State Superintendent provides flexibility for class of 2020, others

State Superintendent provides flexibility for class of 2020, others
Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced high school seniors are able to graduate despite schools remaining closed for the academic year. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced in his authority under Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 51, that high school seniors are able to graduate despite schools remaining closed for the academic year.

In a guidance document sent to 132 of Virginia’s school divisions, Lane says high school seniors in the following categories will be able to graduate on time:

  • Seniors currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated Standards of Learning test);
  • Seniors who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit; and
  • Seniors who have not passed a required student-selected SOL test;

Lane also says flexibility is available to seniors who:

  • Have not earned a required career and technical education credit
  • Have not completed a fine or performing arts course or CTE course
  • Were unable to complete sequential course requirements
  • Have not completed a course in economics and personal finance

“I am confident that everyone recognizes that students should not be prevented from graduating because of unforeseen circumstances beyond their control,” Lane said.

Action by the General Assembly is required for the waiver of requirements in the Code of Virginia for the following students:

  • Seniors who have not completed training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators; and
  • Seniors who have not completed a virtual course.

The guidance, which was issued by the Virginia Department of Education, also includes options for providing students in other grades with equitable opportunities and instruction covering required course content — either while schools are closed, over the summer or during 2020-2021 — without disrupting their academic progress. These options include the following:

  • Utilizing distance/remote, face-to-face or blended learning or learning modules while schools are closed with plans to ensure equitable access;
  • Offering instruction during the summer of 2020;
  • Extending the 2019-2020 calendar or adjusting the 2020-2021 calendar to allow for instruction in core content not covered by March 13, 2020; and
  • Incorporating learning modules into an extension of the 2019-2020 school year or the existing 2020-2021 schedule.

VDOE this week also issued an online guide for parents and other caregivers. COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Aged Children is available on the department website and includes information on in-home learning activities, social distancing and other topics.

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