Superintendent’s Memo #168-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 13, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Upcoming Changes to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia

The 2012 General Assembly passed legislation that results in major changes to the Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia.

Accreditation Benchmarks – The benchmarks used to determine accreditation ratings in the 2013-2014 school year will change for some subject areas, beginning with test and graduation rate data for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year:

Academic and Career Plan – Beginning in middle school, all students must have an Academic and Career Plan that is reviewed before a student enters the ninth and eleventh grades. The provisions of House Bill 96 delay implementation of this plan to the 2013-2014 school year.

Diploma ChangesHouse Bill 1061 and Senate Bill 489 consolidate the number of diplomas available to Virginia students and eliminate the Standard Technical Diploma and the Advanced Technical Diploma, which have not yet been implemented, effective July 1, 2012.

Effective with students entering the ninth grade for the first time in the 2013-2014 school year, the following changes related to diplomas will occur:

Information on the Board’s revisions to the regulations can be found at:

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at