General Curriculum and Instruction

POLICY 6-2.1 GENERAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAM

Because education is a lifelong process, the educational program in the Hanover County Public Schools shall provide both formal studies to meet the general academic needs of all students, and opportunities for individual students to develop specific talents and interests in vocational and other specialized fields to grow toward independent learning. The various instructional programs shall be developed with the view toward maintaining balanced, integrated, and sequentially articulated curricula which shall serve the educational needs of all school-aged children in the school division.

The Hanover County School Board subscribes to the philosophy that well-developed reading and other basic skills, including the ability to spell, speak, and write intelligently, are essential in society. It shall adopt specific requirements to ensure that high school graduates are sufficiently competent in these essential skills.

At all levels, the instructional program shall include for a wide range of individual differences in student abilities and learning rates through uses of a variety of materials, adjustments in programs, and courses adapted to special needs of students. The curriculum shall meet those requirements established by the Code of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Board of Education.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-199 through 22.1-253: 13.6; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-2.2 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION

Developing an effective curriculum rests upon adequately describing the educational results desired. The Hanover County School Board believes that curriculum is a means for reaching the desired result, which is pupil learning. Curriculum development shall be a goal-based process, including: (1) identification of division goals, (2) identification of program goals and student learning results, (3) curriculum evaluation, and (4) curriculum improvement. The purposes of the process are to:

  1. Respond to the school division needs assessment.

  2. Establish definitive student learning results in each curriculum area.

  3. Evaluate the curriculum and its implementation.

  4. Close the gap between what is taught and what should be taught.

  5. Provide for continuous curriculum improvement.

  6. Provide for curriculum coordination within, between and across grade levels.

  7. Determine how well individual students accomplish program goals and achieve expected learning results.

  8. Provide a process for staff and community input in developing and implementing curriculum.

  9. Provide an orderly and systematic process which will reduce fragmentation in scope and sequence, unnecessary duplication, and irresponsible use of resources and materials.

The School Board expects the administration and faculty to evaluate the educational program as provided under the approved system for a goal-based curriculum and regularly to report findings and recommendations to the School Board. These recommendations shall concern modifications of desired learning results, school division or program goals, new courses or course content, resources, materials, and learning experiences. The division superintendent shall present new courses and new educational programs to the School Board for approval, as well as programs and courses that have extensive revisions or additions.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-199 through 22.1- 253:13.6; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131- 10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-2.2(A) CURRICULUM STUDY COMMITTEES

The division superintendent and supervisors may, at their discretion, select advisory committees to include teachers, administrators, students, parents, citizens, business and industry representatives, context experts, and college/university representatives to assist them in developing the curriculum. Such committees are to act in an advisory capacity only and the use of such committees does not lessen the responsibility otherwise assigned to specific employees using such committees.

REGULATION 6-2.2(B) CURRICULUM: EVALUATION

The evaluation of the instructional program is a continuous and ongoing process. Evaluation is completed through the curriculum development process, workshop activities, textbook adoptions, reviewing assessment results, student-teacher evaluations, teacher-administrator evaluations, and cooperative planning by teachers, supervisors, and administrators.

POLICY 6-2.3 CURRICULUM ADOPTION

The curriculum for the Hanover County Public Schools includes all social and educational experiences that occur as a part of the school program. Elements that interact to modify the designed curriculum within the Hanover County Public Schools include developments in technology, social relationships, community interests and needs, and the individual characteristics of teachers and students.

The curriculum is designed to assist students in achieving their potential. Values and purposes are developed as the school staff promotes students’ individual physical, mental, social, emotional, and moral development through daily interaction.

The curriculum shall meet the requirements of the Code of Virginia and regulations of the Virginia Board of Education. Proposed curriculum and program changes shall be submitted, in writing, to the assistant superintendent of instructional leadership for review with recommendations to the division superintendent.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§22.1-199 through 22.1-253:13.6; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-2.4 CURRICULUM GUIDES AND COURSE OUTLINES

The Hanover County Public Schools instructional staff, under the direction of the division superintendent, shall develop curriculum guides and courses of study and shall provide for continuing review and revision of these documents. The division superintendent shall annually budget funds to support these ongoing projects, and is authorized to create advisory committees to carry out this Policy.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-199 through 22.1- 253:13.6; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131- 10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-2.5 NEW COURSE OFFERINGS – SECONDARY

The Hanover County School Board shall approve all courses that are new to the curriculum. The division superintendent shall adopt regulations consistent with all applicable law regarding the process to be used for recommending new course offerings in the Hanover County Public Schools.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-199 through 22.1-253: 13.6; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-2.5 NEW COURSE OFFERINGS – SECONDARY

The form "Request for New Course Offerings" is to be completed by secondary principals and submitted to the Hanover County School Board for approval before September 1 for any new course which is to be offered the following school year. 

POLICY 6-2.6 INNOVATIVE OR EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS

Experimental and innovative programs that are not consistent with accreditation standards or other regulations promulgated by the Virginia Board of Education shall be submitted to the Board of Education for approval prior to implementation.

The parent or guardian of a child enrolled or engaged in any research or experimental program or project which is funded by the United States Department of Education shall be entitled to inspect all instructional materials which will be used in conjunction with such program or project.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78; Regulations Establishing Accreditation Standards for the Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq; 20 U.S.C., Section 1232h.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-2.6(A) PILOT, RESEARCH OR EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS

Right to Inspect Instructional Materials

In addition to any other rights they might have with respect to the inspection of instructional materials, the parent or guardian of a child enrolled or engaged in any research or experimentation program or project which is funded by the United States Department of Education shall be entitled to inspect all instructional materials which will be used in conjunction with such program or project.

Research and Informed Consent

As used herein, the term "research or experimentation program or project" means any systematic investigation which departs from the application of established and accepted methods which are appropriate to meet the students' needs and may result in physical or psychological injury to the participants. The designation of any program or project as a research or experimentation program or project shall be made by the division superintendent.

Informed Consent

No research shall be conducted or authorized unless the student's parents or legally authorized representative or emancipated student signs a student consent form and has it witnessed. The form shall comply with the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.

Any research involving students shall be approved and conducted under the review of a human research committee established by the school division. If the subjects cannot be identified and the research falls within the exemptions of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the research is exempted from these requirements. Any complaints arising under Policy 6-2.6 or this implementing regulation shall be submitted pursuant to applicable law and policies.

REGULATION 6-2.6(B) REQUESTS FOR INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH

Requests to conduct research in the school division including the distribution of surveys, must be processed through the Research Review Committee.

Research Review Committee:

The Superintendent or designee will appoint a committee to act as the school division’s Research Review Committee. The committee will review and make a recommendation on all requests to conduct research and distribute surveys within the school division. The Superintendent or designee will make the final decision on all such requests based on the committee’s recommendation.

Application Review Process for Data:

All requests to conduct research or distribute surveys must be submitted to the Director of Guidance, Testing and Research for review by the Research Review Committee. The research may be approved provided that it complies with Hanover County Public Schools Policies and Regulations, Federal Statutes and Regulations, Virginia Statutes and State Board of Education Regulations.

Each complete request will be reviewed by the Research Review Committee against the following criteria:

  • The investigators are professionally affiliated with an educational, non-profit, institution or agency;

  • Institutional Human Research Review Board (IRB) approval from the appropriate educational institution or agency has been obtained and a copy of the approval form is submitted;

  • The research plan sets forth explicit objectives and a sound design for collecting and analyzing information designed to reach these objectives; this includes a detailed description of the protocol (i.e., how individuals will be contacted for participation and procedures used in the research or survey administration);

  • Copies of all data collection instruments (i.e., surveys, questionnaires, or interview questions) and estimated administration time must be submitted;

  • The research holds the prospect of direct benefit for the individual subjects and/or the division’s educational program;

  • There will be no significant departure from normal school routine on the part of students or staff, or use of instructional or staff contract time;

  • Request for participation and informed consent forms to staff and/or for students, to parents or legal guardians and emancipated minors and students over age18 shall state the purpose of the research, the procedures to be followed, the right to review research documents and surveys, and the right to withdrawal at any time;

  • The research does not investigate the personal lives of students and/or employees;

  • The research/survey distribution is proposed and conducted in such a way as to preserve the anonymity of all participants. The identity or identifiable characteristics of employees, students, schools, or the school division will not be revealed unless so authorized in writing when the research/survey is approved;

  • The applicant states in the proposal the timeline and expected date of completion for the study and states that a final copy of the study/results will be forwarded to the Director of Guidance, Testing and Research.

Requests to review any research or survey material will be honored by the school division within 10 business days after receipt of a written request and all necessary documents. Each applicant will receive a written response from the Director of Guidance, Testing and Research. The response will convey the decision of the Research Review Committee, approving or disapproving the request.

Consent for Surveys, Analyses or Evaluations Related to Student Information:

Parents/legal guardians and emancipated minors and students over 18 years old must receive notification and provide active informed consent prior to the administration of any student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one of the following eight areas of protected information:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents;

  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;

  3. Sexual behavior or attitudes;

  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;

  6. Legally recognizable privileged relationship, such as with lawyers, doctors or ministers

  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or

  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes or for selling or otherwise distributing/providing the information to others. Active informed consent may be required as determined by the Research Review Committee for surveys, analysis or evaluation of students not included above.

Amended: July 10, 2007 

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