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8VAC20-131-110. Standard and verified units of credit.

A. A "standard unit of credit" or "standard credit" is a credit awarded for a course in which the student successfully completes 140 clock hours of instruction and the requirements of the course. A school division may waive the requirement that a student receive 140 clock hours of instruction to earn a standard credit, effective with students enrolled in the 2015-2016 school year, as prescribed in the Standards of Quality and board guidelines. When credit is awarded in less than whole units, the increment awarded must be no greater than the fractional part of the 140 hours of instruction provided. If a school division elects to award credit on a basis other than the 140 clock hours of instruction required for a standard unit of credit defined in this subsection, the local school division shall provide the board with satisfactory proof, based on board guidelines, that the students for whom the 140-clock-hour requirement is waived have learned the content and skills included in the relevant Standards of Learning. In addition, the local school division shall develop a written policy approved by the superintendent and school board that ensures:

1. That the content of the course for which credit is awarded is comparable to 140 clock hours of instruction; and

2. That upon completion, the aims and objectives of the course have been met.

B. A "verified unit of credit" or "verified credit" is a credit awarded for a course in which a student earns a standard unit of credit and completes one of the following:

1. Achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course SOL test. In accordance with the provisions of the Standards of Quality, students may earn a standard and verified unit of credit for any elective course in which the core academic Standards of Learning course content has been integrated and the student passes the related end-of-course SOL test. Such course and test combinations must be approved by the board.

Upon waiver of the 140-clock-hour requirement according to board guidelines, qualified students who have received a standard unit of credit shall be permitted to sit for the relevant SOL test to earn a verified credit without having to meet the 140-clock-hour requirement.

2. Achieves a passing score on an additional test, as defined in 8VAC20-131-5, as a part of the Virginia Assessment Program.

3. Meets the criteria for the receipt of a locally awarded verified credit when the student has not passed a corresponding SOL test.

a. Students who enter the ninth grade for the first time prior to the 2018-2019 school year and do not pass SOL tests in science or history and social science may receive locally awarded verified credits from the local school board in accordance with criteria established in guidelines adopted by the board. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may be used to confer locally awarded verified credits as provided in 8VAC20-131-50 B 3.

b. Students who enter the ninth grade for the first time in the 2018-2019 school year or thereafter and do not pass SOL tests in English, mathematics, laboratory science, or history and social science may receive locally awarded verified credits from the local school board in accordance with criteria established in guidelines adopted by the board. No more than one locally awarded verified credit may be used to satisfy graduation requirements, except as provided in 8VAC20-131-51 B 3 for students with disabilities seeking a standard diploma.

4. Meets the criteria for the receipt of a verified credit in history and social science by demonstrating mastery of the content of the associated course on an authentic performance assessment that complies with guidelines adopted by the board. Such students shall not also be required to take the corresponding SOL test in history and social science.

5. Meets the criteria for the receipt of a verified credit in English (writing) by demonstrating mastery of the content of the associated course on an authentic performance assessment, that complies with guidelines adopted by the board. Such students shall not also be required to take the corresponding SOL test in English (writing).

C. The board may from time to time approve additional tests for the purpose of awarding verified credit. Such additional tests, which enable students to earn verified units of credit, must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:

1. The test must be standardized and graded independently of the school or school division in which the test is given;

2. The test must be knowledge based;

3. The test must be administered on a statewide, multistate, or international basis, or administered as part of another state's accountability assessment program; and

4. To be counted in a specific academic area, the test must measure content that incorporates or exceeds the Standards of Learning content in the course for which verified credit is given.

The board shall set the score that must be achieved to earn a verified unit of credit on the additional test options.

D. With such funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly, the board shall provide opportunities for students who meet criteria adopted by the board to have an expedited retake of a SOL test to earn verified credit.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 1, eff. October 29, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 28, 2000; Volume 22, Issue 24, eff. September 7, 2006; Volume 27, Issue 24, eff. August 31, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 5, eff. December 3, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. October 8, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 8, eff. January 11, 2018.


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