March 10, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Request for Waiver of the Verified Units of Credit Requirements

This memorandum provides information regarding the process for requesting a waiver of the verified units of credit for seniors who meet the requirements.  Please distribute this memorandum and the attached form to school counselors and other staff members responsible for this process.

Students seeking a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma are required to earn a minimum number of verified units of credit.  Students transferring into a Virginia high school for the first time after 20 instructional hours per course of their senior or twelfth-grade year shall be given every opportunity to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.  Schools have an obligation to inform all students and parents of the graduation requirements and to provide the support necessary to meet those requirements.

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 seeking a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.  Please refer to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia 8 VAC 20-131-60.HThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

The Virginia Department of Education may grant this waiver upon request by the local school board.  Through the division Superintendent, the local school board may request a waiver of the verified credit requirements for an eligible student by providing a written request no more than 90 calendar days prior to the student's anticipated graduation date.  A request must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education on the attached form.  The student's initial date of enrollment and what efforts have been made to comply with the regulations must be documented.

Completed forms should be mailed to:

Joseph A. Wharff
School Counseling Specialist, Floor 20
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Joseph A. Wharff, School Counseling Specialist, at, or by telephone at (804) 225-3370.



  1. Request for Waiver of the Verified Credit Requirements for a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma (Word)