ARTICLE II:  PUBLIC INFORMATION

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

2-2.1                   Access to School Board Records

2-2.2                   Sex Offender Registry Notification

2-2.3                   Sex Offenders on School Property

2-2.4                   Advertising/Sales/Solicitation

2-2.5                   Staff Directories

2-2.6                   Media Relations

2-2.7                   School Publications


 

 

POLICY 2-2.1   ACCESS TO SCHOOL BOARD RECORDS

 

Generally

 

Official records of the Hanover County School Board are available for inspection by any citizen as authorized by applicable law and will be made available for review upon request in the division superintendent's office during regular office hours.  A request for public records of the School Board shall identify the requested records with reasonable specificity.

 

      Fee for Search Time and Copying

 

An “at cost” fee shall be charged to the requestor for the actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested School Board records.  The School Board may, before processing a request, require the requestor to pay a deposit in an amount not to exceed the estimated production cost for the requested records where the School Board determines in advance that such production cost will exceed $200.00.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:  Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§2.2-3700, et seq.; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g), et seq; 34 C.F.R. § 99.1, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000

Amended:  July 16, 2003


POLICY 2-2.2  SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY NOTIFICATION

 

                The Hanover County School Board recognizes the danger sex offenders pose to student safety.  Therefore, to protect students while they travel to and from school, and attend school or school-related activities, each school in the Hanover County school division shall request electronic notification of the registration or reregistration of any sex offenders in the same or contiguous zip codes as the school.   Such request and notification shall be made according to the procedure established by the Virginia Department of State Police (State Police). 

 

                Annual Notification

 

                At the beginning of each school year, the Hanover County Public Schools shall notify parents and employees of this policy.  The School Board will also annually notify the parent of each student enrolled in the school division of the availability of information in the Sex Offender Registry and Crimes Against Minors Registry and the location of the Internet website (http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/index.htm).

 

                Dissemination of Sex Offender Registry Information

 

                Sex offender registry information should be provided to employees who are most likely to observe unauthorized persons on or near school property including but not limited to:

1.        school bus drivers;

2.        employees responsible for visitor registration;

3.        employees responsible for bus duty

4.        security staff;

5.        coaches;

6.        playground supervisors, and;

7.        maintenance personnel.

                 When registry information is disseminated, it shall include a notice that such information should not be shared with others and may only be used for the purposes discussed below.  Employees who improperly share registry information with others may be disciplined.

 

                The School Board recognizes that it is the responsibility of local law enforcement officials to notify the community of potential public danger.  Therefore, the School Board and its employees will not disseminate registry information to parents.  

               

    Use of Sex Offender Registry Information

 

                Registry Information shall only be used for the purposes of the administration of law-enforcement, screening current or prospective school division employees or volunteers, and for the protection of school division students and employees.  Registry information shall not be used to intimidate or harass others.           

1.    Registered Sex Offender Sighted.  If a notified employee sees a registered sex offender on or near School Board property, around any Hanover County student, or attending any school division activity, the division superintendent or his designee shall be notified immediately.  The division superintendent or his designee may, in his discretion, notify local law-enforcement officials.

2.    School Volunteers and Student Teachers.  Each staff member shall submit to his principal the name and address of each volunteer the staff member is or may be using as soon as the person is identified. The principal shall screen each student teacher and volunteer’s name and address against the registry information.  If a match is found, the principal shall notify the division superintendent, who shall confirm the match.  If the match is confirmed, the division superintendent shall inform the individual, in writing, that he may not be on School Board property without permission of the division superintendent.  The notice shall provide the reason with reference to this Policy.  The division superintendent shall also inform the principal and employees that the individual may not be used as a volunteer.

3.    Contractors’ Employees.  The division superintendent shall include the following language in all school division contracts that may involve an employee of the contractor having any contact with a student.  “The contractor shall not send any employee or agent who is a registered sex offender to any school building or school property.”  Monthly, the contractor shall check the registry to determine if any employee is registered.

4.    School Division Employees.  Each time sex offender registry information is received, the principal shall review it to determine if a school division employee is registered.  If a match is found, the division superintendent shall confirm or disprove the match with local law enforcement.  If the match is confirmed, the division superintendent shall notify the School Board.  The School Board will take the appropriate action to comply with state law which may include termination of employment.

5.    Applicants for Employment.  Before hiring any person, the division superintendent shall determine whether the prospective employee is a registered sex offender.  If the prospective employee is a registered sex offender, he shall not be hired by the school division.

6.    Students and Parents of Students.  A sex offender registrant who is the parent or guardian of a student shall be permitted to participate in appropriate parent or guardian activities, unless prohibited by court order.  Students who are registered sex offenders may not be precluded from attending school.

7.    Precautions to Protect Students.  When the division superintendent determines it is necessary, because of the presence of a registered sex offender, alternative arrangements may be made for bus and walking routes to and from school, recess and physical education periods, or any other activity in order to protect division students. 

    Requests for Registry Information

 

                Anyone requesting registry information from the school division shall be referred to the State Police.

 

  

LEGAL REFERENCE:        Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-79.3, 9.1-914, 9.1-918, 18.2-370.5, and 19.2-390.1.

 

Recodified:  August 2000

Amended:  August 8, 2006, November 7, 2007

               


 

POLICY 2-2.3  SEX OFFENDERS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

 

                No adult who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, as defined in Virginia Code § 9.1-902, may enter or be present during school hours, upon any public school property, unless: 

·          He is a lawfully registered and qualified voter, and is coming upon such property solely for the purposes of casting his vote;

·          He is a student enrolled at the school; or

·          He has obtained a court order allowing him to enter and be present upon such property, and is in compliance with terms and conditions of the order.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:  Code of Virginia, 1950s as amended, §§ 9.1-902, 18.2-370.5.

 

Adopted:  November 7, 2007

 

 


 

POLICY 2-2.4   ADVERTISING/SALES/SOLICITATION

 

    Distribution of Outside Communications/Materials

 

            Any outside communications or materials that are distributed or made available in the Hanover County Public Schools or on school property shall be approved in advance by the division superintendent or his designee. The division superintendent or his designee may regulate the time, place and manner of such distribution consistent with applicable law. Non-instructional materials may not be distributed during instructional time. If doubt exists at this level as to whether distribution should be made, permission shall be denied until disposition of the matter is made by the Hanover County School Board. Any decision by the School Board shall be final.

 

           The distribution of materials or information which publicly endorse or support groups or organizations involved in a commercial endeavor for profit or political campaigns is prohibited. Further, expressions which are libelous, slanderous, or defamatory are prohibited. The division superintendent or his designee shall regulate the distribution of material where there is a reasonable basis for the belief that such publication or expressive activity would create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts, or the violation of School Board policies,  regulations, or Code of Student Conduct, or would materially disrupt classes or classwork, or orderly operation of the school or which violates the privacy rights of others.

 

            Communications to parents from parent organizations affiliated with the school or other communications of a significant educational value may be distributed when approved by the relevant school principal.

 

            Use of School Mail and Messenger Services

 

            The use of the school division mail and messenger distribution services shall be limited to official Hanover County Public School business.

 

             Prohibition on Distribution of Political Materials

 

            No Hanover County Public Schools student shall be required to convey or deliver any materials that (i) advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for elective office, (ii) advocate the passage or defeat of any referendum question, or (iii) advocate the passage or defeat of any matter pending before the School Board, the Hanover County Board of Supervisors, the Virginia General Assembly, or the United States Congress.  This Policy does not prohibit the discussion or use of political or issue-oriented materials as part of classroom discussions or projects and does not prohibit the delivery of informational materials.

 

             Advertising in Schools

           

            Individual schools may not endorse or imply endorsement of any product. All requests for endorsement should be directed to the division superintendent.

 

            In order to solicit advertisements from merchants and business establishments for school publications, school organizations must secure approval from the relevant school principal. If there is need for policy clarification, the principal shall  consult with the division superintendent.  Commercial establishments whose source of revenue is the sale of intoxicants may not advertise in school publications. Neither the facilities, nor the staff, nor the students (in their capacity as students) of any Hanover County public school may be employed in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial or other non-school organization.

 

             In general, the School Board does not approve of commercialism within the public schools.  However, the School Board recognizes and approves of the use of materials developed by commercial organizations when, in the judgment of the division superintendent or his designee, the educational value of the materials to be used far outweighs their commercialism, when the advertising is in good taste, and when the materials used are not available elsewhere at a reasonable cost.  This prohibition shall not apply to civic and cultural entertainments or exhibits, in which case permission to advertise must be obtained from the division superintendent or his designee.

           

    Public Solicitation in the Schools

 

            No employee of the school division may sell or offer for sale, within the school or school grounds, any article or service to employees or students, except for the regularly established school cafeteria and textbook programs. This does not prevent solicitation for the United Way, dues for employee organizations, contributions for the benefit of professional organizations, or for school organizations at regularly scheduled extracurricular events after school hours. Exception:  It is permissible for schools to sell certain specialized merchandise pertaining to the individual school, such as caps and sweaters bearing the school name, within the school building or at a school sponsored activity.

 

Public Sales on School Property

 

Sales on Hanover County School Board property by outside vendors may only be made as outlined in Hanover County School Board Policy 3-3.6.

 

Soliciting Funds from School Personnel and Students

 

The direct solicitation of funds from school personnel and students by outside organizations must be approved by the Hanover County School Board.  The School Board permits the solicitation of voluntary contributions from employees for the United Way.  The division superintendent or his designee may develop and from time to time revise regulations necessary to effect the purpose of this Policy.

           

       Emergencies and Disasters

 

       The division superintendent or his designee may approve the solicitation of voluntary contributions to local fund drives when these drives are of an emergency nature or are for disasters that have a strong emotional effect on the community.

 

       Contribution to Charity

 

       School participation in charity projects which involve soliciting/selling in the community (walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, jump rope, etc.) shall be limited during school time.  Activities conducted during the school day shall be educational in nature and shall not infringe on required instructional time.  All charity projects shall be approved by the division superintendent or his designee.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-79, 22.1-125, 22.1-126, 22.1-131, 22.1-278.3, 22.1-293; Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 4071, et seq; U.S. Constitution, First Amendment.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

 

REGULATION 2-2.4 (A)   SOLICITING FUNDS FROM STUDENTS

REGULATION 2-2.4 (B)   SOLICITATION VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

REGULATION 2-2.4(C) DISTRIBUTION OF OUTSIDE COMMUNICATIONS/MATERIALS

 

REGULATION 2-2.4 (A) SOLICITING FUNDS FROM STUDENTS

 

            Requests for contributions from Hanover County students to charity shall be made as follows:

 

A.      The request to participate in charity projects (e.g. walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, jump rope, etc.) shall be submitted to the division superintendent or his designee for approval.

B.       Only one such activity will be allowed for elementary schools each academic year.

C.     Approval must be granted by the division superintendent or his designee before the activity is announced or initiated by the requesting school.

 

REGULATION 2-2.4 (B)  SOLICITATION VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

 

In keeping with School Board policies on fundraising and the acceptable use of the school district computer network, the following regulation addresses the approval of direct solicitation messages sent via the school district e-mail server.

 

            Messages pertaining to the solicitation of funds by a school or a school-related (i.e., PTA/PTO, Athletic Booster Club, etc.) organization that are restricted to an individual school’s patrons and staff must be approved by the school principal prior to being sent via the district e-mail server. 

 

            Messages pertaining to the solicitation of funds by a school or a school-related organization that are sent to a distribution beyond an individual school’s patrons and staff must first be approved by the school principal and then forwarded to the superintendent or his designee for final approval prior to being sent via the district e-mail server.

 

            Solicitation of funds or offerings of services through district electronic means for any non-school activity is prohibited.

 

Adopted:  April 13, 2005

 

REGULATION 2-2.4(C) DISTRIBUTION OF OUTSIDE COMMUNICATIONS/MATERIALS

 

The Hanover County School Board will consider approval of distribution of non-instructional informational flyers from only these sources:

 

·         Individual schools or the school division.

·         School-related groups or club-sponsored activities (i.e. PTAs, PTSAs, PTOs, Booster Clubs, school-sponsored sports camps, etc.).

·         Local, state, and federal government (including Hanover County’s Parks & Recreation Department).

 

All other informational flyers regarding community activities for children and families, sponsored by not-for-profit organizations received by the school division for distribution will be:

 

·         Posted or displayed in a designated area of the principal’s choice at all requested schools for a suggested time period of three weeks.

·         Accessible on a link located on the school division’s Web site for a suggested time period of three weeks.

 

Adopted:  July 1, 2006


 

POLICY 2-2.5 STAFF DIRECTORIES

 

The names and addresses of Hanover County Public Schools employees may be compiled annually for use within the school division, but no person shall be authorized to release or sell such directories for use by any commercial or profit-making organization.  The division superintendent may supply such lists to colleges, universities, and such other organizations as he may judge to be of significant educational value to the staff.

 

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

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

POLICY 2-2.6  MEDIA RELATIONS

 

             Media Relations

 

            The community shall be kept informed regarding the educational programs of the Hanover County Public Schools through the use of available media of communication.   The Hanover County School Board encourages the administration and individual schools to utilize media releases as a means of informing the public of educational programs, activities, and accomplishments. The School Board encourages staff members to participate in activities that inform the public about school programs and activities.

 

             The School Board shall cooperate with the news media in providing the public with pertinent facts concerning the schools.  The division superintendent or his designee serves as a reliable source to whom the news media may turn for information regarding the division schools. The School Board encourages the attendance of representatives of the news media at all open School Board meetings.

 

             News and information concerning individual school events, personnel, students, and programs shall be released to the press only with the approval of the principal and in accordance with all applicable law regarding confidentiality. All other matters representing the official position of the School Board prepared for publication by any of its employees shall be approved by the division superintendent or his designee prior to release to the press.

 

             Interviews

 

             The School Board permits the interviewing of employees and students during the school day when approved by the school principal, appropriate supervisory staff and/or the division superintendent, only when such interviews do not disrupt the educational program or cause undue confusion and under conditions approved by such principal, staff member, or division superintendent. In the case of students, no interviews shall be conducted until a school staff member has contacted the student’s parents or guardians.   Representatives of the news media who wish to conduct interviews are subject to all policies and regulations governing visitors to school property.

 

             Broadcasting of Athletic Contests

 

             The division superintendent may permit the broadcasting of home athletic contests by radio or television in accordance with the regulations of the Virginia High School League, provided either that such broadcasting is done as a public service or that the sponsor of such broadcast is appropriate.  It shall be communicated during such broadcast that the School Board does not endorse the product or products of any sponsor.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-253.13:7, 22.1-293, 22.1-287 through 22.1-287.1; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g), et seq.; 34 C.F.R. § 99.1, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

POLICY 2-2.7  SCHOOL PUBLICATIONS

 

            All school publications shall be approved by the relevant principal before distribution.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 2.1-340 through 2.1 - 346.1 (Virginia Freedom of Information Act).

 

Recodified: August 2000