Superintendent’s Memo #011-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 17, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Credit Accommodations: Personal Living and Finances course

As a result of the 2012 General Assembly’s amendment to the Code of Virginia eliminating the Modified Standard Diploma, the Board of Education was directed to make provisions for students with disabilities. The Board amended the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia to permit credit accommodations for students with disabilities pursuing a Standard Diploma. In March 2013, the Board of Education approved guidelines for school divisions on allowable credit accommodations.

These credit accommodations include augmenting the Personal Living and Finances course (state course code 3120) by including the 21 Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) for the Commonwealth. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will have the opportunity to use the revised course to meet the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement if the student has earned at least three (3) standard credits in history and social science. The economics strand in these courses would be deemed a credit accommodation for those students. Upon successful completion of the Personal Living and Finances course, the student has the option to take the Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth Assessment to earn a Board-approved industry credential. Upon passing the WRS assessment, the student would satisfy the graduation requirements for an industry credential, economics and personal finance, and history and social sciences.

In February 2014, selected school division staff from mathematics, career and technical education, and special education will meet to begin revising the Personal Living and Finances curriculum and developing related classroom activities and resources for teachers. Beginning in June 2014, the revised course and related teaching resources will be available on the Virginia Department of Education Web site and through the CTE Resource Center.

If you have questions, you may contact Marianne Moore, secondary transition specialist at 804-225-2700 or  Joseph Wharff, school counseling and career connections specialist at 804-225-3370 or; or Michael Bolling, director, Office of Mathematics and Governor’s Schools at 804-786-6418 or