Standards of Accreditation

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News & Announcements

Guidance on the Sequential Elective Graduation Requirement

On March 21, 2021, the Board of Education approved new flexibility regarding the sequential elective graduation requirement, which is now reflected in the SOA Guidance Document (8VAC20-131) (Word).  Please see Superintendent's Memo #067-21 (PDF) for detailed information on this flexibility.


The Virginia Board of Education's Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (also referred to as the “Standards of Accreditation” or SOA) are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in all of Virginia's public schools. The Standards of Accreditation:

  • Provide an essential foundation of educational programs of high quality in all schools for all students.
  • Encourage continuous appraisal and improvement of the school program for the purpose of raising student achievement.
  • Foster public confidence.
  • Assure recognition of Virginia's public schools by other institutions of learning.
  • Establish a means of determining the effectiveness of schools.

Standards of Accreditation

The Standards of Accreditation (SOA) support continuous improvement for all schools and college, career, and civic readiness for all students. The SOA was revised in 2017 to include graduation requirements aligned with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and school accreditation standards that reflect new measures of quality and performance.

Guidance Document

This guidance document incorporates both guidance adopted by the Board of Education and guidance issued by the Virginia Department of Education, and is updated as additional guidance is issued. Please direct questions about the SOA or this guidance document to the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or


Standards of Accreditation Archives

Documents are PDF files. Standards from 1970 through 1992 are scanned documents and will take longer to download.