Student Classification and Academic Requirements

POLICY 6-4.1 GRADE PLACEMENT

Elementary Schools

Entrance

Age 5 - A pupil who will be age five on or before September 30 may enroll in the Hanover County Public Schools and be classified as a kindergarten student.

A pupil entering school who is not age six on or before September 30 and who has prior kindergarten experience from a program accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education or a Virginia public school K-8 program shall be given recognition for all grade-level work completed.

A pupil entering school who is not age six on or before September 30 and who does not have prior kindergarten experience from an accredited program or a Virginia public school K-8 program may be classified as a kindergarten or first grade student based on his performance on the school division’s reading and mathematics basal placement tests, Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) results, and evaluations from other schools as determined by the building principal in consultation with the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership.

Age 6 - A pupil entering school who is age six on or before September 30 without prior kindergarten experience may be classified as a kindergarten or first grade student based on his performance on the school division’s reading and mathematics basal placement test, and Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) results as determined by the building principal in consultation with the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership.

Transfer

After age six, students who transfer from other elementary schools, either within or outside the school division, shall be placed in the grade which has been recommended by the previous school. The principal shall require a continuous evaluation of the capabilities and adjustment of the student and, if necessary, shall reassign such student at the earliest possible opportunity to the appropriate grade as determined by the evaluation.

Middle and High Schools

A student who transfers to the Hanover County Public Schools and who is not deficient in any subject requirements in the school division from which he transfers shall receive the same grade classification status in the middle and high schools in Hanover County. The student shall not be required to take courses to erase deficiencies that are normally required of 8th grade students enrolled in the Hanover County Public Schools.

Transfer students shall meet any and all accreditation standards for graduation requirements.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-199; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et. seq.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: April 14, 2015, January 9, 2018

POLICY 6-4.2 GROUPING FOR INSTRUCTION

The grouping of students within individual public schools in Hanover County for instructional purposes shall be based solely on:

  1. the best interests of the student;

  2. the educational or achievement level of the student;

  3. the availability of space;

  4. the best educational climate for learning; and

  5. the student's best chance for success.

Grouping shall remain flexible in order to take advantage of the best educational research currently available.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-4.3 PROMOTION AND RETENTION

Elementary

Promotion or retention of Hanover County Public School elementary students shall be based on what will result in the greatest good for the pupil. Factors that Hanover County educators will consider in making promotion/retention decisions include, but are not limited to, Standards of Learning test results, ability, attendance, classroom performance, chronological age, physical, social and emotional development, and work study habits.

Kindergarten

A student may be considered for retention if he is not progressing and the recommended placement will be in the student’s best interest.

Grade 1

A student should demonstrate academic progress in reading/language arts and mathematics to be considered for promotion.

Grade 2-3

Retention at these grade levels may occur when the student is (1) below grade level or failing in reading; (2) below grade level or failing in mathematics and in one other subject; (3) or failing in two or more subject areas.

Grade 4-5

Retention at these grade levels may occur when the student is (1) below grade level in reading and mathematics, (2) has an “F” yearly average in two of the following subjects: reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, or science, or (3) is below grade level in reading or mathematics and has a final average of “F” in one of the following subjects: language arts, social studies or science.

Secondary

When evaluating secondary students for possible retention, educators should at minimum consider the following factors: (1) the student’s performance on state and local SOL assessments; (2) classroom tests and assignments; (3) course grades; (4) age; (5) physical growth and development; and (6) mental maturity. Specifically, a secondary student may be retained when he (1) is below grade level in reading and mathematics, (2) has an “F” yearly average in two of the following subjects: reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, or science, (3) or is below grade level in reading or mathematics and has a final average “F” in one of the following subjects: language arts, social studies, or science.

Middle School

  1. 6th to 7th Grade - Students shall be eligible for promotion into the seventh grade if they receive passing yearly averages in at least four of the following required subjects: reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health/physical education.

  2. 7th to 8th Grade - Students shall be eligible for promotion into the eighth grade if they receive passing yearly averages in at least four of the following required subjects: reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health/physical education AND if they receive a passing grade in the equivalent of one full year of elective offering(s).

  3. 8th to 9th Grade - Students shall be eligible for promotion into the ninth grade if they receive passing yearly averages in the following: reading/language arts and mathematics, AND any two of science, social studies, health/physical education; AND/OR if they receive a passing grade in the equivalent of one full year of an elective offering(s).

At any grade level, failure to receive a passing grade in any required subject (reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health/physical education) may result in the student being required to repeat the subject even though promoted to the next grade. Principals and staff shall consider each student on an individual basis.

High School

Promotion shall be based on the following:

Grade 9 to 10 
5 Credits 

Grade 10 to 11 
10 Credits 

Grade 11 to 12 
Candidate for June Graduation

Students shall not be permitted to enroll in two required English courses simultaneously. Exceptions to the above requirements shall be determined by the principal.

Special Education

Determinations regarding promotion of special education students shall be made consistent with applicable law and relevant individualized education plans.

Acceleration

Effective in the 2001-2002 school year, qualified students may choose the acceleration option of obtaining Carnegie credit(s) and verified credit(s) in designated courses without completing the requirement of 140 clock hours of instruction. Designated courses will include all courses in English, mathematics, science, and social studies for which an end-of-course SOL test exists. Students may request approval of the acceleration option for certain electives. To qualify for this option, students in grades 6-11 must demonstrate mastery of the course content and objectives in the manner prescribed by the division and have the recommendation of the division superintendent or his designee.

Having received Carnegie credit(s) for acceleration course(s), the students shall be permitted to sit for the relevant Standards of Learning assessment(s), if applicable, and upon receiving a passing score, shall earn verified credit(s).

The curriculum and schedule of elementary, middle and high schools shall provide flexibility in placing certain students in programs or subjects normally considered above their grade level. Scheduling eighth grade students into subjects above the normal grade level should be done with counseling based on evidence of ability, past scholastic achievement, and cooperation of the individual student and his parents or guardian.

When students below the ninth grade successfully complete courses offered for credit in grades 9 through 12, credit shall be counted toward meeting the standard units required for graduation provided the courses meet the requirements of the Standards of Learning or are equivalent in content and academic rigor as those courses offered at the secondary level or verified units of credit, and provided the students achieve a passing score on the end of course Standards of Learning tests.

In any high school credit-bearing course taken in middle school, a parent may request that the grade be omitted from the student’s transcript and the student not earn high school credit for the course.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78; Individuals with Disabilities Act, 20 VSC 1400, et seq; Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students, 8 VAC 20-40-10; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: January 2001, September 9, 2003

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-4.3 PROMOTION AND RETENTION

Acceleration Option

A student who has demonstrated mastery of course content and objectives, and who has not completed 140 clock hours of instruction, may receive Carnegie credit and verified credit for those courses in mathematics, English, science, and social studies for which an end-ofcourse SOL test is given and for certain electives.

The student and a parent/guardian shall request permission to pursue the credit acceleration option by completing the school division acceleration application form.

  • By February 15 of each year the principal shall receive completed application forms from students seeking the acceleration option. For SOL Writing, the deadline will be January 15.

  • By February 25 of each year the Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education shall receive from the middle or high school principals all completed applications for the acceleration option. The Associate Director of Gifted and Talented Education will notify high school principals of the testing schedule for acceleration. For SOL Writing, the deadline will be January 25.

  • By April 1 the principal or his/her designee will notify students of the date/location of the division-level assessment procedure to qualify for acceleration. For SOL Writing, the deadline will be February 5.

  • Students will demonstrate mastery of course content and objectives by performing prescribed assessment tasks to the satisfaction of a division-level committee which shall include, but not be limited to, the Associate Director of Gifted and Talented Education, the Director of Middle or Secondary Education, and the Lead Teacher Specialist for the content area in which acceleration is being requested, including English, mathematics, science, or social studies and certain electives. Assessment tasks may include final examinations given in the course, criterion-referenced tests, written essays/research papers, interviews, laboratory procedures, demonstrations, or other presentations of learning as specified for the content area by the committee.

  • Students will receive a “Pass” or “Fail” grade on the assessment tasks required for acceleration in each of the designated SOL courses. The “Pass” grade will be recorded on the student’s academic transcript. The “Fail” grade will not be recorded on the transcript nor will it affect a student’s GPA. The division-level committee will determine the pass or fail status of each applicant for each acceleration request and will send the appropriate school principal a written report on each student’s status on each assessment. A “Pass” grade is required for the student to be eligible to take the SOL test for a given course, if applicable, and for the student to receive a Carnegie credit for the course.

  • By May 1 of each year the principal or his designee will notify students of pass/fail status on the assessments necessary to receive Carnegie credit in the acceleration process. Students who do not achieve passing status for acceleration on a given course may not reapply for the acceleration option for that course. Students who have received Carnegie credit for an SOL content-area course in this acceleration process may take the SOL test in that course during the SOL test administration in May. For SOL Writing, the deadline will be February 20.

Amended: January 2001, September 9, 2003, August 24, 2004

POLICY 6-4.4 GRADUATION AND SOL REQUIREMENTS

I. Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests and Verified Units of Credit

In kindergarten through eighth grade where Standards of Learning (SOL) tests are required by the Board of Education, each student is expected to take the SOL tests. Schools will use the SOL test results in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of a set of multiple criteria for determining the promotion or retention of students. In addition, each student in middle and secondary school shall take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the course and achieve a passing score on an end-of-course SOL test shall be awarded a verified unit of credit in that course. Students may earn verified credits in any courses for which end-of-course SOL tests are available.

Upon recommendation of the superintendent and demonstration of mastery of course content and objectives, qualified students may receive a standard unit of credit and be permitted to sit for the relevant SOL test to earn a verified credit without having to meet the 140-clock-hour requirement. The superintendent by regulation will determine the manner in which a student may demonstrate mastery of course content and objectives, and documentation of such mastery will be maintained in the student’s permanent record.

Students also may earn verified credits by taking alternative tests to the SOL assessment. Such tests may be only those approved by the Virginia Board of Education, and the student may earn verified credits only by achieving that score established by the Board of Education.

All students identified as limited English proficient (LEP) will participate in the SOL testing program. A school-based committee will convene and make determinations regarding the participation level of LEP students. In kindergarten through eighth grade, LEP students may be granted a one-time exemption from SOL testing in each of the areas of writing, science, and history and social science.

Participation in the SOL testing program by students with disabilities will be prescribed by provisions of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. All students with disabilities will be assessed with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments where necessary.

II. Graduation Requirements

A. Generally

In order to graduate from Hanover County Public Schools, a student must meet all applicable requirements set forth in the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia and the Virginia Standards of Quality. The requirements for a student to earn a diploma are those in effect when he or she enters ninth grade for the first time.

The school board will notify the parent of rising eleventh and twelfth grade students of

(i) the number of standard and verified units of credit required for graduation pursuant to the Standards of Accreditation and

(ii) the remaining number of such units of credit the individual student requires for graduation.

B. Types of Diplomas and Certificates

The Hanover County School Board will award the following types of diplomas and certificates in accordance with state laws and regulations.

1. Standard and Advanced Studies Diploma

a. Standard Credits

Students receiving a standard or advanced studies diploma shall have earned the required number of standard credits as set forth in the Standards of Accreditation.

b. Verified Credits

Beginning with the ninth-grade class of 2000-01 (graduating class of 2003-2004), students receiving a standard or advanced studies diploma shall have earned the required number of standard and verified credits as set forth in the Standards of Accreditation.

2. Modified Standard Diploma

Eligibility and participation in the Modified Standard Diploma program will be determined by the student’s IEP team and the student, where appropriate, at any point after the student’s eighth grade year. The school in which the student is enrolled must secure the informed written consent of the parent or guardian and the student to choose this diploma program after review of the student’s academic history and the full disclosure of the student’s options.

Modified Standard Diploma option is eliminated by legislative action effective with first time ninth graders in 2013-2014.

3. Special Diplomas

A Special Diploma will be awarded to each disabled student who successfully completes the requirements set forth in his/her IEP, but does not meet the requirements for other diplomas.

The school board will notify the parent of students with disabilities who have an IEP and who fail to meet the requirements for graduation of the student's right to a free and appropriate education to age 21, inclusive, pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-213 et seq.

4. Certificates of Program Completion

A Certificate of Program Completion will be awarded to any student who completes a prescribed program of studies defined by the local school board but who is not eligible to receive a standard, advanced studies, modified standard, special, or general achievement diploma.

The school board will notify the parent of students who fail to graduate or who fail to achieve the number of verified units of credit required for graduation as provided in the Standards for Accreditation and who have not reached 20 years of age on or before August 1st of the school year of the right to a free public education. If the student who does not graduate or achieve such verified units of credit is a student for whom English is a second language, the school board will notify the parent of the student's opportunity for a free public education in accordance with Va. Code § 22.1-5.

5. General Educational Development (GED)

a. Generally

The Board of Education has established a program of testing for general educational development (GED) through which persons may earn a high school equivalency certificate or a General Achievement Diploma. The following persons may participate in the testing program:

  • persons who are at least 18 years of age1 and not enrolled in public school or not otherwise meeting the school attendance requirements set forth in Va. Code § 22.1-254;

  • persons 16 years of age or older who have been instructed by their parents in their home pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-254.1 and who have completed such home school instruction;

  • persons who have been excused from school attendance pursuant to subsections B and C of Va. Code § 22.1-254;

  • persons for whom an individual student alternative education plan has been granted pursuant to subsection D of Va. Code § 22.1-254; and

  • persons 16 through 18 years of age who are housed in adult correctional facilities and who are actively pursuing a GED certificate but who are not enrolled in an individual student alternative education plan pursuant to subsection D of Va. Code § 22.1-254;

  • persons 16 years of age or older who have been expelled from school pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-277.06 through § 22.1-277.08; and

  • persons required by court order to participate in the testing program.

Under no circumstances will anyone under the age of 16 be eligible for the testing program.

Only those entities designated by the Department of Education as official Virginia GED testing centers will determine whether an individual is eligible to take GED tests. GED tests will be administered only at official Virginia GED testing centers or addendum test sites that have been approved by the Virginia GED Administrator and the GED Testing Service.

Official test scores may be accepted from an approved state agency, an official jurisdiction responsible for overseeing GED testing, or an official GED testing center outside of Virginia.

An individual may take the full battery of tests up to three times during a calendar year. Test scores may be combined in accordance with GED Testing Service policy.

b. General Achievement Diploma

A General Achievement Diploma is intended to provide a diploma option for individuals who leave high school without a diploma. It should not be a first option for high school students. A General Achievement Diploma will be awarded to eligible candidates who satisfy the following requirements.

In order to be eligible for a General Achievement Diploma, an individual must meet one of the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in public school;

  • not otherwise be subject to Virginia’s compulsory school attendance requirements.

In order to be awarded a General Achievement Diploma, candidates must earn a total of twenty standard units of credit including the following:

  • four standard units of credit in English;

  • three standard units of credit in mathematics;

  • two standard units of credit in science;

  • two standard units of credit in history and social sciences; and

  • nine standard units of credit in electives.2

The required standard units of credit may be earned by enrolling in:

  • a public school if the candidate meets the age requirements;

  • a community college or other institution of higher education;

  • an adult high school program; or

  • correspondence, distance learning, and online courses.

Candidates for a General Achievement Diploma must participate in GED preparation and must achieve a passing score on the GED examination.

c. General Educational Development (GED) Certificates GED certificates may be issued to individuals who:

  • are at least 18 years of age1 and not enrolled in a public or private high school; and

  • achieve the minimum passing score requirements set by the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education or such higher score requirements that may be established by the Virginia Board of Education. 


Under special circumstances consistent with Va. Code § 22.1254 and 22.1-254.2, the age limit may be lowered to 16.

2 The electives taken by a candidate must include at least two sequential electives in an area of concentration or specialization, which may include career and technical education and training.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:3, 22.1-253.13:4, 22.1-254 (D), 22.1-254.2, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, 8 VAC 20-131-30, 8 VAC 20-131-110, 8 VAC 20-360-10, 8 VAC 20-360-20, 8 VAC 20-680-10, 8 VAC 20-680-20, et seq.; Superintendent’s Memo No. 36 (March 3, 2000) and No. 39 (Feb. 20, 2004).

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: January 9, 2001, July 16, 2003, September 14, 2004, August 4, 2009, July 13, 2010, June 11, 2013, September 10, 2013

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-4.4(A): GUIDELINES FOR AWARDING LOCALLY VERIFIED CREDITS FOR THE STANDARD DIPLOMA

Eligibility For Locally Awarded Verified Credits

To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits in history/social sciences or science a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in a Hanover high school and be in his or her senior year at the time of requesting this process.

  • Stated intent to earn a Standard Diploma.

  • Passed the high school course but not passed the related SOL test or approved substitute test.

  • Completed a Standards of Learning (SOL) test in a subject area twice before being able to access this process.

  • Scored within a 375-399 scale-score range on any administration of the SOL test.

  • Demonstrated through review process at the division level, academic achievement in the content of science or history/social sciences.

Provisions for the Appeal Process

  • The high school principal must identify all students in his/her school who meet the eligibility criteria for this process and must submit the request for review for all identified students.

  • The Hanover School Board will appoint annually a division-level review panel consisting of at least three educators selected by the superintendent.

  • The review panel will meet as needed to consider student appeals for providing evidence of achievement in academic content to qualify for verified credit.

  • The review panel will determine the information to be considered for each appeal. The information may include but not be limited to results of classroom assessments, division wide exams, course grades, papers, projects, and other academic products.

  • All materials for review by the panel must be submitted to the Director of Testing and Research.

  • Based on the evidence considered, the review panel will do one of the following:

    • Award the verified credit

    • Deny the verified credit

    • Support participation in remediation or retesting

    • Make additional academic assignments prior to making the decision to award verified credit

General Provisions

  • No more than four (4) verified credits may be awarded through this process.

  • This process does not apply to the Advanced Diploma.

  • A school’s accreditation rating will not be recalculated as a result of verified credits being awarded in this process.

Eligibility For Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit for Students with Disabilities

To be eligible to receive credit accommodations for the Standard Diploma:

  • Student must have a current IEP or 504 plan with standards-based content goals.

  • Student has a disability that precludes him or her from achieving and progressing commensurate with grade level expectations, but is learning on grade level content.

  • Student needs significant instructional supports to access grade level Standards of Learning (SOL) content and to show progress.

  • Based on multiple objective measures of past performance, student might not be expected to achieve the required standard and verified units of credit within the standard time frame.

Student with disabilities may be eligible to receive the credit accommodation for locally awarded verified credits in reading, writing, and mathematics, in addition to science and history. Using the same criteria for awarding credits currently approved for science and history, the eligible students must:

  • Pass the high school course,

  • Score within 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 as described in this regulation.

Adopted: October 8, 2002
Amended: June 11, 2013, September 10, 2013

REGULATION 6-4.4(B) NOTIFICATION PROCESS FOR STANDARD AND VERIFIED CREDITS

Parent(s) or guardian(s) of all students classified in grades 11 and 12 will receive written notifications of the number of standard and verified credits required for graduation and the number of each type of credit his/her child must earn to graduate.

  • The high school principal is responsible for producing and signing the written notifications to each parent/guardian.

  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) of all students classified in grades 11 and 12 will receive written notifications of standard and verified credits on the following schedule or up to the point at which the student completes graduation requirements for standard and verified credits:

    • after student completes tenth grade and prior to beginning the eleventh grade;

    • after student completes first semester of the eleventh grade;

    • after student completes second semester of the eleventh grade and prior to beginning the twelfth grade;

    • after student completes first semester of the twelfth grade;

    • and after re-testing sessions during second semester of the twelfth grade and prior to the date of graduation ceremonies for the school division.

Parent(s) or guardian(s) of students with disabilities who have an individual education plan (IEP) and who fail to meet the requirements for graduation will receive written notification of these students’ right to a free and appropriate education to age 21, inclusive.

  • The high school principal is responsible for producing and signing this written notification.

  • This notification is in addition to those described above for all students in grades 11 and 12.

  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) of these students will receive this notification in June and at least two weeks prior to the date of graduation ceremonies in which the student was considered eligible to graduate but did not meet the requirements.

  • The IEP process will address the plans for providing the student’s education through the age of 21.

Parent(s) or guardian(s) of students who fail to graduate or who fail to achieve the required number of credits for graduation, as stated in Standards of Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, will receive written notification of these students’ right to a free and appropriate education to age 20.

  • The student is eligible if he/she has not reached age 20 on or before August 1 of the school year in which he/she will attend.

  • The high school principal is responsible for producing and signing this written notification.

  • This notification is in addition to those described above for all students in grades 11 and 12.

  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) of these students will receive this notification in June at least two weeks prior to the date of graduation ceremonies in which the student was considered eligible to graduate but did not meet the requirements.

Adopted: August 24, 2004 

Request for Review SOL to Determine Eligibility for Verified Credit for Graduation

REGULATION 6-4.4(C) GUIDELINES FOR AWARDING THE CERTIFICATE OF PROGRAM COMPLETION

The Certificate of Program Completion is designed for a student who has earned all of the required standard units of credit for graduation, but has not earned the appropriate corresponding verified credits. The student will be given the opportunity to earn verified credits in the summer following his/her senior year. Students with disabilities who have an individualized education program and/or students for whom English is a second language who fail to meet the requirements for graduation may take future administrations of the SOL tests until he/she is no longer eligible to be enrolled in a public school. A student is eligible to be enrolled in a public school if he/she has not reached the 20th birthday on or before August 1.

If the student earns the appropriate verified credits, he/she will be considered a graduate and earn the appropriate diploma. If however, the student does not earn the verified credits, he/she can be awarded the Certificate of Program Completion.

Adopted: March 1, 2006

REGULATION 6-4.4(D) GUIDELINES FOR AWARDING FINE OR PRACTICAL ARTS CREDIT

A student will be awarded a carnegie credit in fine or practical arts if he/she completes the course requisites in one of the following programs: career and technical, information/communication, art, music and theater.

Adopted: March 1, 2006

POLICY 6-4.5 ALTERNATIVE METHODS FOR GRANTING CREDIT

The Hanover County School Board shall delegate to the division superintendent the development of methods and procedures for granting alternative credit for courses approved by the School Board in accordance with all applicable law and the standards/regulations of the Southern Association for Schools and Colleges and the Virginia Standards for Accreditation of Schools.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:4; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-4.5 ALTERNATIVE METHODS FOR GRANTING CREDIT

Generally

The standard unit of credit for graduation is based upon one hundred forty (140) clock hours of instruction. To meet the diverse needs of students, alternative means for obtaining credit through emerging technologies are desirable. Students may enroll in and receive a standard and, when applicable, a verified unit of credit for correspondence courses with prior approval of the school division. A request for approval of an alternative method of earning credit may be submitted by a student and his parents or legal guardian. Elective and specialty courses which require custom designed labs, technology, software, hands-on instructional strategies, and other performance oriented learning will not be considered for this method of credit.

Application

The student and his parent(s) or legal guardians shall submit a request for permission to pursue an alternative method for obtaining credit by contacting the school counselor for the application.

The following information will be required to complete the online application:

  • Student Name

  • Parent or Student email and contact information

  • School

  • Student’s School Counselor

  • Course Name

  • School or Vendor providing the course

  • Accrediting agency for the course

  • Course Syllabus

  • Scope and sequence of the course curriculum

  • Correlation to VA SOL if possible

  • Dates of the course

  • Academic need for course registration

Upon receipt of the application, the appropriate content Curriculum Specialist will review the curriculum and course content for alignment to Virginia Standards of Learning. A decision regarding acceptance of the course will be made no later than three weeks upon receipt of the application.

Pursuit of Alternative Credit

All course work for which credit is desired must be equivalent to that offered in the regular school program and the work supervised by a licensed teacher or administrator, or a person eligible to hold a Virginia License, approved by the local school board. A written contract, signed by the parent(s) or legal guardians, student, school supervisor, counselor, and principal shall outline the provisions under which credit will be granted. Among the provisions are: a) attendance if applicable, b) specific title/location of course, c) length of time allowed for completion of course, d)the minimum scores(s) which the student must achieve to indicate satisfactory achievement of course and Standards of Learning objectives, and e)the teacher, counselor or administrator designated by the principal to supervise the student for the alternative credit option. Credit Standard unit(s) shall be awarded for successful completion of such courses when all condition(s) of the contract are met. Verified units of credit may be earned when the student has passed the SOL test associated with the correspondence course completed. The principal or designee will provide written notification of the awarded credit to the student and his parent(s) or legal guardians.

Amended: September 9, 2003, November 9, 2004, October 26, 2010, June 5, 2018, November 6, 2018

Distance Learning/Online Courses Student Enrollment Request Form

POLICY 6-4.6 GRADUATE/WARRANTY PROGRAM

It shall be the policy of the Hanover County School Board to establish a warranty program for graduates of the Hanover County Public Schools who pursue post-secondary education or who are employed by businesses, industries and other organizations.

The division superintendent shall develop the appropriate regulations to implement this Policy.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-4.6 GRADUATE WARRANTY PROGRAM

The Hanover County School Board warrants the basic skills included in the instructional program of every graduate. If an employer or post-secondary education institution determines that an employee or student who has graduated from Hanover County Public Schools within the past two years does not demonstrate competence in certain communication, computation, or career skills, he may contact the director of adult education and professional services regarding the School Board’s Graduate Warranty Program.

The employer or representative of the educational institution should complete an evaluation and application form (GWP-1) on the candidate, indicating those specific skills which are judged to be deficient. After completing the GWP-1, the employer or representative should hold a conference with the employee or student to review expectations for improvement (i.e., each area checked as a weakness). An Employer/Employee Agreement Form (GWP-2) should be completed during this conference. The employer/representative may list those efforts taken to assist, teach, or train the candidate in his area(s) of weakness on the GWP-2 form.

On the Employer/Employee Agreement Form (GWP-2), the employer/representative may indicate to the employee/student whether or not he will be compensated for the hours of classroom participation in the program. (Classes will be offered in the evenings and on Saturdays.)

The employee/student will be required to make an appointment with the director of adult education and professional services, who will invite the appropriate principal and the candidate's past guidance counselor, if available, to participate in planning an instructional program for the candidate, which will include development of an individual improvement plan.

Before an individual improvement plan is completed, a battery of written tests will be administered to each candidate to determine specific weaknesses in identified areas and to assess career aptitude, job compatibility, and/or post-secondary instructional needs.

Participation in the Graduate Warranty Program is contingent upon the student/ employee's cooperation, attendance, and compliance with the rules and regulations of the School Board.

Courses will consist of six (6) to eight (8) sessions and will conclude with an evaluation of current performance.

As stated on the Employer/Employee Agreement Form (GWP-2), evaluation results will be reported to the employee/student and the employer/representative. At that time, the employer/representative and employee/student may complete another Agreement Form, if necessary. 

POLICY 6-4.7 AWARDS FOR ACHIEVEMENT

Generally

The Hanover County School Board approves of awards for students who achieve high academic standing, outstanding citizenship, physical expertise and other characteristics that contribute to good citizenship. The School Board, however, does not approve of giving awards to students where the basic purpose is commercialism. Awards donated by non-school agencies which are recognized nationally and approved by the School Board may be awarded to students at appropriate ceremonies and times.

Scholar and Honor Lists

Students should be encouraged to reach their maximum potential in academic programs. Students in grades five through twelve (5-12) who do outstanding work shall be recognized through a scholar and/or honor list.

Valedictorian/Salutatorian

Schools shall choose a valedictorian/salutatorian based on the school division’s procedures for computing class rank. (See Regulation 6-4.7(A))

Diplomas and Certificates

A diploma and/or certificate certifying the completion of the requirements for graduation as stated in School Board policy shall be awarded each student having completed requirements for any instructional program.

Class Rank

The School Board authorizes a weighted grading system for determining class rank. The division superintendent or his designee shall develop regulations for computing class rank. (See Regulation 6-4.7 (B))

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:3, 22.1- 253.13:4; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-4.7(A) PROCEDURES FOR COMPUTING CLASS RANK

Class rank computations include all grades in all subjects taken in grades 9 - 11, all grades in all subjects taken below the ninth grade and identified by the Virginia Department of Education as eligible for high school credit, and all first semester grades for subjects taken by seniors. Final year grades for identified full-year courses and semester grades for identified one semester courses taken below grade twelve must be recorded and used in computing class rank. First semester grades will be included when computing class rank for seniors.

Dropping Courses

There will be no record made on the permanent record form of courses dropped during the first fourteen (14) weeks of a full year course and during the first seven (7) weeks for a semester course. After this period, withdrawal from a course with a passing grade will be considered a WP and will not be calculated into the grade point average; withdrawal with a failing grade will be considered as a WF and a failure (F) figured into the grade point average. Exceptions to this may be made by the principal in the case of hardship on the part of the student.

Procedures for Adding Academic Courses

Students may add courses within the first three weeks of a full year course or within the first two weeks of a semester course. Exceptions to this rule may be made by the principal, including in cases of hardship on the part of the student. The principal may require a contract signed by the student, teacher, and parents which stipulates the conditions for enrollment after a course begins.

Numerical Values Assigned to Grades

The student’s grade-point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the number of courses included in the transcript. Students with the same grade-point average are numbered identically in rank. The pass grade of pass/fail courses is not included in the computation of class rank; the fail grade is. If a student takes the same course twice and passes both times, both grades will be used in calculating GPA and establishing class rank. Credit for the course will be awarded ONLY for the first time the student takes the class. The grade(s) earned by a student who does not receive academic credit because of violation of Policy 7-2.4 (Student Attendance and Absence/Truancy) shall not be calculated into the grade point average.

Numerical Values Assigned to Grades for Students in the Graduating Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 for Courses Completed through Summer 2017.

The following point system is used to compute class rank for each student in the graduating classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019: 

1.0 Weighted Courses

A=5.0
B=4.0
C=3.0
D=2.0
F=0

All Other Courses

A=4.0
B=3.0
C=2.0
D=1.0
F=0

Numerical Values Assigned to Grades for Students in the Graduating Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 for Courses Completed during and after the 2017-2018 School Year.

The following point system is used to compute class rank for each student in the graduating classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019: 

1.0 Weighted Courses

A+=4.0
A=4.0
A-=3.7
B+=3.3
B=3.0
B-=2.7
C+=2.3
C=2.0
C-=1.7
D+=1.3
D=1.0
F=0

All Other Courses

A+=5.0
A=5.0
A-=4.7
B+=4.3
B=4.0
B-=3.7
C+=3.3
C=3.0
C-=2.7
D+=2.3
D=2.0
F=0

Weighted Credit Courses for Students in the Graduating Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Students in Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced courses receive weighted credit. A numerical advantage of 1.0 is assigned when calculating students’ grade(s) for these courses, in accordance with the procedure for computing class rank.

The Program of Studies and student schedules will clearly reflect which courses carry weighted credit. Appropriate school publications, including the Program of Studies, will state the criteria for placement in courses that carry weighted credit.

Numerical Values Assigned to Grades for Students in the Graduating Class of 2020 and Thereafter for Courses Completed through Summer 2017.

The following point system is used to compute class rank for each student, beginning with the graduating class of 2020: 

1.0 Weighted Courses 

A=5.0
B=4.0
C=3.0
D=2.0
F=0

.5 Weighted Courses

A=4.5
B=3.5
C=2.5
D=1.5
F=0

All Other Courses

A=4.0
B=3.0
C=2.0
D=1.0
F=0

Numerical Values Assigned to Grades for Students in the Graduating Class of 2020 and Thereafter for Courses Completed during and after the 2017-2018 School Year.

The following point system is used to compute class rank for each student, beginning with the graduating class of 2020: 

1.0 Weighted Courses

A+=5.0
A=5.0
A-=4.7
B+=4.3
B=4.0
B-=3.7
C+=3.3
C=3.0
C-=2.7
D+=2.3
D=2.0
F=0

.5 Weighted Courses

A+=4.5
A=4.5
A-=4.2
B+=3.8
B=3.5
B-=3.2
C+=2.8
C=2.5
C-=2.2
D+=1.8
D=1.5
F=0

All Other Courses

A+=4.0
A=4.0
A-=3.7
B+=3.3
B=3.0
B-=2.7
C+=2.3
C=2.0
C-=1.7
D+=1.3
D=1.0
F=0

Weighted Credit Courses for Students in the Graduating Class of 2020 and Thereafter

Students in Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and International Baccalaureate courses receive weighted credit. A numerical advantage of 1.0 is assigned when calculating students’ grade(s) for these courses, in accordance with the procedure for computing class rank. Students in Advanced courses also receive weighted credit. A numerical advantage of 0.5 is assigned when calculating students’ grade(s) for these courses, in accordance with the procedure for computing class rank. The Program of Studies and student schedules will clearly reflect which courses carry weighted credit. Appropriate school publications, including the Program of Studies, will state the criteria for placement in courses that carry weighted credit.

Transfer Students

Transfer students shall receive additional numerical points only for those courses which have been designated advanced in accordance with the Hanover County School Board’s procedure for computing class rank. If the advanced option is available in the school division for a course that an incoming transfer student has taken elsewhere, written verification that the course was taken on the advanced level shall be required from the sending school division.

Transfer students whose academic records do not contain letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) shall not be assigned grades by Hanover County Public Schools. Students may be eligible for Carnegie credit/verified credit if applicable, in accordance with Policy and Regulation 6-4.3. Grade point average and class rank shall not be computed for these transfer students. The Hanover County Public Schools transcript for these transfer students shall contain an alert noting that a letter of explanation is included with the transcript document.

Amended: September 9, 2003, September 7, 2005, June 20, 2006, July 12, 2016, May 9, 2017

REGULATION 6-4.7(B) REGULATIONS FOR SCHOLAR LIST AND HONOR LIST

Periodic listing of scholar and honor list students is optional. However, when such lists are compiled by schools, basic requirements should be standard for all Hanover County Public Schools. Principals shall exercise their own judgment in requiring scholar and honor lists. When scholar and honor lists are compiled, they shall conform with the following regulations. Scholar and honor lists may be compiled and released at the end of each nine-week report period or at the end of the semester, and shall be based on grades earned during a specific period.

Scholar List

The following minimum grades must be earned for a scholars list: Any student maintaining a "B" average is eligible to be on a scholar list provided he has a "B" or better in all subjects. General Music, Art, Physical Education, and Library in grades 4 - 5 shall be (S) satisfactory.

Honor List

The following minimum grades must be earned for an honors list: Any student maintaining a "B" average is eligible to be on an honor list provided he has no more than one "C". General Music, Art, Physical Education, and Library in grades 4 -5 shall be (S) satisfactory.

Amended: July 12, 2016, May 9, 2017 

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