Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/4/2022

Chapter 160. Regulations Governing Secondary School Transcripts

8VAC20-160-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accelerated course" means a course that can be completed in less than the normal amount of time; the process of progressing through the school grades at a rate faster than that of the average student, either by skipping grades or by rapidly mastering the work of one course and moving on to the next higher course.

"Advanced-level courses/programs" means those academic, career/technical, fine and performing arts, or interdisciplinary high school courses/programs that enable students to acquire and master advanced knowledge. Such courses may be suitable for weighted credit in order to encourage students to take these courses and to be rewarded for the extra endeavor and academic performance these courses/programs require.

"Advanced Placement (AP) course" means an advanced-level course with a syllabus equivalent to the relevant Advanced Placement syllabus disseminated by the College Board.

"Assessment component" means any of the means by which one obtains information on the progress of the learner and the effectiveness of instruction; quantitative data, objective measures, subjective impressions, tests, and observations may all serve as instruments for deciding whether instructional objectives have been attained.

"Certificate of Program Completion award date" means the date when a Certificate of Program Completion is awarded. A Certificate of Program Completion is not to be included as a diploma option.

"Commonwealth College Course Collaborative (CCCC)" means a set of approved courses taken in high school that fully transfer as core requirements and degree credits at Virginia colleges and universities.

"Commonwealth Scholar" means a student who completes all of the requirements for at least a Standard Diploma and additional prescribed rigorous coursework in foreign language, history, mathematics, science, and other approved discipline areas consistent with the United States Department of Education's State Scholars Initiative.

"Credit" means a standard or a verified credit as specified in Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8VAC20-131).

"Credit summary" means the number of courses successfully completed in each discipline as required for graduation.

"Curriculum" means an official guide prepared for use by administrators, supervisors, and teachers of a particular school or school system as an aid to teaching in a given subject or area of study for a given grade; includes the goals and objectives of the course, the expected outcomes, assessment component, and the scope and nature of the materials to be studied.

"Dual enrollment course" means a course that carries both high school and college credit.

"Early College Scholar" means a student who signs the Early College Scholars agreement and completes the requirements of the program, which includes a prescribed number of potentially transferable college credits, maintaining a "B" average or better, and earning an Advanced Studies diploma.

"Grade point average" means a measure of average scholastic success in all high school credit-bearing courses taken by a student during a certain term or semester, or accumulated for several terms or semesters; obtained by dividing grade points by number of courses taken.

"Graduation date" means the date when diploma requirements have been met and a diploma is awarded.

"Honors course" means a course offered to academically advanced students to provide opportunities to study and learn with other advanced students and to accelerate their learning in a specific content area. These courses are designed to be more challenging by covering additional topics or some topics in greater depth.

"Industry certification credential" means a career and technical education credential that is earned by successfully completing a Board of Education-approved industry certification examination, a state-issued professional license, or an occupational competency examination.

"International Baccalaureate (IB) course" means an advanced-level course with a syllabus approved by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and meeting the criteria offered through the IBO program.

"Secondary course" means a high school-level course of study that awards high school credits. In addition to providing content and knowledge, secondary courses encourage students to develop higher level thinking skills such as problem solving, critical analyses and syntheses of ideas. Students are encouraged to understand, appreciate, and formulate ideas related to scientific, technical and social concepts.

"Secondary school profile data" means information given in a summary format of a particular secondary school, such as location; description; achievement data; definition of curriculum; grading scale, grade distribution; weighted grades; rank in class, if a ranking procedure is used; graduation requirements; and an explanation of advanced-level, accelerated, and honors courses, industry certifications, and other specialized programs.

"Secondary school transcript" means an official list of secondary courses taken by a student, except those purged from a middle school record in accordance with 8VAC20-131, Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, showing the final grade received for each course, with definitions of the various grades given.

"Weighted course" means an advanced-level course in which credit is increased as determined by local school board policies and defined on the school profile.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 1.1, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 5, eff. December 19, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007.

8VAC20-160-20. Effective date.

The secondary school transcript regulations shall become effective for students who take secondary courses for credit beginning in 2008-2009.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 2.1, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007.

8VAC20-160-30. Format options.

Localities have options for the secondary school transcript format. They may use the Department of Education model or develop their own following board regulations. Localities may also use a digital data exchange format for electronic transcript transmission. The accreditation status of a high school shall not be included on the student transcript provided to colleges, universities, or employers.

The required information is as follows:

1. Name of school division;

2. Student legal name;

3. State Testing Identifier (STI);

4. Birthdate;

5. Gender;

6. Home address;

7. Home telephone number;

8. Graduation date;

9. Type of diploma, to include "Advanced Studies," "Standard," or "Other Diplomas Authorized by the Board of Education";

10. Type of industry certification credential and date of completion, if applicable;

11. Certificate of Program Completion and award date, if applicable;

12. Notation of Early College Scholar Designation;

13. Notation of Commonwealth Scholar Designation;

14. Name, address, email address, and telephone number of schools student attended each year;

15. Number of days absent within given school year;

16. Course work listed by year with grades;

17. Total credits earned by year;

18. A list of verified credits earned, including any credits earned by substitution;

19. Credits to date;

20. Grade point average;

21. Credit summary for entire school experience;

22. Key to symbols and abbreviations used to denote accelerated courses, advanced-level courses, Commonwealth College Course Collaborative courses, honors courses, and summer school courses, or credits earned by substitution;

23. Notification of whether school/program ranks students; if so, the rank in class with given number of semesters used for computation;

24. Final driver education grade;

25. Test record, to include at least the highest score earned, if applicable, on college performance-related standardized tests such as SAT and ACT, excluding Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores, except that each local school board shall adopt a policy setting forth the procedure by which parents, guardians, or others having legal control or charge can elect in writing to have their child's test record excluded from the student transcript (opt out);

26. Signature and title of school official;

27. Date of school official signature;

28. School name;

29. School address;

30. Telephone number of school;

31. Fax number of school;

32. The school's Department of Education 7-digit code number.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 2.2, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 5, eff. December 19, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007; Volume 33, Issue 4, eff. December 1, 2016.

8VAC20-160-40. Profile data sheet.

A secondary school profile data sheet, for each school reflected on the transcript, if applicable, shall be attached to each student transcript sent to colleges, universities, and prospective employers. Schools may furnish additional information. The accreditation status of a high school shall not be included on the school profile data sheet. No standard format is required. The profile data sheet must contain the following information:

1. Name of school counseling director or school counselor;

2. Name, address, and telephone number of school;

3. Description - school/community;

4. Achievement data to include SAT and/or ACT scores using the most recent data available in comparison with Virginia and the nation;

5. Description of curriculum;

6. Grading scale;

7. Grade distribution;

8. Explanation of advanced-level, accelerated, and honors courses;

9. Weighted grades, explanation of weighting courses and the computation;

10. Explanation of rank in class, if applicable:

a. List courses excluded from computation;

b. Explanation of computation of pass/fail courses;

c. Student groups included/excluded from ranking in class;

11. Graduation requirements.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 2.3, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 5, eff. December 19, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007.

8VAC20-160-50. Weight of advanced-level courses.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses shall be weighted. Local school boards shall determine which other courses/programs are to receive weighted credits, the amount of weight such courses shall receive, and how those weighted credits will be used in the determination of grade point averages in the school or school division.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 2.4, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007.

8VAC20-160-60. Elements for weighting.

If the course is to be weighted , it must have the following elements:

1. Specified curriculum approved by local board or outside agency meeting criteria of program and/or organization;

2. Standards that exceed normal course requirements; and

3. Defined assessment component.

Statutory Authority

§ 22.1-16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0015 § 2.5, eff. May 25, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. August 27, 2007.

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