Administrative Code

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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
5/27/2019

8VAC20-131-60. Transfer Students.

A. The provisions of this section pertain generally to students who transfer into Virginia high schools. Students transferring in grades kindergarten through 8 from Virginia public schools or nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) shall be given recognition for all grade-level work completed. The academic record of students transferring from all other schools shall be evaluated to determine appropriate grade placement in accordance with policies adopted by the local school board. 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.

B. For the purposes of this section, the term "beginning" means within the first 20 hours of instruction per course. The term "during" means after the first 20 hours of instruction per course.

C. Standard or verified units of credit earned by a student in a Virginia public school shall be transferable without limitation regardless of the accreditation status of the Virginia public school in which the credits were earned. Virginia public schools shall accept standard and verified units of credit from other Virginia public schools, Virginia's virtual learning program, Virtual Virginia, and state-operated programs. Standard units of credit also shall be accepted for courses satisfactorily completed in accredited colleges and universities when prior written approval of the principal has been granted or the student has been given credit by the previous school attended.

D. A secondary school shall accept credits toward graduation received from Virginia nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the VCPE. The board shall maintain contact with the VCPE and may periodically review its accrediting procedures and policies as part of its policies under this section.

Nothing in these standards shall prohibit a public school from accepting standard units of credit toward graduation awarded to students who transfer from all other schools when the courses for which the student receives credit generally match the description of or can be substituted for courses for which the receiving school gives standard credit, and the school from which the child transfers certifies that the courses for which credit is given meet the requirements of 8VAC20-131-110 A.

E. The academic record of a student transferring from other Virginia public schools shall be sent directly to the school receiving the student upon request of the receiving school in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-150, Management of the Student's Scholastic Record in the Public Schools of Virginia. 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.

F. The academic record of a student transferring into Virginia public schools from other than a Virginia public school shall be evaluated to determine the number of standard units of credit that have been earned, including credit from schools outside the United States, and the number of verified units of credit needed to graduate in accordance with subsection G of this section. Standard units of credit also shall be accepted for courses satisfactorily completed in accredited colleges and universities when the student has been given credit by the previous school attended.

Students transferring above the tenth grade from schools or other education programs that do not require or give credit for health and physical education shall not be required to take these courses to meet graduation requirements.

Students transferring into a Virginia public school from other than a Virginia public school shall earn no fewer than the number of verified units listed in subdivision G 1 or G 2 of this section. The school division shall accept the following tests from the sending state, country, private school, or Department of Defense Educational Activity school for the purpose of awarding verified units of credit in courses previously completed at another school or program of study, for the purpose of awarding a Virginia high school diploma:

1. End-of-course tests required for graduation by the sending state;

2. Exit tests required for graduation by the sending state; and

3. National norm-referenced achievement tests. When students transfer to a Virginia public school from a state that requires a national norm-referenced achievement test, and that state education agency has set a "cut score" or passing score for the purpose of graduation, the school division shall accept the test for the purpose of awarding a verified credit if the test includes some content in a subject for which a verified credit may be awarded. If that state education agency has not set a cut score for the norm-referenced test, the test may not be used for the purpose of awarding a verified credit or earning a high school diploma.

Any substitute test approved by the board for verified credit shall be accepted in lieu of the applicable SOL tests if the applicable standard credit has been earned by the student.

The sending state's test must include content in the subjects for which verified credit is awarded. The test does not have to be comparable to a Virginia SOL test, so long as the test includes some content in the subject area. If the test includes some content from more than one subject, verified credits shall be awarded for every subject area covered by the test.

G. Students entering a Virginia public high school for the first time after the tenth grade shall earn as many credits as possible toward the prescribed graduation requirements. However, schools may substitute courses required in other states in the same content area if the student is unable to meet the specific content requirements of 8VAC20-131-50 or 8VAC20-131-51, respectively, without taking a heavier than normal course load in any semester, by taking summer school, or by taking courses after the time when the student otherwise would have graduated.

The graduation requirements for students transferring into a Virginia high school for the first time shall be as follows:

1. For a Standard Diploma:

a. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the ninth grade prior to the 2018–2019 school year shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the ninth grade in the 2018–2019 school year or thereafter shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51.

b. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the tenth grade prior to the 2019–2020 school year or at the beginning of the eleventh grade prior to the 2020–2021 school year shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one each in English, mathematics, history, and science. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the tenth grade in the 2019–2020 school year or thereafter or at the beginning of the eleventh grade in the 2020–2021 school year or thereafter, shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51.

c. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade prior to the 2020–2021 school year or at the beginning of the twelfth grade prior to the 2021–2022 school year shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of two verified units of credit: one in English and one in mathematics if participation in mathematics testing is required by federal law, otherwise, such verified credit may be of the student's own choosing. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade in the 2020–2021 school year or thereafter, or at the beginning of twelfth grade in the 2021–2022 school year or thereafter, shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of two verified units of credit: one in English and one in mathematics if participation in mathematics testing is required by federal law, otherwise, such verified credit may be of the student's own choosing.

d. Students transferring after 20 instructional hours per course of their senior or twelfth grade year shall be given every opportunity to earn a diploma following the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50 for students entering prior to the 2021–2022 school year, or following the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51 for students entering in the 2021–2022 school year or thereafter. 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. The Department of Education may grant such waivers upon request by the local school board in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the board.

2. For an Advanced Studies Diploma:

a. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the ninth grade prior to the 2018–2019 school year shall earn credit as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the ninth grade in the 2018-2019 school year or thereafter shall earn credit as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51.

b. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the tenth grade prior to the 2019–2020 school year or at the beginning of the eleventh grade prior to the 2020–2021 school year shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of six verified units of credit: two in English and one each in mathematics, history, and science and one of the student's own choosing. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time at the beginning of or during the tenth grade in the 2019–2020 school year or thereafter or at the beginning of the eleventh grade in the 2020–2021 school year or thereafter shall earn credit as prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51.

c. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade prior to the 2020–2021 school year or at the beginning of the twelfth grade prior to the 2021–2022 school year shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of four verified units of credit: one in English, one in mathematics if required participation in mathematics testing is required by federal law, otherwise such verified credit may be of the student's own choosing, and two additional verified credits of the student's own choosing. Students entering a Virginia high school for the first time during the eleventh grade in the 2020–2021 school year or thereafter, or at the beginning of the twelfth grade in the 2021–2022 school year or thereafter, shall meet the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51, except that such students shall only be required to earn a minimum of two verified units of credit: one in English, and one in mathematics if required participation in mathematics testing is required by federal law, otherwise such verified credit may be of the student's own choosing.

d. Students transferring after 20 instructional hours per course of their senior or twelfth grade year shall be given every opportunity to earn a diploma following the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-50 for students entering prior to the 2021–2022 school year, or following the graduation requirements prescribed in 8VAC20-131-51 for students entering in the 2021–2022 school year or thereafter. 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. The Department of Education may grant such waivers upon request by the local school board in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the board.

3. For an Applied Studies Diploma: In accordance with the requirements of the Standards of Quality, students with disabilities who complete the requirements of their Individualized Education Plan and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas shall be awarded Applied Studies Diplomas in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations regarding special education.

Students who pursue an Applied Studies Diploma shall be allowed to pursue a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma at any time during high school. Such students shall not be excluded from courses or tests required to earn these diplomas.

4. For a Certificate of Program Completion: In accordance with the requirements of the Standards of Quality, students who complete prescribed programs of studies defined by the local school board, but do not qualify for a Standard Diploma, an Advanced Studies Diploma, or an Applied Studies Diploma shall be awarded Certificates of Program Completion. The requirements for Certificates of Program Completion are developed by local school boards in accordance with the Standards of Quality.

H. Any local school division receiving approval to increase its course credit requirements for a diploma may not deny either the Standard Diploma or the Advanced Studies Diploma to any transfer student who has otherwise met the requirements contained in these standards if the transfer student can only meet the division's additional requirements by taking a heavier than normal course load in any semester, by taking summer school, or by taking courses after the time when the student otherwise would have graduated.

I. The transcript of a student who graduates or transfers from a Virginia secondary school shall conform to the requirements of 8VAC20-160, Regulations Governing Secondary School Transcripts.

J. The accreditation status of a high school shall not be included on the student transcript provided to colleges, universities, or employers. The board expressly states that any student who has met the graduation requirements and has received a Virginia diploma holds a diploma that should be recognized as equal to any other Virginia diploma of the same type, regardless of the accreditation status of the student's high school. It is the express policy of the board that no student shall be affected by the accreditation status of the student's school. The board shall take appropriate action, from time to time, to ensure that no student is affected by the accreditation status of the student's school.

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; Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 31, 2009; Volume 27, Issue 24, eff. August 31, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 05, eff. December 3, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. October 8, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 08, eff. January 11, 2018.

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