Vol. 37 Iss. 17 - April 12, 2021

Chapter 131
Notice of Intended Regulatory Action

Notice is hereby given in accordance with § 2.2-4007.01 of the Code of Virginia that the State Board of Education intends to consider amending 8VAC20-131, Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. The purpose of the proposed action is to (i) make clarifying technical edits, (ii) incorporate items unaddressed during the comprehensive update in 2017, and (iii) address negative or unintended consequences of the new accreditation model and correct where prudent. In 2017, the Board of Education finalized its most recent comprehensive review of and update to the Standards of Accreditation (SOA). The board approved a number of substantive revisions to the SOA, including the addition of new and modified school quality indicators to the state accreditation model as well as an increased emphasis on closing achievement gaps and continuous improvement, among others. The update also allowed the board to incorporate expectations for student achievement as outlined in the Profile of a Virginia graduate and the 5Cs (critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship). The new Standards of Accreditation became effective in the 2018-2019 school year. Since implementation, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has monitored feedback and inquiries from the field as well as convened an internal committee representing various units across the agency to evaluate and address questions and concerns related to the SOA. VDOE staff has identified several changes and areas of improvement necessitating amendments to the regulations. Additionally, in June 2020, the board established its own Special Committee for the Review of the Standards of Accreditation tasked with exploring the positive, negative, and unintended consequences of the new accreditation model. As a result of stakeholder feedback, VDOE staff recommendations, and the committee's early findings, the board is initiating this regulatory action.

The agency intends to hold a public hearing on the proposed action after publication in the Virginia Register.

Statutory Authority: § 22.1-253.13 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Comment Deadline: May 12, 2021.

Agency Contact: Holly M. Coy, Assistant Superintendent, Policy, Equity and Communications, Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120, telephone (804) 225-2092, or email

VA.R. Doc. No. R21-6549; Filed March 23, 2021