Eligibility Criteria Request Submission

Welcome. Today we are going to review the
new Special Permission Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit for Students
with Disabilities working towards a Standard Diploma. We will start out here at the VDOE
homepage. On the right-hand side click graduation requirements, followed by credit accommodations.
This brings us to the Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations homepage. Based on feedback
received from the United States Department of Education’s Peer Review Process on State
Assessments, the Virginia Department of Education received notification that the Virginia Substitute
Evaluation Program, known as the VSEP, would no longer be permissible for use in Virginia’s
federal accountability system. Due to this new interpretation, the Virginia Board of
Education adopted revisions to the Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations
for Students with Disabilities at its meeting on September 20, 2018. Before we go into the
specifics of the special permission credit accommodation let us review the requirements
of the Locally Awarded Verified Credit Policy. According to the Standards for Accrediting
Public Schools, known as the SOA, school divisions are able to locally award verified credits,
in general. School divisions were notified that effective May 9, 2018, all students are
eligible to be considered for locally awarded verified credits in English, mathematics,
science, and history/social science in accordance with the Board of Education’s regulations
and guidance. To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits under this guidance,
a student must pass the high school course, Score within a 375-399 scale score range on
any administration of the Standards of Learning test after taking the test at least twice,
and Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process administered
at the local level. Refer to Superintendent’s memo number 130 dash 18, released May 11,
2018, on the VDOE website. Now we will review the new policy specific for students with
disabilities, including students with 504 plans that are working towards a Standard
Diploma. At the Board of Education’s September 20, 2018, meeting, the Board approved an accommodation
that permits school divisions to award locally awarded verified credits toward a Standard
Diploma, which proposed revisions to the Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations
for Students with Disabilities. This new accommodation permits school divisions to make an exception
to their locally awarded verified credit policy and procedures for certain students with disabilities
that score below a 375 scale score after taking the test, at least once. The Special Permission
Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credits was added to provide those students
with disabilities who previously might have used the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program
with a pathway to earn the necessary locally awarded verified credits to obtain a standard
diploma. The Virginia Board of Education’s policy requires that the student’s IEP Team
or Section 504 Plan Committee be involved in the consideration of the eligibility criteria
to use the special permission credit accommodation for a locally awarded verified credit. To
use this accommodation, school division personnel must assure that the student received instruction
in the course based on a non-modified curriculum that maintains the same level of depth and
complexity of the Standards of Learning; previously taken and scored below 375 on the SOL test;
have a documented disability that presents a unique or significant challenge to the degree
that the student is unable to demonstrate knowledge of the course content on the SOL
test using available accommodations; and finally must be able demonstrate achievement in the
academic content through an appeal process administered at the local level. The documentation
being submitted to VDOE includes student demographics, course information, eligibility criteria,
evidence of previous participation in the SOL assessment, a justification statement,
and a verification section. Other options should be considered prior to this accommodation,
such as other credit accommodations and or substitute assessment options. Now, let’s
take a quick tour of the available resources on the VDOE website and review the steps required
for submission. So as you can see, we have a section new to this website that talks about
special permission credit accommodation, this information includes a lot of the information
I just reviewed and when you get down to the bottom you will see some resources. You will
see a frequently asked questions document in Word format. Please visit that frequently
because we will be adding questions as they come in. We will also have instructions for
eligibility criteria in a Word document, I suggest you open this document and print them
off before you start this process. And then finally we have an excel spreadsheet in which
is the tool you are going to use in submitting this information. So the first thing I would
suggest is you click on this excel document, download it, and then we are going to rename
it by clicking on, click save as, and use the following file name of school division
and then the date submitted. So I am going to go ahead and do that and this is what the
document looks like. So, to save time I have already renamed this the sample that I am
going to use today is Jefferson County all lowercase with 11 30 2018 as the date. Please
follow this file convention. Alright, so now we are going to enter in some data. The first
thing you will want to see is we do not use this first column, column A. Stop do not enter
in data into this field. What you are going to do is you are going to choose your school
division name from the dropdown list up at the top and that will pre-populate column
A for you. For today’s demonstration we are going to use the factitious county of
Jefferson County. Next thing you want to do is hit the tab key, when you hit tab, it will
automatically move to the student testing identifier. If you try to go over here it
is going to say stop. Once you put in the STI it will self-populate column A for you.
So in this case I am going to use STI 1234567890. Once again I am going to move to the next
field by tabbing over. First name Jane, middle initial V, and Last name Doe. Jane V Doe.
Tab over to Date of birth, this individual was born on April 3, 2001 and Jane attends
Jefferson High. Tab over, now this is the first one that is a dropdown, so from here
she is currently enrolled in eleventh grade and has an anticipated graduation of June
of 2020. Now there is a couple of yes no questions, does Jane have an IEP, yes, 504 Plan, no.
Make sure you answer both of those. Since she has an IEP, she also has a primary disability.
So make sure you choose that, in this case her primary disability is SLD. Now the next
two fields you can leave blank or enter or use none. So, in this case Jane does not have
a secondary nor does she have a tertiary disability. We are going to go ahead and move to the course.
So in this case the course in which you would like to locally verify is her End of Course
Reading. So we are going to ask some information about that. Her End of Course Reading teacher,
the teacher of record and or the teacher who actually delivered the content that was non-modified.
So in this case it is Tonya Smith and Tonya Smith has a secondary English endorsement.
You do not have to list all of the endorsements just the one pertinent to this course. If
you want to go a little further you can also put in the SCED code tied to that, so in that
case this is 1100 and we are also requesting Ms. Smith’s license number, VDOE license
number. So, PGP dash 000000. Alright so that is all of the information needed around courses.
We are going to continue to the next section, this is the eligibility section. So we are
not asking for documentation at this point we are only asking yes no questions. Does
the student have a current IEP or 504 Plan, yes. Has she passed and or is passing the
course at this time. So if she is currently enrolled in the course, and is currently passing,
you can answer yes and give us the corresponding letter grade. So we are going to say that
Jane currently has a B in this class. Has she participated in the SOL, yes. Does she
have a unique disability that presents significant challenge to the degree that she is unable
to demonstrate knowledge of the course content on the SOL, yes. If that was no, then the
process will be stopped. Have you exhausted all other allowable test accommodations that
are appropriate for this student, yes and have you exhausted all other credit accommodations
appropriate to this student, yes. So what we are looking for is yes across the board
here, that the student is eligible. And now we are moving into some more of the documentation
of that eligibility, so it is important to document the assessment piece of it. So in
this case, how many times did she take the SOL test online, and we are going to say twice.
Did she attempt the paper and pencil version, no and that’s ok. What was the highest score
on that SOL test, 362, remember we are looking for below 375. Ok, now did she have any other
formats it could be large print or it could be brail or it could be another like the VSEP
previously or something. So we are going to say yes, we do not care if what it was it
is just a yes no and then did she attempt any substitute assessments, no. Alright, when
I tab over to the next one this is the Justification statement. This is the area where you explain
to us what is so unique about this disability that she is unable to demonstrate the content.
So to save time I have pre-populated these cells. As you can see up here Jane has been
identified as a student with a Specific Learning Disability since third grade. Her most recent
test scores reflect a significant deficit in Reading Comprehension. Although she was
not successful in passing the SOL test associated with end of course reading, she was able to
successfully demonstrate knowledge of the content via three content specific projects
targeted at the deficit areas noted from the end of course SOL assessment. She was also
able to provide accurate verbal answers to SOL-like comprehension questions over a period
of two weeks. So, you can type it directly into the cell, you can type it directly in
up top, or you can type it in a word document and then paste it. If you do that option,
make sure that you highlight the cell like I did and paste it up top. If you do not follow
that step it’s not going to wrap the text properly. Ok. Alright now we are going to
move to over to the verification section which is the final section. We are going to ask
you to electronically sign by typing the name in here of your DDot and your special education
director, that they have both verified the accuracy of this information. So in this case
the special education director is Tom Atkins tab over and Sarah Testmaker is your DDOT.
We are also looking to see who is entering the information in so that if there is a question
we can contact this information. So this is Mike Testo. Alright that is all of the information
we are gathering at the DOE when you make this submission. Now if you only have one
student, one subject, you are done. You would save, one important thing is when you hit
save make sure that you are on this screen the data entry screen, not the “Instructions”
tab or the “VDOE Use Only” tab. When you save it, it needs to be on the data entry
screen. If you have a second student that you would like to enter or a second subject
for the same student you may continue to do so. So since it is the same county we are
going to go down here, it’s the same STI because we are going to enter, we are going
to continue with a second subject for Jane. 1234567890, tab over you will notice it pre-populates
so the second time is a little quicker, so Jane V Doe, same birthdate so 4 23 2001 tab
over Jefferson High still in eleventh grade. Anticipated graduation June of 2020. Has an
IEP does not have a 504 Plan. Primary disability SLD. As I said you can enter none here or
you can leave them blank that is fine. If the child has a secondary or tertiary disability
you would want to list that. Alright, now this time we are going to consider earth science.
So we will go down to earth science. Going to have to move the screen over a little bit.
This is Earl, e a r l, Brown who has a science endorsement. Having the specific name is not
so important it is science all is what we have in our SCED codes. You may want to put
in the SCED code if you know, if you don’t that is fine also, and once again the number
of the individuals license. Ok. And we are just making sure this individual is properly
endorsed to teach the content for which they were assigned. And we are really looking to
make sure that this content is not modified, that this is not a modified curriculum that
the child was exposed to. Grab over and do the eligibility once again yes across the
board. In this case the child had a C, yes, yes, and yes. That’s what we are looking
for there. Alright in this case, how times did the child sit for the SOL assessment,
three times, online once, paper and pencil highest score, 334. Did not try any alternate
formats, did try a substitute. Once again, the justification has been pre-populated in
order to save time. It’s very similar being the same student but we did add a little bit
to clarify the difference between the previous subject and this subject. Ok. Final piece
is the verification. The SPED director has not changed so it’s still Tom, just type a
“t” in and it will pre-populate and an “s” for Sarah and that will pre-populate and an
“m” for Mike and that will pre-populate. Ok, now we have one student entered in for two
different courses. Once again you can save it, make sure it is on the “Data Entry”
tab and then follow the second page of instructions for submitting it to the Department of Ed
or you can add additional students, they don’t have to be from the same school so we are
going to go ahead and add a second student, third in the list but it is a second student
overall. So in this case 2345678901, and this one is Mark and no middle initial, Smith.
Mark Smith is a little bit older he is a senior so 2 10 2000. Mark goes to a different high
school in Jefferson County, Central High and as I mentioned he is a senior. His anticipated
graduation is 06 2019. Mark too, has an IEP with a primary disability of, let’s see here,
a visual impairment, let’s see here, I got to scroll down it’s at the bottom, so yeah
there is visual impairment no secondary, no tertiary. In this case Mark is looking to
locally verify his Algebra. We are going to scroll over and the teacher Janet Jackson.
Ok, Ms. Jackson has a Algebra I add on endorsement. I don’t know the SCED code, so I am going
to leave that alone. Her license number is, and answering the six eligibility questions
yes no, student has an IEP. Student passed the course with a B. Participated in the SOL
and scored below 375. Has a documented disability that is significant and so unique that the
student is unable to demonstrate knowledge on the course through a traditional SOL test
with or without accommodations. Has exhausted all allowable accommodations as well as other
credit accommodations. In this case, Mark only took the online assessment once, did
not attempt any other format and scored a 294. No format. No alternate assessment. Moving over to the Justification. Mark detached his retinas in a car accident and is blind in both eyes. He learned brail math using Nemeth code for mathematics. The SOL test is written in UEB math code and he has not learned the UEB math code. In addition, he is not an auditory learner. Mark has passed all course tests, quizzes, and in class assignments when they were provided in Nemeth brail code for mathematics. Scroll over to the verification, once again Tom is
the SPED director, Sarah is the DDOT, and Mike entered the data in. Now you could have
different people entering data in so we just want to make sure that we have that name captured
in case we need to contact somebody locally. Ok, once again you will want to make sure
you are on this page and hit save, just to make sure that you saved the document in its
entirety. Now once the file is complete, the school division must submit the form to the
VDOE through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems Dropbox following the instructions provided
on the “Instructions” tab of the Excel document or the stand-alone Word document
provided under resources on the Credit Accommodations webpage. Do not submit personally identifiable
information through email. Staff members from the Virginia Department of Education will
review documentation submitted by the local school division for each student, by subject,
to ensure sufficient evidence that aligns with the eligibility criteria has been collected,
and locally reviewed. The results of the VDOE review will be securely communicated in writing
to the local special education director through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems or the
SSWS Dropbox. It is vital to understand the review conducted by staff members at VDOE
is not the final step in the process. The VDOE’s approval to proceed merely permits
the school division to consider locally awarding a verified credit through the appeal process.
School division staff will want to ensure the division policy approved by their local
school board aligns with the latest guidance governing the use of Locally Awarded Verified
Credits that was released through Superintendent’s Memo Number 130-18 on May 11, 2018. That guidance
requires local school boards to adopt policies to govern procedures used to locally award
verified credit. The appeal process must include: the appointment by the local school board
a review panel comprised of at least three educators, different panels may be appointed
for individual schools or groups of schools, at the local school board’s discretion;
The local review panel will review information that provides evidence that the student’s
achievement is adequate for the Standards of Learning content. The panel shall have
the discretion in determining the information to be considered and may include, but not
be limited to, results of classroom assessments, division-wide exams, course grades, and additional
academic assignments such as papers, projects, essays, or written questions as deemed appropriate;
Based on the evidence reviewed, the local review panel may award the verified credit,
deny the verified credit, suggest participation in a remedial program and retest, or make
additional academic assignments as deemed appropriate prior to determining whether to
award the verified credit. It is also important to ensure local policy does not put limitations
on students with disabilities eligible for credit accommodations on the number of verified
credits that may be awarded through this process. The awarding of verified credits under this
guidance will not be used to recalculate a school’s accreditation rating. Once again,
the results of the VDOE review will be securely communicated in writing to the local special
education director through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems Dropbox. Questions pertaining
to the Special Permission to Locally Award Verified Credit Accommodation are answered
in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or may be sent to [email protected]
Thank you.

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