Chapter VII: Students

7.01: School Authority (22.1-78)

Students are under the jurisdiction of school authorities while on school property during regular school hours, while participating in or attending school sponsored co-curricular activities, and while on the way to or from school when student actions or conduct directly affect the good order and welfare of the school. All school board and local school rules and regulations shall be consistent with the regulations of the State Board of Education and the statues of the State of Virginia.

7.02: Attendance (22.1-3, 22.1-5, 22.1-199, 22.1-254 to 22.1-269) Regulations of State Board of Education

All children residing in Smyth County who will have reached their fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year, and who have not passed their eighteenth birthday, shall attend a public school, or private, denominational or parochial school or receive instruction from a tutor or a teacher meeting the qualifications prescribed by the State Board of Education and approved by the superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in 22.1-254. Students are required to be regular and punctual in attendance.

The Smyth County School Board may withdraw a student from kindergarten until the following school year upon the recommendation of the school principal with the consent of the student’s parent or guardian.

Regular attendance and punctuality are of utmost importance in fulfilling the mission of the school system. Parents, teachers, principals, and other personnel should make every effort to ensure that pupils are not absent from school unless absolutely necessary.

7.03: Admission (22.1-3.1, 22.1-270. 22.1-271.2, 22.1-3)

The public schools in Smyth County shall be free to each person of school age residing within the school division. Every person of school age shall be deemed to reside in a school division when he or she is living with a natural parent, a parent by legal adoption, a person in loco parentis because the parents are deceased, such person actually residing within the school division, or when the parents are unable to care for the person and the person is living, not solely for school purposes, with another person who (1) resides in the school division and (2) is the court-appointed guardian, or has legal custody, of the person, or when the person is living in the school division not solely for school purposes, as an emancipated minor.

The Smyth County School Board may exclude from attendance students who have been expelled by a public or private school in Virginia or another state for a violation of school board policies related to destruction of property, weapons, alcohol or drugs, or for the willful infliction of injury to another person, regardless of whether another school division or private school in Virginia or another state has admitted the student subsequent to the expulsion.

The superintendent will make the final administrative decision as to the admission of a student to the Smyth County school division.

Every student shall, prior to initial admission to kindergarten or elementary school, furnish a report of physical examination, a health information form completed by the parents or guardian, and a certificate from a physician certifying that he/she has been successfully immunized against communicable disease as required by section 22.1-271.2 of theCode of Virginia. The parent or guardian may submit either a physician’s statement that the child is entitled to exception because of a physical condition or a statement that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student’s religious belief. A birth certificate or its legal equivalent shall be required of all students enrolling for the first time.

7.04: Deleted

7.05 School Attendance Guidelines

Every student has a right to educational opportunities that will enable the student to develop to his or her fullest potential. Regular school attendance is a critical factor for academic success. Consistent school attendance has a positive correlation with academic success and eventually graduating from high school. Since school is a partnership, parents are expected to make sure their children attend school on a regular basis.

Good school attendance requires cooperation among parents, administrators, teachers, and students. Parents are expected to contact the school if their child is going to be absent from school.

Absences From School

Time lost from class for any reason represents a significant loss of educational opportunity for all students. The primary objective of Smyth County Schools School Attendance Guidelines is to establish minimum attendance requirements to ensure the academic success of every student and adhere to the Code of Virginia.

Excused Absences

Absences are excused for personal illness, medical and dental appointments, court related appointments, and death in the family. Documentation for all absences must be provided to the school within one week of the absence. A phone call from a parent to the school on the day of the absence will be considered excused up to five (5) days per semester on a block schedule or 10 days on all other curriculum schedules.

When a student has been absent from school a total of five (5) days per semester on a block schedule or ten (10) days on all other curriculum schedules a doctor's note will be required for all subsequent personal illness absences to be excused.

School administration may excuse absences if there are extenuating circumstances or emergencies that warrant such action and the student is considered in good standing with the school academically and has not been absent an excessive number of days. School administration may also excuse absences for family trips for a total of up to five (5) school days during the school year. This will only be done with prior approval from the principal before the student is to be absent.

Unexcused Absences

An absence is considered unexcused when it is avoidable and unnecessary, or if unsatisfactory documentation concerning the absence has been submitted to the school. (See excused absences above for documentation). If a student is suspended, the absence is considered unexcused.

Should a student accumulate five (5) unexcused absences, the principal or his/her designee will meet with the student and send a letter to the parent or guardian reminding them of the importance of good attendance.

If the student continues to be absent from school for six (6) unexcused absences, the principal or his/her designee will schedule a meeting with the student and parent/guardian to develop a written plan to resolve the student's non-attendance and actions to be taken. Parents are required to cooperate and should a parent fail to attend this meeting or be uncooperative, the principal will refer the case to the Attendance Officer.

After seven (7) unexcused absences the case will be transferred to the Attendance Officer. The parent/guardian and the student will be required to meet with the Smyth County Interdisciplinary Team for recommendations to avoid future absences and court involvement. Failure to meet with this team will result in the matter being referred to the 28th District Court Service Unit for court intervention. The Interdisciplinary Team is a requirement of the Code of Virginia and is made up of members from community agencies that work with youth.

When a high school student has been absent from school a total of nine (9) days unexcused for any reason including suspensions, the student will take a two (2) point deduction for every additional absence that is unexcused. Students are encouraged to make up the time lost per class in an effort to earn back points. Make-up sessions must be arranged with an administrator prior to the make-up session. The student will arrange for appropriate work assigned by teachers of classes that were missed and work under the supervision of the appropriate school personnel. The make-up sessions will be the length of time missed during the absence per class period.

Make-up Work

Students are encouraged to make-up all class work missed due to being absent from class. Upon returning to class after an absence, students shall be informed of the work they have missed. Teachers will assign the make-up work and determine when the work shall be completed. Students who believe additional time is needed must make arrangements with their individual teacher(s) and principal. At no time is a student to miss additional class time to make-up missed work.

Leaving School Property

Academic success requires that all students are in school for the entire school day. Once a student arrives on school property, he or she may leave only with administrative permission. Students will be permitted to leave school prior to dismissal for legitimate illness, emergencies, participation in approved extracurricular activities, or at specific written direction of the parent/guardian. Documentation for early dismissals is required for any reason other than extracurricular activities as noted under "Excused Absences" and must be submitted within five days of the dismissal.

Tardiness to School or Class

Students are expected to arrive at school and attend classes on time everyday. After a student is tardy to school or has early dismissals totaling ten (10) times unexcused, the principal or his/her designee will meet with the student and send a letter to the parent concerning the importance of being in school on time and for the entire school day.

Should the student accumulate a total of fifteen unexcused times tardy or has been dismissed early, the principal or his/her designee will schedule a meeting with the student and parent and will develop a plan to reduce these offences. If the student continues to be tardy to school or have excessive early dismissals the matter with be referred to the Attendance Officer.

7.06: Deleted

7.07: Early Dismissal (22.1-78, 22.1-79)

Students shall not be permitted to leave before the end of the school day in the company of any person other than school personnel, unless permission of the parent or guardian is first secured. No student shall be permitted to leave the school premises before the appointed hour of school closing, except in the cases of illness or for some emergency, or at the specific written or personal request of the parent or guardian, and then only with the consent of the principal or designee.

7.08: Deleted

7.09: Conduct

Students attending Smyth County Schools are charged with the responsibility for abiding by accepted standards of good conduct while on school property and while going to and from school. Every student has the right to an education without disruption. The school authorities shall protect the liberty, property, and rights of students to attend school and to participate in all activities of the school. The principal is encouraged to involve students, teachers, and parents in establishing acceptable standards of conduct. Additional information is located in the "Code of Student Conduct and Attendance".

In the event that policies governing student conduct as found in the school board policy manual, and such policies governing student conduct as published in the "Code of Student Conduct and Attendance," should differ, policies as outlined in the most recent "Code of Conduct and Attendance" shall prevail.

Changes in the "Code of Student Conduct and Attendance" must receive prior approval from the school board.

7.10: Deleted

7.11: Deleted

7.12: Deleted

7.13: Detention/In-School Suspension (22.1-78, 22.1-79)

Students may be detained at recess and before and after school for remedial instruction or as a disciplinary measure. Adequate supervision must be provided, and the parent or guardian shall be notified if the student is to be detained after school and provisions must be made for the student’s safe return home.

For disciplinary reasons the principal or designee may assign a student to an in-school suspension program during school hours.

7.14: Deleted

7.15: Loss or Abuse of Textbooks or Materials

Students who lose or abuse textbooks or workbooks shall be required to pay a replacement or damage cost based on the replacement cost of the textbook or workbook.

The following declining scale will be used to determine the replacement cost to the student, parent/guardian, or those standing in loco parentis thereof:

Condition IssuedCost
New100% of replacement
Good75% of replacement
Fair50% of replacement
Poor25% of replacement

The following scale will be used to determine the damage cost to the student, parent/guardian, or those standing in loco parentis thereof:

Condition IssuedReturnedCost

If the student, parent/guardian, or those standing in loco parentis cannot afford the replacement cost for a lost textbook or workbook, the Smyth County School Board will make available a replacement textbook or workbook while such student is attending the class which requires the use of such textbook or workbook.

Failure to pay the replacement or damage cost will not result in withholding report cards or scholastic records from a student, parent/guardian, or those standing in loco parentis.

A schedule of textbooks and workbooks and the replacement cost will be maintained in the principal’s office of each school.

7.16: Management of Scholastic Records

The Smyth County School Board has adopted Management of the Student’s Scholastic Record in the Public Schools of Virginia as a reference guideline for management of scholastic records.

Scholastic Record

Smyth County public schools require that all records maintained on an individual student be considered the student’s official school record. Such record shall hereinafter be called scholastic record(s) or educational record(s) meaning those records directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution. Smyth County public schools require that an accurate and complete scholastic record be maintained for each student enrolled in the LEA.

Smyth County public schools maintain all scholastic records in a central location accessible to professional personnel within the school and/or school division who have legitimate educational interests in the student(s).

Smyth County public schools require that the superintendent or designee be responsible for the collection, maintenance, security, use, disclosure, and content of the scholastic record.

Management Procedures

Types of student data to be collected and recorded:

Educational Information - Required for all students
  1. Record data disclosure form.
  2. Name and address of student.
  3. Birth date.
  4. Name and address of parent.
  5. Program of studies plan.
  6. Scholastic work competed.
  7. Level of achievement:
    1. Grades.
    2. Grade point average.
  8. Type of diploma.
  9. Attendance.
  10. Test data:
    1. Results of normative tests, such as achievement batteries and inventories.
    2. Results of literacy testing program, prescribed and provided by the State Board of Education.
  11. Cumulative health record, including preschool physical examination report and school entrance examination report.
  12. Certification of immunization.
  13. Record of employment counseling and placement.
  14. Social security number (unless a waiver is granted).
Educational Information - Recommended for all students
  1. Results of other standardized group tests and inventories.
  2. School, community activities, work experience.
  3. Employment evaluations.
  4. Record of counseling interviews (date, reason, etc., not content).
  5. Citizenship status if other than United States.

Educational Information - Required of students as appropriate

Records of referralAll students as appropriate Destroy when no longer educationally useful or five years after student graduates from a secondary school, completes a program adopted by the Board of Education, or leaves school.
Reports of assessment--both initial and periodic--as follows:
  1. Educational assessment
  2. Physiological assessment, to include medical examination and assessment of speech, hearing and vision
  3. Psychological assessment (including results of individual tests)
  4. Sociological assessment, including the adaptive behavior checklist
  5. Other assessments as appropriate
All students, as appropriate Destroy when no longer educationally useful or five years after student graduates from a secondary school, completes a program adopted by the Board of Education or leaves school.
Other pertinent reports as follows:
  1. Permission for initial testing
  2. Permission for initial placement
  3. Record of parent conference to discuss special education placement (if policy of LEA)
  4. Summary of minutes of eligibility committee findings for special education students
  5. Report of annual review of placement (if policy of LEA)
  6. Reports of appeals, if appropriate
All students, as appropriate Destroy when no longer educationally useful or five years after student graduates from a secondary school, completes a program adopted by the Board of Education or leaves school.
Individualized Education Program (IEP) All students as appropriate Review annually: expired IEPs must be retained for five years after student graduates from a secondary school, completes a program adopted by the Board of Education or leaves school.

Educational Information - Recommended of students as appropriate

Other pertinent reports as follows:
  1. School histories
  2. Legal, psychological, and medical reports
  3. Record of sensitive physical problems
  4. Verified reports of serious or recurrent atypical behavior patterns
  5. Reports from institutions and agencies such as juvenile court, social welfare, etc.
  6. Counselor or teacher case studies
  7. Confidential interviews and/or recommendations
  8. Vocational assessment data
Students with such reports Destroy when no longer educationally useful or five years after student graduates from a secondary school, completes a program adopted by the Board of Education or leaves school.

Responsibilities for Collection, Maintenance, and Security of Scholastic Records

Data Collection - It shall be the collective and cooperative responsibility of the designated personnel - teachers, counselors, school administrators, and central office staff - to collect appropriate data as indicated in the special education or gifted education referral process document or, at the school level, the principal or designee(s).

Data Maintenance and Security - It shall be the responsibility of each school principal to provide proper management and security for all scholastic records in that school in a manner that is in compliance with these guidelines.

Access to and Disclosure of Data

Access to Record Data, Types of Data, Disclosure Circumstances

The school system shall follow the regulations in (Part VIII - Disclosure), Management.

Definition of "School Officials" and "Legitimate Educational Interest"

The term "school officials" shall include division central office professional staff, school administrators, teachers, and adult clerical personnel charged with record maintenance responsibility. The term shall also include educators who are in the school division for the purpose of administrative review, school accreditation, and/or evaluation.

A "legitimate education interest" shall determine whether or not "school officials" shall have access to a student’s scholastic record. A "legitimate education interest" shall consist of one or more of the following factors:

  1. A direct teaching relationship with the student (regular or special education).
  2. Administrators and/or supervisors employed by this school system who have a direct involvement in the planning, implementation, and/or evaluation of a student’s educational program, or growth.
  3. Administrators and adult clerical personnel change with the responsibility of record maintenance.
  4. Those educational personnel assigned to audit or monitor the school division through administrative review, school accreditation, and/or school evaluation.
  5. Any other "legitimate education interest" must be established by Virginia law and/or the terms of "Disclosure" section of this document.
  6. Public and private agencies providing educational and/or related services to handicapped children and agencies which collect, maintain, or use personally identifiable information:
    1. This school system shall abide by the provisions of Part VIII (Disclosure), Management as it pertains to access and disclosure of data to public and private agencies.
    2. The school system shall abide by all other regulations in this document which relate to disclosure, release, transfer, and use of data to public and private agencies.

Challenged, Amended, Corrected, or Expunged Records

As regards methods to challenge, amend, correct, or expunged information found in scholastic records, the Smyth County public schools shall follow the amendment procedure from the state document. Periodically, the principal or designee will evaluate individual scholastic records for compliance with required and recommended data and will remove any data no longer educationally useful.

Record Interpretation and Explanation

When scholastic record interpretation and explanation is necessary, the superintendent or designee will be present for interpretation and explanation pursuant to Part III, B(g-1), Management.

Reproducing Records

A fee for copying scholastic record data may be charged provided the charge does not exceed the cost of reproduction. Such fee shall not effectively prevent the parents, or their designee, from exercising their right to inspect and review these records. No fee is charged for a copy of the individual education program (IEP). Smyth County public schools do not charge a fee for search and retrieval.

Communication of Policies and Procedures

School administrators, guidance counselors, and central office staff members will receive complete copies of the policies and procedures for study and reference. School principals shall inform all staff of the policies and procedures. Orientation, training, or instruction of personnel in use of the policies and procedures will be the joint responsibility of the director of student personnel services and school principals.

Parents and students shall be notified of their rights relative to the student’s scholastic record as described in Part III 3.1-M, Management. During the first ten days of each school year, each parent will be sent the document, Student Record Information.

The director of student personnel services shall inform each local cooperating agency of the policies and procedures related to student scholastic records.

7.17: Deleted

7.18: Guidance and Counseling Program

The Smyth County School Board affirms that parents are the student’s first teachers and that the public schools should serve to strengthen family and parental support. Students will not be required to participate in any counseling program to which the student’s parents object.

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Academic Guidance
Guidance which assists students and their parents to acquire knowledge of the curricula choices available to students, to plan a program of studies, to arrange and interpret academic testing, and to seek post-secondary academic opportunities;
Career Guidance
Guidance which helps students to acquire information and plan action about work, jobs, apprenticeships, and post-secondary educational and career opportunities;
Personal/Social Counseling
Counseling which assists a student to develop an understanding of themselves, the rights and needs of others, how to resolve conflict and to define individual goals, reflecting their interests, abilities and aptitudes. Such counseling may be provided either (i) in groups in which generic issues of social development are addressed or (ii) through structured individual or small group multi-session counseling which focuses on the specific concerns of the participant(s).

At least annually, parents shall be notified in writing about the academic and career guidance programs, and the personal/social counseling programs which are available to students within the school division. Parents will be advised concerning the purpose, general description of the programs, how parents may review materials to be used in the programs, and procedures by which parents may limit the students’ participation in the program. Information and records of personal/social counseling shall be kept confidential and separate and not disclosed to third parties without prior parental consent or as otherwise provided by law.

To insure an efficient and effective counseling program and to insure that parents’ wishes are implemented, it shall be the policy of the Smyth County School Board with respect to personal/social counseling that parents will notify the school division in writing if the student is not to participate in the personal/social counseling program. Parents may opt students out of any section of the service they desire.

7.19: Deleted

7.20: Student Recognition

Each Smyth County school shall recognize students for outstanding scholastic, extracurricular, and other school-related achievements. Each school is responsible for establishing regulations and procedures for students’ achievements to be recognized and rewarded.

7.21: Parties and Dances

The principal and faculty of each school shall formulate reasonable policies with respect to school-sponsored parties and dances. They shall formulate policies with respect to dress, admission charge, and costs incurred for school-sponsored social functions at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels.

Students desiring to have school-sponsored parties and dances must secure the prior approval of the principal and must be conducted under the supervision of the faculty.

7.22: School Sponsored Trips

When planning and conducting school sponsored trips the following guidelines should be observed:

  1. When a large number of students participate, such as the senior trip, and which involves staying overnight, the principal or the assistant principal should accompany the group.
  2. Planning for schoolsponsored trips should be a cooperative effort involving professional staff, students, and parents.
  3. All participating students and the parents thereof are to be clearly informed of expectations regarding conduct while on the trip.
  4. A sufficient number of faculty members and/or responsible adults are to be assigned to assure that students are appropriately chaperoned.
  5. Written permission from parents or guardians will be required for all academic field trips and school sponsored co-curricular activities requiring an overnight stay.
  6. A written emergency medical treatment and information form, to be taken on the trip, will be obtained from the parent/guardian of each student attending a school sponsored trip requiring an overnight stay.
  7. Each school is required to assure that adequate accident insurance coverage is in place for trips requiring an overnight stay. Participants may be charged a reasonable fee for such coverage.
  8. The school board must approve school-sponsored trips involving students staying the night.
  9. Applications for such trips must include information on how the trip involving overnight stays enhances the curriculum.
  10. Parents/guardians/volunteers/chaperones must have requested a search from the central registry from the Department of Social Services Child Protective Services and have been cleared as not being identified in the registry of found child abuse/neglect investigations as an involved caretaker with a founded disposition of child abuse/neglect. Records of such search will be maintained on file and may suffice for future trips. However, the superintendent and/or school principal may request an updated search

7.23: Band Trips

The following guidelines are to be utilized in reviewing application for permission to take supplemental band trips.

  1. The principal and the superintendent must concur that the time missed from school is justified by a trip of comparable educational value.
  2. The trip cannot cost any student more than $300; if the trip costs more, band boosters and/or fund raising must take care of the amount over $300. This total includes all transportation, lodging, meals, special tickets, etc. It does not include spending money for souvenirs, snacks, etc.
  3. The principal and superintendent must give approval of a pre-application for the trip before any tentative commitment can be made. Contracted commitments can not be made prior to school board approval of the trip.

7.24: Attendance Guidelines for Public Performance of Bands and Choral Groups

Realizing that music is a basic discipline of the school curriculum and that public performance constitutes an essential aspect of the music program and serve as a necessary laboratory experience for the students, all members of performing groups are required to attend all performances and rehearsals.

A master schedule of yearly activities will be made available to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. It is the responsibility of each school to ensure that the parents of every band and choral student receive a copy of this master schedule.

A student will be excused from missing a scheduled performance or rehearsal if he/she has a parent's or a doctor's note for personal illness. A student will also be excused for a death in the family or a conflicting religious meeting or observance, provided a note is received from a parent, in advance if possible. Students may be excused for other legitimate reasons at the discretion of the band or choral director and the principal. Such reasons must be presented to school personnel in a reasonable length of time prior to the absence(s) and a note from a parent will be required.

Should a student miss a performance or rehearsal, the following action will be taken:

3x 3 x 1 Block Schedule

Nine weeks' grade will be cut ten points for each unexcused absence from a scheduled performance.

Four points will be cut from the nine weeks' grade for each unexcused absence from scheduled after-school rehearsals.

4 x 4 Block Schedule

Nine weeks' grade will be cut five points for each unexcused absence from a scheduled performance.

Two points will be cut from the nine weeks' grade for each unexcused absence from scheduled after-school rehearsals.

If any other program/performances are added after the master schedule is posted, allowances will be made for students' absences with no penalties for students who have reasonable excuses for missing any of these added events.

At the discretion of the band director, the students who do not participate in summer band camp may not be allowed to participate in the contest show at the beginning of the school year.

Performing groups will have the option of participating or not participating at outside activities due to inclement weather or when the temperature is 32 degrees or lower. The school administration in conjunction with the music director will make this decision.

7.25: Gifts

Organized exchange of gifts between students will be structured so as to preclude any economic hardship on any student and to assure avoidance of embarrassment to any student without the financial resources to participate.

All parents/guardians are to be informed of plans to implement any such gift exchange program.

7.26: Pupils Transported at Public Expense

The standards of behavior outlined in this Code of Student Conduct shall apply to students while being transported at public expense. Students riding school buses shall also follow the additional rules outlined in this section.

School buses are operated for the safe transportation of students traveling to and from school and school activities. Transportation at public expense is a privilege which may be revoked when the general conduct of the student is detrimental to the safety and comfort of other students.

The following guidelines should be understood and observed by students supported by parents, and enforced by principals, bus drivers, and other school personnel:

  1. Students must ride the bus assigned unless changed by the principal.
  2. Students waiting to board the bus must remain a safe distance away from traffic.
  3. For safety reasons, there should be no "horseplay" by students waiting to board a bus.
  4. Students should take the safest route to the assigned bus stop; however, they should avoid trespassing on private property.
  5. Students are prohibited from running toward a moving bus as it approaches the bus stop or a loading bus.
  6. Parents and students should allow adequate time to arrive at the bus stop. Drivers are not required to wait for students; however, drivers should make every effort to be on schedule.
  7. Upon boarding the bus, students should take a seat and remain seated until they reach their destination.
  8. School buses are designed to accommodate three students per seat. Seats cannot be reserved and must be filled before students are permitted to stand.
  9. Students are not permitted to be beyond the padded barrier located directly behind the driver while the bus is in motion.
  10. Distractions such as loud talking, unusual noises, spitting, pushing, screaming, singing, scuffling, or any unnecessary movements which would divert the driver's attention are forbidden. Radios, tape players, cassettes, etc., are forbidden.
  11. Students are not permitted to throw objects in the bus or out of the bus window.
  12. The use or possession of tobacco in any form and the consumption of food or drinks are forbidden.
  13. The use of profanity and vulgar language is forbidden.
  14. All objects permitted to be carried on the bus must be held in the student's lap. (Check with bus driver on special items, such as band instruments, projects, etc.)
  15. After getting off the bus, students who live on the opposite side of the road should immediately cross to the other side of the road at least ten feet in front of the bus so that the driver can see them at all times.
  16. After getting off the bus, students must go a safe distance from the bus before it leaves the bus stop.
  17. Students are not permitted to tamper with the bus or any of its equipment.
  18. Parents are responsible for cost of damages to the school bus which are incurred by their child.
  19. Animals and wildlife are not permitted on the bus.
  20. Objects made of glass (jars, etc.) are prohibited.
  21. Students must take seats assigned by the driver or the principal, and students must remain in those seats until permission to change seats is given.
  22. Students who do not obey safety guidelines may lose the privilege of riding the bus.
  23. Students who lose the privilege of riding an assigned bus will not be permitted to ride another bus.
  24. Anyone who appears to be under the influence of intoxicants or drugs will not be permitted to board a school bus. The help of the parent, school principal, or an officer of the law should be sought immediately.
  25. Pupils will not leave their buses on the way to or from school without written permission from the parents and the principal.

Procedure For Reporting Misconduct On Buses

  1. Bus drivers will report all disciplinary problems to the student's principal or designee as soon as possible.
  2. All bus disciplinary problems will be handled by the principal, or designee, of the school which the student attends.
  3. The principal or designee will investigate all reports of misconduct on the day they are received or immediately the morning of the next school day.
  4. After all facts and information have been considered, the disposition of the matter will be reported to all parties concerned.

Complaints about inappropriate conduct and problems on the school bus should be made to the student's building principal or designee.

7.27: Student Use of Motor Vehicles

Each school shall formulate polices relating to students driving automobiles and other motor vehicles to school. The policies shall cover permits, parking regulations, the use of vehicles during school hours, and the adherence to safety standards while operating a vehicle on school property.

Students who drive motor vehicles to and from school shall abide by all rules and regulations established by respective school administration regarding student use of motor vehicles. Violation of established rules and regulations may result in suspension of a student's privileges regarding use of motor vehicles on school property.

7.28: Transportation of Students to Co-Curricular Activities

As a general rule, students participating in school sponsored co-curricular activities requiring travel from the home school to another site shall be transported by school board vehicles and/or other means of transportation arranged for and supervised by appropriate professional staff. Unless justifiable circumstances exist, students are not to be transported in private vehicles.

Where justifiable circumstances do exist, students may be transported by a responsible adult provided that a coach, a sponsor, other supervising official or the school principal approves. Written permission must be provided by a parent or guardian and kept on file by the school administration. Students are not permitted to drive themselves or other student participants to or from a school sponsored activity requiring travel from the home school.

7.29: Accidents and Illness

Accidents and serious illnesses of students shall be reported promptly to the principal or designee. Every effort shall be made to immediately contact the parent or guardian. School personnel may give reasonable assistance and first aid treatment to an injured or ill student. If the parent or guardian cannot be reached, the student should be taken to a doctor or hospital for emergency treatment. Under no circumstances will the student be permitted to start home alone.

Each school shall have a written policy and procedure to be implemented in case of accident or illness of students and will maintain a file containing emergency telephone numbers and/or other means of notifying parents and guardians in case of accidents and/or serious illness. Serious accidents or illnesses shall be reported to the superintendent of schools.

7.30: Deleted

7.31: Search and Seizure

To maintain order and discipline in the schools and to protect the safety and welfare of students and personnel, school authorities may search a student, student lockers or student automobiles under the circumstances outlined below and may seize illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search. This policy is applicable during regular school hours and at school sponsored activities. A student's failure to permit searches and seizures as provided in this policy will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.


A student's person and/or personal effects (e. g. purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched when a school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that the student is in possession of illegal or contraband items.

Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered reasonable. If a pat-down search or a search of a student's garments (such as jackets, socks, pockets, etc.) is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex and with another adult witness present.

A more intrusive search of the student's person is permissible in emergency situations when the health and safety of the students, employees, or visitors on the school premises are threatened. Such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex, with an adult of the same sex present.

In no event shall strip searches of a student be conducted.


Students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers. Student lockers, desks, and other facilities provided by the school remain under the control of the school authorities. School authorities, for any reason, may conduct periodic general inspections of the previously mentioned school properties at any time without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.


Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. While on school property the interior of a student's automobile may be searched if the school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside. Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.


Weapons of any nature on school property or at school functions are prohibited by school policy and state law.

School officials may conduct metal detector checks on groups or individuals if the checks are done in a minimally-intrusive, nondiscriminatory manner; e.g., on all students in a randomly selected class; on every third individual entering the school. Metal detector checks of groups of individuals may not be used to single out a particular individual or category of individuals.

If a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that a particular student is in possession of an illegal or unauthorized metal-containing object or weapon, he or she may conduct a metal detector check of the student's person and personal effects.

If the metal detector is activated during the scanning of the student's effects, the administrator or school resource officer will open the bag, purse, etc., and look for weapons. If the metal detector is activated during the scanning of the student's person, the student will be given a second opportunity to remove any metal-containing object from their person. If the metal detector is again activated, a same-sex administrator or officer will conduct a pat-down search of the student's outer clothing in the area where the metal detector was activated. The pat-down search will be conducted in compliance with the regulations previously stated.


The Administration is authorized to utilize canines whose reliability and accuracy for sniffing out contraband has been established to aid in the search for contraband on school owned property, automobiles parked on school property, and a student's personal effects (e. g., purse, book bag, etc.). Canines shall not be used to search students unless school officials have established independently that there is reasonable suspicion to believe the student possesses contraband on his or her person. The canines must be accompanied by a qualified and authorized trainer who will be responsible for the dog's actions. An indication by the dog that contraband is present on school property or in an automobile on school property shall be reasonable cause for a further search by school officials.


The principal or his/her designee may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer to search any area of the school premises, any student and their personal effects (e. g., purse, book bag, etc.) or any motor vehicle on school premises. Law Enforcement Agents may also be asked to conduct a K-9 drug sniff of school property, of automobiles on school property, and of a student's personal effects. Assistance may also be needed to identify or dispose of anything found in the course of a search, and to assist in any other situation deemed necessary by the principal or his/her designee.


If a search produces evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the policies of the Smyth County School Board, such evidence will be seized and impounded by school authorities, and disciplinary action will be taken. When appropriate, such evidence will be transferred to law enforcement authorities.

7.32: Deleted

7.33: Deleted

7.34: Invasive Health Activity

No student under the age of 18 shall participate in any invasive health activity such as blood donation, cholesterol, or hematocrit/hemoglobin screening without written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Sponsorship of an invasive health activity must receive the prior approval of the superintendent of schools.

7.35: Substance Abuse

It is the intent of the board to promote an environment in Smyth County Public Schools which is free of illegal substances and which promotes and protects the safety and welfare of all students. In accordance with this philosophy, the use, possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, other controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, or imitation controlled substances is strictly prohibited on school property or at school-sponsored activities.

All cases of substance abuse shall be administered in accordance with the following regulations.


  1. Code of Virginia
    1. 4.1-309. Drinking or possession of alcoholic beverages in or on public school grounds.
    2. 18.2-247. Use of terms "controlled substances," "marijuana," "Schedules I, II, III, IV, V and VI" and "imitation controlled substances in Title 18.2"
    3. 18.2-255. Distribution of certain drugs to persons under eighteen prohibited; penalty.
    4. 18.2-255.2 Prohibiting the sale of certain controlled substances or marijuana on school property; penalty provided.
    5. 18.2-265.1 Drug Paraphernalia
    6. 22.1-206. Instruction concerning drugs and drug abuse.

  • Board of Education Regulations VR-270-02-0030. Instruction Concerning Drugs and Drug Abuse.
  • Disciplinary Action

    The following procedures are established as a guideline to professional staff who become aware of a substance abuse incident:

    The student will not be permitted to return to school until the school and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) appear either before a central office administrative hearing or a school board hearing as determined by the superintendent of schools.

    The school will cooperate with the family in an effort to secure professional counseling when deemed advisable. Any costs incurred will be the responsibility of the family.

    Prescription Medication

    A student may use a medical prescription in accordance with a physician's direction and within the following guidelines:

    1. The administrative office shall have on record the type of prescribed medication a student is taking in school, amount per dose, date, time, student's name, by whom administered and whether by doctor's prescription or parental note.
    2. All prescription medication shall remain in the administrative office or other safe place designated by the principal, or designee, during the official school day.
    3. All medication given at school should be in the original container.
    4. Medication should be brought to and picked up from the school by the student's parent or guardian.

    7.36: Deleted

    7.37: Political Materials (Section 22.1 – 278.3)

    In no instance will a student be required to convey or deliver materials that advocate the election or defeat of any candidate seeking public office, advocate for passage or defeat of any referendum question, or advocate the passage or defeat of any measure pending before a local school board, local governing body, the Virginia General Assembly, or the United States Congress.

    This policy shall not be construed to prohibit the discussion of or use of political or issue-oriented materials in conjunction with classroom activities, or to prohibit the delivery of informational materials.

    7.38: Foreign Exchange Students

    The Smyth County School Board will accept foreign exchange students under the following conditions:

    1. The placing agency should notify the respective high school principal no later than July 1.
    2. Courses will be taken for audit purposes only. Students will receive an evaluation of progress in the form of a letter grade. Exchange students, parents, or guardians shall be notified that courses will be taken for audit purposes only.
    3. Exchange students will earn a certificate of appreciation. Exchange students will not earn a diploma.

    The exchange student and parents or guardians will provide to the school principal a written statement indicating an understanding that courses will be taken for audit purposes only and no diploma will be awarded.

    7.39: Student Physical Examination and Immunization (22.1-270)

    Students entering public kindergarten or elementary school (grades K-5) for the first time must provide:

    1. A physical examination by a qualified physician or nurse practitioner performed no earlier than 12 months prior to the date that the student enters documented on the MCH-213D (green form).
    2. Records establishing that the above report or one that contains the same information as the MCH-213D was provided to another school or school division (does not specify that it must be in-state.)
    3. Parents may waive the physical examination requirements based upon religious objection by stating in writing that the student is in good health and free from any communicable or contagious disease.

    The code does not require physical examinations for students entering middle and high schools.

    Code of Virginia, section 22.1-271.2

    No student shall be admitted by a school unless at the time of admission documentary proof of immunization or proper religious or medical exemption is provided. Documentary proof consists of:

    Responsibilities of Admitting Officials

    The school medical record of all new students and sixth graders should be reviewed by the admitting official or designee prior to the first day of each school year to determine the following:

    1. Students in compliance
    2. Students who are exempt
    3. Students whose immunizations are inadequate
    4. Students without any documentation of having been adequately immunized.

    Upon identification of students whose immunizations are inadequate or who lack documentation of adequate immunizations, the admitting official shall notify the student or the parent or guardian of the following:

    1. That there is no or insufficient documentary proof of adequate immunization
    2. That the student can not be admitted to school unless documentary proof of immunizations or exemption is provided
    3. That the student may be immunized and receive certification by a physician, nurse practitioner, or health department official
    4. How to contact the local health department to receive the necessary immunizations.

    Conditional Enrollment

    In order for a student to be conditionally enrolled, the student must have proof of having received at least one (1) dose of each of the required immunizations (DTP, OPV, MMR, Hep B) and have a schedule on file to receive the remainder of the required doses within 90 days.

    Religious Exemptions

    The student or his parent or guardian submits a Certificate of Religious Exemption (Form CRE-1), to the admitting official of the school to which the student is seeking admission. Form CRE-1 is an affidavit stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student's religious tenets or practices. The CRE-1 must be signed by a NOTARY PUBLIC AND STAMPED WITH THE NOTARY'S SEAL.

    Medical Exemptions

    The school must have written certification from a physician or a local health department on the MCH-213D form that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the student's health. Such certification of medical exemption shall specify the nature of probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization.

    Adequate Immunizations

    Dtap, DTP, DT or Td
    A minimum of 3 doses. A child must have at least one dose of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis-containing vaccine after the fourth birthday. If the child has received six doses before the fourth birthday, additional doses are contraindicated. DT vaccine is required for children medically exempt from pertussis vaccine. Adult Td is required for children seven (7) years of age and older who do not meet the minimum requirements.
    A minimum of 3 doses of OPV or IPV in any combination. If a child has had only 3 doses of polio vaccine, one dose must have been administered after the fourth birthday. However, a child who has received four doses before the fourth birthday, is adequately immunized and does not need a dose after the fourth birthday.
    This vaccine is required only for children up to 30 months of age. A complete series consists of either 2 or 3 doses (depending on manufacturer) followed by a booster dose at age 12-15 months. However, the number of doses required is governed by the child's current age and note the number of prior doses received. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 15 and 30 months are only required to have one dose of vaccine.
    Hepatitis B
    A minimum of 3 doses upon entering kindergarten and beginning July 1, 2001 for all students entering the sixth grade.
    Measles, Mumps, Rubella
    A minimum of 2 measles, 1 mumps and 1 rubella (most children receive 2 doses because the vaccine is usually given as MMR). First dose must be administered at age 12 months (365 days) or older. Second dose of measles vaccine does not have to be administered until age 4 to 6 years (at entry to kindergarten) but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2. The minimum interval is one month (28 days).
    All children born on and after January 1, 1997 shall be required to have a dose of chickenpox vaccine not earlier than 12 months (365 days) or written documentation from a physician of proof of disease.

    All information in this document was taken from Virginia School Health Guidelines and The State Board of Health Regulations for the Immunizations of School Children.

    7.40: Part-time Students

    Any student who is not enrolled as a full-time student in the Smyth County Public School System will not be eligible to participate in any Smyth County School sponsored activities. These activities include, but are not limited to individual course offerings, forensics, chorus, athletic, or academic teams, field trips, etc.

    7.41: Bullying and Harassment

    Every student has the right to learn in an environment that is safe and free from bullying and harassment in any form. The Smyth County School Board expects that staff will take all appropriate measures to assure the maintenance of such an environment.

    A student, either individually or as part of a group, shall not bully or harass others. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, physical intimidation, taunting, name-calling, and insults and any combination of these activities.

    7.42: Deleted

    7.43: Students with Asthma and/or Anaphylactic Reactions (Code of Virginia 22.1-274.2

    Students diagnosed with asthma and/or any anaphylactic reaction may possess and self-administer inhaled asthma medications or auto-injectable epinephrine during the school day, at school-sponsored activities or while on a school bus or on other school property. A student using the medication within the following guidelines shall not be in violation of the Chemical Abuse Policy.

    1. The parent or guardian has given written consent that the student may self-administer inhaled asthma medications or auto-injectable epinephrine and the student has demonstrated the ability to safely and effectively administer the medication.
    2. Written notice is on file from the student's primary care provider (physician or nurse practitioner) that identifies the student, the diagnosis, the approval to self-administer medication and specifies the name and dosage of the medication, frequency and special circumstances that warrant the use of the medication.
    3. Students with a diagnosis of asthma and /or anaphylactic reaction who have permission to possess and self-administer inhaled asthma medication or auto-injectable epinephrine must have an individualized health care plan on file.
    4. A consultation with the student's parent will be held before limitations or restrictions are imposed upon a student's possession and self-administration of inhaled asthma medication and before the permission to possess and self-administer inhaled asthma medication at any point during the school year is revoked.
    5. The permission granted a student with a diagnosis of asthma or anaphylactic reaction to possess and self-administer medications shall be effective for one school year and shall be renewed annually. For the purposes of this section, "one school year" means 365 calendar days.