This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa (belinblank.org). The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (accelerationinstitute.org), and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Virginia  

Virginia state policy leaves local education agencies (LEA) to determine whether and to what extent acceleration is permitted.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy leaves LEA to determine whether early entrance is permitted. In general, students must be 5 by September 30.

The Code of Virginia 22.1-199 states that "The kindergarten program in each school division shall include a program suitable for children who will reach their fifth birthday on or before September 30 of the school year." The Code also states that "children whose fifth birthday occurs between October 1 and December 31 of the school year may be enrolled in kindergarten after an appropriate readiness evaluation has demonstrated that attendance in these programs will educationally benefit such children."

Early entrance to 1st gradeIf you know where to find this information, please e-mail us.
Whole-grade accelerationWhile decisions are made at the local level, 8VAC20-40-60 requires districts to have policies and procedures that allow access to programs of study and advanced courses at a pace and sequence commensurate with [gifted students'] learning needs.
Early high school graduationThe Virginia Department of Education website has information on requirements to earn a Standard Diploma and an Advanced Studies Diploma.
Early entrance to collegeMary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA, offers 2 Early College programs for young women between the ages of 13 and 17. The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) is a residential program that allows talented young women ages 13-15 to bypass most or all of their high school career and enter college, and the Early College Academy is a residential program for young women ages 16 and 17 who wish to complete their high school degree requirements in tandem with college courses.

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or universityState policy specifically permits. Each LEA determines the earliest grade/age for dual enrollment, and whether students are allowed to receive high school credit for college courses. The Virginia Dept. of Ed. offers an Early College Scholars Program to encourage students to earn at least 15 college credits during high school.
Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

No state policy; up to LEA to determine whether dual enrollment in middle and high school is permitted.
Advanced Placement®State policy permits, and fee assistance (opens a Word Document) may be available.
Talent Search

There is no in-state Talent Search for Virginia, but gifted students in VA can participate in regional and national talent searches, including those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy leaves LEA to determine whether proficiency-based promotion is permitted.

Code of Virginia 22.1-253.13:4 states that the Board of Education must "establish a procedure to facilitate the acceleration of students that allows qualified students ... to obtain credit for such class upon demonstration of mastery of the course content and objectives. Having received credit for the course, the student shall be permitted to sit for the relevant Standards of Learning assessment and, upon receiving a passing score, shall earn a verified credit." Each LEA is responsible for determining methods of demonstrating proficiency ("mastery") and advancement options after proficiency. 

8VAC20-131-110 discusses the Standards of Learning tests and the distinctions between standard and verified credits.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Typically left to LEAs to determine. If you know of state-level code, please e-mail us.

Additional Information

Virginia Department of Education Gifted Website
Virginia Department of Education
Virginia Association for the Gifted

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2012-2013 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.