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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 5-30.3

STUDENTS

Locally Awarded Verified Credits

Under the Standards of Accreditation, students in the Classes of 2004-2006 must earn two verified credits in English (reading and writing) and four verified credits in subjects of the student’s own selection in order to earn the Standard Diploma.

The Virginia Board of Education has further set forth guidelines governing procedures and criteria for local school boards to award local verified credits toward the Standard Diploma to certain students. These guidelines enable local school boards to award local verified credits only in science and history/social sciences that may be used to fulfill the requirement of four verified credits of the student’s own selection. This process does not apply to the awarding of local verified credit in English or mathematics, which must be earned by passing the high school Standards of Learning tests (or approved substitute tests) in reading, writing, and mathematics. Local verified credits awarded through this process cannot be used if the student changes to the Advanced Diploma track.

  1. General Eligibility

    To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits in science, or history/social science under these guidelines, a student must:

    1. Enter the ninth grade for the first time in school years 2000-2001, 2001-2002, or 2002-2003;
    2. Pass the high school course, not pass the related Standards of Learning or approved substitute test, and score within a designated range on the Standards of Learning test that does not represent passing but does represent a certain level of achievement;
    3. Have earned fewer than four of the student-selected verified credits required for the Standard Diploma.
  2. Specific Criteria and Guidelines by Subject Area
    1. Science and History/Social Science
      1. The awarding of local verified credit applies only to the four student-selected verified credits required for the Standard Diploma.
      2. The student must score within a 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the Standards of Learning test after taking the test at least twice without passing.
    2. Reading, Writing, and/or Math
      1. The awarding of local verified credits in these subject areas applies to students with disabilities (IEPs or 504 plans) only.
      2. Eligible students must:
        1. 1)
          Pass the high school course;
        2. 2)
          Score within 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the Standards of Learning test after taking the test at least twice; and
        3. 3)
          Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process administered at the local level.
  3. General Provisions
    1. No more than four verified credits may be awarded through the above process for general education students seeking local verified credits in science and history/social science.
    2. There is no limit on local verified credits for students with disabilities through the above process.
    3. The guidelines outlined above may not be used to award verified credits for the Advanced Diploma.
    4. The award of verified credits under these guidelines will not be used to recalculate a school’s accreditation rating.
  4. Appeal Process
    1. Level I

      Each high school shall establish its own panel to review appeals for locally verified credits. Each high school appeal panel shall be chaired by the school principal. In addition, each high school panel shall have the following members: the student’s guidance counselor, and the chair of either the science department or the social studies department, depending upon the course appealed. If the student under consideration is identified for special education, [the principal will ask the chair of the special education department to serve as an ad hoc member of the panel (non-voting member)].

      The panel shall meet during the first semester of the school year in which the student intends to graduate if the student meets the criteria set forth in Section A and B of this Regulation. In addition, the panel can reconvene regarding an individual student if the student meets the criteria for earning a local verified credit after taking and not passing the SOL test in the winter or spring of that year.

      1. A student and/or his/her parent/legal guardian have the right to request an appeal if the student meets the criteria set forth in Section A and B of this Regulation.
      2. A written notice of appeal shall be filed with the school principal prior to the completion of the first grading period of the school year during which the student intends to graduate.
      3. The local review panel will convene no later than the last day of the first semester.
      4. The panel will review information that provides evidence indicating the student has met the eligibility criteria provisions described in sections, a., b., and c. above.
      5. The local review panel will review information that provides evidence of the student’s achievement of adequate knowledge of the Standards of Learning content. The panel shall have the discretion in determining the information to be considered and may include, but not be limited to, results of classroom assessments division wide exams, course grades, and additional academic assignments (e.g., papers, projects, essay or written questions) as deemed appropriate.
      6. Based on the evidence reviewed, the local review panel will make its recommendation to (a) award a local verified credit, (b) deny the local verified credit, (c) suggest participation in a remedial program, or (d) make additional academic assignments (e.g., papers, projects, essay, or written questions) as deemed appropriate.
      7. Notification to the parent/legal guardian and student regarding the result of the appeal will be provided in writing within five (5) administrative days of the panel meeting.
      8. The local review panel’s written response to the parent/legal guardian and student must include information regarding the process of appealing the panel’s decision.
    2. Level II

      The Virginia Beach City Public Schools shall establish a central panel to review appeals from the local school panels. This panel shall be chaired by the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools. This panel will also include the Chief Academic Officer or designee, and the Director of Guidance Services. The panel shall also have the authority to invite a curriculum coordinator from the Department of Teaching and Learning (depending upon which course is under review) and/or the principal of the school to serve as ad hoc (non-voting) members of the committee.

      1. Written notice of appeal shall be filed with the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools within five (5) administrative days of receipt of the decision of the local review panel.
      2. The central panel will convene within five (5) administrative days.
      3. The central panel will uphold the decision of the local review panel, overturn the decision, or modify the decision.
      4. Notification to the parent/guardian and student regarding the results of the appeal will be provided in writing within (5) administrative days.
      5. The decision of the central panel shall be considered final. No further avenues of appeal are available.

Legal Reference:

8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq., as amended. Guidelines for Local School Boards to Award Verified Credits for the Standard Diploma to Transition Students.

Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, Attachment A, Memo No. 105-13 (April 19, 2013)

Adopted by the Superintendent: June 26, 2003
Revised by Superintendent: March 17, 2006
Revised by Superintendent: August 23, 2013