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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 131. Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia
8/17/2017

8VAC20-131-300. Application of the Standards.

A. Effective no later than the academic year 2016-2017, schools that meet the preaccreditation eligibility requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-280 F shall be assigned one of the following ratings as described in this section:

1. Fully Accredited

2. Conditionally Accredited: New School

3. Partially Accredited according to criteria in one or more of the following categories:

a. Approaching Benchmark-within specified margins

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

b. Improving School-meets criteria for improvement over previous year or for student growth

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

c. Warned School

(1) Graduation and Completion Index

(2) Pass Rate

d. Reconstituted School

4. Accreditation Denied

B. Compliance with the student academic achievement expectations shall be documented to the board directly through the reporting of the results of student performance on SOL tests and other alternative means of assessing student academic achievement as outlined in 8VAC20-131-110. To facilitate accurate reporting of the graduation and completion index, the State Testing Identifier (STI) for students who transfer into a Virginia public school from another Virginia public school shall be retained by the receiving school. Compliance with other provisions of these regulations will be documented in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Board of Education.

C. Accreditation ratings defined. Accreditation ratings awarded in an academic year are based upon Virginia assessment program scores from the academic year immediately prior to the year to which the accreditation rating applies and on graduation and completion indexes (for schools with twelfth grade) established for the current year. Effective no later than the academic year 2016-2017, accreditation ratings are defined as follows:

1. Fully Accredited.

a. A school will be rated Fully Accredited when its eligible students meet the pass rate of 75% in English and the pass rate of 70% in mathematics, science, and history and social science. Additionally, each school with a graduating class shall achieve a minimum of 85 percentage points on the Board of Education's graduation and completion index, as described in 8VAC20-131-280 B 2, to be rated Fully Accredited.

b. For accreditation purposes, the pass rate will be calculated as single rates for each of the four core academic areas by combining all scores of all tests administered in each subject area.

2. Conditionally Accredited: New School. New schools that are comprised of students from one or more existing schools in the division will be awarded a Conditionally Accredited: New School status for one year pending an evaluation of the school's eligible students' performance on SOL tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education to be rated Fully Accredited.

3. Partially Accredited: A school which meets criteria as prescribed by the Board of Education will be designated as Partially Accredited according to the specific categories shown below.

a. Approaching Benchmark (within specified margins):

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. Based on components of the graduation and completion index as described in 8VAC20-131-280 B 2, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index when its eligible students meet pass rates required for full accreditation and its graduation and completion index is within a narrow margin of the minimum threshold as prescribed by the board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the board.

(2) Pass Rate. Based on tests administered in the previous academic year, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate if the school does not meet the requirements for full accreditation in all of the four core academic subject areas but the pass rate in each subject area either (i) meets the pass rate required for full accreditation or (ii) is within a narrow margin of the pass rate required for full accreditation, as defined by the board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the board.

b. Improving School (meets criteria for improvement or student growth, or both, over previous year):

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. Based on components of the graduation and completion index as described in 8VAC20-131-280 B 2, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index when its eligible students meet pass rates required for full accreditation, but its graduation and completion index is not within the established narrow margin of the minimum threshold prescribed by the board; however it has achieved sufficient improvement in its graduation and completion index from the previous year, as prescribed by the board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the board.

(2) Pass Rate. Based on tests administered in the previous academic year, a school will be rated as Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate if the school does not meet the requirements for full accreditation or for Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate, but in each of the four core academic subject areas, one of the following criteria is met: (i) the pass rate meets the benchmark required for full accreditation; (ii) the pass rate is within a narrow margin of the benchmark required for full accreditation, as defined by the board; (iii) the school has demonstrated sufficient improvement in its pass rate from the previous year as defined by the board; or (iv) the school has demonstrated sufficient student growth, as defined by the board. A school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years, unless an extension is granted based on criteria established by the board.

c. Warned School:

(1) Graduation and Completion Index. A school will be designated as Partially Accredited: Warned School-Graduation and Completion Index if it has failed to achieve Fully Accredited, Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index, or Partially Accredited: Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index status. Such a school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Warned School-Graduation and Completion Index status for no more than three consecutive years.

(2) Pass Rate. A school will be designated as Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate if it has failed to achieve Fully Accredited, Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate, or Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate status. Such a school may remain in the Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate status for no more than three consecutive years.

d. Reconstituted School. A Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School rating may be awarded to a school that is being reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-340 upon approval by the Board of Education. A school awarded this rating under those circumstances will revert to a status of Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited by the end of the agreed upon term or if it fails to have its annual application for such rating renewed.

4. Accreditation Denied. Based on a school's academic performance or performance for the graduation and completion index, or both, a school shall be rated Accreditation Denied if it fails to meet the requirements to be rated Fully Accredited or Partially Accredited for the preceding three consecutive years or for three consecutive years anytime thereafter.

In any school division in which one-third or more of the schools have been rated Accreditation Denied, the superintendent shall be evaluated by the local school board with a copy of such evaluation submitted to the Board of Education no later than December 1 of each year in which such condition exists. In addition, the Board of Education may take action against the local school board as permitted by the Standards of Quality due to the failure of the local board to maintain accredited schools.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 14, Issue 01, eff. October 29, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 28, 2000; Volume 22, Issue 24, eff. September 7, 2006; Errata, 23:3 VA.R. 510 October 16, 2006; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 31, 2009; Volume 27, Issue 24, eff. August 31, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. October 8, 2015.

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