Section K: School-Community Relations

KA: GOALS FOR SCHOOL-COMMUNITY RELATIONS

The School Board recognizes that good school-community relations are essential to securing public input and public support for educational programs. The School Board sets goals and standards for school community relations and regularly evaluates its relationship with the public. The School Board also regularly evaluates its programs for maintaining open channels of communication and good relations with parents, community organizations, other government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses and industries, and the community at large.

Through its school-community relations program, the Board encourages the community to:

  1. take an active interest in the schools and participate in school activities;
  2. place a high priority on education and make funds available for an educational system that supports learning for all children; and
  3. establish partnerships with the schools to enhance learning opportunities.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: August 13, 2012
Revised: June 9, 2014

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KB: PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM

The Smyth County School Board recognizes the importance of providing information regarding the school division to the community. The Board will utilize all appropriate means and media in order to:

Since school publications are one means by which the public evaluates the schools, publications shall receive careful faculty supervision as well as approval of the principal to ensure acceptable standards of content and journalism.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: August 13, 2012

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KBA: REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

The Smyth County School Board complies with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. All requests for information are processed in accordance with KBA-R Requests for Information.

The name(s) and contact information for the person(s) Smyth County School Board has designated as its Freedom of Information (FOIA) Officer(s) is listed in regulation KBA-R Requests for Information. The FOIA Officer(s) serve(s) as a point of contact for members of the public in requesting public records and coordinate(s) the School Board’s compliance with FOIA. The FOIA officer(s) receive(s) training at least annually from the School Board’s legal counsel or the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

Adopted: October 8, 2012
Revised: July 11, 2016

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KBA-R: REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

The Smyth County School Board is committed to full compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and processes all requests for information in accordance with the following procedures:

Access to Records

  1. Official records subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act are open to inspection and copying during the regular office hours of the Smyth County School Board's central office.
  2. When practicable, the following records are available at the central office: ex. most recent school board meeting minutes, school board agenda, assessment information, etc.
  3. Unless otherwise specified by the FOIA Officer, inspection of records takes place at the central office of Smyth County Public Schools, and records are not removed from that site. Copies may be requested in lieu of or at the time of inspection, subject to the charges listed below. Nonexempt records maintained in an electronic database are produced in any tangible medium or format identified by the requester that is regularly used in the ordinary course of business by Smyth County School Board, including posting the records on a website or delivering the records through an electronic mail address provided by the requester.
  4. One of the following forms of identification must be presented, or a photocopy thereof must be provided, before any person is allowed to inspect any records or receive copies of any records:
    • Press identification identifying requester as a representative of a newspaper or magazine with circulation in the Commonwealth, or of a radio or television station broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth, or
    • Driver's License or other official photo identification showing that requester is a citizen of the Commonwealth.
  5. The FOIA Officer or designee is present during inspection or copying of records. A record of each inspection is made, using form KBA-F2 Record of Inspection and/or Delivery of Copies.

Request Procedures

  1. Requests for access to records shall be made with reasonable specificity.
  2. Requests shall be directed to the Smyth County Public Schools FOIA Officer at:
    FOIA Officer
    121 Bagley Circle, Suite 300
    Marion, VA 24354
    Phone: 276-783-3791
    276-783-3291 (Fax)
  3. Requesters should make their requests using Form KBA-F1 Request for Public Records. Requests received via telephone are transcribed onto Form KBA-F1 Request for Public Records by School Board staff. Written requests other than on Form KBA-F1 Request for Public Records are appended to a copy of the form by staff, who fill out as much of the form as possible.
  4. School Board staff provide Form KBA-F1 Request for Public Records and a copy of this regulation upon request to any person interested in obtaining access to records, and instruct the requester to direct the request to the FOIA Officer. Telephone inquiries are redirected to the FOIA Officer. Any written requests received by building personnel are immediately forwarded to the FOIA Officer, with a notation indicating the date and time the request was received.

Responding to Requests

Promptly, but in all cases within five working days of receiving the request, the school division provides the requested records to the requester, or makes one of the following responses in writing:

  1. The requested records are being entirely withheld. The response will identify with reasonable particularity the volume and subject matter of the withheld records, and, with respect to each category of withheld records, cite the specific Virginia Code section(s) or other law that authorizes the withholding of the records.
  2. The requested records are being provided in part and are being withheld in part. The response will identify with reasonable particularity the subject matter of the withheld portions and cite, with respect to each category of withheld records, the specific Virginia Code section(s) or other law which authorizes the withholding of the records.
  3. The requested records could not be found or do not exist. If the school division knows that another public body has the requested records, the response includes contact information for the other public body.
  4. It is not practically possible to provide the records or to determine whether they are available within the five-day period. Such response specifies the conditions which make a response impossible. If the response is made within five working days, one of the preceding responses is provided within an additional seven-day period.

No public record is withheld in its entirety on the grounds that some portion of the public record is excluded from disclosure by law. A public record may be withheld from disclosure in its entirety only to the extent that an exclusion from disclosure applies to the entire content of the public record. Otherwise, only those portions of the public record containing information subject to an exclusion may be withheld, and all portions of the public record that are not so excluded are disclosed.

The school division may petition the appropriate court for additional time to respond to a request for records when the request is for an extraordinary volume of records or requires an extraordinarily lengthy search, and a response within the time outlined above will prevent the school division from meeting its operational responsibilities. Before proceeding with the petition, the school division will make reasonable efforts to reach an agreement with the requester concerning the production of the records requested.

The five-day period begins on the first working day following the day the request is received by the school division, and ends at the close of business on the fifth working day following receipt of the request. Any time that elapses between the time the requester is notified of an advance cost determination pursuant to the procedures detailed below and the time that the requester responds to that notice is not counted in calculating the five work days.

Processing of Requests

The FOIA Officer shall, after receiving a request, promptly makes an initial determination as to whether the requested records will be provided to the requester, will be withheld, either completely or in part, or if it is practically impossible to provide the requested records or to determine whether they are available within five days.

If the FOIA Officer is unsure whether the requested documents should be provided to the requester, legal advice is promptly sought.

If the FOIA Officer is uncertain whether the requested records exist or where they may be located, efforts are promptly initiated to locate the records or determine whether they exist.

If the requested records will be made available either in whole or in part, the FOIA Officer promptly consults with School Board staff to determine the cost involved to assemble the records for inspection and copying. Where portions of individual records must be redacted prior to inspection and copying, the cost of doing this is taken into account. The following costs are charged at the rates indicated, not to exceed actual cost:

If the requester has asked for an advance determination of the cost, or if the cost is expected to exceed $200, the requester shall be notified in advance of the cost associated with the request. If the cost of the request is determined to exceed $200, the school board may, before continuing to process the request, require the requester to agree to payment of a deposit not to exceed the amount of the advance determination. The deposit shall be credited toward the final cost of supplying the requested records. No further action shall be taken until the requester responds, and the requester must agree to pay the estimated amount before any further processing of the request is performed.

Before processing a request for records, the FOIA Officer may require the requester to pay any amounts owed to the school board for previous requests for records that remain unpaid 30 days or more after billing.

If school division records have been transferred to any entity, including any other public body, for storage, maintenance, or archiving, the school division remains the custodian of the records for purposes of responding to requests and is responsible for retrieving and supplying the records to the requester.

Any records to be disclosed are assembled for inspection and copying by School Board staff, under the direction and supervision of the FOIA Officer.

School Board staff are responsible for recording the date the request was received, verifying photo identification and signature, and recording and assembling additional information about the request as indicated on Form KBA-F1 Request for Public Records.

Adopted: October 8, 2012
Revised: April 13, 2015
Revised: July 11, 2016

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KBC: MEDIA RELATIONS

Media releases by the schools are encouraged as a means of informing the public of programs, activities, and accomplishments. Staff members are encouraged to participate in activities that inform the public about school programs and activities.

News and information concerning, personnel and students shall be released to the press only with the approval of the principal and in accordance with state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. All other matters representing the official position of the Board prepared for publication by any of its employees shall be approved by the superintendent or his/her designee prior to release to the press.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: August 13, 2012

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KC: COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING

The School Board recognizes that the community resources and experience can be useful to schools. The Board may involve citizens both as individuals and as groups to act as advisors and resource people.

Public input will be carefully considered by the Board in light of division goals, current practices, and financial feasibility. All final decisions rest solely with the Board.

Adopted: January 26, 2009

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KD (Also BDDH): PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

Any citizen may address the Board at any regular or called meeting. A reasonable period of time, as determined by the School Board, will be allocated at each regular meeting for citizens to present matters of concern.

Persons wishing to be on the agenda at a School Board meeting are requested to contact the superintendent, the School Board chairman, or their designee for consideration of placement on the agenda.

The chairman is responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as appropriate including the subject being presented and length of time for such presentation. No one will be allowed to make additional presentations until everyone who wishes to speak has an opportunity to make an initial presentation. Upon recognition by the chairman, the speaker shall address himself to the chairman and if, at the conclusion of his remarks, any member of the School Board desires further information, the member will address the speaker only with the permission of the chairman. For additional information about public presentations at School Board meetings please see Rules of Decorum for Public Comment at School Board Meetings, which is a part of the Smyth County School Board Bylaws.

Adopted: April 12, 2010
Revised: April 14, 2014
Revised: July 11, 2016

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KFB: ADMINISTRATION OF SURVEYS AND QUESTIONNAIRES

I. Instructional Materials and Surveys

A. Inspection of Instructional Materials

All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material used as part of the educational curriculum for a student or used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any federally funded program are available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the student in accordance with Policy KBA Requests for Information.

B. Participation in Surveys and Evaluations

No student is required, as part of any federally funded program, to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning:

  1. political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parent,
  2. mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family,
  3. sex behavior or attitudes,
  4. illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior,
  5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships,
  6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers,
  7. religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent, or
  8. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program)

without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent.

Surveys Requesting Sexual Information

In any case in which a questionnaire or survey requesting that students provide sexual information, mental health information, medical information, information on student health risk behaviors pursuant to Va. Code § 32.1-73.8, other information on controlled substance use, or any other information that the School Board deems to be sensitive in nature is to be administered, the School Board shall notify the parent concerning the administration of such questionnaire or survey in writing at least 30 days prior to its administration. The notice will inform the parent of the nature and types of questions included in the questionnaire or survey, the purposes and age-appropriateness of the questionnaire or survey, how information collected by the questionnaire or survey will be used, who will have access to such information, the steps that will be taken to protect student privacy, and whether and how any findings or results will be disclosed. In any case in which a questionnaire or survey is required by state law or is requested by a state agency, the relevant state agency shall provide the School Board with all information required to be included in the notice to parents. The parent has the right to review the questionnaire or survey in a manner mutually agreed upon by the school and the parent and exempt the parent’s child from participating in the questionnaire or survey. Unless required by federal or state law or regulation, school personnel administering any such questionnaire or survey shall not disclose personally identifiable information.

No questionnaire or survey requesting that students provide sexual information shall be administered to any student in kindergarten through grade six.

D. Additional Protections

A parent or emancipated student may, upon request, inspect any instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum of the student and any survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed to a student. Any inspection shall be in accordance with Policy KBA Requests for Information.

In addition, in the event of the administration or distribution of a survey containing one or more of the subjects listed in subsection I.B. above, the privacy of students to whom the survey is administered will be protected by use of identification codes with names maintained separately.

II. Physical Examinations and Screenings

If Smyth County Public Schools administers any physical examinations or screenings other than

policies regarding those examinations or screenings will be developed and adopted in consultation with parents.

III. Commercial Use of Information

Questionnaires and surveys are not administered to public school students during the regular school day or at school-sponsored events without written, informed parental consent when participation in such questionnaire or survey may subsequently result in the sale for commercial purposes of personal information regarding the individual student.

This subsection does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as the following:

IV. Notification

Notification of Policies

The Board provides notice of this policy directly to parents of students annually at the beginning of the school year and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in the policy. The Board also offers an opportunity for the parent (or emancipated student) to opt the student out of participation in:

Notification of Specific Events

The Board directly notifies the parent of a student, at least annually at the beginning of the school year, of the specific or approximate dates during the school year when the following activities are scheduled, or expected to be scheduled:

V. Definitions

Instructional Material
The term "instructional material" means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of its format, including printed or representational materials, audio-visual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet). The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
Invasive Physical Examination
The term "invasive physical examination" means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or any act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision, or scoliosis screening.
Parent
The term "parent" includes a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the welfare of the child).
Personal Information
The term "personal information" means individually identifiable information including:
  • a student or parent's first and last name;
  • a home or other physical address (including street name and the name of the city or town);
  • a telephone number; or
  • a Social Security identification number.
Survey
The term "survey" includes an evaluation.

Adopted: November 12, 2012
Revised: August 10, 2015

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KGA: SALES AND SOLICITATIONS IN SCHOOLS

No one may sell or offer for sale, within the school, on school grounds, or at school-sponsored activities, any product or service except when the sale will benefit the educational program of the schools.

Solicitations for contributions to charitable organizations, dues for employee organizations, contributions for the benefit of professional organizations, or for school organizations may only be made outside school hours or with permission of the principal. Individual discussions between school division employees during school hours are not prohibited.

Adopted: June 9, 2014

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KGB: PUBLIC CONDUCT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

All visitors shall register at the school office on arrival.

No one may possess or consume any alcoholic beverage in or on the grounds of any public school property at any time or school or student activity. The only exception is for religious congregations using wine for sacramental purposes only.

In accordance with Policy KGC: Use of Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes on School Premises, the use of all tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, and all forms of smokeless tobacco are not permitted on school property or in school division vehicles at any time.

Any person found to be engaged in or advocating illegal activity while on school property, including school buses, shall be reported by the principal to the local law enforcement authorities.

Any person who willfully and maliciously damages, destroys or defaces any school district building, or damages or removes any school property, will be required to compensate the school division and may be prosecuted.

Any person who willfully interrupts or disturbs the operation of any school, or by being intoxicated, disturbs the same, whether willfully or not, may be ejected and/or prosecuted.

Adopted: March 14, 2011
Revised: June 9, 2014
Revised: July 11, 2016

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KGC: USE OF TOBACCO AND ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES ON SCHOOL PREMISES

The use of tobacco including smoking, chewing, dipping, or any other use is prohibited on school property at any time including non-school hours. In addition the use of tobacco is prohibited at any school-sponsored or school-related event on-campus. If participating as a chaperone or volunteer at an off-campus event, the use of tobacco is prohibited in the presence of children. The use of electronic cigarettes or other electronic smoking devices is also prohibited.

"School Property" shall mean all property owned, leased, rented, contracted for or otherwise utilized by the school division. This includes any building, facility, grounds, athletic field, parking lot, or vehicle used by the school division.

For purposes of this policy, "tobacco" shall include cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and all other kinds and forms of tobacco prepared in such a manner as to be suitable for smoking, chewing, or dipping. "Tobacco" also includes cloves or any other product packaged for smoking.

For purposes of this policy, "smoking" means the carrying or holding of any lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind, or any other lighted smoking equipment, or the lighting, inhaling, or exhaling of smoke from a pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind.

Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to refrain while on school property or leave the premises. Law enforcement may be contacted to escort the person off premises or cite the person for trespassing, if the person refuses to leave school property. Forfeiture of any fee charged for admission will be enforced for visitors violating this policy.

Adopted: August 9, 2010
Revised: May 13, 2013

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KH: PUBLIC GIFTS TO THE SCHOOLS

The School Board shall act on offers of gifts to schools or to the school division. The School Board may impose reasonable conditions on donations.

When any real or personal property is given to and accepted by the Board, it shall be vested in the Board unless inconsistent with the terms of the gift, devise or bequest, and shall be managed by the Board, according to the wishes of the donor or testator. The Board shall, in addition to the regular settlement it is required to make of all school funds, settle annually before the commissioner of accounts so far as the management of the property bequeathed or devised is concerned.

In the case of any change in the boundaries of the division, the Board shall make provision for continuing the fulfillment of the purposes of the donor as far as practicable and settlement shall be made as provided for above.

Adopted: May 28, 2013

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KJ: ADVERTISING IN THE SCHOOLS

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

School organizations must secure approval from the principal before soliciting advertisements for school publications. If there is need for policy clarification, the principal shall consult with the superintendent.

Commercial establishments whose primary source of revenue is the sale of intoxicants may not advertise in school publications.

Neither the facilities, nor the staff, nor the students of any school may be used in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial or other non-school organization. The superintendent may at his/her discretion authorize announcements for activities and programs that have educational or recreational value.

Soliciting Advertisements

All school-sponsored organizations must have approval from the Superintendent prior to soliciting advertisements, other than for school publications, from local merchants. Frequency and amount is to be kept in mind when granting approval.

Adopted: June 9, 2014

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KK: SCHOOL VISITORS

Generally

Visitors are welcome in the schools as long as their presence is not disruptive. Upon arriving at a school, all visitors must report to the administrative office. Potential visitors, including parents, who are registered sex offenders, should consult Policy KN Sex Offender Registry Notification before arriving at school property or school sponsored activities. The school division expects mutual respect, civility, and orderly conduct from all individuals on school property and at school events. Unauthorized persons, including suspended and expelled students, will be requested to leave school grounds by the building administrator or his/her designee. Unauthorized persons who fail to leave the school grounds or school activity as requested will be considered trespassers. The School Board authorizes the superintendent to take all necessary actions regarding the safety, order and preservation of the educational environment on School Board property or at school division sponsored activities. Law enforcement may be called to enforce this policy.

Anyone, including students, who enters a school at nighttime without the consent of an authorized person except to attend an approved meeting or service or who enters or remains on any school property, including school buses, in violation of (i) any direction to vacate the property by an authorized individual or (ii) any posted notice which contains such information, posted at a place where it reasonably may be seen may be prosecuted.

Parents

Parents are encouraged to visit the schools on scheduled days for conferences with teachers, assemblies, parent/teacher organization meetings, volunteer service, and other school programs. Noncustodial parents are not denied, solely on the basis of their noncustodial status, the opportunity to participate in any of the student's school activities in which such participation is supported or encouraged by the policies of the School Board. Parents and interested citizens may visit Smyth County Schools to observe the instructional program and related activities with prior notice to the respective principal.

Board Members

Periodically, board members may visit schools within the division. The purpose of these visits is to maintain contact with building employees and increase understanding of actual educational practices.

Adopted: November 9, 2009
Revised: November 8, 2010
Revised: April 13, 2015

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KKA: SERVICE ANIMALS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

A. Service Animals

An individual with a disability is permitted to be accompanied by his/her service animal on school property when required by law, subject to the conditions of this policy.

A “service animal” means a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. (See, however, Section D regarding miniature horses.) The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.

School officials can ask the owner or handler of an animal whether the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to do unless the answers to these inquiries are readily apparent. School officials may not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability and may not require documentary proof of certification or licensing as a service animal.

B. Requirements That Must be Satisfied Before a Service Animal Will be Allowed on School Property

Request: A person who wants to be accompanied by his/her service animal must make a prior written request of the school’s principal if the service animal will come into a school. A person who wants to be accompanied by his/her service animal must make a prior written request of the superintendent for all other locations. These requests must be renewed each school year.

Vaccination: The service animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal.

Health: The service animal must be in good health. The owner or handler of the animal must submit to the school principal each school year documentation from a licensed veterinarian of the following: a current veterinary health certificate; and proof of the service animal’s current vaccinations and immunizations.

Control: A service animal must be under the control of its handler at all times. The service animal must have a harness, backpack or vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog, a leash (blaze orange in color) for hearing dogs, a harness for guide dogs, or other tether unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, backpack, vest, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, backpack, vest, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control.

C. Service Dogs in Training

Experienced trainers of service animals may be accompanied on school property by a dog that is in training to become a service animal. The dog must be at least six months of age. Trainers must wear a jacket identifying the organization to which they belong. Persons conducting continuing training of a service animal may be accompanied by a service animal while on school property for the purpose of school business. Persons who are part of a three-unit service dog team may be accompanied by a service dog while on school property provided that person is conducting continuing training of a service dog. A three-unit service dog team consists of a trained service dog, a disabled person, and a person who is an adult and who has been trained to handle the service dog. The dogs may accompany these persons while on school property for school purposes.

Use of Harnesses, Vests, etc. A dog that is in training to become a guide dog or a currently trained guide dog that is undergoing continuing training must be in a harness.

A dog that is in training to become a hearing dog or a currently trained hearing dog that is undergoing continuing training must be on a blaze orange leash.

A dog that is in training to become a service dog or a currently trained service dog that is undergoing continuing training must be in a harness, backpack, or a vest identifying the dog as a trained service dog.

The training cannot disrupt or interfere with a school’s educational process. It is expected that training would not normally take place in the classroom during instructional time.

All requirements of this policy which apply to service animals, such as health certificates, annual written requests, and supervision, care and damages, also apply to dogs in training.

D. Miniature Horses

The school division will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability. In determining whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility, the school division must consider the following factors:

  1. The type, size, and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features;
  2. Whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse;
  3. Whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and
  4. Whether the miniature horse’s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.

All additional requirements outlined in this policy, which apply to service animals, shall apply to miniature horses.

E. Extra Charges

The owner or handler of a service animal cannot be required to pay an admission fee or a charge for the animal to attend events for which a fee is charged.

F. Supervision and Care of Service Animals

The owner or handler of a service animal is responsible for the supervision and care of the animal, including any feeding, exercising, and clean up.

G. Damages to School Property and Injuries

The owner or handler of a service animal is solely responsible for any damage to school property or injury to personnel, students, or others caused by the animal.

H. Removal of Service Animals from School Property

A school administrator or designee can require an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from school property under the following circumstances:

  1. The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it;
  2. The animal is not housebroken;
  3. The presence of the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others; or
  4. The presence of an animal would require a fundamental alteration to the service, program, or activity of the school division.

If the service animal is removed, the individual with a disability shall be provided with the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without the service animal.

I. Denial of Access and Grievance

If a school official denies a request for access of a service animal or a dog in training, the disabled individual or parent or guardian can file a written grievance with the school division’s Section 504 Coordinator.

Adopted: December 8, 2008
Revised: August 10, 2015

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KL: PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

Complaints involving a particular school are handled within the school through the established channel of responsibility. If the complaint cannot be resolved at the level of the principal, it is referred to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee. If the central office staff and complainant cannot reach a satisfactory solution, the matter may, at the School Board's discretion, be heard at a regular board meeting.

Any parent, custodian, or legal guardian of a pupil attending Smyth County Public Schools who is aggrieved by an action of the School Board may, within thirty days after such action, petition the local circuit court to review the action of the school board. The court will sustain the action of the School Board unless the board exceeded its authority, acted arbitrarily or capriciously, or abused its discretion.

Adopted: April 14, 2009
Revised: June 9, 2014

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KLB: PUBLIC COMPLAINTS ABOUT LEARNING RESOURCES

The selection of learning resources is delegated to the school principal and school division superintendent or his/her designee. Despite the care taken in selecting suitable learning resources, and despite the qualifications and expertise of persons involved in that selection process, it is recognized that occasional objections to materials will be made by the public. It is, therefore, the policy of the School Board to provide channels of communication and a fair procedure for citizens to follow in expressing and resolving concerns about learning resources, including instructional materials, used in teaching the curriculum. If there are objections concerning learning resources, the procedure for filing a complaint will be as follows:

  1. The complaint should be filed in writing with the principal on the "Request for Review of Learning Resources" form KLB-E. This form may be obtained from the principal or the central office.
  2. A review committee consisting of the principal, the library media specialist (if applicable), a classroom teacher, a parent and/or student, and other appropriate staff to be determined by the principal will convene. The responsibilities of the committee will be to:
    1. read, view or listen to the challenged material;
    2. read several reviews, if available;
    3. check standard selection aids;
    4. talk with persons who may be knowledgeable about the material in question and similar material;
    5. discuss the material;
    6. make a decision to recommend retaining or withdrawing the material;
    7. file the recommendation of the committee with the principal and the superintendent or his/her designee;
    8. notify the complainant of its recommendation and the disposition of the challenged material.
  3. Materials shall be considered for their educational suitability and shall not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  4. Challenges which are not resolved at the building level shall be submitted to the superintendent or his/her designee. The decision of the superintendent may be appealed to the School Board or reviewed at the Board's request. The decision of the Board will be final.
  5. Adopted: November 14, 2011

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    KM: RELATIONS WITH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

    The Schools shall cooperate with other governmental organizations and non profit and non partisan agencies, such as social services, recreation, health, safety, fire, civil defense, and law enforcement agencies, in promoting the general public interest and the educational welfare of the students.

    Adopted: April 14, 2009

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    KMA: RELATIONS WITH PARENT ORGANIZATIONS

    The School Board encourages the establishment of parent teacher organizations that seek to advance programs that improve educational opportunities for all students consistent with state and federal laws. The School Board requests that parent-teacher organizations maintain a close relationship with the Board, administration, and staff, and that they plan their actions in accordance with established School Board and school policies when planning activities.

    Adopted: December 8, 2008
    Revised: June 9, 2014

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    KN: SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY NOTIFICATION

    Smyth County Public Schools recognizes the danger sex offenders pose to student safety. Therefore, to protect students while they travel to and from school, attend school or are at school-related activities, each school in our school division shall request electronic notification of the registration or re-registration of any sex offender in the same or contiguous zip codes as the school. Such requests and notifications shall be made according to the procedure established by the Virginia Department of State Police (State Police).

    Annual Notification

    At the beginning of each school year, Smyth County Public Schools shall notify parents and employees of this policy. The school board will also annually notify the parent of each student enrolled in the school division of the availability of information in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and the location of the Internet website.

    Dissemination of Sex Offender Registry Information

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

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

    Smyth County Public Schools recognizes that it is the responsibility of local law enforcement to notify the community of potential public danger. Therefore, the division will not disseminate registry information to parents.

    Use of Sex Offender Registry Information

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

    Registered Sex Offender Sighted

    If a notified employee sees a registered sex offender on or near school property, around any school division student, or attending any school division activity, the Superintendent or his designee shall be notified immediately. The Superintendent or his designee may, in his or her discretion, notify local law-enforcement.

    School Volunteers and Student Teachers

    Each staff member shall submit to the Principal the name and address of each volunteer the staff member proposes to use as soon as the person is identified. The Principal shall screen each student teacher and volunteer's name and address against the registry information. If a match is found, the Principal shall notify the Superintendent, who shall confirm the match. If the match is confirmed, the Superintendent shall inform the individual, in writing, that he or she may not serve as a volunteer or student teacher. The notice shall provide the reason with reference to this policy. The Superintendent shall provide a copy of the notice to the Principal and to the staff member that initially proposed the volunteer, if any.

    Contractors' Employees

    In addition to ensuring that the certification requirements of Policy DJF Purchasing Procedures are met, the Superintendent shall include the following language in all school division contracts that may involve an employee of the contractor having any contact with a student:

    The contractor shall not send any employee or agent who is a registered sex offender to any school building or school property. Monthly, the contractor shall check the registry to determine if any employee is registered.

    School Division Employees

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

    Applicants for Employment

    Before hiring any person, the Superintendent shall determine whether the prospective employee is a registered sex offender. If the prospective employee is a registered sex offender, he or she shall not be hired by the division.

    Parents of Students

    When the school division learns that a parent of an enrolled student is a registered sex offender, the parent will be notified in writing that he or she is barred from being present at school or at school functions.

    Voting

    A sex offender who is a lawfully registered and qualified voter in an election that is held on a specific school property is permitted to enter that school property only for the purpose of casting his or her vote during elections. Prior to entering the property to cast his or her vote however, the sex offender must notify the principal or his/her designee. The sex offender's presence on the property shall not exceed the time actually required for the offender to cast his vote, and the sex offender shall be permitted to be present only in the physical space on the school property that is reserved for voting.

    Precautions to Protect Students

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

    Requests for Registry Information

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

    Adopted: April 14, 2009
    Revised: January 25, 2010

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    KNAJ: RELATIONS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES

    Investigations by Law Enforcement Officers at School

    When it becomes necessary for any law enforcement officer to interview or interrogate a student on school premises, the principal is contacted immediately. The principal or principal's designee makes a reasonable effort to contact the parent or guardian and have the parent or guardian in attendance for the conference. If the parent or guardian cannot be present for the conference, then the principal or principal's designee is present throughout the interview or interrogation.

    Service of Process at School

    Should there be a need to serve a student or school employee with any "legal process", the School Board encourages the process server to make all reasonable attempts to serve such documents off school premises; however, if the documents must be served on school premises, they should be served at the principal's office of the school which the student attends or the main office of the facility at which the employee is assigned.

    In any case in which custody or visitation of a minor child is at issue and a summons is issued for the attendance and testimony of a teacher or other school employee who is not a party to the proceeding, if such summons is served on school property, it may be served only by a sheriff or his deputy.

    Development of Programs

    The superintendent seeks to develop, in cooperation with the local law-enforcement agencies, juvenile and domestic relations court judges and personnel, parents, and the community at large, programs and procedures to prevent violence and crime on school property and at school-sponsored events. The superintendent obtains and uses Sex Offender Registry information in accordance with Policy KN: Sex Offender Registry Notification.

    Report to Law Enforcement Officials

    Except as may otherwise be required by federal law, regulation, or jurisprudence, the principal immediately reports to local law-enforcement officials all incidents listed below that may constitute a criminal offense:

    1. assault and battery which results in bodily injury, sexual assault, death, shooting, stabbing, cutting, or wounding of any person or stalking of any person as described in Va. Code § 18.2-60.3, on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; or
    2. any conduct involving alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or an anabolic steroid on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity, including the theft of or attempted theft of student prescription medications; or
    3. any threats against school personnel while on a school bus, on school property, or at school-sponsored activity; or
    4. the illegal carrying of a firearm, as defined by Va. Code § 22.1-277.07, onto school property;
    5. any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive materials or devices, or hoax explosive devices, as defined in Va. Code § 18.2-85, or explosive or incendiary devices, as defined in Va. Code § 18.2-433.1, or chemical bombs, as described in Va. Code § 18.2-87.1, on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; or
    6. any threats or false threats to bomb, as described in Va. Code § 18.2-83, made against school personnel or involving school property or school buses.

    The principal may report to local law enforcement officials any incident involving the assault or assault and battery, without bodily injury, of any person on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity.

    Adopted: January 12, 2009
    Revised: June 28, 2011
    Revised: April 13, 2015

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    KNB: REPORTS OF MISSING CHILDREN

    The Smyth County School Division shall receive reports of the disappearance of any child living within the school division from local law enforcement pursuant to Va. Code § 52-31.1.

    Upon notification by a local law-enforcement agency of a child's disappearance, the principal of the school in which the child was enrolled at the time of the disappearance shall indicate, by mark, in the child's cumulative record that the child has been reported as missing. Upon notification by law enforcement that the child is located, the principal shall remove the mark from the record.

    Upon receiving a request from any school or person for copies of the cumulative records and birth certificate of any child who has been reported by a local law-enforcement agency to be missing, the school being requested to transfer the records shall immediately notify the law-enforcement agency that provided the report to the school of the child's disappearance of the location of the school or person requesting the cumulative records and birth certificate of the child, without alerting the requestor of such report.

    For the purposes of this policy, a "mark" means an electronic or other indicator that (i) is readily apparent on the student's record and (ii) will immediately alert any school personnel that the record is that of a missing child.

    Adopted: December 8, 2008

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    KP: PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

    A. When parents of a student are estranged, separated, or divorced, all personnel will respect the parental rights of both parents. Unless there is a court order to the contrary, both parents have the right to:

    1. view the child's school records, in accordance with Policy JO: Student Records;
    2. receive school progress reports, the school calendar, and notices of major school events;
    3. visit the school in accordance with Policies KK: School Visitors and KN: Sex Offender Registry Notification;
    4. participate in parent-teacher conferences; in the case of the noncustodial parent, after a timely request is made;
    5. receive all notifications in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
    6. receive notice of the student's extended absence, as defined in and pursuant to Policy JED: Student Absences/Excuses/Dismissals, if both parents have joint physical custody.

    Parent Responsibilities

    The custodial parent has the responsibility to:

    1. keep the school office informed of his address and how he or she may be contacted at all times;
    2. provide the current address and phone number of the noncustodial parent at registration unless such address is unknown and the parent signs a statement to that effect, or unless a court order restricts the educational or contact rights of the noncustodial parent; and
    3. provide a copy of any legal document which restricts the educational and/or contact rights of the noncustodial parent.

    The noncustodial parent has the responsibility to keep the school office apprised of changes in his or her current phone number and address. Further, the noncustodial parent may make timely requests to participate in parent-teacher conferences. At the request of a noncustodial parent, such parent will be included as an emergency contact for the student's activities unless a court order has been issued to the contrary.

    Adopted: October 12, 2009
    Revised: August 13, 2012

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    KQ: COMMERCIAL, PROMOTIONAL, AND CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS

    Generally

    The Smyth County School Board recognizes that corporate and other private sponsorship of programs and activities related to education can provide valuable enhancement of the educational program offered by the Board. For that reason, the Smyth County School Board may enter into commercial, promotional, and corporate sponsorship and partnership arrangements under certain conditions.

    Definitions

    An “educational partnership” is a mutually beneficial, co-operative relationship in which partners share values, objectives, and/or human or financial resources to enhance learning for students.

    An “educational sponsorship” is a an arrangement pursuant to which the sponsor provides money, price reductions, equipment, materials, services, or other benefits in exchange for recognition of its products or entity for a specified period of time.

    Authority to Enter into Agreements

    On behalf of the School Board, principals may enter into sponsorships and partnerships for their schools when the sponsorship or partnership does not extend beyond a single school year or exceed $5,000 in value to the school.

    On behalf of the School Board, the superintendent may enter into sponsorships and partnerships which will benefit more than one school or the division as a whole. The superintendent may also enter into sponsorships and partnerships when the sponsorship or partnership extends beyond a single school year or exceeds $5,000 in value.

    The School Board may create a Sponsorship Review Committee to approve any sponsorship or partnership which the Board determines should be considered by the Committee. The School Board shall establish criteria identifying proposed sponsorships and partnerships which must be approved by the Committee rather than by a principal or the superintendent. If the Committee’s decision regarding the proposed sponsorship or partnership is not unanimous, the decision may be appealed to the school board by either the potential sponsor or partner or by a member of the Sponsorship Review Committee.

    Requirements

    Any agreement to enter into an educational sponsorship or educational partnership will be in writing.

    The written agreement shall include:

    Prohibitions

    No agreement shall be entered into if the sponsorship or partnership involves or gives the appearance of involving any activity which could result in the following:

    Adopted: June 9, 2014

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