P.O. BOX 2120



July 18, 2008



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Transmittal of the 2008 Standards of Quality


This memorandum provides information regarding the changes to the Code of Virginia's Standards of Quality (SOQ), 22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:8, passed by the 2008 General Assembly. The revisions are effective July 1, 2008, unless otherwise noted.


Attachment A is a copy of the standards that were revised. The changes are noted by italics for new language and strikethroughs for deleted language.


The 2008 General Assembly revised the SOQ through the following legislation:


HB 97 clarifies that a student who meets the requirement for the advanced studies diploma and also fulfills a concentration in career and technical education shall receive an advanced technical diploma, or if he chooses, an advanced studies diploma. Please note that the Board of Education is currently revising its Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools for Virginia to establish the requirements for a standard technical diploma and for an advanced technical diploma.


See 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code.


HB 242 directs local school boards to make a program of physical fitness available to all students with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year. The program may include any combination of (i) physical education classes, (ii) extracurricular athletics, or (iii) other programs and physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board. The bill directs each local school board to incorporate a goal for the implementation of such a program during the regular school year into its local school wellness policy. This legislation provides local school boards with the discretion to structure the program of physical fitness in a manner that best fits the needs of students in a school division and the resources available within a school division.


The Board of Education's Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools for Virginia require students at the elementary and middle school level to participate in a program of physical fitness during the regular school year in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education. Guidelines for physical fitness can be found in the Guidance Document for these regulations, located at: and may be helpful to school divisions in structuring programs in accordance with HB 242.


See 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.


You can access all eight standards of the Standards of Quality at the following Web address:


I hope that you will find this information helpful. You can find the final legislative reports for the 2008 General Assembly session on the Department's website at


Please contact the Office of Policy and Communications at (804) 225-2403 or by e-mail at, if you need additional information.






a. 2008 Standards of Quality As Amended (PDF)