DATE: December 8, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:

Expedited Retake Credit Accommodation


On March 28, 2013, the Virginia Board of Education (Board) adopted Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.  These guidelines were developed to provide school divisions with a list of approved "credit accommodations" for use by students with disabilities to obtain a Standard Diploma under the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131).

During its September 28, 2017, meeting, the Board adopted additional Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities to permit eligible students who are using credit accommodations to earn a standard diploma to immediately retake an end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) test if their scaled score is between 350 and 375.  This change allows students with disabilities an expedited retake so they may attempt to reach a  scaled score of 375, which is needed to meet eligibility for a locally awarded verified credit.

Eligibility criteria for locally awarded verified credits under credit accommodation guidelines include the following provisions:

  1. The student must be eligible for credit accommodations
    1. Student must have a current IEP or 504 plan with standards-based content goals.
    2. Student has a disability that precludes him or her from achieving and progressing commensurate with grade level expectations, but is learning on-grade-level content.
    3. Student needs significant instructional supports to access grade level SOL content and to show progress.
    4. Based on multiple objective measures of past performance, student might not be expected to achieve the required standard and verified units of credit within the standard time frame.
  2. Eligible for a locally awarded verified credit
    1. Pass the high school course
    2. Score within 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the SOL test after taking the test at least twice
    3. Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process administered at the local level

The attached document outlines all credit accommodations and their provisions.  Please note the new guidelines, Expedited Retakes of Standards of Learning Tests, are underlined in the document and become effective beginning with the Fall 2017 Non-Writing SOL Test Administration.

For more information, contact student assessment staff in the Office of Student Assessment and School Improvement at (804) 225-2102 or student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or Jeff Phenicie, Director, Special Education Program Improvement at (804) 786-0308 or Jeff.Phenicie@doe.virginia.gov

SRS/MM

Attachment:

  1. Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Adopted September 28, 2017 (Word)