Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia
Time Waiver Request
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Since more than 180 days have passed since the end of the
stage, a Time Frame Waiver must be granted by the Governor's office.
This waiver was requested on 4/30/2013
Agency Reason: On behalf of the Board of Education, the Department of Education submits the following request to waive the 180 day requirement to submit proposed regulations following the close of the NOIRA public comment period, pursuant to Executive Order 14 (2010).
A NOIRA was filed May 25, 2012 to amend the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia to address public virtual schools, pursuant to legislatives changes made by the 2012 General Assembly (HB 1215). The public comment period for the NOIRA ended August 15, 2012. The proposed regulations should have been submitted to DPB by February 11, 2013.
The Board’s Committee on School and Division Accountability held a meeting July 25, 2012 to discuss issues for consideration in developing regulations governing virtual schools. Minutes from the committee meeting are available at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/committees_standing/accountability/2012/minutes_accountability_07_25_12.pdf. Following the committee meeting, VDOE staff consulted with Dr. Tom Clark, President of TA Consulting with expertise in e-learning and virtual schools. Staff worked throughout the fall with Dr. Clark and iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, in particular Mr. Dave Edwards, Quality Assurance Director, to review drafts of the proposed amendments.
By background, the Board of Education typically meets 10 times a year (every month except August and December) and pursuant to its bylaws, items which require the Board’s action must be reviewed by the Board at two separate meetings. Such review shall consist of a first review and a final review, with action taken on the final review, unless the Board waives the requirements for two separate reviews by a majority vote.
The proposed regulations were not quite ready for Board and public review at the November 2012 meeting as staff originally planned, so first review was delayed until January 10, 2013. At the January 2013 business meeting, Board members asked to hold a work session to discuss the proposed amendments before taking final action. Issues raised included: school calendar, waivers from the existing Standards of Accreditation, access to technology, definition for virtual schools, socialization development for virtual students, how to assist virtual school students needing extra instruction time, licensing of virtual educators, extra curricula activities, access to libraries, length of school year and day, facilities, and compulsory attendance.
While it would have been ideal to have a work session in coordination with the February business meeting, there were already 2 committee meetings scheduled in February to review charter school and college partnership lab school applicants. A work session was scheduled for March 27, 2013 to discuss the proposed amendments.
The Board held a work session March 27, 2013 and heard from national and state experts in accountability as it relates to virtual learning. Minutes of the work session are available at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2013/work_session/03_mar/minutes.pdf. The work session resulted in several amendments to the proposed regulations.
The Board approved the proposed amendments to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia at its April 25, 2013 business meeting. Following the Board’s adoption, the proposed amendments were shared with the Office of the Attorney General to receive certification that the Board has legal authority to promulgate the regulation being proposed.
The request was approved on 6/5/2013