and numeracy competency assessments prescribed by the board.

5. Credits required for graduation with a Modified Standard Diploma.

 

Discipline Area

Standard Units of Credit Required

 

English

4

 

Mathematics1

3

 

Science2

2

 

History and Social Sciences3

2

 

Health and Physical Education

2

 

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education

1

 

Electives4

6

 

Total

20

 

1Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include content from among applications of algebra, geometry, personal finance, and [probability and] statistics in courses that have been approved by the board.

2Courses completed shall include content from at least two of the following: applications of earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics in courses approved by the board.

3Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include one unit of credit in U.S. and Virginia History and one unit of credit in U.S. and Virginia Government in courses approved by the board.

4Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives in the same manner required for the Standard Diploma.

6. The student must meet any additional criteria established by the Board of Education.

E. G. 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 Diplomas.

F. H. 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 Standard, Standard Technical, Advanced Studies, Advanced Technical, Modified Standard, Special, or General Achievement diplomas 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. Students receiving a general achievement diploma shall comply with 8VAC20-680, Regulations Governing the General Achievement Diploma.

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

H. J. 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.

I. K. 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 or Advanced Technical 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, Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma or Advanced Technical 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 or Diploma, Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma or Advanced Technical 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 or Diploma, Standard Technical Diploma  [ ] Advanced Studies Diploma or Advanced Technical Diploma and (i) satisfy all of the mathematics requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma or Advanced Technical 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 or Diploma, Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Studies Diploma [ , ]  or Advanced Technical 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. 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.

J. L. 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.

K. M. 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 of subsections B and C of this section.

L. N. 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, Standard Technical, Advanced Studies, Advanced Technical or Modified Standard Diploma, except as provided by subsection G of this section. To receive a Special 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 or Standard Technical 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 or Advanced Technical 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, Advanced Studies, or Modified Standard 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, Advanced Studies, or Modified Standard 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.

[8VAC20-131-80. Instructional program in elementary schools.

A. The elementary school shall provide each student a program of instruction that corresponds to the Standards of Learning for English, mathematics, science, and history/social science. In addition, each school shall provide instruction in art, music, and physical education and health and shall require students to participate in a program of physical fitness during the regular school year in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education.

B. In kindergarten through grade 3, reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics shall be the focus of the instructional program. Schools shall maintain  , in a manner prescribed by the Board of Education,  an early skills and knowledge achievement record in reading and mathematics for each student in grades kindergarten through grade 3 to monitor student progress and to promote successful achievement on the third grade SOL tests. This record shall be included with the student's records if the student transfers to a new school.

C. To provide students with sufficient opportunity to learn, a minimum of 75% of the annual instructional time of 990 hours shall be given to instruction in the disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and history/social science. Students who are not successfully progressing in early reading proficiency or who are unable to read with comprehension the materials used for instruction shall receive additional instructional time in reading, which may include summer school.

D. Elementary schools are encouraged to provide instruction in foreign languages. ]   

 [ 8VAC20-131-100. Instructional program in secondary schools.

A. The secondary school shall provide each student a program of instruction in the academic areas of English, mathematics, science, and history/social science that enables each student to meet the graduation requirements described in 8VAC20-131-50 and shall offer opportunities for students to pursue a program of studies in foreign languages, fine arts, and career and technical areas including:

1. Career and technical education choices that prepare the student as a career and technical education program completer in one of three or more occupational areas and that prepare the student for technical or preprofessional postsecondary programs;

2. Coursework and experiences that prepare the student for college-level studies including access to at least three Advanced Placement (AP) courses, college-level courses for degree credit, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, Cambridge courses, or any combination thereof;

3. Preparation for college admissions tests; and

4. Opportunities to study and explore the fine arts and foreign languages.

B. Minimum course offerings for each secondary school shall provide opportunities for students to meet the graduation requirements stated in 8VAC20-131-50 and must include:

English

4

Mathematics

4

Science (Laboratory)

4

History and Social Sciences

4

Foreign Language

3

Electives

 [ 4 3 ]

Career and Technical Education

11

Fine Arts

2

Health and Physical Education

2

Economics and Personal Finance ]  

 [ 1 ]

Total Units

38

C. Classroom driver education may count for 36 class periods of health education. Students shall not be removed from classes other than health and physical education for the in-car phase of driver education.

D. Each school shall ensure that students who are unable to read with comprehension the materials used for instruction receive additional instruction in reading, which may include summer school.  ]

8VAC20-131-140. College and career preparation programs and opportunities for postsecondary credit.

Each middle and secondary school shall provide for the early identification and enrollment of students in a college preparation program with a range of educational and academic experiences in and outside the classroom, including an emphasis on experiences that will motivate disadvantaged and minority students to attend college.

Beginning in the middle school years, students shall be counseled on opportunities for beginning postsecondary education and opportunities for obtaining industry certifications, occupational competency credentials, or professional licenses in a career and technical education field prior to high school graduation. Such opportunities shall include access to at least three Advanced Placement courses or three college-level courses for degree credit pursuant to 8VAC20-131-100. Students taking advantage of such opportunities shall not be denied participation in school activities for which they are otherwise eligible. Wherever possible, students shall be encouraged and afforded opportunities to take college courses simultaneously for high school graduation and college degree credit (dual enrollment), under the following conditions:

1. Written approval of the high school principal prior to participation in dual enrollment must be obtained;

2. The college must accept the student for admission to the course or courses; and

3. The course or courses must be given by the college for degree credits (no remedial courses will be accepted).

Schools that comply with this standard shall not be penalized in receiving state appropriations.

Beginning with the  [ 2009-2010 2010-2011 ] academic year, all  [ middle ]  schools shall  [ develop and maintain begin development of ] a personal Academic and Career Plan for each  [ seventh- and eighth-grade seventh-grade student with completion by the fall of the student's eighth-grade year. that includes specific components established by the Board of Education. Beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year, students Students who transfer from other than a Virginia public school into the eighth grade shall have the Plan developed as soon as practicable following enrollment. Beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year, students] who transfer into a Virginia public school after their eighth-grade year shall have an Academic and Career Plan developed upon enrollment. The components of the Plan shall include, but not be limited to, the student's  [ educational goals and ]  program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary career pathway based on the student's academic and career interests. The Academic and Career Plan shall be developed [in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education] and signed by the student, student's parent or guardian, and school official(s) designated by the principal. The Plan shall be included in the student's record and shall be reviewed and updated, if necessary, before the student enters the ninth and eleventh grades. The school shall have met its obligation for parental involvement if it makes a good faith effort to notify the parent or guardian of the responsibility for the development and approval of the Plan.Any personal academic and career plans prescribed by local school boards for students in grades 7-12 and in effect as of June 30, 2009, are approved to continue without further action by the Board. ]

Part V
School and Instructional Leadership

8VAC20-131-210. Role of the principal.

A. The principal is recognized as the instructional leader of the school and is responsible for effective school management that promotes positive student achievement, a safe and secure environment in which to teach and learn, and efficient use of resources. As a matter of policy, the board, through these standards, recognizes the critically important role of principals to the success of public schools and the students who attend those schools and recommends that local school boards provide principals with the maximum authority available under law in all matters affecting the school including, but not limited to, instruction and personnel, in a manner that allows the principal to be held accountable in a fair and consistent manner for matters under his direct control.

B. As the instructional leader, the principal is responsible for ensuring that students are provided an opportunity to learn and shall:

1. Protect the academic instructional time from unnecessary interruptions and disruptions and enable the professional teaching staff to spend the maximum time possible in the teaching/learning process by keeping to a minimum clerical responsibility and the time students are out of class;

2. Ensure that the school division's student code of conduct is enforced and seek to maintain a safe and secure school environment;

3. Analyze the school's test scores annually, by grade and by discipline, to:

a. Direct and require appropriate prevention, intervention, and/or remediation to those students performing below grade level or not passing the SOL tests;

b. Involve the staff of the school in identifying the types of staff development needed to improve student achievement and ensure that the staff participate in those activities; and

c. Analyze classroom practices and methods for improvement of instruction;

4. Ensure that students' records are maintained and that criteria used in making placement and promotion decisions, as well as any instructional interventions used to improve the student's performance, are included in the record;

5. Monitor and evaluate the quality of instruction, provide staff development, provide support that is designed to improve instruction, and seek to ensure the successful attainment of the knowledge and skills required for students by the SOL tests;

6. Maintain records of students who drop out of school, including their reasons for dropping out and actions taken to prevent these students from dropping out; and

7. Notify the parents of rising eleventh-grade and twelfth-grade students of:

a. The number of standard and verified units of credit required for graduation; and

b. The remaining number of such units of credit the individual student requires for graduation; and

8. Notify the [ parents parent or guardian]  of students removed from class for disciplinary reasons for two or more consecutive days in whole or in part.  [The school shall have met its obligation if it makes a good faith effort to notify the parent or guardian.]  

C. As the school manager, the principal shall:

1. Work with staff to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and courtesy and to facilitate constructive communication by establishing and maintaining a current handbook of personnel policies and procedures;

2. Work with the community to involve parents and citizens in the educational program and facilitate communication with parents by maintaining and disseminating a current student handbook of policies and procedures that includes the school division's standards of student conduct and procedures for enforcement, along with other matters of interest to parents and students;

3. Maintain a current record of licensure, endorsement, and in-service training completed by staff; and

4. Maintain records of receipts and disbursements of all funds handled. These records shall be audited annually by a professional accountant approved by the local school board.

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 [ including the percentage of students tested, as well as the percentage of students not tested. by percentage of participation and proficiency and disaggregated by student subgroups. ]

 [ b. Performance of student subgroups on the Virginia assessment program as appropriate. ]  

 [ c. b. ]  The accreditation rating  [ awarded to earned by  ] the school.

 [ d. c. ] Attendance rates for students.

 [ e. d. ] Information related to school safety to include, but not limited to, incidents of [ physical crime and ] violence  [ (including fighting and other serious offenses), possession of firearms, and possession of other weapons ] .

 [ f. e. ]  Information related to qualifications and [ experience educational attainment ] of the teaching staff  [ including the percentage of the school's teachers endorsed in the area of their primary teaching assignment ] .

 [ g. 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 [ those ]  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 percentage ] of (i) graduates by diploma type as prescribed by the Board of Education, (ii) certificates awarded to the senior class including GED credentials, and (iii) students who do not complete high school;

(5)  [ Information on the The ] number of students obtaining industry certifications, and passing state licensure examinations and occupational competency assessments while still in high school; and

(6)  [ Number and Percentage 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, Standard Technical, Advanced Studies, Advanced Technical and Modified Standard Diplomas, 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 (75 points), students not graduating but still in school (70 points), and students earning certificates of program completion  [ (60 25 points) ] . 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.   Those students who are not included in one of the preceding categories [(i.e. students who dropout) ]  will also be included in the index.

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

3. 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 [8VAC20-131-330 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  [ an enrollment a graduation cohort of ] 50 or fewer students  [ in the ninth grade cohort as defined by the graduation rate formula adopted by the Board ] may request that the Board  [ of Education ]  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, Advanced Studies, or Modified Standard Diploma must meet the requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50.

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.

6. The board may alter the inclusions and exclusions from the accreditation calculations by providing adequate notice to local school boards.

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 as applied to these regulations. 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.

8VAC20-131-290. Procedures for certifying accreditation eligibility.

A. Schools will be accredited under these standards annually based, in part, on compliance with the preaccreditation eligibility requirements described in 8VAC20-131-280 F.

B. To be eligible for accreditation, the principal of each school and the division superintendent shall report to the Department of Education:

1. The extent to which each school continues to meet standards reported as met in the previous year described in 8VAC20-131-280 F.

2. That the SOL have been fully incorporated into the school division's curriculum in all accreditation-eligible schools and the SOL material is being taught to all students eligible to take the SOL tests. This shall be certified by each school division superintendent as part of the preaccreditation eligibility determination process.

3. Actions taken to correct any noncompliance issues cited in the previous year.

4. Compliance with 8VAC20-131-270 B.

The principal of each school and the division superintendent shall submit preaccreditation eligibility reports in a manner prescribed by the board to the Department of Education. Failure to submit the reports on time will constitute grounds for denying accreditation to the school.

C. In keeping with provisions of the Standards of Quality, and in conjunction with the six-year long-range comprehensive plan of the division, each school shall prepare and implement a biennial school plan which shall be available to students, parents, staff, and the public. Each biennial school plan shall be evaluated as part of the development of the next biennial plan. Schools may use other plans to satisfy the requirement for the biennial plan with prior written approval from the Department of Education.

D. With the approval of the local school board, local schools seeking to implement experimental or innovative programs, or both, that are not consistent with these standards shall submit a waiver request, on forms provided, to the board for evaluation and approval prior to implementation. The request must include the following:

1. Purpose and objectives of the experimental/innovative programs;

2. Description and duration of the programs;

3. Anticipated outcomes;

4. Number of students affected;

5. Evaluation procedures; and

6. Mechanisms for measuring goals, objectives, and student academic achievement.

Except as specified below, the board may grant, for a period up to five years, a waiver of these regulations that are not mandated by state or federal law or designed to promote health or safety. The board may grant all or a portion of the request. Waivers of requirements in 8VAC20-131-30, 8VAC20-131-50, 8VAC20-131-70, and 8VAC20-131-280 through 8VAC20-131-340 shall not be granted, and no waiver may be approved for a program which would violate the provisions of the Standards of Quality.

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

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

3. Accreditation Denied;

4. Conditionally Accredited;

5. Accreditation Withheld/Improving School Near Accreditation (rating shall not be awarded after academic year ending in 2007, based on tests administered in 2005-2006). 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. Accreditation ratings are defined as follows:

1. Fully accredited.

a. With tests administered in the academic year 2005-2006 for the accreditation ratings awarded for academic year 2006-2007, 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 and fifth-grade English and 50% in third-grade science and history/social science.

b. a. With tests administered in the academic years 2006-2007, 2007-2008,  [ and ]  2008-2009 [ , and 2009-2010 ]  for the accreditation ratings awarded for academic years 2007-2008, 2008-2009,  [ and ] 2009-2010 [, and 2010-2011 ]  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.

c. 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.

d. c. With tests administered beginning in the academic year 2009-10  [ 2009-2010 2010-2011 ] for the accreditation ratings awarded for school year 2010-11  [ 2010-2011 2011-2012 ] and beyond, 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  [ 80 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.

e. d. 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 area or areas 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 area or areas 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.

3. Accreditation Denied. Based on a school's academic performance during academic years ending in 2006 and beyond and/or achievement of the minimum threshold 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], 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. Accreditation Withheld/Improving School Near Accreditation. A school that has never met the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited by the academic year ending in 2006 and subject to being awarded a rating of Accreditation Denied may apply to the board for this accreditation designation for 2006-2007. To be eligible, the school must meet each of the following criteria:

a. With assessments administered in 2005-2006, at least 70% of its students must have passed the applicable English SOL tests except at third and fifth grade where the requirement is 75%.

b. With assessments administered in 2005-2006, a combined pass rate of 60% of its students must have passed the Virginia assessment program tests in the other three core academic areas.

c. In each academic area in which the pass rate is below the rate required to be rated Fully Accredited, the school's pass rate must have increased by at least 25 percentage points as compared to the pass rates on tests taken during the academic year ending in 1999.

This rating shall not be awarded after the 2006-2007 academic year.

5. 4. Conditionally Accredited. New schools that are comprised of students from one or more existing schools in the division will be awarded  [ this 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.  [This A Conditionally Accredited-Reconstituted] rating may  [ also ]  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  [ 2009-2010, ]  2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 ]  for the accreditation ratings awarded for academic years  [ 2010-2011, ]  2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014,  [ and ]  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  [ 80 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

 

 [ 2009-2010 2010-2011 ]

 [ 2010-2011 2011-2012 ]

 [ 75 80]

 

 [ 2010-2011 2011-2012 ]

 [ 2011-2012 2012-2013 ]

 [ 76 81 ]

 

 [ 2011-2012 2012-2013]

 [ 2012-2013 2013-2014]

 [ 77 82 ]

 

 [ 2012-2013 2013-2014]

 [ 2013-2014 2014-2015]

 [ 78 83 ]

 

 [ 2013-2014 2014-2015]

 [ 2014-2015 2015-2016]

 [ 79 84 ]

The last year in which this rating shall be awarded is the  [ 2014-2015 2015-2016 ]  accreditation year, based on tests administered in the  [ 2013-2014 2014 -2015 ] academic year.

 [8VAC20-131-310. Action requirements for schools that are Accredited with Warning or [Accreditation Withheld/Improving School Near Accreditation Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate .

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. All procedures and operations for the academic review process shall be approved and adopted by the board.

Schools rated Accredited with Warning or Accreditation Withheld/Improving School Near Accreditation Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate 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 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 Accreditation Withheld/Improving School Near Accreditation Provisionally Accredited-Graduation Rate 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. ]

8VAC20-131-325. Recognitions and rewards for school and division accountability performance.

A. Schools [and divisions] may be recognized by the Board of Education in accordance with guidelines it shall establish [for the Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) incentive program ] . Such recognition may include:

1. Public announcements recognizing individual schools and divisions;

2. Tangible rewards;

3. Waivers of certain board regulations;

4. Exemptions from certain reporting requirements; or

5. Other commendations deemed appropriate to recognize high achievement.

In addition to board recognition, local school boards shall adopt policies to recognize individual schools through public announcements, media releases, participation in community activities for input purposes when setting policy relating to schools and budget development, as well as other appropriate recognition.

B. A school that maintains a passing rate on Virginia assessment program tests or additional tests approved by the board as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110 of 95% or above in each of the four core academic areas for two consecutive years may, upon application to the Department of Education, receive a waiver from annual accreditation. A school receiving such a waiver shall be Fully Accredited for a three-year period. However, such school shall continue to annually submit documentation in compliance with the preaccreditation eligibility requirements described in 8VAC20-131-280 F.

C. Schools may be eligible to receive the Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement. This award will be given to schools rated Fully Accredited that significantly increase the achievement of students within student subgroups in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Board of Education.

8VAC20-131-360. Effective date.

 [The provisions in 8 VAC 20-131-30 B. relating to double testing and the provisions in 8 VAC 20-131-60 C. relating to Virtual Virginia shall become effective upon final adoption in accordance with the Administrative Process Act.]   Unless otherwise specified,  [the remainder of] these regulations shall be effective for the 2006-2007  [ 2009-2010 2010-2011]  academic year.