ARTICLE I:  INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

6-1.1               Education philosophy

6-1.2               Accreditation

6-1.3               Instructional Goals and Objectives

6-1.4               Organizational Plan

6-1.5               School Year / School Day

6-1.6               Class Size

6-1.7               Ceremonies and Observances

6-1.8               Religion in the Schools

6-1.9               Community Resource Persons / School Volunteers

6-1.10          Teaching About Controversial Issues


 

POLICY 6-1.1   EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY

           

            It shall be the philosophy of the Hanover County School Board to provide equal opportunity for every student to achieve maximum intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth, to insure that each individual be equipped to communicate effectively with other people, to be competent both in the work place and in higher education, and to feel confident of the ability to make creative and constructive decisions in his life. 

 

            It shall be the policy of the School Board to:

 

1.        provide the necessary trained and dedicated leadership, qualified personnel, equipment and materials to assure an appropriate education for every student, regardless of race, color, sex, physical condition, or national origin;

2.        treat all personnel equally with the highest degree of respect; and

3.        appropriate funds fairly and equally.

 

            The School Board believes that quality is essential to sustain its mission, develop shared values, and accomplish its goals.  Quality is defined as follows: “Quality is meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of our customers at an affordable price.”

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Constitution of Virginia, Article  VIII, §  7; Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§  22.1-78, 22.1-79, 22.1-293, 22.1-295;  Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-130-10, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

POLICY 6-1.2   ACCREDITATION

 

            State/Southern Association

 

            The Hanover County School Board intends that all Hanover County Public Schools be fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  The division superintendent or his designee shall be responsible for seeing that the schools are in compliance with the state accreditation standards.  The division superintendent shall keep the School Board informed of the implementation of the accreditation standards in accordance with the accrediting standards established by the Virginia Board of Education.

 

             Evaluation

 

            The division superintendent or his designee shall develop a plan for the continual evaluation of the schools.  A self-study with an evaluation by a visiting committee shall be conducted every five years.  The division also will participate in the state evaluations of its schools which are conducted annually.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, § 22.1-253.13:3; Regulations Establishing Standards For Accrediting Public Schools In Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

POLICY 6-1.3   INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

 

Generally

 

            The Hanover County School Board is committed to excellence in education, equality of educational opportunity, and the recognition of each student's individuality. Inasmuch as students differ in their rate of physical, mental, emotional and social growth and vary in their needs and abilities, Hanover County Public Schools shall provide learning opportunities that are consistent with personal development and potential. Programs shall emphasize diagnostic and prescriptive instruction, allowing an individual approach to each student's learning style and educational needs.

 

            The Hanover County educational program shall introduce each student to a variety of interests and areas that offer exposure to the range of opportunities available in later years. These experiences should produce the basis for further education and future employment. As students demonstrate increased maturity, they may assume more responsibility for the decisions regarding their education.

 

            The school environment should be responsive and conducive to learning. The physical environment facilitates and enhances the learning experiences available to each student.  A responsive environment includes competent, dedicated teachers using a variety of techniques and a classroom atmosphere where students can function and develop according to their abilities. Safety, physical comfort, and appearance also are vital environmental components.

 

Standards of Quality and Objectives

 

            The School Board accepts the overall goals of public education as expressed by the Standards of Quality legislated by the Virginia General Assembly and implemented by Virginia Board of Education regulations.  Education seeks to aid each student, consistent with his abilities, to:

 

1.        Develop competence in the basic learning skills;

2.        Develop the intellectual skills of rational thought and creativity;

3.        Acquire knowledge and process skills of science and technology;

4.        Progress on the basis of achievement;

5.        Qualify for further education and/or employment;

6.        Develop personal standards of ethical behavior and moral choice;

7.        Participate in society as a responsible family member and citizen;

8.        Develop a positive and realistic concept of self and others;

9.        Practice sound habits of personal health and physical fitness;

10.     Enhance the quality of the environment;

11.     Develop skills, knowledge, and attitudes regarding the arts;

12.     Acquire a basic understanding and appreciation of democracy and the free enterprise system; and

13.     Raise student and school achievement in the core Standards of Learning.

 

Standards of Quality - Programs and Services

 

            The School Board commits itself to providing programs and services as stated in the Standards of Quality  to an extent proportionate to the availability of state and local funding.

 

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

 

Recodified: August 2000


POLICY 6-1.4   ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN

 

            The Hanover County Public Schools may be organized as follows:

 

1.        Elementary Schools may be organized as including grades K-5, or K-2 and 3-5.

2.        Middle Schools may be organized as including grades 6-8.

3.        Senior High Schools may be organized as including grades 9-12.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE: Constitution of Virginia, Article VIII, § 7; Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78 and 22.1-79.

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

POLICY 6-1.5   SCHOOL YEAR/SCHOOL DAY

 

School Year

 

            In accordance with applicable law, Hanover County Public Schools shall be operated with students in attendance a minimum 180 teaching days or 990 hours (540 hours for kindergarten) per school year.  Days on which schools are closed due to inclement weather or emergencies shall be made up if necessary to meet these requirements.

 

School Calendar

 

            The first day of school shall be after Labor Day unless this requirement has been waived by the Board of Education pursuant to the Code of Virginia, § 22.1-79.1.  The official school calendar for the following year shall be adopted no later than June 1 by the School Board upon the recommendation of the division superintendent.  Any exceptions or revisions to the calendar must be approved in advance by the School Board.  The division superintendent shall insure that the calendar conforms to the number of actual days of employment as required by applicable law and School Board policy.  An advisory committee composed of teachers, parents, and school administrators may be utilized to recommend a proposed calendar to the division superintendent.  The recommendation of this committee shall be advisory only.

 

School Day

 

            The length of the regular school day shall not be less than five and one‑half nor more than six and one‑half hours, for grades 1 ‑ 12 exclusive of time for mid‑day intermission and/or lunch.  The length of each kindergarten session shall not be less than three hours and shall meet the minimum class time as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education.  Each elementary school shall provide students with a daily recess during the regular school year, as prescribed by the Board of Education.  The secondary school class schedule shall contain a minimum of 140 clock hours for each unit of credit.  When credit is awarded in less than whole units, the increment awarded must be no greater than the fractional part of the 140 hours of instruction provided.

 

The time for dismissal of each grade in the various schools shall be determined by the division superintendent and approved by the School Board, with uniformity being the primary goal.  No classes shall be dismissed before the scheduled dismissal hour except with the approval of the division superintendent.  The length of the school day shall be modified, if appropriate, as outlined in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) of a special education student.  The instructional time shall be protected from interruptions and intrusions.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended §§ 22.1‑19, 22.1‑79.1, 22.1-98; 8 VAC 20-131-50; 8 VAC 20-131-110; 8 VAC 20-490-30; 8 VAC 20-520-10;

 

Recodified: August 2000, Amended July 16, 2003

 

 

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

 

REGULATION 6-1.5(A)    PROTECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME

REGULATION 6-1.5(B)    SCHOOL DAY

 

REGULATION 6-1.5(A)  PROTECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME

 

Scheduling of Activities

 

All Hanover County Public Schools shall limit activities during the school day (club meetings, assemblies, pep rallies, etc.)  to an average of 40 minutes/week.  Deviations from this schedule shall be approved by the division superinten­dent or his designee.

 

Use of Intercom

 

All schools shall limit use of the intercom to designated interval(s) during the school day and/or to the homeroom period.  The designated time(s) for intercom usage shall be included in the bell schedules (regular and activity).  The schedules shall be approved by the division superintendent or his designee.  Deviations shall occur only for emergency situations.  All schools shall prepare written notice(s) of announcements to be read during the designated interval(s) and/or homeroom.  All notices shall be posted in designated locations.

 

 

REGULATION 6-1.5(B)   SCHOOL DAY

 

In accordance with the Virginia Accreditation Standards regarding length of the school day:

 

School Day - Elementary

 

Each Hanover County public elementary school day shall be six hours and fifteen minutes in length, including lunch and homeroom activities.

 

School Day - Secondary

 

1.       All Hanover County public middle and high school students in grades 6-12 shall be required to enroll in the number of courses which ensures a full day of scheduled classes for each school day.

2.       Waivers from this requirement shall be granted by the division superintendent for the following reasons:

 

a.     a vocational work study or apprenticeship program;

b.    an economic or medical hardship (economic hardship is defined as a situation in

      which a student needs to work to provide income to support himself or his

      family;  medical hardship is defined as a condition whereby a student cannot

      attend a full 5 ˝ hour day of classes as certified by a licensed physician.);

      and/or

1.       an extenuating educational circumstance, to be determined by:

2.       a special education IEP committee in accordance with the Virginia Regulations for Special Education.

3.       a placement committee appointed by the division superintendent or his designee.

 

Amended:  April 12, 2005


HANOVER COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

REQUEST FOR WAIVER FROM FULL DAY ENROLLMENT

 

In accordance with the Virginia Accreditation Standards regarding length of the school day, all Hanover County public middle and high school students in grades 6-12 shall be required to enroll in the number of courses which ensures a full day of scheduled classes for each school day.  Waivers from this requirement shall be granted by the division superintendent for the following reasons:

 

1.       a vocational work study or apprenticeship program:

2.       an economic or medical hardship (economic hardship is defined as a situation in which a student needs to work to provide income to support himself or his family; medical hardship is defined as a condition whereby a student cannot attend a full 5 ˝ hour day of classes as certified by a licensed physician.); and/or

3.       An extenuating educational circumstance (an extenuating educational circumstance is to be determined by a special education IEP committee in accordance with the Virginia Regulations for Special Education or a placement committee appointed by the division superintendent or his designee).   (Regulation 6-1.5(B) School Day)

 

Student: _________________________ Grade Level: ______Date of Request: _____

 

Block(s) Requested for Release: __________________

 

Reason for Release:

 

____a.  vocational work study or apprenticeship, including coop (credit, graded, use appropriate course number)

 

____b.  economic/work release (no credit, ungraded)

 

____c. medical release (no credit, ungraded)

 

____d. extenuating educational circumstance (no credit, ungraded)

 

____e. senior with 3.0 GPA, meeting all other verified credit and Carnegie credit requirements for graduation (no credit, ungraded)

 

Approved by:

 

Principal: _______________________________________ Date: ________________

 

Parent/guardian:__________________________________ Date: ________________

 

Copy:        Cumulative Record/School      

Parent

 

Adopted:  April 12, 2005

 


 

 

POLICY 6-1.6   CLASS SIZE

 

The Hanover County School Board expects that class sizes will be consistent with those mandated by the Standards of Quality and those acceptable under the accrediting requirements of the Virginia Board of Education and, where applicable, the Southern Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities.PRIVATE

 

            In addition, the School Board sets the following guidelines:

 

                        1.   Small classes are desirable at the primary level.

                        2.   Larger classes are permissible where large group instruction is appropriate.

                        3.   In all courses requiring specially designed facilities and equipment, enrollment shall be limited on a priority basis to those students needing such courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

 

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

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

 

POLICY 6-1.7   CEREMONIES AND OBSERVANCES

 

Generally

 

            The Hanover County School Board encourages the observance throughout the school division of special days and ceremonies proclaimed by the President of the United States, the United States Congress, the Governor of Virginia, and the Virginia General Assembly.  Such observances should be of educational value to the students and in acceptable taste.

 

Flags

 

            In accordance with state law, the American flag shall be displayed in each classroom at each school.  The School Board authorizes and encourages the display of the flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia in accordance with state law.

 

Opening Exercises

 

            The Pledge of Allegiance shall be recited daily in each classroom of the Hanover County Public Schools as part of opening exercises.  During the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, students shall stand while facing the flag with their right hand over their hearts, or in an appropriate salute if in uniform.

 

            No student shall be compelled to recite the Pledge of Allegiance if the student, the student’s parent(s), or legal guardian object on religious, philosophical or other grounds to the student’s participation in this exercise.  Students who are exempt from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance shall stand quietly or sit at their desks while others recite the Pledge and make no display that disrupts or distracts those who are reciting the Pledge.

 

            Appropriate accommodations shall be made for students who are unable to comply with the procedures described herein due to disability.

 

Minute of Silence

 

            During the school day at an appropriate time designated by the principal, one minute of silence shall be observed by the students of each school in the division for the purposes and under the conditions established by state law.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-133, 22.1-203, 22.1-203.1.

 

Recodified: August 2000, Amended September 11, 2001


 

 

POLICY 6-1.8   RELIGION IN SCHOOLS

 

In accordance with the mandate of the Constitution of the United States prohibiting the establishment of religion, it is the policy of the Hanover County School Board that the Hanover County Public Schools shall be neutral in matters of religion. This means that the Hanover County Public Schools:

 

1.        will assume no role or responsibility for the religious training of any student; and

2.        will in no way become involved in the religious belief, disbelief or doubt of         any student.

 

            This requirement of neutrality need not preclude nor hinder the Hanover County Public Schools in fulfilling their responsibility to educate students to be tolerant and respectful of religious diversity. The School Board also recognizes that one of its educational responsibilities is to advance the students' knowledge and appreciation of the role that religion has played in the social, cultural, and historical development of civilization.  Therefore, the division’s instructional staff shall approach religion from an objective, curriculum‑related perspective, encouraging all students and staff members to be aware of the diversity of beliefs and respectful of each other's religious and/or non‑religious views. In that spirit of respect, students and staff members may be excused from participating in activities that are contrary to their religious beliefs unless there are clear issues of compelling public interest that would preclude such nonparticipation.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:  Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §22.1-78; Constitution of the United States (1st. Amendment).

 

Recodified: August 2000


 

POLICY 6-1.9   COMMUNITY RESOURCE PERSONS/SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS

 

The Hanover County School Board supports and encourages the active participation of parents and members of the community in providing and extending educational opportunities for children. The involvement of parents, volunteers, and others in the community who can serve as a resource to schools is a fundamentally important component of successful school programs. The administration of each school will direct the activities of parents, volunteers and other community resources at the building level.

 

LEGAL REFERENCE:       Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:6;  Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

 

Recodified: August 2000

 

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

 

REGULATION 6-1.9       GUEST SPEAKERS

 

                 School Assemblies

 

                 Approval by the division superintendent or his designee must be obtained before invitations are extended to or engagements are made with outside speakers to appear at any school assembly.  The subject to be covered, the background of the speaker and the value such a program will give to the total instructional program are factors which must be considered in granting such approval.

 

                 Speakers shall take into consideration the age and maturity of the audience.  Speakers shall be advised that inflammatory speeches or the incitement of the audience to violate the rules of the school and policies of the School Board will not be permitted.

 

            Classrooms

 

                 Teachers desiring to invite outside speakers to present pertinent information to their classes should be guided by the age of the students and the relationship of the material to be presented to the instructional program.  Teachers shall obtain the advice and permission of the principal prior to extending any invitations to outside speakers.

 



 

POLICY 6-1.10 TEACHING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

 

The Hanover County School Board recognizes that training for effective citizenship is one of the major purposes of education and that many important areas of study involve issues on which differing positions are held by individuals or groups.  To pursue this purpose the Hanover County Public Schools allow teachers and students to:

 

1.   have free access to all relevant information and materials in the school;

2.   conduct research  in an atmosphere of freedom from bias and prejudice; and

3.   form and express opinions on assigned issues.

 

            The role of the teachers in the presentation of assigned issues is vitally important.  Teachers should strive to present all sides of a given issue to the students in a dispassionate manner. The goal is for the students to be taught to think clearly on all matters of importance, and to make decisions in the light of all the material that has been presented or can be researched on the issues. Indoctrination is not the intent or purpose of the school division. Although the instructional program of the school division includes many facets of the political party system in the United States, the School Board does not approve as a part of the school program the involvement of students in activities that imply school endorsement of an individual political party or candidate. 

 

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

 

Recodified: August 2000