Section I: Instruction

IA: INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The Smyth County School Board shall develop and implement a program of instruction for grades kindergarten through 12 that is aligned to the Standards of Learning established by the Virginia Board of Education and that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Virginia Board of Education. The program of instruction shall emphasize reading, writing, speaking, mathematical concepts and computations, proficiency in the use of computers and related technology, computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding, and scientific concepts and processes; essential skills and concepts of citizenship, including knowledge of Virginia history, world and United States history, economics, government, foreign languages, international cultures, health and physical education, environmental issues and geography necessary for responsible participation in American society and in the international community; fine arts, which may include, but need not be limited to, music and art, and practical arts; knowledge and skills needed to qualify for further education, gainful employment, or training in a career or technical field; and development of the ability to apply such skills and knowledge in preparation for eventual employment and lifelong learning and to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The School Board shall also implement:

  1. programs in grades kindergarten through three that emphasize developmentally appropriate learning to enhance success;
  2. programs based on prevention, intervention, or remediation designed to increase the number of students who earn a high school diploma and to prevent students from dropping out of school; such programs shall include components that are research-based;
  3. career and technical education programs incorporated into the kindergarten through grade 12 curricula;
  4. educational objectives in middle and high school that emphasize economic education and financial literacy pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-200.03;
  5. early identification of students with disabilities and enrollment of such students in appropriate instructional programs consistent with state and federal law;
  6. early identification of gifted students and enrollment of such students in appropriately differentiated instructional programs;
  7. educational alternatives for students whose needs are not met in programs prescribed elsewhere in the Standards of Learning;
  8. adult education programs for individuals functioning below the high school completion level;
  9. a plan to make achievements for students who are educationally at risk a division-wide priority that shall include procedures for measuring the progress of such students;
  10. an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment with a community college in Virginia specifying the options for students to complete an associate‘s degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies from a community college concurrent with a high school diploma; such agreement shall specify the credit available for dual enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses with qualifying exam scores of three or higher;
  11. a plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of dual enrollment and Advanced Placement classes, the International Baccalaureate Program, and Academic Year Governor‘s School Programs, the qualifications for enrolling in such classes and programs, and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examinations; this plan shall include notification to students and parents of the agreement with a community college in Virginia to enable students to complete an associate‘s degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies concurrent with a high school diploma;
  12. identification of students with limited English proficiency and enrollment of such students in appropriate instructional programs;
  13. early identification, diagnosis, and assistance for students with reading and mathematics problems and provision of instructional strategies and reading and mathematics practices that benefit the development of reading and mathematics skills for all students;
  14. incorporation of art, music, and physical education as a part of the instructional program at the elementary school level;
  15. a program of physical fitness available to all students with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year; such program may include any combination of (i) physical education classes, (ii) extracurricular athletics, or (iii) other programs and physical activities deemed appropriate by the School Board;
  16. a program of student services for grades kindergarten through grade 12 that shall be designed to aid students in their educational, social, and career development;
  17. the collection and analysis of data and the use of the results to evaluate and make decisions about the instructional program;
  18. Adopted: January 25, 2010
    Revised: August 12, 2013
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IAA: NOTIFICATION OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    I. Annual Notice

    At the beginning of each school year, each school within Smyth County Public Schools provides to its students‘ parents or guardians information on the availability of and source of receiving:

    1. The learning objectives developed in accordance with the Standards of Accreditation to be achieved at their child‘s grade level, or, in high school, a copy of the syllabus for each of their child‘s courses;
    2. A copy of the Standards of Learning (SOLs) applicable to the child‘s grade or course requirements and the approximate date and potential impact of the child‘s SOL testing;
    3. An annual notice to students in all grade levels of all requirements for Virginia Board of Education approved diplomas; and
    4. The board‘s policies on promotion, retention, and remediation.

    The Superintendent certifies to the Virginia Department of Education that the notice required by this policy has been given.

    No later than the end of the first semester of each school year, the Superintendent must certify to the Department of Education that it has given the notice required by this policy.

    II. Notice of Credits Needed for Graduation and of the Right to a Free Public Education

    1. The school board notifies the parent of rising 11th and 12th grade students of:
      1. requirements for graduation pursuant to the standards for accreditation; and
      2. the requirements that have yet to be completed by the individual student.
    2. The school board will notify the parent of students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and who fail to meet the graduation requirements of the student‘s right to a free and appropriate education to age 21, inclusive, pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-213 et seq.
    3. The school board will notify the parent of students who fail to graduate or who fail to achieve graduation requirements as provided in the Standards of Accreditation and who have not reached 20 years of age on or before August 1st of the school year of the right to a free public education. If the student who does not graduate or complete such requirements is a student for whom English is a second language, the school board will notify the parent of the student‘s opportunity for a free public education in accordance with Va. Code § 22.1-5.

    Adopted: September 13, 2010
    Revised: February 11, 2013
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IB: ACADEMIC FREEDOM

    The School Board seeks to educate young people in the democratic tradition, to foster a recognition of individual freedom and social responsibility, and to inspire meaningful awareness of and respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Freedom of individual conscience, association, and expression will be encouraged and fairness in procedures will be observed both to safeguard the legitimate interests of the schools and to exhibit by appropriate examples the basic objectives of a democratic society as set forth in the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. Such home and classroom work shall be evaluated by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school.

    Adopted: March 23, 2009

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    IC/ID: SCHOOL YEAR/SCHOOL DAY

    School Year

    The length of the school year will be at least 180 teaching days or 990 teaching hours. Days on which a school(s) or all the schools in the division are closed due to severe weather or other emergencies will be made up as provided below if necessary to meet these requirements.

    Make Up Days

    The School Board will make up days missed in accordance with Virginia Code and the Virginia Board of Education regulations. The general rule for making up missed days due to inclement weather is to make up each day missed. If severe weather or another emergency exists which causes a school or schools to be closed for an extended period of time, the superintendent shall follow the Virginia Code and the Virginia Board of Education regulations regarding the required amount of time that must be made up based on the status of the emergency.

    If severe weather conditions or other emergency situations result in the closing of any school in the school division and such school has been unable to meet the 180 teaching day requirement, the school division may make up the missed teaching days by providing its students with instructional hours equivalent to such missed teaching days to meet the minimum 990 teaching hour requirement.

    The Virginia Board of Education may waive the requirement that the school division provide additional teaching days or teaching hours to compensate for school closings resulting from a declared state of emergency, severe weather conditions, or other emergency situations under certain circumstances. If the school board desires a waiver, it will submit a request to the Virginia Board of Education. The request will include evidence of efforts that have been made by the school division to reschedule as many days as possible and certification by the superintendent and chairman of the school board that every reasonable effort for making up lost teaching days or teaching hours was exhausted before requesting a waiver. If the waiver is denied, the school division will make up the missed instructional time.

    School Calendar

    The first day of school is after Labor Day unless the Virginia Board of Education waives this requirement based on the School Board’s certifying that it meets one of the good cause requirements in the Va. Code § 22.1-79.1.B.

    The school board establishes the division’s calendar and teaching contracts in accordance with applicable regulations of the Virginia Board of Education to include contingencies for making up teaching days and teaching hours missed for emergency situations.

    An advisory committee composed of teachers, parents, and school administration may be utilized to recommend a proposed calendar to the superintendent. The recommendation of this committee is advisory.

    School Day

    The standard school day for students in grades 1 through 12 averages at least 5 1/2 hours, excluding breaks for meals. The standard school day for kindergarten is a minimum of three hours.

    All students in grades 1 through 12 maintain a full day schedule of classes (5 1/2 hours), unless a waiver is granted in accordance with policies defined by the School Board.

    Each elementary school provides students with a daily recess during the regular school year, as determined appropriate by the school.

    The secondary school class schedule contains a minimum of 140 clock hours for each unit of credit. When credit is awarded in less than whole units, the increment awarded is no greater than the fractional part of the 140 hours of instruction provided.

    The time for opening and closing schools is established by the School Board upon recommendation of the superintendent, provided that the daily program for students in grades 1 through 12 averages at least 5-½ hours, not including meal intermissions. If the required program length is maintained, the School Board may approve occasional shortened days for parent-teacher conferences, staff development, the day prior to a holiday break or other activities designed to improve the instructional program, provided that no more than one day in each five-day week may be shortened to no less than four hours. The daily program for kindergarten is at least three hours, not including meal intermissions.

    When exceptions in the length of the daily program are necessary for special education, alternative education, double shifts, and scheduling or other unusual situations, the Board requests approval by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the exceptions by August 1 preceding the school year for which they are requested.

    The length of the work day for employees is determined by the School Board. It is of sufficient length to allow for the daily program for students and additional time as may be necessary for such activities as planning, preparation, meetings, workshops, conferences, meal intermissions, or other contractual obligations.

    Certification

    The superintendent and School Board chair certify the total number of teaching days and teaching hours each year as part of the annual report to the Virginia Board of Education.

    Adopted: July 29, 2015

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    IE: MOMENT OF SILENCE

    The Smyth County School Board recognizes that a moment of silence before each school day prepares students and staff for their respective work or school days. Therefore, each teacher shall observe one minute of silence at the beginning of the first class of each school day.

    The teacher responsible for each class shall make sure that each student: (1) remains seated and silent and (2) does not disrupt or distract other students during the moment of silence. The moment may be used for any lawful silent activity, including personal reflection, prayer and meditation. Teachers shall not influence, in any way, students to pray or meditate or not to pray or meditate during the moment of silence.

    Adopted: October 13, 2008
    Revised: May 28, 2013

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    IEA: PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

    The Pledge of Allegiance, as established in 4 U.S.C. § 4, shall be recited daily in each classroom of the Smyth County School Division.

    During the recitation of the Pledge, students shall stand and recite the Pledge while facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts or in an appropriate salute if in uniform.

    No student shall be compelled to recite the Pledge if he, his parent or legal guardian objects on religious, philosophical, or other grounds to his participating in this exercise. Students who are exempt from reciting the Pledge shall quietly stand or sit at their desks while others recite the Pledge and shall 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.

    Adopted: October 13, 2008

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    IEB: NATIONAL MOTTO

    The statement "‘In God We Trust,‘ the National Motto, enacted by Congress in 1956" shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each school for all students to read.

    Adopted: October 13, 2008

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    IEC: BILL OF RIGHTS OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

    The Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each school for all students to read.

    Adopted: October 13, 2008

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    IF: CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTION

    The curriculum is a coherent and comprehensive plan for teaching and learning built upon a framework that promotes continuity and the cumulative acquisition and application of skills. The curriculum shall state clearly and specifically what students are expected to know and be able to do by grade level and course. The Smyth County School Board curricula shall meet or exceed the requirements of the Code of Virginia and regulations of the Virginia Board of Education and, at a minimum, shall be aligned to the Standards of Learning.

    Adopted: June 30, 2009
    Revised: May 28, 2013

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    IFB: PILOT, RESEARCH OR EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS

    Right to Inspect Instructional Materials

    In addition to any other rights with respect to the inspection of instructional materials, the parent or guardian of a child enrolled or engaged in any research or experimentation program or project which is funded by the United States Department of Education shall be entitled to inspect all instructional materials which will be used in conjunction with such program or project.

    Research and Informed Consent

    As used herein, the term "research or experimentation program or project" means any systematic investigation which departs from the application of established and accepted methods which are appropriate to meet the students‘ needs and may result in physical or psychological injury to the participants. The designation of any program or project as a research or experimentation program or project shall be made by the superintendent of schools.

    Informed Consent

    No research shall be conducted or authorized unless the student‘s parents or legally authorized representative or emancipated student signs a student consent form and has it witnessed. The form shall comply with the Va. Code § 32.1-162.18.

    Any research involving students shall be approved and conducted under the review of a human research committee established by the school division. The human research committee will consist of the Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and any individual assigned to the committee due to their knowledge of the particular topic.

    If the subjects cannot be identified and the research falls within the exemptions of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the research is exempted from these requirements.

    Any complaints arising under this policy shall be submitted under Policies KL or KLB as appropriate.

    Adopted: November 9, 2009

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    IGA: BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM

    Because education is a lifelong process, the educational program will provide both formal studies to meet the general academic needs of all students, and opportunities for individual students to develop specific talents and interests in career and technical education, arts education, and other specialized fields that encourage growth toward independent learning.

    The various instructional programs will be developed with a view toward maintaining balanced, integrated, and sequentially articulated curricula which will serve the educational needs of all school-aged children in the division.

    The Smyth County School Board subscribes to the philosophy that well developed reading, math, and other basic skills, including the ability to speak and write effectively are essential in society. It will adopt specific requirements to ensure that high school graduates are sufficiently competent in these essential skills.

    At all levels, provisions will be made to meet the educational needs for a wide range of individual differences in student abilities, learning rates, and learning styles through the use of a variety of materials, differentiated instruction, adjustments in programs, and courses adapted for the special needs of students.

    The curriculum will meet or exceed the requirements established by the Code of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Board of Education. In addition, the curriculum will be aligned to the Standards of Learning.

    Adopted: December 14, 2009

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    IGAD: CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION

    The Smyth County School Board will provide a program of career and technical educational programs incorporated into the kindergarten through twelfth grade curricula that include:

    The School Board will develop and implement a plan to ensure compliance with this Policy. This plan shall be developed with the input of area business and industry representatives and local community colleges and shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with the timelines established by federal law.

    Adopted: October 12, 2009
    Revised: February 11, 2013

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    IGAE/IGAF: HEALTH EDUCATION/PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Each school organizes and maintains a health and physical education program in accordance with Virginia Board of Education regulations and Virginia Board of Health guidelines.

    Smyth County Public Schools' goal is that a program of physical fitness will be available to all students for at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year. Such program may include any combination of physical education classes, extracurricular activities, and other programs and activities. The Smyth County School Board has incorporated a goal for the implementation of such program during the regular school year into its wellness policy, JHCF: Student Wellness.

    Adopted: November 11, 2013
    Revised: April 13, 2015

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    IGAG: TEACHING ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO

    Each student shall receive instruction related to alcohol and drug abuse and smoking and health. The health education program will include instruction in drug and substance abuse prevention. It will encourage and support organizations and activities that will develop a positive peer influence concerning substance abuse and create a climate whereby students may seek and receive counseling about substance abuse and related problems without fear of reprisal.

    Each student shall receive instruction concerning the public safety hazards and dangers of alcohol abuse, underage drinking, and drunk driving.

    Adopted: January 12, 2009
    Revised: June 28, 2010

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    IGAH: FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION (FLE)

    Generally

    The Smyth County School Board provides Family Life Education (FLE) based on the FLE Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives developed by the Virginia Department of Education. The SOL objectives related to dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relations are taught at least once in middle school and at least twice in high school. The high school FLE curriculum incorporates age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the prevention of dating violence, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

    Community Involvement Team

    Under procedures approved by the School Board, a community involvement team is established. The team includes but is not limited to school administrators, teachers, parents, clergy, medical professionals, mental health professionals and others in the community.

    Staff Training

    Teachers in the FLE program participate in the training program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education.

    Separate Sessions

    A plan for teaching sensitive conduct in gender separated classes is announced publicly.

    "Opt-out" Procedures

    An "opt-out" procedure is provided to ensure communication with the parent or guardian for permission for students to be excused from all or part of the program.

    Annual Review

    The FLE curriculum is reviewed annually. Such review allows for community input.

    Right of Parental Review

    A parent or guardian has the right to review the FLE curricula, including all supplemental materials used in the program.

    The School Board develops and distributes to the parents or guardians of students participating in the FLE program a summary designed to assist them in understanding the program implemented in our school division and to encourage parental guidance and involvement in the instruction of the students. Such information reflects the curricula of the program as taught in the classroom. The following statement is included on the summary: "Parents and guardians have the right to review the family life education program offered by their school division, including written and audio-visual educational materials used in the program. Parents and guardians also have the right to excuse their child from all or part of family life education instruction."

    Adopted: March 8, 2010
    Revised: July 29, 2015
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IGAI: CHARACTER EDUCATION

    The Smyth County School Board provides, within its existing programs or as a separate program, a character education program in its schools. The character education program may occur during the regular school year, during the summer in a youth development academy offered by the school division, or both. The purpose of the program is to foster civic virtues and personal character traits so as to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, and develop civic-minded students of high character. The program will be cooperatively developed with students, parents, and the community. Specific character traits emphasized may include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

    Character education shall be interwoven into the school procedures and environment so as to instruct primarily by example, illustration, and participation, in such a way as to complement the Standards of Learning. Classroom instruction may also be used to supplement the program. The program shall also address the inappropriateness of bullying, as defined in Va. Code § 22.1-276.01.

    The character education program:

    Character education is intended to educate students regarding those core civic values and virtues which are efficacious to civilized society and are common to the diverse social, cultural, and religious groups of the Commonwealth. It shall not include indoctrination in any particular religious or political belief. Consistent with this purpose, Virginia‘s civic values, which are the principles articulated in the Bill of Rights (Article I) of the Constitution of Virginia and the ideals reflected in the seal of the Commonwealth, as described in Va. Code § 1-500, may be taught as representative of such civic values.

    Adopted: January 25, 2010
    Revised: February 11, 2013
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IGAJ: DRIVER EDUCATION

    The Smyth County School Board offers a program of driver education in the high schools in the safe operation of motor vehicles. The program includes instruction concerning alcohol and drug abuse, aggressive driving, motorcycle awareness, distracted driving, organ and tissue donor awareness and fuel-efficient driving practices.

    The School Board establishes fees that do not exceed the limit established by the Virginia Department of Education, for the behind-the-wheel portion of the program. The School Board may waive the fee in whole or in part for those students it determines cannot pay the fee.

    The fee for the “behind the wheel training” of driver education will be $50 per student. If a student qualifies for the free and/or reduced price lunch program, a parent may make a written request to the principal to lower the fee to $25. All debts owed to the school and the school division must be paid prior to “behind the wheel training”.

    Any student who participates in a driver education program must meet the academic requirements established by the Virginia Board of Education. No student is permitted to operate a motor vehicle without a learner‘s permit or a license. Necessary certification of students‘ academic standing and compliance with compulsory attendance laws is provided by the administration to the Department of Motor Vehicles upon request, in accordance with state law.

    Driver education instructors possess valid driver’s licenses and maintain satisfactory driving records. Any teacher of behind-the-wheel instruction who receives six or more demerit points in a 12-month period will be suspended from teaching driver education for 24 months.

    At the beginning of each school year and thereafter as necessary, the Superintendent reports to the Department of Motor Vehicles the name and driver’s license number of all persons providing instruction in driver education for the school division.

    Adopted: November 9, 2009
    Revised: June 28, 2010
    Revised: April 14, 2014
    Revised: July 29, 2015

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    IGAK: ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL DISSECTION

    The Smyth County School Board provides one or more alternatives to animal dissection for students enrolled in biological sciences classes that incorporate dissection exercises. These alternatives may include computer programs, Internet simulations, plastic models, videotapes, and charts. The alternative techniques require a comparable amount of time and effort as do the dissection exercises and provide comparable depth and scope of learning. The alternative techniques provide the student, through means other than dissection, with knowledge similar to that expected to be gained by other students in the course who perform, participate in, or observe the dissection. Testing procedures that do not require the use of dissected specimens are provided for those students who choose an alternative technique.

    A student‘s objection to participating in an animal dissection should be substantiated by a signed note from his or her parent or guardian.

    Adopted: November 9, 2009

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    IGBA: PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    Generally

    The Smyth County School Board provides a free, appropriate public education for all children and youth with disabilities, ages 2 through 21, inclusive, who are residents of Smyth County or who are not residents of Smyth County but have been approved as out of district students or are residents of Virginia and who are enrolled in a full-time virtual school program provided by the School Board. To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled.

    An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed and maintained for each child with a disability served by the Smyth County School Board. The program is developed in a meeting of the child’s IEP team, which includes the child’s teacher, parent(s), the student (when appropriate), a school division representative qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education services, an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results and other individuals at the discretion of the parents or school division in accordance with State and federal law and regulations. This IEP is reviewed at least annually.

    The IEP includes areas specified by state and federal statutes and regulations.

    Explanation of Procedural Safeguards

    A copy of the procedural safeguards available to the parent(s) of a child with a disability is given to the parent(s). The procedural safeguards notice includes a full explanation of all the procedural safeguards available.

    Child Find

    The Smyth County School Board maintains an active and continuing child find program designed to identify, locate and evaluate those children residing in the school division who are birth to 21 inclusive who are in need of special education and related services.

    The School Board provides all applicable procedural safeguards including written notice to the parents of the scheduled screening and, if the child fails the screening, the results of the screening, confidentiality and maintenance of the student’s scholastic record.

    Adopted: October 12, 2009
    Revised: July 31, 2014

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    IGBB: PROGRAMS FOR GIFTED STUDENTS

    To provide acceptable programs for gifted students, educational opportunities appropriate to exceptional abilities must be provided. The responsibility of providing each student with the opportunity to realize his/her potential is recognized by the Smyth County School Board. Gifted students require a unique, advanced, and challenging educational program in order to enhance the development of their special abilities. The division shall use multiple criteria for the identification of gifted students as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education. The School Board shall submit an annual report on its Program of Gifted Education to the Virginia Department of Education as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education.

    The School Board actively promotes and develops an appropriately differentiated educational program for gifted students in order to facilitate the fullest development of their potential. The School Board shall establish a local advisory committee for the gifted education program. Annually, the committee shall review the gifted education program, including any revisions to the program. The committee shall also determine the extent to which the program for the previous year was implemented by the division. The comments and recommendations of the committee shall be provided in writing to: (1) the Superintendent and (2) the School Board. The program shall be in compliance with the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Board of Education Regulations.

    Adopted: November 9, 2009

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    IGBC: PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

    Generally

    The Smyth County School Board recognizes that the education of each student is a responsibility shared by the school and the student‘s family. The Smyth County School Board endorses the parental involvement goals of Title I (20 U.S.C. § 6318) and Title III (20 U.S.C. § 7012(e) and encourages the regular participation by parents of all children including those eligible for Title I and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) programs in all aspects of those programs.

    In keeping with these beliefs, it is the intention of the Smyth County School Board to cultivate and support active parental involvement in student learning. The Smyth County School Board will:

    In addition, for parents of students eligible for LEP programs, the School Board will inform such parents of how they can be active participants in assisting their children:

    Parental Involvement in Title I Plan

    The Smyth County School Division encourages parents of children eligible to participate in Title I, Part A, programs to participate in the development of the District‘s Title I plan. Parents may participate by:

    Parental Involvement in School Review and Improvement

    The Smyth County School Division encourages parents of children eligible to participate in Title I, Part A, and LEP programs to participate in the process of school review and, if applicable, school improvement as implemented by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. § 2316. Parents may participate by:

    District Responsibilities

    The Smyth County School Division and each school which receives Title I, Part A, funds, will:

    The Smyth County School Division, and each school which receives Title I, Part A, funds, may:

    School Parental Involvement Policies

    Each school served under Title I, Part A, shall jointly develop with and distribute to parents of participating children a written parental involvement policy, agreed on by such parents that shall describe the means for carrying out the following:

    Parental Involvement in Allocation of Funding

    Parents of children receiving services under Title I, Part A, shall be involved in the decisions regarding how funds provided under Title I, Part A, are allotted for parental involvement activities.

    Policy Review

    The content and effectiveness of this policy will be evaluated annually with regard to improving the academic quality of the schools receiving Title I, Part A, or LEP funds. This evaluation will identify barriers to greater participation by parents (particularly by parents who are economically disadvantaged, have disabilities, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background) and use the findings of that evaluation to design strategies for more effective parental involvement, and to revise, if necessary, this policy.

    Adopted: January 12, 2009

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    IGBE: REMEDIAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAM

    Generally

    The School Board shall develop and implement within its fiscal capacity programs of prevention, intervention or remediation for students who are educationally at risk, including those who fail to achieve a passing score on any Standard of Learning assessment in grades three through eight, or who fail an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit. Such programs shall include components that are research based.

    Any student who achieves a passing score on one or more, but not all, of the Standards of Learning assessments for the relevant grade level in grades three through eight may be required to attend a remediation program.

    Any student who fails to achieve a passing score on all of the Standards of Learning assessments for the relevant grade level in grades three through eight or who fails an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit will be required to attend a remediation program or to participate in another form of remediation. The superintendent shall require such students to take special programs of prevention, intervention, or remediation, which may include attendance in public summer school programs.

    Remediation programs will include, when applicable, a procedure for early identification of students who are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments in grades three through eight or who fail an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit. Such programs may also include summer school for all elementary and middle school grades and for all high school academic courses, as defined by regulations promulgated by the Virginia Board of Education, or other forms of remediation. Summer school remediation programs or other forms of remediation will be chosen by the superintendent to be appropriate to the academic needs of the student.

    Students who are required to attend such summer school programs or to participate in another form of remediation will not be charged tuition.

    The requirement for remediation may, however, be satisfied by the student‘s attendance in a program of prevention, intervention or remediation which has been selected by his parent, in consultation with the Superintendent or his/her designee, and is either (i) conducted by an accredited private school or (ii) a special program which has been determined to be comparable to the required public school remediation program by the division superintendent. The costs of such private school remediation program or other special remediation program shall be borne by the student‘s parent.

    Targeted mathematics remediation and intervention will be provided to students in grades six through eight who show computational deficiencies as demonstrated by their individual performance on any diagnostic test or grade-level Standards of Learning mathematics test that measures non-calculator computational skills.

    The School Board shall annually evaluate and modify, as appropriate, the remediation plan based on an analysis of the percentage of students meeting their remediation goals and consideration of the pass rate on the Standards of Learning assessments.

    Summer School

    The courses offered and the quality of instruction in the summer school program shall be comparable to that offered during the regular school term. Students must meet the requirements for SOL testing if appropriate.

    Credit for repeated work will ordinarily be granted on the same basis as that for new work. With prior approval of the principal, however, students may be allowed to enroll in repeat courses to be completed in not less than 70 clock hours of instruction per unit of credit. The only exception to the minimum of 70 clock hours is when a student has proven mastery of the content using a prescribed remediation curriculum such as a credit recovery program and the student has achieved a majority of the required clock hours needed. Students must meet the requirements for SOL testing if appropriate.

    Summer school instruction which is provided as part of a remedial program shall be designed to improve specific identified student deficiencies.

    Compulsory Attendance

    When a student is required to participate in a remediation program pursuant to this policy, the Superintendent may seek immediate compliance with the compulsory school attendance laws if a reasonable effort to seek the student‘s attendance, including direct notification of the parents of such student of the attendance requirement and failure of the parents to secure the student‘s attendance, have failed and the superintendent determines that remediation of the student‘s poor academic performance, passage of the Standards of Learning Assessment in grades three through eight, or promotion is related directly to the student‘s attendance in the remediation program.

    Adopted: March 8, 2010
    Revised: July 11, 2011
    Revised: February 11, 2013
    Revised: July 29, 2013

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    IGBF: LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT STUDENTS

    Generally

    The Smyth County School Board shall provide programs to improve the education of limited English proficient children by assisting the children to learn English and meet Virginia‘s challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards.

    Assessments

    The School Board will annually assess the English proficiency of all students with limited English proficiency.

    Notification

    The School Board will, not later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year, inform a parent or the parents of a limited English proficient child identified for participation in, or participating in, a program for limited English proficient students of:

    For a child who has not been identified for participation in a language instruction education program prior to the beginning of the school year, the School Board shall provide the notice detailed above within 2 weeks of the child being placed in the program.

    The information described above will be provided to parents in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language that the parent can understand.

    Students may be accepted and provided English-Second language programs if they entered school in Virginia for the first time after reaching their 12th birthday, and who have not reached age 22 on or before August 1 of the school year. No tuition shall be charged such students, if state funding is provided for such programs.

    Adopted: January 25, 2010

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    IGBG: HOMEBOUND, CORRESPONDENCE, AND ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF INSTRUCTION

    Homebound Instruction

    The School Board shall maintain a program of homebound instruction for students who are confined at home or in a health care facility for periods that would prevent normal school attendance based upon certification of need by a licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical psychologist.

    Credit for the work shall be awarded when it is done under the supervision of a licensed teacher, a person eligible to hold a Virginia teaching license, or other appropriately licensed professional employed by the School Board, and there is evidence that the instructional time requirements or alternative means of awarding credit adopted by the School Board have been met.

    Correspondence Courses

    Students who enroll in high school as freshmen before July 1, 2018, as sophomores before July 1, 2019, as juniors before July 1, 2020 or as seniors before July 1, 2021 may enroll in and receive a standard and verified unit of credit for supervised correspondence courses with prior approval of the principal. Standard units of credit will be awarded for the successful completion of such courses when the course is equivalent to that offered in the regular school program and the work is done under the supervision of a licensed teacher, or a person eligible to hold a Virginia license, approved by the School Board. Verified units of credit may be earned when the student has passed the SOL test associated with the correspondence course completed. The division superintendent will develop regulations governing this method of instruction in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education.

    Instruction through Alternative Technological Means

    Standard units of credit will be awarded for the successful completion of courses delivered through emerging technologies and other similar means when the course is equivalent to that offered in the regular school program and the work is done under the supervision of a licensed teacher, or a person eligible to hold a Virginia license, and approved by the School Board. Verified units of credit may be earned when the student has successfully completed the requirements and passed the SOL test associated with the course. The division superintendent will develop regulations governing this method of delivery of instruction in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education.

    Adopted: March 14, 2011
    Revised: July 11, 2011
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IGBGA: ONLINE COURSES AND VIRTUAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS

    The Smyth County School Board may enter into contracts, consistent with the criteria approved by the Virginia Board of Education, with approved private or nonprofit organizations to provide multi-division online courses and virtual school programs. Such contracts shall be exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

    Information regarding online courses and programs that are available through the school division will be posted on the division’s website. The information will include the types of online courses and programs available to students through the division, when the division will pay course fees and other costs for nonresident students, and the granting of high school credit.

    Any student enrolled in any online course or virtual program offered by the school division shall be enrolled in a public school in Virginia as provided in Va. Code § 22.1-3.1. The student‘s parent or guardian shall give written permission prior to the enrollment of the student in any full-time virtual program offered by the school division.

    A student who resides in the Smyth County school division will not be charged tuition for enrolling in any online course or virtual program offered by the school division. Tuition may be charged to students, except children with disabilities, who are enrolled in the division’s full-time virtual school program. Students taking online dual enrollment course(s) will be charged a share of the division’s non-reimbursed cost for tuition, fees, and/or books as determined by the School Board. Tuition may be charged to students who do not reside within the boundaries of the school division.

    Teachers who deliver instruction to students through online courses or virtual school programs must be licensed by the Virginia Board of Education and are subject to the requirements of Policy GCDA Effect of Criminal Conviction or Founded Complaint of Child Abuse or Neglect.

    The administrator of a virtual school program must hold an advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with educational and work experience in administering educational programs.

    For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply.

    Multidivision Online Provider
    1. A private or nonprofit organization that enters into a contract with a local school board to provide online courses or programs through that school board to students who reside in Virginia both within and outside the geographical boundaries of that school division;
    2. a private or nonprofit organization that enters into contracts with multiple local school boards to provide online courses or programs to students in kindergarten through grade 12 through those school boards; or
    3. a local school board that provides online courses or programs to students who reside in Virginia but outside the geographical boundaries of that school division.

    However, "multidivision online provider" shall not include:

    1. a local school board‘s online learning program in which fewer than 10 percent of the students enrolled reside outside the geographical boundaries of that school division;
    2. multiple local school boards that establish joint online courses or programs in which fewer than 10 percent of the students enrolled reside outside the geographical boundaries of those school divisions;
    3. local school boards that provide online learning courses or programs for their students through an arrangement with a public or private institution of higher education; or
    4. local school boards providing online courses or programs through a private or nonprofit organization that has been approved as a multidivision online provider.
    Online Course
    A course or grade-level subject instruction that:
    1. is delivered by a multidivision online provider primarily electronically using the Internet or other computer-based methods and
    2. is taught by a teacher primarily from a remote location, with student access to the teacher given synchronously, asynchronously, or both.
    Virtual School Program
    A series of online courses with instructional content that:
    1. is delivered by a multidivision online provider primarily electronically using the Internet or other computer-based methods;
    2. is taught by a teacher primarily from a remote location, with student access to the teacher given synchronously, asynchronously, or both;
    3. is delivered as a part-time or full-time program; and
    4. has an online component with online lessons and tools for student and data management.

    Adopted: July 28, 2010
    Revised: February 11, 2013
    Revised: July 31, 2014

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    IGBH: ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

    The Smyth County School Board will establish alternative educational programs within existing schools or at separate sites as needed. No person of school age meeting the residency requirements of § 22.1-3 may be charged tuition for enrollment in an alternative program offered as a regional or division-wide initiative by the School Board.

    Proposals for alternative school programs shall be developed by the superintendent or his/her designee and will be submitted to the Board for review and endorsement prior to implementation. Proposals shall include:

    1. A statement of justification for the alternative program explaining how it will meet the special needs or expectations of the target population and the community;
    2. A plan which delineates the proposed organizational structure as it relates to staffing and the scope and structure of the total instructional program;
    3. A statement of financial impact identifying all costs, including administration, staffing, equipping, supplying, transportation, support services, and maintaining the program;
    4. A statement of related impact explaining how the proposed program will affect and interrelate with other programs and populations served in existing programs and facilities;
    5. A statement verifying that all aspects of the program are in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and accreditation requirements;
    6. If the proposal presents a potential conflict with existing regulations of the Virginia Department of Education, evidence of authorization from the Virginia Department of Education must accompany the proposal; and
    7. A plan for evaluation that defines anticipated outcomes and establishes criteria and procedures for evaluating achieved outcomes.

    Adopted: June 14, 2010
    Revised: August 13, 2012

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    IGBI: ADVANCED PLACEMENT CLASSES AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS

    Students and their parents shall be notified of the availability of dual enrollment, advanced placement classes, and Academic Year Governor‘s School Programs, the qualifications for enrolling in such classes and programs, and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take the advanced placement and International Baccalaureate examinations. Students and their parents shall also be notified of the program with a community college to enable students to complete an associate‘s degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies concurrent with a high school diploma. The superintendent will promulgate regulations to implement this policy, which shall ensure the provision of timely and adequate notice to students and their parents.

    Adopted: March 8, 2010
    Revised: February 11, 2013

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    IGE: ADULT EDUCATION

    Adult education programs are offered to those residents of the school division over the age of compulsory school attendance who are not enrolled in the regular public school program and who are functioning below the high school completion level. The School Board seeks to ensure that every adult participating in such a program has the opportunity to earn a high school diploma or pass a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education. Such programs may be conducted solely by the School Board or through a collaborative arrangement between the School Board and other School Boards or agencies. Additional educational programs for adults also may be offered. Tuition and fees are established by the School Board.

    Adopted: March 23, 2009

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    IHA: GROUPING FOR INSTRUCTION

    The Smyth County School Board recognizes the different educational needs of students and endorses the use of flexible assignment of students for instruction.

    The grouping of students within individual schools for instructional purposes will be designed so each student will receive the maximum instructional benefit and will be based on:

    1. The best interests of the student,
    2. The educational level, or achievement level of the student,
    3. The availability of space,
    4. The best educational climate for learning,
    5. The student‘s best chance for success,
    6. Standards of Learning test scores, where available, or other standardized assessment scores, and
    7. The creation of groups that may be taught effectively.

    Grouping will remain flexible in order to take advantage of the best educational research currently available. Groups will be created, modified, or disbanded to be responsive to student needs.

    Adopted: August 13, 2012

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    IHB: CLASS SIZE

    The Smyth County School Board assigns licensed instructional personnel in a manner that produces division-wide ratios of students in average daily membership to full-time equivalent teaching positions, excluding special education teachers, principals, assistant principals, counselors, and librarians, that are not greater than the following ratios:

    After September 30 of any school year, anytime the number of students in a class exceeds the class size limit established by this policy, the school division will notify the parent of each student in such class of such fact no later than 10 days after the date on which the class exceeded the class size limit. The notification shall state the reason that the class size exceeds the class size limit and describe the measures that the school division will take to reduce the class size to comply with this policy.

    In addition, the Smyth County School Board shall assign instructional personnel in a manner that produces school-wide ratios of students in average daily memberships to full-time equivalent teaching positions of 21 to one in middle schools and high schools.

    When determining the assignment of instructional and other licensed personnel for purposes of this policy, full-time students of approved virtual school programs will not be included.

    Adopted: July 28, 2010
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IIA: INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

    The Smyth County School Board is responsible for the selection, evaluation, approval, and use of instructional materials. The superintendent or his/her designee will periodically review guidelines and procedures for the selection of instructional materials and bring recommendations for changes to the Board.

    The procedures for selection and evaluation of instructional materials will offer a thorough and efficient approach which ensures that appropriate instructional materials are selected, and provide an opportunity for the professional staff and community to participate and be informed on the selection and use of instructional materials. The procedures will include:

    Parents may inspect, on request, any instructional material used as part of their student’s curriculum.

    Adopted: February 14, 2011
    Revised: April 14, 2014
    Revised: April 11, 2016

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    IIAA: TEXTBOOK SELECTION, ADOPTION, AND PURCHASE

    Selection of Textbooks

    The School Board may adopt textbooks, including print or electronic media, for student use that serve as the primary curriculum basis for a grade-level subject or course from the list of textbooks approved by the Board of Education. The School Board may also adopt books which are not on the state-adopted list in accordance with the Board of Education regulations.

    In approving textbooks, the School Board

    The Smyth County School Board may either enter into written term contracts or issue purchase orders with publishers of textbooks approved by the Board of Education. Such written contracts or purchase orders are exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act (Va. Code § 2.2-4300 et seq.). The contract price shall not exceed the lowest wholesale price at which the textbook(s) involved in the contract are currently bid under contract anywhere in the United States. If, subsequent to the date of any contract entered into by the School Board, the prices of textbooks named in the contract are reduced or the terms of the contract are made more favorable to purchase anywhere in the United States or a special or other edition of any book named in the contract is sold outside of Virginia at a lower price than contracted in Virginia, the publisher shall grant the same reduction or terms to the School Board and give the School Board the option of using such special or other edition adapted for use in Virginia and at the lowest price at which such special edition is sold elsewhere and the contract shall so state.

    Contracts and purchase orders with publishers of textbooks approved by the Board of Education shall require the publisher to furnish an electronic file of the textbook in the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS) format that will then be deposited in the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) from which accessible versions of the particular textbook may be produced for students with print disabilities, as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1474. Publishers shall deliver the NIMAS file of the textbook on or before the date of delivery of the regular text version.

    Contracts and purchase orders with publishers of textbooks approved by the Board of Education for use in grades 6-12 shall allow for the purchase of printed textbooks, printed textbooks with electronic files, or electronic textbooks separate and apart from printed versions of the same textbook. The school board may purchase an assortment of textbooks in any of the three forms listed above.

    The School Board shall order directly from the respective publishers the textbooks needed to supply the public schools in the school division. The publishers shall ship the textbooks to the School Board. The purchase price of such textbooks shall be paid directly to the publishers by the School Board.

    Locally Approved Textbooks

    In approving textbooks that have not been approved by the Virginia Board of Education, the School Board will also include a correlation of the content to the Virginia Standards of Learning in the content area and an analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the textbook in terms of instructional planning and support when the textbooks pertain to Virginia Standards of Learning subjects.

    The publishers of such textbooks shall

    The purchase of textbooks other than those approved by the Virginia Board of Education is not exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

    Adopted: September 13, 2010
    Revised: April 11, 2016

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    IIAB: SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS SELECTION AND ADOPTION

    Materials used by students under the guidance of teachers to extend, expand, and supplement basal materials constitute an integral part of the instructional program. Supplemental materials are those items which are used to assist the teaching and learning process and include such items as print and digital media, charts, pictures, certain workbooks, computer software, and games. Materials selected for supplemental use must relate directly to the established objectives of the course or content area in which they are used.

    The School Board delegates the responsibility for the selection and use of supplemental materials to the individual schools. Teachers and administrators must carefully review materials prior to use and exercise a high degree of professional judgment in their selection and use of supplemental materials, to ensure that the use of such materials serves to both support and complement the basic educational objectives within the specific subject areas and classrooms.

    Adopted: September 13, 2010
    Revised: May 12, 2014

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    INNOVATIVE OR EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAMS

    Experimental and innovative programs that are not consistent with accreditation standards or other regulations promulgated by the Virginia Board of Education shall be submitted to the Virginia Board of Education for approval prior to implementation.

    Adopted: February 11, 2013

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    IIBD: SCHOOL LIBRARIES/MEDIA CENTERS

    Each school shall maintain an organized library media center as the resource center of the school and provide a unified program of media services and activities for students and teachers before, during, and after school. The library media center will contain hard copy, electronic technological resources, materials, and equipment that are sufficient to meet research, inquiry, and reading requirements of the instructional program and general student interest.

    Each school will provide a variety of materials and equipment to support the instructional program.

    Adopted: May 28, 2013

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    IICA: FIELD TRIPS

    Field trips are off-campus instructional activities or in some circumstances may be a "reward" trip. Field trips can provide excellent educational experiences for students by enriching the curriculum and by making classroom learning experiences more meaningful. To be educationally beneficial, a field trip requires thoughtful selection, careful advance preparation, and opportunities to assimilate the experience during and after the trip. Teachers will plan advance activities that prepare students for the trip and follow-up activities that assist students in summarizing, applying, and evaluating information learned on the trip.

    The following factors should be considered in proposing and approving field trips:

    No student will be denied the opportunity to participate in a field trip because of a lack of funds.

    Trips will be approved by the school board or by the superintendent if the timeframe falls between school board meetings pursuant to regulations developed by the superintendent. Approval must be obtained before commitments are made to students, parents, or commercial establishments.

    Trips for activities governed by the Virginia High School League do not require approval on a trip-by-trip basis. Parental permission for such trips is obtained through parental signature of the VHSL Athletic Participation/Parental Consent/Physical Examination Form.

    The Smyth County School Board does not endorse or accept responsibility for any privately sponsored trips for students or any student trips which are not part of the instructional program. Employees are not permitted to solicit students for such trips. Employees who are involved with such trips must emphasize to any interested student/parent that such trips are strictly private enterprises.

    Adopted: April 28, 2009
    Revised: January 14, 2013

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    IICA-R: FIELD TRIP GUIDELINES

    The regulations below are developed in accordance with Policy IICA.

    Elementary

    Middle and Secondary

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    IICB/IICC: COMMUNITY RESOURCE PERSONS/SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS

    The Smyth 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.

    Adopted: April 28, 2009

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    IJ: GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM

    School Guidance and Counseling Services

    Each school provides the following guidance and counseling services to all students:

    No student is required to participate in any counseling program to which the student’s parents object.

    The guidance and counseling program does not include the use of counseling techniques which are beyond the scope of the professional certification or training of counselors, including hypnosis, or other psychotherapeutic techniques that are normally employed in medical or clinical settings and focus on mental illness or psychopathology. Parents are notified annually about the counseling programs which are available to their children. The notification will include the purpose and general description of the programs, information regarding ways parents may review materials to be used in guidance and counseling programs at their child’s school and information about the procedures by which parents may limit their child’s participation in such programs.

    Employment Counseling and Placement Services

    The School Board provides to secondary students employment counseling and placement services to furnish information relating to the employment opportunities available to students graduating from or leaving the schools in the school division. Such information includes all types of employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, apprenticeships, the military, career education schools and colleges/universities. In providing such services, the School Board consults and cooperates with the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Labor and Industry, local business and labor organizations and career schools.

    The School Board provides to secondary students employment counseling and placement services to furnish information relating to the employment opportunities available to students graduating from or leaving the schools in the school division. Such information includes all types of employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, apprenticeships, the military, career education schools and colleges/universities. In providing such services, the School Board consults and cooperates with the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Labor and Industry, local business and labor organizations and career schools.

    If the School Board provides access to one or more of its high schools and contact with such high school’s student body or other contact with its high school students during a school or school division-sponsored activity to persons or groups for occupational, professional or educational recruitment, it provides equal access on the same basis to official recruiting representatives of the military forces of the Commonwealth and the United States.

    Academic and Career Plans

    Schools develop a personal Academic and Career Plan for each seventh-grade student with completion by the fall of the student’s eighth-grade year. Plans are developed for students who transfer from other than a Virginia public school into the eighth grade as soon as practicable following enrollment. Students who transfer into a Virginia public school after their eighth-grade year have an Academic and Career Plan developed upon enrollment.

    The components of the Plan include, but are not limited to, the student’s program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary career pathway based on the student’s academic and career interests.

    The Academic and Career Plan is developed in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education and signed by the student, student’s parent or guardian and school official(s) designated by the principal. The Plan is included in the student’s record and is reviewed and updated, if necessary, before the student enters the ninth and eleventh grades. The school meets its obligation for parental involvement if it makes a good faith effort to notify the parent or guardian of the responsibility for the development and approval of the Plan.

    Adopted: May 12, 2014
    Revised: July 10, 2017

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    IKA: PARENTAL ASSISTANCE WITH INSTRUCTION

    The Smyth County School Board encourages parents to provide instructional assistance to their children in the home. The school division may offer a voluntary training program to the parents of children in kindergarten through third grade to assist them in developing the skills necessary to provide effective instructional assistance to their children.

    Adopted: May 12, 2014

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    IKEB: ACCELERATION

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

    When students below the ninth grade successfully complete courses offered for credit in grades 9 through 12, credit is counted toward meeting the standard units required for graduation for students who enroll in high school as freshmen before July 1, 2018, as sophomores before July 1, 2019, as juniors before July 1, 2020 or as seniors before July 1, 2021 provided the courses are equivalent in content and academic rigor as those courses offered at the secondary level. To earn a verified unit of credit for these courses, students below ninth grade level must meet the same requirements applicable to other students.

    In any high school credit-bearing course taken in middle school, a parent may request that the grade be omitted from the student’s transcript and the student not earn high school credit for the course. The request must be in writing, signed and dated by the parent/legal guardian and the student. The request must be made before the next school year begins.

    A verified credit earned by passing the SOL end-of-course test may not be awarded if the grade has been removed from the student‘s transcript. If the student repeats and passes the course, the verified credit will be awarded and the student will not be required to retake the SOL end-of-course test for that course.

    Ninth grade and above classes taken at the eighth grade level shall not be included in the determination of high school grade point averages.

    Adopted: May 9, 2011
    Revised: July 13, 2015
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IKF: STANDARDS OF LEARNING TESTS AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

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

    The Virginia Board of Education has established educational objectives known as the Standards of Learning, which form the core of Virginia‘s educational program, and other education objectives, which together are designed to ensure the development of the skills that are necessary for success in school and in preparation for life in the years beyond.

    The Smyth County School Board has developed and implemented a program of instruction that is aligned to the Standards of Learning and that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Board of Education. Graduation requirements for Smyth County Public Schools are included in the Smyth County High School Program of Studies.

    In grades 3-8, where Standards of Learning (SOL) tests are required by the Virginia Board of Education, each student is expected to take the SOL tests. Students who are accelerated take the tests of the grade level enrolled or the tests for the grade level of the content received in instruction. No student takes more than one test in any content area in each year. Schools will use the SOL test results in grades 3-8 as part of a set of multiple criteria for determining the promotion or retention of students.

    Each student in middle and secondary school will take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests following course instruction. Students who enroll in high school as freshmen before July 1, 2018, as sophomores before July 1, 2019, as juniors before July 1, 2020 or as seniors before July 1, 2021 are required to earn standard and verified units of credit as specified in the regulations of the Board of Education and as described below. Students who achieve a passing score on an end-of-course SOL test will be awarded a verified unit of credit in that course in accordance with 8 VAC 20-131-110. Students may earn verified credits in any courses for which end-of-course SOL tests are available. Middle and secondary schools may consider the student‘s end-of-course SOL test score in determining the student‘s final course grade.

    The standard unit of credit for graduation is based on a minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction and successful completion of the requirements of the course. A standard unit of credit may also be awarded based on a waiver of the 140-clock hour requirement as provided in Policy IKFD Alternative Paths to Attaining Standard Units of Credit.

    A verified unit of credit for graduation is based on a minimum of 140 clock hours of instruction, successful completion of the requirements of the course, and the achievement by the student of a passing score on the end-of-course SOL test for that course or additional tests as described below.

    A student may also earn a verified unit of credit by the following methods:

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

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

    All students identified as limited English proficient (LEP) will participate in the SOL testing program. A school-based committee will convene and make determinations regarding the participation level of LEP students. In grades 3-8, limited English proficient students may be granted a one-time exemption from SOL testing in the areas of writing, science, and history and social science.

    II. Graduation Requirements

    A. Generally

    The School Board awards diplomas to all secondary school students, including students who transfer from nonpublic schools or from home instruction, who meet the requirements prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education, and meet such other requirements as are prescribed by the school board and approved by the Virginia Board of Education.

    B. Types of Diplomas and Certificates

    The Smyth County School Board will award diplomas and certificates in accordance with state laws and regulations.

    The requirements for a student to earn a diploma are those in effect when the student enters ninth grade for the first time.

    Adopted: July 11, 2011
    Revised: August 12, 2013
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IKFA: LOCALLY AWARDED VERIFIED CREDITS

    The Smyth County School Board awards verified credits to students who enroll in high school as freshmen before July 1, 2018, as sophomores before July 1, 2019, as juniors before July 1, 2020 or as seniors before July 1, 2021 toward a standard diploma in science and history/social sciences to high school students in accordance with this policy.

    No student may earn more than four locally awarded verified credits except as noted below.

    To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits, a student must:

    Locally Awarded Verified Credits as Credit Accommodations

    In addition to verified credits in science and history/social sciences, the School Board may also award verified credits toward a standard diploma in reading, writing and mathematics to students with disabilities as credit accommodations for the standard diploma. To be eligible for such credit accommodations, students with disabilities must meet all criteria established by Virginia law or regulation and eligibility for such credit accommodations must be established in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. There is no maximum number of locally awarded verified credits that a student with a disability may earn toward a standard diploma.

    Appeal Process

    The review panel will consist of a central office administrator, a building level administrator or guidance counselor, the classroom teacher, one additional teacher from the subject matter being considered for a locally verified credit, and any other staff members deemed necessary to make an informed decision.

    The local review panel will review evidence of the student‘s achievement of adequate knowledge of the Standards of Learning content. The panel will have discretion in determining the information it will consider. That information may include, but is not limited to, results of classroom assignments, division-wide exams, course grades, and additional academic assignments (e.g. papers, projects, essays or written questions) as the panel deems appropriate. The decision of the local review panel will be final.

    Based on the evidence it reviews, the local review panel may:

    The decision of the review panel will be final.

    Adopted: October 12, 2009
    Revised: July 29, 2013
    Revised: November 11, 2013
    Revised: April 14, 2014
    Revised: July 11, 2016

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    IKG: REMEDIATION RECOVERY PROGRAM

    The Smyth County School Board supports efforts to provide instructional support to those students who have demonstrated a need for such support by their failure to pass certain Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments. Therefore, Smyth County School Board has implemented a Remediation Recovery Program as established by the Virginia Department of Education. Remediation recovery is a program which encourages successful remediation of students who do not pass certain SOL tests in grades 3-8 and high school English and mathematics. The program is administered through regulations promulgated by the superintendent. Students eligible to participate in such program include students in kindergarten through grade 12 who have failed the SOL assessment in the areas of English or mathematics or both.

    Students who fail the grades 3 through 7 reading and/or mathematics SOL tests and participate in a remediation recovery program after being promoted to the next grade will not retake the failed test or tests.

    Students who fail either the grade 8 reading or mathematics SOL test, or an end-of-course English or mathematics test, and participate in a remediation recovery program will continue to retake the applicable SOL test at the next regularly scheduled administration.

    Schools shall maintain evidence of a student‘s participation in a remediation recovery program along with the scores of any SOL tests taken following remediation in the student‘s record.

    The following students are ineligible for the remediation recovery program:

    Adopted: October 11, 2010
    Revised: August 12, 2013

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    IKH: RETAKING SOL ASSESSMENTS

    Students in kindergarten through grade 8 are not required to retake Standards of Learning (SOL) tests unless they are retained in grade and have not previously passed the test or they are placed in a remediation recovery program developed by the School Board. Students in high school are not required to retake end-of-course SOL tests unless the student previously failed the course and the test, or the student needs to earn verified credit for graduation.

    With such funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly, the Board of Education will provide opportunities for students who meet criteria adopted by that board to have an expedited retake of a SOL test to earn verified credit.

    Under the criteria established by the Virginia Board of Education, the student must:

    For purposes of these criteria, "narrow margin" means a scaled score of 375-399. The division superintendent will be responsible for making the determination of what constitutes "extenuating circumstances" and "legitimate reasons" for purposes of establishing eligibility for an expedited retest of an end-of-course SOL assessment.

    Adopted: October 11, 2010
    Revised: May 28, 2013
    Revised: October 10, 2016

    Legal References

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    IL: TESTING PROGRAMS

    A program of standardized testing prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education is administered annually. Standardized tests are administered according to state and local directives. In administering tests or other assessment instruments, school board employees do not require any public elementary school students being tested to disclose their race or ethnicity on such tests. School division personnel, however, may obtain such information from a student’s permanent record and place the information on the test or assessment.

    Adopted: March 23, 2009
    Revised: June 28, 2011
    Revised: December 14, 2015

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    INB: TEACHING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

    The Smyth County School Board recognizes that preparation for effective citizenship is one of the major purposes of education. The preparation for effective citizenship includes the study of issues that are controversial. Such study will be carried out in an atmosphere free from bias, prejudice, or coercion.

    In teaching about controversial issues, teachers are expected to:

    Although the instructional program includes study of the political party system in the United States, the School Board does not endorse any political party or candidate.

    Adopted: August 13, 2012

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    INDC: RELIGION IN THE SCHOOLS

    The Smyth County School Board is neutral in matters of religion. This means that Smyth County Public Schools

    This neutrality does not preclude or hinder Smyth County Public Schools in fulfilling its responsibility to educate students to be tolerant and respectful of religious diversity. The division 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 approaches 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.

    Adopted: May 12, 2014

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    IZ: GRADING SCALE

    Kindergarten (Elementary)

    Grades 1-2 (Elementary)

    Art, music, and physical education grades are: Handwriting grades will be given in Kindergarten and Grade 1 using the following grading scale:

    Grades 3-5 (Elementary)

    Art, music, and physical education grades are:

    Grades 6-8 (Middle)

    Grades for exploratory classes are:

    Grades 9-12 (Secondary)

    Grade Scale Exception

    If an institution which includes but is not limited to Linwood Holton Governor’s School, Southwest Virginia Governor’s School, Virginia Highlands Community College, Wytheville Community College, and virtual providers, uses a grade scale which is not congruent with the ones approved by the Smyth County School Board, Smyth County Schools will recognize the grade and the grading scale as provided by the sending institution. If an instructor is teaching a course (ex. dual enrollment) for another institution other than Smyth County Public Schools and that institution or instructional department does not have a defined grade scale, then the Smyth County grade scale will be in effect.

    Adopted: October 8, 2012

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    IZA: Grade Promotion and Retention

    Elementary

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

    Students entering school for the first time must be placed in kindergarten. Any exception to this initial placement policy must receive the written approval of the superintendent.

    When a teacher observes a pupil with academic skill deficiencies which may lead to retention, the teacher will consult with school personnel to develop strategies to remediate the deficiencies and improve academic achievement. The teacher will timely communicate the concerns with the child‘s parent either through conferences or written correspondence. Data will be collected throughout the year to support decisions regarding promotion/retention.

    In evaluating promotion or retention, consideration shall be given to the following factors:

    1. Achievement in Relation to Ability
      1. Reading and/or math performance levels
      2. Test results (SOL, MAP, Benchmark, etc.)
      3. Previous retention
      4. Ability to work on grade level
    2. Maturity
      1. Social
      2. Physical
        1. size
        2. age
      3. Emotional
    3. Environment
      1. Parental factors
        1. attitude
        2. support
      2. Motivation
      3. Work habits
      4. Attendance record

    The primary responsibility for determining the student‘s readiness for the next grade level belongs to the classroom teacher; however, the final decision on promotion, placement, or retention remains with the principal with input from teachers and other stakeholders.

    Promotion/retention of ESL students will also take into consideration English proficiency and cultural factors. Decisions should include consultation with the ESL Coordinator.

    Promotion/retention of students with disabilities will be consistent with the above mentioned items and take into consideration the child‘s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

    After the above factors have been considered, the final grades shall reflect either promotion, placed, or retention. As a guideline, a student should pass a majority of the basic skill subjects which includes reading, language arts, science, social studies, and mathematics.

    Procedure for Retention

    Prior to the end of the first reporting period, principals will meet with the faculty to review and discuss the standards for promotion and to review the retention policy. During the first semester, parent-teacher conferences, notes to parents and telephone calls in addition to report cards, will be used to communicate the student‘s progress to parents.

    Principals will schedule conferences with classroom teachers to review the academic progress of students and to identify each student who is a candidate for retention no later than March 15th. Conferences with parents shall be arranged at this time.

    A Light‘s Retention Scale will be completed for all students who are a retention consideration to determine whether the student is a good candidate for retention.

    The final decision regarding retention of a student for academic reasons shall be made during the last fifteen school days of the school year. Written notification of retention, with an appropriate explanation, must be issued from the principal‘s office to the parents prior to the final teacher workday.

    All correspondence and minutes of meetings related to retention shall be kept by school officials.

    Middle Grades 6-8

    Promotion from one grade to the next will be based on mastery of skills and content for the particular grade level. These decisions will be based on the following considerations in determining whether a student should be promoted or retained. A Light‘s Retention Scale will be completed for all students who are a retention consideration to determine whether the student is a good candidate for retention.

    1. Classroom achievement
    2. Results from the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests
    3. Previous retention(s)
    4. Attendance
    5. Current IEP or 504 Plan

    In order for a middle school student to be promoted, the student must pass the equivalent of four full-year courses, three of which must be in the academic core subjects. The subject areas include the following:

    1. Academic/Core Subjects
      1. Language Arts
      2. Mathematics
      3. Science
      4. Social Studies
    2. Exploratory
    3. Electives
    4. Physical Education

    If a student fails language arts or mathematics, it is recommended that the student be scheduled in an English or math intervention program as specified by the principal. The final decision as to whether a student is retained, placed, or promoted will rest with the principal with input from teachers and other stakeholders.

    Secondary

    Upon completion of the eighth grade a student is promoted to the ninth grade. The student must earn six units of credit before being promoted to the tenth grade, twelve units before being promoted to the eleventh grade, and eighteen units before being promoted to the twelfth grade.

    Student grade classification will be determined prior to the beginning of each school year. Grade classification shall not change during the school year.

    Students shall not be permitted to enroll in English 9 and English 10, in English 10 and English 11, in English 11 and English 12, or in U.S. History and U.S. Government during the same school year unless an English course or the U.S. History course are repeat subjects, needed for early graduation, used to help a student stay on track for graduation, or unusual scheduling problems arise.

    Adopted: November 11, 2013

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    IZB: Tests and Examinations

    Student assessments are a critical function of the teaching and learning process. The school division uses formative and summative assessments to provide feedback to students, parents, teachers, and the school as to the progress a student is making.

    In addition to classroom assessments such as projects, quizzes, and unit tests, students may participate in benchmark tests, computer adaptive tests, PALs assessment, and other assessments as determined by the school, school division, state, or federal government.

    The length of test should be reasonable and appropriate for the age of the child. Students should be provided an adequate number of assessments so that in a given grading period a true picture of their progress can be provided to the student, teacher, school, and parent.

    Elementary

    Tests shall be administered to students in grades kindergarten through five when appropriate for student evaluation.

    Middle

    In grades six and seven, unit tests are administered when appropriate. Cumulative graded tests longer than a unit test are not to be administered. In grade eight, cumulative examinations may be administered in courses. Due to the cumulative nature of the Standards of Learning assessments, teachers may choose to end a semester with a unit test, project, writing assignment, performance, or other authentic assessment. If a cumulative examination is given, the examination should not exceed one hour in length and should carry a grade value of ten percent (10%) or less of the semester grade. If a cumulative examination is given in a course, the principal must approve the test prior to being given.

    Secondary

    In grades nine through twelve, cumulative examinations may be administered in a class. Due to the cumulative nature of SOL assessments, CTE licensure and certification assessments, Advanced Placement Exams, and similar cumulative assessments provided by the state or other organizations, teachers with the approval of the building principal may choose to end a semester with a unit test, project, writing assignment, performance or other authentic assessment. If a cumulative examination is given, the examination should not exceed one and one half hours in length. The examination should carry a grade value of ten percent (10%) or less of the semester grade. If a teacher and an individual student agree ahead of time, the teacher may count the exam as 25% of the grade if it will benefit the student. Students, who have earned an exemption in a course, have the opportunity to take the exams to improve their final grades without negatively impacting their final grade.

    Refusal to take an end of course Standards of Learning assessment (regular test session or expedited retake) or Career and Technical Education assessment will result in required final exam.

    Dual enrollment courses must follow the examination policy of the community college in which they are enrolled.

    Adopted: January 12, 2015

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    IZC: Graduation and Diploma Requirements

    The Smyth County School Board will recognize the successful completion of the secondary school instructional program by the awarding of a state-endorsed diploma certifying the student has met all State and local requirements for high school graduation.

    The requirements for a student to earn a diploma are those in effect when the student enters ninth grade for the first time. The web link provided will take you to Virginia’s Standards of Accreditation which contain the state-endorsed graduation requirements: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/.

    The Standards of Accreditation also require that students take end-of-course or approved substitute course tests in specified courses in English, mathematics, science, and history/social sciences. The end-of-course tests are known as the Standard of Learning (SOL) Tests and are administered in the core areas of the curriculum. When a student passes the classes and the corresponding SOL test, the student earns a verified credit.

    TYPES OF DIPLOMAS

    ADVANCED STUDIES DIPLOMA

    Students must earn 27 standard units of credit and nine (9) verified credits.

    Discipline AreaStandard Units of Credit RequiredVerified Credits Required
    English42
    *Composition1 
    Mathematics42
    Laboratory Science42
    History & Social Science42
    Foreign Language3 
    Health & Physical Education2 
    Fine Arts or CTE1 
    Electives3 
    Economics and Personal Finance1 
    Student Selected Test 1
    Total279

    *This requirement may be satisfied by satisfactory completion of an advanced composition class, a course in journalism, or by completion of three honors English classes from any English 9, 10, 11, or AP English 12.

    To earn an Advanced Studies Diploma, students must complete a mathematics sequence which includes Algebra I, two courses above the level of Algebra I, and a science sequence which includes units of credit in at least three (3) of the following subjects: (1) earth science, (2) biology, (3) chemistry, (4) physics. Fine arts or practical arts courses must be selected from a list of courses approved for graduation requirements by the State Board of Education.

    STANDARD DIPLOMA

    Students must earn 22 standard units of credit and six (6) verified credits.

    Discipline AreaStandard Units of Credit RequiredVerified Credits Required
    English42
    Mathematics31
    Laboratory Science31
    History & Social Science31
    Health & Physical Education2 
    Foreign Language, Fine Arts or CTE2 
    Electives4 
    Economics and Personal Finance1 
    Student Selected Test 1
    Total226

    MODIFIED STANDARD DIPLOMA

    This diploma is intended for certain students at the secondary level who have a disability and are unlikely to meet the credit requirements for a Standard Diploma. The student‘s Individual Education Program (IEP) team and the student‘s parents determine eligibility and participation at any point after the student’s 8th grade year.

    Students must earn 20 units of credit and pass literacy and numeracy competency assessments. Students entering the 9th grade must meet the established passing scaled score approved by the Virginia Board of Education for the 8th grade English (Reading, Literature, and Research) and Mathematics SOL tests to meet the literacy and numeracy requirements. Students may substitute a higher level SOL test (i.e., end of course English Reading, Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry) for the 8th grade SOL tests in English (Reading, Literature, and Research) and mathematics or other substitute test approved by the Virginia Board of Education.

    Discipline AreaStandard Units of Credit Required
    English4
    Mathematics3
    Science2
    History and Social Science2
    Health and Physical Education2
    Foreign Language, Fine Arts or CTE1
    Electives6
    Total20

    SPECIAL DIPLOMA

    This diploma is intended for certain students at the secondary level who have a disability and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas. The student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team and the student’s parents determine eligibility and participation in this diploma program. For a student to earn a Special Diploma, he/she must complete the requirements of the Individual Educational Program.

    TYPES OF DIPLOMAS
    Students Who Entered Ninth Grade Fall 2013 and After

    ADVANCED STUDIES DIPLOMA

    Students must earn 27 standard units of credit and nine (9) verified credits. A student must successfully complete one virtual course, which may be noncredit-bearing, to graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma.

    Discipline AreaStandard Units of Credit RequiredVerified Credits Required
    English42
    *Composition1 
    Mathematics42
    Laboratory Science42
    History & Social Science42
    Foreign Language3 
    Health & Physical Education2 
    Fine Arts or CTE1 
    Electives3 
    Economics and Personal Finance1 
    Student Selected Test 1
    Total279

    *This requirement may be satisfied by satisfactory completion of an advanced composition class, a course in journalism, or by completion of three honors English classes from any English 9, 10, 11, or AP English 12.

    To earn an Advanced Studies Diploma, students must complete a mathematics sequence which includes Algebra I, two courses above the level of Algebra I, and a science sequence which includes units of credit in at least three (3) of the following subjects: (1) earth science, (2) biology, (3) chemistry, (4) physics. Fine arts or practical arts courses must be selected from a list of courses approved for graduation requirements by the State Board of Education.

    STANDARD DIPLOMA

    Students must earn 22 standard units of credit and six (6) verified credits. A student must earn a career and technical education credential that has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education to graduate with a Standard Diploma. The credential could include, but not be limited to, the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment. A student must also successfully complete one virtual course, which may be noncredit-bearing, to graduate with a Standard Diploma.

    Discipline AreaStandard Units of Credit RequiredVerified Credits Required
    English42
    Mathematics31
    Laboratory Science31
    History & Social Science31
    Health & Physical Education2 
    Foreign Language, Fine Arts or CTE2 
    Electives4 
    Economics and Personal Finance1 
    Student Selected Test 1
    Total226

    Credit accommodations for the Standard Diploma for students with disabilities have been established by the Virginia Department of Education. "Credit accommodations" means adjustments to meet the standard and verified credit requirements for earning a Standard Diploma for students with disabilities. A student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan will specify any applicable credit accommodations.

    SPECIAL DIPLOMA

    This diploma is intended for certain students at the secondary level who have a disability and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas. The student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team and the student’s parents determine eligibility and participation in this diploma program. For a student to earn a Special Diploma, he/she must complete the requirements of the Individual Educational Program.

    In any high school credit-bearing course taken in middle school, parents may request that the grades be omitted from the student‘s transcript and the student not earn high school credit for the course. The request must be in writing, signed and dated by the parent/legal guardian and the student. The request must be made before the next school year begins.

    A verified credit earned by passing the SOL end-of-level test may not be awarded if the grade has been removed from the student‘s transcript. If the student repeats and passes the course, the verified credit will be awarded and the student will not be required to retake the SOL end-of-level test for that course.

    Adopted: January 13, 2014

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    IZD: EXAMINATION EXEMPTION

    Students attending classes on a block schedule in grades 9-12 will be exempt from, and will not be required to be in attendance for review in preparation of the final exam, providing they have a final average of "B" or better or who have a passing grade in the course and passed the SOL test for the course. In addition, they must have five (5) or fewer absences in the class. High school students attending classes that meet daily for the entire school year can be exempted from final examinations if they meet the same grade and SOL requirements as above, and miss no more than ten (10) days in that class.

    Averages and attendance will be figured on the last teaching day. An exception for the attendance stipulation may be considered if a student makes up the time missed for an excused absence in a timely manner. A “timely manner” is defined as within 10 school days of the excused absence unless an extension is approved by the principal during the 10 school day time requirement. Excused absences for this policy are defined as those absences documented with a medical providers (doctor, dentist, mental health counselor,…) excuse, death in the family, or court excuse. Make-up sessions must be arranged with a teacher or administrator prior to the make-up session. Any absence of 50% of the class or greater is considered absent. If a student is considered absent from the class then they must make up the full length of the class. All absences must be made up prior to exam review day.

    Refusal to take an end of course Standards of Learning assessment (regular test session or expedited retake) or Career and Technical Education assessment will result in required final exam.

    Students will not be penalized for absences due to a fieldtrip, late buses, or school-related trips or events.

    Absences on exam review day and exam days for students with an exam exemption are not included in the student’s total absence count.

    In determining the student average, the following procedure shall be used:

    Block Schedule

    1. Compute the average for the first nine weeks and count this 9 times. Add in the mid-term exam and divide the sum by 10 to determine the semester average. Use numerical notations.
    2. Compute the average for the second nine weeks. Add this with the first semester average (first nine weeks final grade) and divide by 2 to arrive at the final grade. If the student must take the final exam, follow the same procedure used to determine the first semester average.

    Seven-Period Day Schedule

    1. Compute the average for the first and second nine weeks and count this 9 times. Add in the mid-term exam and divide the sum by 10 to determine the semester average. Use numerical notations.
    2. Compute the second semester average by taking the average for the third and fourth nine weeks and dividing by 2. Add this with the first semester average and divide by 2 to arrive at the final grade. If the student must take the final exam, follow the same procedure used in the first semester.

    Adopted: January 12, 2015

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    IZE: GRADUATION HONORS

    Recognizing student achievement is important to Smyth County Public Schools. Beginning with 9th graders in the Fall of 2016, Smyth County Public Schools will recognize students based on two categories of honor graduates.

    Distinguished Honors

    This distinction is given to any graduate who has a 4.0 GPA (Grade Point Average) or higher.

    Honors

    This distinction is given to any graduate who has a 3.7—3.94 GPA

    Grade point averages will be rounded off to the nearest tenth and will be calculated when final grades are submitted at the end of the school year.

    Students in the top 10% of the graduating class will select from their ranks the student speakers for the graduation ceremony. High schools may limit the total number of speakers and the length of speeches.

    2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Graduating Classes

    Grade point averages will be rounded off to the nearest tenth. Students will be ranked by grade point average from highest to lowest. Students with the same grade point average will have the same class rank.

    When several students have the same class rank, the student(s) with the next highest grade point average will be given a rank in class according to the actual number of students in the class.

    Example: Class Rank – Student A, Student B and Student C all have a 4.2 GPA. All three would be ranked #1 in their class. Student D and Student E each have a 4.1 GPA. Both would be ranked #4 in their class.

    Students in the top ten percent of the class (plus ties) will be recognized as honor graduates in each graduating class.

    Valedictorian or salutatorian speakers will not be named. The honor graduates themselves will select from their ranks the student speakers for the graduation ceremony.

    Adopted: May 9, 2016

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    IZEA: Weighted Grade System and High School Grade Point Average

    The numerical and letter grades for each course shall be correlated with the following grade points:

    Numerical GradeLetter GradeRegular Class Grade PointWeighted Class Grade Point
    93-100A4.05.0
    85-92B3.04.0
    77-84C2.03.0
    70-76D1.02.0
    Less than 70F0.00.0

    Grade Scale Exception

    If an institution which includes, but is not limited to, Linwood Holton Governor’s School, Southwest Virginia Governor’s School, Virginia Highlands Community College, Wytheville Community College, and/or virtual providers, is using a grade scale that is not congruent with the ones approved by the Smyth County School Board, Smyth County Public Schools will recognize the grade and the grading scale as provided by the sending institution. If an instructor is teaching a course (e.g. dual enrollment) for another institution other than Smyth County Public Schools and that institution or instructional department does not have a defined grade scale, then the Smyth County grade scale will be in effect.

    Class ranking and honor graduates shall be determined by the Grade Point Average (GPA) for all credits taken in grades 9 through 12. Ninth grade and above classes taken at the eighth grade level shall not be included in the determination of high school grade point averages.

    High level, advanced courses will be granted weighted status according to the following criteria:

    1. All advanced placement (AP) courses will be weighted status.
    2. Other advanced, honors, and college dual credit courses will be granted weighted status by the School Board when teachers of the course ask for such status and offer in support a well-defined rigorous curriculum, solid evidence of standards that significantly exceed normal course requirements, and a well-defined assessment component. The superintendent and the supervisory staff will certify to the board that the preceding requirements have been met.
    3. GPA and class honors and distinctions for students transferring from schools outside of Smyth County shall be based on the quality points system identified above. Weighted grades for transferring students will be given only for weighted courses offered in Smyth County Public Schools. A student transferring from outside Smyth County Public Schools may not accumulate more weighted credits than are available to students in Smyth County.

    Students attending one of the Governor's Schools may not gain an advantage in GPA over students who choose to remain in the home schools, nor may such students be adversely affected because of such attendance.

    An updated list of all courses granted weighted status by the Smyth County School Board will be maintained in the Smyth County Public Schools Program of Studies.

    Adopted: May 9, 2016

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    IZEB: Weighted Course Policy: Governor’s Schools

    The Smyth County School Board offers qualified students from county high schools the option to apply for admission to the Governor's Schools that serve our school division. Students who are admitted to the Governor's Schools take specialized, advanced courses in a variety of subjects that enhance the course offerings in each high school.

    To give proper credit for advanced courses, the School Board has adopted a weighted grade system to use in figuring grade point averages and to determine high school honors and distinctions. It is the philosophy of the Smyth County School Board that all students will have access to advanced, weighted courses. To that end a minimum of three additional advanced, weighted courses will be made available to students who do not participate in Governor’s Schools.

    In a similar manner, no high school student transferring from outside Smyth County's public schools may accumulate more weighted credits due to the transfer than are available to students in county schools.

    All advanced placement courses will be weighted. College dual credit courses will be weighted if they have an advanced curriculum and assessment component. Other courses can be granted weighted status following criteria previously adopted by the school board (Policy IZEA). No course is to be weighted solely because it is the next advanced course in a sequence.

    A current list of all courses granted weighted status will be maintained in the Smyth County Public Schools Program of Studies.

    Adopted: May 9, 2016

    Cross References

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