Superintendent’s Memo #153-12
COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
June 15, 2012
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Collection of Data Relative to Compliance with the Standards of Quality (SOQ) and Other Miscellaneous Reporting Requirements – 2011-2012 Data Collection
Each year as a part of the annual report to the General Assembly on the condition and needs of public education in Virginia, the Board of Education is required to report the level of compliance by local school boards with the requirements of the Standards of Quality (SOQ). This requirement is in response to § 22.1-18 of the Code of Virginia. The complete text of the current standards can be found on our Web site at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/quality/index.shtml.
Not only does the Department collect data related to the SOQ in this submission, it also collects data related to several other miscellaneous reporting requirements and certifications in this data collection.
The Department uses the Single Sign-On for Web-based Systems (SSWS) to collect this data. The SOQ Compliance and Other Miscellaneous Reporting Requirements application will be available in SSWS beginning at noon on Monday, June 18, 2012.
Please note that this data collection has two sections, which are described below:
Section One – SOQ Compliance
- Data entered relative to compliance with the SOQ only is labeled as section one of the submission.
- Within the SOQ section, divisions will continue to see the addition of language from the Appropriation Act that pertains directly to the staffing standard (Standard Two) of the SOQ.
Please see Attachment A for a comprehensive listing of all the elements contained in this section.
Please note that any legislative changes to the SOQ approved by the 2012 General Assembly will be included in the 2012-2013 data collection.
Section Two – Other Nonstandards
- Data entered relative to compliance with other reporting requirements that are not part of the SOQ are labeled as section two of the submission. Within section two of the submission, you will be required to provide information for the following:
- Pre-Labor Day openings for the 2012-2013 school year. This section of the data collection has changed from last year. If your division is planning to open prior to Labor Day for the 2012-2013 school year, you will be required to provide specific information as follows:
- Number of Days Closed – If your school division has been closed an average of eight days per year during any five of the last ten years, you will select this option and be required to provide information regarding the number of days missed over the applicable ten-year period. (If your division has previously qualified for a waiver under this option, then the information regarding days missed will automatically populate.)
- Dependency on Other Division – If your school division has an instructional program or programs in one or more of its schools that are dependent on and provided in one or more schools in another school division that qualifies for a waiver, then you will select this option and provide information regarding each school in your division that qualifies for a dependency.
- Innovative or Experimental Programs (including year-round schools) – If the Virginia Board of Education has already approved one or more schools in your division to operate an experimental/innovative program, you will select this option and identify the applicable schools. If you are seeking a new approval of an innovative or experimental program, please contact the Department for more information.
- Surrounding School Division – If your division has been approved to open prior to Labor Day because your division is entirely surrounded by a school division that has an opening date prior to Labor Day, then you will select this option. If you are seeking a new approval under this option, please contact the Department for additional information.
- Waiver Certified for 2011-2012 School Year – The 2012-2014 Appropriation Act, Chapter 3 of the 2012 Special Session I of the General Assembly, contains the following language in Item 139 (Direct Aid to Public Education): “To provide additional flexibility, notwithstanding the provisions of § 22.1-79.1 of the Code of Virginia, any school division that was granted a waiver regarding the opening date of the school year for the 2011-12 school year under the good cause requirements shall continue to be granted a waiver for the 2012-13 school year.” If your division certified a pre-Labor Day opening for some or all of the schools in your division during the 2011-2012 school year, then you are automatically granted a waiver under the same conditions for the 2012-2013 school year, under this one-time Appropriation Act provision.
- Miscellaneous Certifications for the 2011-2012 School Year – This section of the data collection covers certifications related to school term, teacher evaluations (contained in the Code of Virginia), and compulsory school attendance. Beginning with this year’s data collection, your division will also be asked to answer questions regarding child care programs, which were previously part of the Pre-Accreditation Eligibility (PACE) data collection.
- Certification Related to Expectations for School Accountability for the 2011-2012 School Year – The PACE data collection includes questions as to whether each school in a division meets the pre-accreditation eligibility requirements prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. Beginning this year, this data collection is included in Collection of Data Relative to Compliance with the SOQ and Other Miscellaneous Reporting. Please note: With this change, principals are no longer required to report data for their individual schools as was the case with the PACE data collection.
- Temporary Flexibility for the 2011-2012 School Year – The Appropriation Act contains language that provides for temporary flexibility for certain pupil staffing ratios. Your division will be asked to provide information regarding whether this temporary flexibility is being used during the current school year.
- Certification Related to Charter Schools for the 2011-2012 School Year – The Code of Virginia requires local school boards to report annually to the Board of Education the number of public charter school applications that were granted or denied, the reasons for such denials, and whether the charter was designed to increase the educational opportunities of at-risk students. Beginning this year, this information will be collected within this data submission.
- Certifications for Other Instructional Programs for the 2012-2013 School Year – School divisions will certify information related to participation in the Early Reading Intervention and Algebra Readiness Initiatives for the 2012-2013 school year as well as providing tuition certification information for the 2012-2013 school year for Governor’s schools and foreign language academies.
- State Textbook Adoption for the 2011-2012 School Year – School divisions will report to the Department a listing of all textbooks approved by the Virginia Board of Education that the school division has adopted in the 2011-2012 school year.
- Local Textbook Adoption for the 2011-2012 School Year – School divisions will report to the Department a listing of all textbooks adopted in the 2011-2012 school year that are not on the Board-approved list. Local school boards may adopt textbooks that are not on the Board-approved list provided the school board selects such books in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board.
- Please see Attachment B for a comprehensive listing of all the elements contained in this nonstandards section.
Additional information related to entering data in the SSWS:
- Information is entered through the SSWS “SOQ Compliance” application.
- Instructions for answering questions are within the SSWS application, on the right-hand side of the screen. These instructions also provide information on all changes to the application for the 2011-2012 data collection and should be read before any information is entered.
- In all instances, corrective action plans that may be required for issues of noncompliance with the SOQ (Section One) are embedded in the application.
- The division’s data must be submitted via SSWS to the Department of Education no later than July 27, 2012, in the manner prescribed by the directions on the Web site.
- After the division submits its data, the application window will lock. Division superintendents needing to enter or correct data beyond that date must contact the Policy Office at email@example.com or at (804) 225-2092, to regain access to the SOQ compliance application. After all data have been entered, the system will generate reports of your responses that you may print and keep for your records or that you may save for future reference.
- In the event your division is unable to submit its data by the July 27, 2012, deadline, you will receive an e-mail notification asking that this data collection be completed as soon as possible.
- Only the verification report including a signature page must be submitted to the Office of Policy no later than August 3, 2012. Please do not send entire reports to the Department.
If you have questions regarding the 2011-2012 submission, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy and Communications at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We strongly encourage you to submit your signed verification reports by fax to (804) 530-4502 or by e-mail to email@example.com. An original signed report is not required.
- Simplified Listing of Requirements in the SOQ (Section One) (PDF)
- Nonstandards Report (Section Two) (PDF)