ARTICLE III:  COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

2-3.1                   Community Involvement in Decision-Making

2-3.2                   Relations With Community Organizations

2-3.3                   Relations with Outside Organizations

2-3.4                   Relations With Law Enforcement Authorities

2-3.5                   Public Complaints

2-3.6                   Visitors to Schools

2-3.7                   Speakers’ Bureau

2-3.8                   Parental Involvement in Education



POLICY 2-3.1 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

 

                The Hanover County School Board recognizes that the community’s resources and experience can be useful to schools. The School Board may involve citizens both as individuals and as groups to act as advisors and resource people.  Public input will be carefully considered by the School Board in light of school  division goals, current practices, and financial feasibility. However, all final decisions on matters pending rest solely with the School Board.

 

            Community Involvement/Volunteers

 

                The School Board encourages the use by individual schools and the administration of the talents and skills of all members of the community who wish to contribute their abilities toward the enrichment of the educational program.  The School Board endorses the concept of assistance by parents in the classroom, the library and in other programs designated by school administrators.

 

                Citizen Advisory Committees

 

                The School Board intends to involve as many citizens as may be practical in the activities of the schools.  The School Board, upon recommendation of the division superintendent, shall from time to time appoint such advisory committees of citizens of Hanover County as it deems necessary or as may be required by law.  The School Board shall provide such committees specific instructions regarding their authority, the areas or problems they are to consider and to whom they are to submit reports of their deliberations.  Unless extended, citizen committees shall expire upon rendering their reports, the completion of their assignment or at the end of their appointment.

 

                Public Hearings

 

                It is the policy of the School Board to conduct public hearings when there is an issue for which many citizens have expressed concern and on those issues for which public hearings are required by law.  The time, place, and date of the hearing(s) shall be announced in advance consistent with all applicable law. Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the School Board’s bylaws and shall be presided over by the School Board chairman.

 

                Local School Committees

 

                The School Board encourages all principals to have an advisory committee at the local school level to work with staff members in establishing a biennial school plan and for the purpose of reviewing school needs.  Each school shall have in effect a school and community interaction plan that fosters mutual understanding of the role of each in providing quality education.  Each school shall develop a comprehensive and continuing program for informing the community about the school.  The School Board may establish committees of citizens to advise the members of the School Board with reference to matters pertaining to the schools.

 

               Community-Staff Committee on a Comprehensive, Unified, Long-Range Plan

 

                Generally

 

                                        The School Board shall appoint a Long-Range Planning Committee to involve the community and staff as mandated by applicable Virginia law.  The membership of the Committee shall represent the community, the schools, and the central office staff.

                Purpose

 

                The major purpose of the Long-Range Planning Committee is to assist the School Board in developing a division-wide comprehensive, unified, long-range plan (“Plan”) based on data collection, an analysis of the data, and how the data will be utilized to improve classroom instruction and student achievement.  The Plan shall include, or be consistent with, all other division-wide plans required by state and federal laws and regulations and shall be reviewed by the School Board biennially.    

 

Plan Components

 

                The Plan shall include, but shall not be limited to:

 

  1. The objectives of the School Division, including strategies for improving student achievement and maintaining high levels of student achievement.
  2. An assessment of the extent to which these objectives are being achieved.
  3. A forecast of enrollment changes.
  4. A plan for projecting and managing enrollment changes, including consideration of the consolidation of schools to provide for a more comprehensive and effective delivery of instructional services to students and economies in school operations.
  5. An evaluation of the appropriateness of establishing regional programs and services in cooperation with neighboring school divisions.
  6. A plan for implementing such regional programs and services when appropriate.
  7. A technology plan designed to integrate educational technology into the instructional programs of the School Division, including the School Division’s career and technical education programs, consistent with, or as a part of the comprehensive technology plan for Virginia adopted by the Board of Education.
  8. An assessment of the needs of the School Division and evidence of community participation, including parental participation, in the development of the Plan.
  9. Any corrective action plan required pursuant to Virginia Code § 22.1-253.13:3.
  10. A plan for parent and family involvement to include building successful school and parent partnerships that shall be developed with staff and community involvement, including participation by parents.

 

Parental Involvement

 

                The School Board encourages parental involvement in the school division and in the individual schools, including but not limited to the following activities:  parenting; communicating; recruiting and organizing parent help and support; learning at home; and representing other parents.  The division superintendent may develop regulations and/or guidelines to encourage parental involvement in the school division, in the schools and in students’ educational programs.

 

                Partnerships

               

                The School Board encourages business, industry, educational and community agency partnerships in the individual schools and throughout the school division. The partnerships shall include efforts related to: policy development; systemic educational improvement; improving management practices; teacher training and development; and partnering with students and teachers in the classroom.  The division superintendent may develop regulations and/or guidelines for partnerships to assist the school division in providing an effective education for all students.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:        Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 2.1-554 through 2.1-558, 22.1‑86, 22.1-253.13:6, 22.1-253.13:7.

 

Recodified: August 2000

Amended:  July 16, 2002, July 12, 2005


 

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

 

REGULATION 2-3.1       CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEES – RECORDS AND REPORTS

 

                 All advisory committees shall record minutes of their meetings and distribute such minutes to the Hanover County School Board. From time-to-time as he deems appropriate or necessary, the division superintendent shall schedule selected advisory committees to make formal presentations to the School Board. All advisory committees shall submit a written annual report to the School Board.


 

 

POLICY 2-3.2  RELATIONS WITH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

 

            Consistent with all applicable law, the Hanover County Public Schools shall cooperate with all non‑profit and non‑partisan agencies such as the departments of social services, parks and recreation, health, safety, fire, civil defense, and law enforcement in promoting the general public interest and the educational welfare of the students.

 

             Virginia Employment Commission

 

            The division superintendent shall designate a staff member as the division's liaison person with the Virginia Employment Commission for the purpose of establishing and maintaining employment counseling and placement services for secondary school students.  Procedural differences that cannot be resolved by the division superintendent shall be brought to the School Board's attention.  The division superintendent shall include an evaluation of this program in the annual report to the School Board.

 

Disaster Agencies

 

The School Board shall cooperate fully with all relevant agencies in the time of local, state or national emergencies consistent with School Board Policy 4-2.2 and consistent with individual schools’ crisis management plans. The division superintendent shall open the schools of the district as needed in times of emergency and shall cooperate fully with directors of agencies regarding the use of the schools and their equipment.

 

Parks and Recreation Department

 

The School Board intends that there be the fullest cooperation to permit the maximum use of school athletic and recreational facilities and the school auditorium by the schools, the recreation department and the residents of Hanover County, generally, consistent with School Board Policy 2-4.1

 

            During the school year, official school programs shall be given priority.  However, such programs shall be scheduled, as much as possible and without detriment to them, to permit use of school facilities by the parks and recreation department and citizens generally. During the summer, recreation programs shall be given priority. At all times the facilities shall be used so as to preserve and to maintain them in proper condition. To accomplish this purpose, the principals of the schools will work with the recreational director. Policy differences and problems, if any, will be referred to the division superintendent or his designee.

 

The operation and maintenance of school facilities is primarily the responsibility of the school principals. Nonetheless, the parks and recreation department shall provide adequate supervision and will assume full responsibility for facilities during the periods of their use by the parks and recreation department. The maintenance of the grounds, however, will be performed by the parks and recreation department and the School Board with costs allocated among their respective budgets, reasonably reflective of the amount of use and wear and tear attributable to each. 

 

Parks and recreation normally shall not be charged usage fees as set forth in School Board Policy and Regulation 2-4.1 to use any outdoor school facility.  However, the department is responsible for the appropriate use of such facilities and may be charged a fee for inappropriate usage. The department of parks and recreation will be charged an hourly fee for the use of school gymnasiums. The fee provides for supervision of the school staff. The parks and recreation department will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the facility after usage.

 

Specific guidelines governing the use of athletic and recreation facilities shall be adopted from time to time by the department of parks and recreation and the School Board administration acting cooperatively. There shall be full consultation prior to the adoption of any policy, any proposed capital improvements or any other action by the department of parks and recreation which may materially affect such facilities or their use.

 

Nothing in this Policy shall abrogate in any manner the respective legal responsibilities of the School Board and the department of parks and recreation.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:         Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:7.

Recodified: August 2000



 

POLICY 2-3.3 RELATIONS WITH OUTSIDE ORGANIZATIONS

 

            Parent/Patron Organizations

 

            The Hanover County School Board encourages the establishment of parent‑teacher organizations that seek to advance programs that improve educational opportunities for all students consistent with applicable law. The School Board recommends that parent-teacher organizations maintain a close liaison with the School Board, administration, and staff, and that they plan their actions in accordance with established School Board policies.

 

Relations with Non-Governmental Agencies

 

            The School Board, as permitted by applicable law, shall assist local professional, civic, or business organizations and associations whose efforts will result in improved educational opportunities for the students of the Hanover County Public Schools.

 

            The School Board shall cooperate to the extent permitted by applicable law with private and parochial schools whenever the welfare of the youth of the school division would be benefited.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-209, 22.1-253.13:7.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

 

POLICY 2-3.4   RELATIONS WITH  LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES

 

            Investigations by Law Enforcement Officers at School

 

            When it becomes necessary for any law enforcement officer to interview a student on Hanover County Public School premises, the principal shall be contacted immediately. The principal or his designee shall make a reasonable effort to contact the parent or guardian and have the parent or guardian in attendance for the conference. If the parent or guardian cannot be present for the conference, then the principal or his designee shall be present throughout the interview. All such interviews shall be conducted in accordance with Regulation 7-3.1 (D).

 

            Service of Process at School

 

            The Hanover County School Board encourages servers of legal process on school employees or students to make all reasonable attempts to serve such documents off school premises; however, if the documents must be served on school premises, they shall be served at the principal's office of the school at which the student is in attendance or the main office of the facility at which the employee is assigned.

 

            Development of Programs

 

            The division superintendent shall seek to develop, in cooperation with the local law-enforcement agencies, juvenile and domestic relations court judges and personnel, parents, and the community at large, programs and procedures to prevent violence and crime on school property and at school-sponsored events.  The division superintendent shall obtain and use Sex Offender Registry information in accordance with School Board Policy 2-2.2.

 

             School Resource Officers

 

The Hanover County School Board works cooperatively with the Hanover County Sheriff’s office to operate the Hanover School Resource Officers and D.A.R.E. Officers program.  These school resources officers are certified law enforcement officers and are employed to help ensure safety, prevent truancy and violence in schools, and to enforce school rules and the code of student conduct.

 

            Report to Law Enforcement Officials

 

            As required by applicable law, the division superintendent, principal or their designees shall immediately report to local law-enforcement officials all incidents occurring on school property involving:

 

 1.  The assault, assault and battery, sexual assault, death, shooting, stabbing, cutting or wounding of any person on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; or

 2.  Any conduct involving alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or an anabolic steroid on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; or

 3.  Any threats against school personnel while on a school bus, on school property, or at school-sponsored activity; or

4.      The illegal carrying of a firearm onto school property; or

5.      Any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive materials, or devices, or hoax explosive devices, as defined in Virginia Code § 18.2-8, or explosive or incendiary devices, as defined in Virginia Code § 18.2-433.1, or chemical bombs, as described in Virginia Code §18.2-87.1, on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; or,

6.      Any threats or false threats to bomb, as described in Virginia Code § 18.2-83, made against school personnel or involving school property or school buses.

 

Reports By Law Enforcement Officers

 

 Principals or their designees may receive such reports on offenses, wherever committed, by students enrolled in their schools as authorized by Virginia Code § 22.1-280.1.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:         Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 8.01-47, 9.1-101, 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-279.9, 22.1-280.2:1, 22.1-293.

 

Recodified: August 2000

Amended:  July 15, 2002


 

 

POLICY 2-3.5   PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

 

            Generally

 

            A complaint involving a particular Hanover County Public school shall first be handled within the school.  If the complaint cannot be resolved through the school, it shall be referred to the division superintendent or his designee. If the central office staff and complainant cannot reach a satisfactory solution, the matter may, at the School Board's discretion, be heard at a regular School Board meeting.

 

            Communications from the public -- including petitions -- shall receive official recognition by the School Board only when submitted with verifiable signatures and places of residence.  No anonymous communications shall be considered.  Except in emergencies, the School Board shall not attempt to decide upon any question before examining and evaluating the information any person requests the School Board to consider.  The division superintendent shall be given an opportunity to examine and to evaluate all such information and to recommend action before the School Board attempts to make a decision.

 

            Specific complaints regarding instructional materials and learning resources shall be handled as described in Hanover County School Board Policy 6-5.7.   Specific complaints regarding students and personnel shall be handled as described in Hanover County School Board Policies 1-6.8 and 5-9.1.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:   Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-253.13:7. 

Recodified: August 2000

 

REGULATION 2-3.5       PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Consistent with Hanover School Board Policy 5-1.5 Personnel Records, the Hanover County School Board and school administration will not disclose, discuss, or comment publicly about information contained in the personnel records of employees of the School Board or about personnel decisions concerning employees of the School Board.

 

Adopted:  January 15, 2003


 

 

 

POLICY 2-3.6   VISITORS TO SCHOOLS

 

            Generally

 

            Visitors are welcome in the Hanover County Public Schools.  Visitors shall immediately report to the relevant administrative office of the school which they are visiting and obtain a visitor’s pass. Unauthorized persons, including suspended students, will be requested to leave school grounds by the building administrator.

 

            Parents

 

            Parents are encouraged to visit the schools on scheduled days for conferences with teachers, assemblies, PTA meetings, and other school programs.  Except as otherwise required by law, non-custodial parents shall not be denied, solely on the basis of their non-custodial status, the opportunity to participate in any of the student's school activities in which such participation is supported or encouraged by the policies of the School Board.

 

             Unauthorized Persons

 

            In order to protect Hanover County Public Schools students, personnel and facilities, no unauthorized persons shall be permitted to enter upon the school premises during the school day unless they first report to the principal's office and have a legitimate reason for being there.  The division superintendent shall make such regulations as are necessary to protect students, personnel and property from unauthorized visitors, and he shall inform such law enforcement officers as may be needed to enforce this Policy in the case of uncooperative violators.

 

       Trespassing

 

            No one shall be in a school building after school hours unless he is on official school business, is participating in a supervised school activity, is authorized by the administration, or is a spectator at an activity open to the public. It is unlawful for any person to enter a school at nighttime without the consent of an authorized person except to attend an approved meeting or service.  It is prohibited for any person, to enter  or remain on  any school property, including school buses, in violation of (i) any direction to vacate the property by an authorized individual,  or (ii) any posted notice which contains such information, posted at a place where it reasonably may be seen. Persons violating these provisions of state law may be prosecuted.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:  Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 18.2‑128, 18.2-415, 22.1‑279.5.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

 

POLICY 2-3.7  SPEAKERS’ BUREAU

 

            The Hanover County School Board may sponsor a speakers' bureau of articulate teachers and administrators conversant with the various aspects of the division's programs and able to present current information about the school's activities before community organizations.  A listing of staff volunteering for such service and indicating their presentation topics may be maintained in the division superintendent's office.  This listing will be made available to community groups upon request.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:  Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79, 22.1-253.13:6, 22.1-253.13:7(D)(4).

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

 

POLICY 2-3.8  PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION

 

             When parents of a Hanover County public school student are estranged, separated, or divorced, building personnel will uphold the parental rights of both parents to participate in their childrens’ education.  Unless there is a court order to the contrary, both parents have the right to:

 

1.                  View the child’s school records, in accordance with School Board policies.

2.                  Receive school progress reports, the school calendar, and notices of major school events.

3.                  Visit the school in accordance with School Board policies.

4.                  Participate in parent-teacher conferences; in the case of the non-custodial parent, after a timely request is made.

5.                  Receive all notifications in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

6.                  Receive notice of the student’s extended absence, as defined in and pursuant to School Board policy, if both parents have joint physical custody.

 

             Parent Responsibilities

 

The custodial parent has the responsibility to:

 

1.                  Keep the school office informed as to the address of residence and how he or she may be contacted at all times.

2.                  On the Hanover County Public Schools registration form, list the current address and phone number of the non-custodial parent, unless such address is unknown and the parent signs a statement to that effect, or unless a court order restricts the educational or contact rights of the non-custodial parent.

3.                  Provide a copy of any legal document which restricts the educational and/or contact rights of the non-custodial parent.

4.                  Assist the school in enforcing the standards of student conduct and attendance in order that education may be conducted in an atmosphere free of disruption and threat to persons or property, and supportive of individual rights.

 

In addition, the principal may request a student’s parent or parents, if both parents have legal and physical custody of such student, to meet with the principal or his designee to review the School Board’s standards of student conduct and the parent’s or parents’ responsibility to participate with the school in disciplining the student and maintaining order and to discuss improvement of the child’s behavior and educational process.  

           

            The non-custodial parent has the responsibility to keep the school office apprised of changes in his current phone number and address.  Further, the non-custodial parent may make timely requests to participate in parent-teacher conferences.

           

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Code of Virginia, as amended, §§ 20-124.6, 22.1-3, 22.1-78, 22.1-279.5, 22.1-287, et seq.; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g); 34 C.F.R. § 99.1, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000