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

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-79, 22.1-253.13:7.C.4.

Cross References

  • AF: Comprehensive Plan
  • KB: Public Information Program
  • KBC: Media Relations
  • KF: Distribution of Information/Materials
  • KG: Community Use of School Facilities
  • KMA: Relations With Parent Organizations
  • KNAJ: Relations With Law Enforcement Authorities
  • KQ: Commercial, Promotional, and Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships
  • IGBC: Parental Involvement

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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:

  • Explain the programs, achievements, and needs of the school division;
  • Keep students, parents/guardians, and staff members fully informed about Board policies and procedures as well as their own rights and responsibilities;
  • Communicate factual information regarding the school division: and
  • Involve students, parents/guardians, and the community in discussions regarding education programs, student activities, and Board policy.

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
Revised: February 10, 2020

 

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 2.2-3700 et seq.

Cross References

  • KA: Goals for School-Community Relations
  • KBA: Requests for Public Records
  • KBC: Media Relations

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KBA: REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS

The Smyth County School Board complies with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Except otherwise specifically provided by law, all public records are open to citizens of the Commonwealth, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation in the Commonwealth and representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth during the regular office hours of the custodian of such records. All requests for information are processed in accordance with KBA-R Requests for Public Records.

Officers, employees, and members of the School Board who fail to provide public records as required by FOIA because they have altered or destroyed the requested records with the intent to avoid the provisions of FOIA are subject to penalties in their individual capacity of up to $100 per record altered or destroyed.

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 Public Records and posted at the School Board office and on the division’s website. 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 once during each consecutive period of two calendar years beginning on the date on which the FOIA Officer last completed a training session from the School Board’s legal counsel or the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

Adopted: October 8, 2012
Revised: July 11, 2016
Revised: February 12, 2018
Revised: August 12, 2019
Revised: February 10, 2020
Revised: February 8, 2021

 

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 2.2-3704, 2.2-3704.2.
 

Cross References:

  • KBA-R: Requests for Public Records

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KBA-E: Rights and Responsibilities

The Rights of Requestors and the Responsibilities of Smyth County Public Schools under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located at § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees.

A public record is any writing or recording – regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording or record in any other format – that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open to the public and may only be withheld if a specific statutory exemption applies.

The policy of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

FOIA Rights

  • A citizen of the Commonwealth has the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
  • A citizen of the Commonwealth has the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
  • If a citizen of the Commonwealth believes that their FOIA rights have been violated, the citizen may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA. Alternatively, they may contact the FOIA Council for a nonbinding advisory opinion.

Making a Request for Records from Smyth County Public Schools

  • A citizen of the Commonwealth may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person or over the phone. FOIA does not require that a request be in writing, nor that it specifically state that records are being requested under FOIA.
  • As a practical matter, it may be helpful to both the requestor and the person receiving the request to put the request in writing. This creates a record of the request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records are requested, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to a FOIA request if it is not put in writing.
  • A request must identify the records sought with “reasonable specificity.” This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records requested; instead, it requires the requestor to be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that are requested.
  • A request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA creates a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to general questions about the work of Smyth County Public Schools, nor does it require Smyth County Public Schools to create a record that does not exist.
  • A requestor may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by Smyth County Public Schools in the regular course of business. For example, if requested records are maintained in an Excel file, the requestor you may elect to receive those records electronically, via e-mail or on a computer disk or to receive a printed copy of those records.
  • If we have questions about a request, please cooperate with staff’s efforts to clarify the type of records sought, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss a request to ensure that we understand what records are being sought.

To request records from Smyth County Public Schools, direct your request to Smyth County Schools Public Schools’ designated Freedom of Information Act Officer (FOIA Officer) who is responsible for serving as a point of contact for members of the public who wish to request public records. The Smyth County Public Schools FOIA Officer is: Dennis Carter, Superintendent, 276-783-3791

In addition, the FOIA Advisory Council is available to answer questions about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at foiacouncil@dls.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-3056 or 1-866-448-4100.

Smyth County Public Schools’ Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request

Smyth County Public Schools must respond to a request within five working days of receiving it. “Day One” is considered the day after the request is received. The 5-day period does not include weekends or holidays.

The reason behind a request for public records from Smyth County Public Schools is irrelevant and a requestor does not have to state why they want the records before we respond to the request. FOIA does, however, allow Smyth County Public Schools to require a requestor to provide their name and legal address.

FOIA requires that Smyth County Public Schools make one of the following responses to a request within the 5-day time period:

  1. We provide the records requested in their entirety.
  2. We withhold all of the records requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption or exemptions. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send a response in writing. That writing must identify the volume and subject matter of the records withheld and state the specific section(s) of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
  3. We provide some of the records requested, but withhold other records. We cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record that may be withheld, and must provide the remainder of the record. We must provide the requestor a written response stating the specific section(s) of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld.
  4. We inform the requestor in writing that the requested records cannot be found or do not exist (we do not have the records requested). However, if we know that another public body has the requested records, we must include contact information for the other public body in our response.
  5. If it is practically impossible for Smyth County Public Schools to respond to the request within the 5-day period, we must state this in writing, explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This will allow us 7 additional working days to respond to the request, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to the request.

If a request is made for a very large number of records and we feel that we cannot provide the records within 12 working days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to the request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with the requestor concerning the production of the records before we go to court to ask for more time.

Costs

Smyth County Public Schools may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching for the requested records. Smyth County Public Schools will not impose any extraneous, intermediary or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the schools. Any duplicating fee charged by Smyth County Public Schools will not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the requestor as set forth in subsection Va. Code § 2.2- 3704.F.

The requestor may have to pay for the records requested from the Smyth County Public Schools. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This includes items like staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It does not include general overhead costs.

If we estimate that it will cost more than $200 to respond to a request, we may require the requestor to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with the request. The five days that we have to respond to the request does not include the time between when we ask for a deposit and when the requestor responds.

A requestor may request that we estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records requested. This will allow the requestor to know about any costs upfront, or give the requestor the opportunity to modify the request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.

If a requestor owes us money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, Smyth County Public Schools may require payment of the pastdue bill before it will respond to a new FOIA request.

Types of Records

The following is a general description of the types of records held by Smyth County Public Schools:

  • Personnel records concerning employees and officials of Smyth County Public Schools
  • Scholastic records
  • Business and finance records
  • Operational records involving support departments such as Technology, Transportation, Facilities, Food Services, etc.
  • Agendas, minutes and other records of the meetings of the School Board and committees appointed by the School Board (which are also available on the Smyth County Public Schools website)
  • Records of contracts to which Smyth County Public Schools is a party

Commonly Used Exemptions

The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. Smyth County Public Schools commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:

  • Personnel records (§ 2.2-3705.1 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
  • Records subject to attorney-client privilege (§ 2.2-3705.1 (2)) or attorney work product (§ 2.2-3705.1 (3))
  • Vendor proprietary information (§ 2.2-3705.1 (6))
  • Records relating to the negotiation and award of a contract, prior to a contract being awarded (§ 2.2-3705.1 (12))
  • Records related to critical incident response (§ 2.2-3705.2 (14))
  • Scholastic records (§ 2.2-3705.4(1) and 20 U.S.C. § 1232g)

Policy Regarding the Use of Exemptions

The general policy of Smyth County Public Schools is to invoke the personnel records exemption in those instances where it applies in order to protect the privacy of employees and officials of Smyth County Public Schools.

The general policy of Smyth County Public Schools is to invoke the contract negotiations exemption whenever it applies in order to protect Smyth County Public Schools bargaining position and negotiating strategy.

The general policy of Smyth County Public Schools is to invoke the scholastic records exemption in those instances where it applies in order to protect the privacy of students and comply with other state and federal laws governing the privacy of student records.

Approved: February 12, 2018

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:

  • Staff member search time, charged by the quarter hour. Depending on the staff member(s) involved in the search, rates of $2.00 to $12.00 per quarter hour may apply.
  • Computer search time, charged at the rate of $10.00 per quarter hour
  • Computer printouts, charged at the rate of .10 cents per page
  • Photocopies (including those necessary to perform redactions), charged at the rate of .10 cents per page.
  • Incidental out-of-pocket costs necessary to assemble the records (for example: phone, postage, or courier charges).

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

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 2.2-3704.

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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 is released 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
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-287, 22.1-287.1.

Cross References

  • JO: Student Records
  • KA: Goals for School-Community Relations
  • KB: Public Information Program

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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

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1 86, 22.1-253.13:7.

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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 chair, or their designee for consideration of placement on the agenda.

The chair 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 chair, the speaker shall address chair and if, at the conclusion of the speaker's remarks, any member of the School Board desires further information, the member will address the speaker only with the permission of the chair. 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
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:7.

Cross References

  • Rules of Decorum for Public Comment at School Board Meetings–Smyth County School Board Bylaws

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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

  • those required by Virginia law, and
  • surveys administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,

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:

  • college or other post-secondary education recruitment, or military recruitment;
  • book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low-cost literary products;
  • curriculum and instructional materials used by elementary schools and secondary schools;
  • tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
  • the sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities; and
  • student recognition programs.

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:

  • activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose);
  • the administration of any survey containing one or more items listed in subsection I.B. above; or
  • any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is:
    • required as a condition of attendance;
    • administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and
    • not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students.

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:

  • activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose);
  • the administration of any survey containing one or more items listed in subsection I.B. above; or
  • any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is:
    • required as a condition of attendance;
    • administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and
    • not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students.

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

Legal References

  • 20 U.S.C. § 1232h.
  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-79.3.

Cross References

  • IFB: Pilot, Research or Experimental Projects
  • JHDA: Human Research
  • KBA: Requests for Information
  • KF: Distribution of Information/Materials
  • LE: Relations with Colleges and Universities

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KGA: SALES AND SOLICITATIONS IN SCHOOLS

No one may sell or offer for sale, within the school, schools, 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
Revised: August 12, 2019

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78.

Cross References

  • DJG: Vendor Relations
  • GAH: School Employee Conflict of Interests
  • GCQAB: Tutoring for Pay
  • JHCH: School Meals and Snacks
  • JL: Fund Raising and Solicitation
  • KG: Community Use of School Facilities
  • KJ: Advertising in the Schools
  • KK: Visitors to the Schools

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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: Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products, use of tobacco products and nicotine vapor products is not permitted in schools, at school-sponsored events, or in school vehicles. 

Any person found to be engaged in or advocating illegal activity while on school property, including school buses, is 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, is 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
Revised: March 9, 2020
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

  • 20 U.S.C. §§ 6083, 7973.
  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 4.1-309, 18.2 415, 18.2-128, 18.2-138, 22.1-78, and 22.1-79.5.

Cross References

  • ECAB: Vandalism
  • GBEC/JFCH/KGC: Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products
  • KK: School Visitors
  • KN: Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Information

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KGC: TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND NICOTINE VAPOR PRODUCTS

Generally

Students are prohibited from possessing any tobacco product or nicotine vapor product on a school bus, on school property, or at an on-site or off-site school sponsored activity.

In addition, the use or distribution of any tobacco product or nicotine vapor product, on a school bus, on school property, or at an on-site or off-site school sponsored activity is prohibited.

The superintendent is responsible for developing a regulation which contains
  • Provisions for the enforcement of this policy among students, employees, and visitors, including the enumeration of possible sanctions or disciplinary actions, and
  • Referrals to resources to help staff and students overcome tobacco addiction.


Definitions

“Nicotine vapor product” means any noncombustible product containing nicotine that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, that can be used to produce vapor from nicotine in a solution or other form. “Nicotine vapor product” includes any electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device and any cartridge or other container of nicotine in a solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device. “Nicotine vapor product:
does not include any product regulated by the FDA under Chapter V (21 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
“Tobacco product” means any product made of tobacco and includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, and wrappings. “Tobacco product” does not include any nicotine vapor product, alternative nicotine product, or product that is regulated by the FDA under Chapter V (21 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.) of the Federal Food,
Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
 Adopted: August 9, 2010
Revised: May 13, 2013
Revised: March 9, 2020

 

Legal References

  • 20 U.S.C. §§ 6083, 7183.
  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 15.2-2820, 15.2-2824, 15.2-2825, 15.2-2827, 22.1-79.5, 22.1-279.6.

Cross References

  • CLA: Reporting Acts of Violence and Substance Abuse
  • GBEC/JFCH: Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products
  • JFC-R: Standards of Student Conduct
  • KG: Community Use of School Facilities
  • KGB: Public Conduct on School Property
 

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KH: PUBLIC GIFTS TO THE SCHOOLS

The School Board acts 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 vests in the Board unless inconsistent with the terms of the gift, devise or bequest, and is managed by the Board, according to the wishes of the donor or testator. The Board, in addition to the regular settlement it is required to make of all school funds, settles 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
Revised: March 9, 2020

 

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1 126.

Cross References

  • FFA: Naming School Facilities
  • KJ: Advertising in the Schools
  • KQ: Commercial, Promotional, and Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships
 

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KJ: ADVERTISING IN THE SCHOOLS

Individual schools may not endorse or imply endorsement of any product. All requests for endorsement must 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 consults with the superintendent.

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

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
Revised: March 9, 2020

 

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78.

Cross References

  • DJG: Vendor Relations
  • JP: Student Publications
  • KF: Distribution of Information/Materials
  • KGA: Sales and Solicitations in Schools
  • KQ: Commercial, Promotional, and Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships

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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 and Crimes Against Minors Registry Information 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
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 18.2 128; 18.2-415, 22.1-4.3, 22.1-79.

Cross References

  • DJG: Vendor Relations
  • ECA: Inventory and Reporting of Loss or Damage
  • GBA/IIBEA: Acceptable Computer System Use
  • IGBC: Parental Involvement
  • KGB: Public Conduct on School Property
  • KN: Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Information
  • KP: Parental Rights and Responsibilities

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KKA: SERVICE ANIMALS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

A. Service Animals

An individual with a disability is permitted to be accompanied by the individual’s 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

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

Health: The service animal must be in good health. 

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 considers 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, apply to miniature horses.

E. Extra Charges

The owner or handler of a service animal is not 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
Revised: March 11, 2019
Revised: October 12, 2020
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

  • 28 C.F.R. 35.104, 35.136
  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 51.5-44.

Cross References

  • DJG: Vendor Relations
  • GB: Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination
  • JB: Equal Educational Opportunities/Nondiscrimination
  • JFHA/GBA: Sexual Harassment/Harassment Based on Race, National Origin, Disability and Religion
  • KK: School Visitors
  • KGB: Public Conduct on School Property
  • KN: Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Information

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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

Legal References

  • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-87, 22.1-253.13:7

Cross References

  • GB: Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination
  • GBA/JFHA: Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation
  • GBLA: Third Party Complaints Against Employees
  • JB: Equal Educational Opportunities/Nondiscrimination

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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.

Adopted: November 14, 2011

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-253.13:7.C.2.
      • 8 VAC 20-720-160.

Cross References

      • IIA: Instructional Materials
      • IGAH: Family Life Education
      • INB: Teaching About Controversial Issues
      • KL: Public Complaints
      • KQ: Commercial, Promotional, and Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships

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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

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:7.C.4.

Cross References

      • KF: Distribution of Information/Materials

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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

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:7.C.4.

Cross References

      • IGBC: Parental Involvement
      • KF: Distribution of Information/Materials

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KN: SEX OFFENDER AND CRIMES AGAINST MINORS REGISTRY INFORMATION

Generally


Each school in the division registers with the Department of State Police to receive electronic notice of the registration, reregistration, or verification of registration information of any person required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (the Registry) within the division. The superintendent establishes procedures regarding the use and distribution of information received from the Registry. Information received from the Registry may not be used to intimidate or harass.

The superintendent notifies  the parent of each student enrolled in the school division of the availability of information in the Registry and the location of the website.

Visitors to Schools

When the school division learns that a parent, other than a parent who has beenconvicted of a Tier III offense as defined in Va. Code § 9.1-902, of an enrolled student is required to register with the Registry, the parent is notified in writing that he or she is barred from being present at school or at school functions without the express written approval of the student’s principal. Such approval must be obtained in advance of the
proposed visit and will state the conditions under which the parent may be present. When such a parent is permitted at school or at school functions the parent is monitored to ensure that he or she does not come into contact with any children other than the parent’s own children.

When the school division learns that any person other than the parent of an enrolled student, who is required to register with the Registry, but who has not been convicted of a Tier III offense, as defined in Va. Code § 9.1-902, seeks to be present at school or at school functions, the person is notified in writing that he or she is barred from being present at school or school functions without the express written approval of the principal of the school the person seeks to visit or which sponsors the event the person seeks to attend. Such approval must be obtained in advance of the proposed visit and, if obtained, will state the conditions under which the person may be present. One of the conditions will be that the person will be monitored to ensure the safety of students, staff, and others.

Principals consider requests to be present at school or at school sponsored activities from all persons who are required to register with the Registry but have not been convicted of a Tier III offense as defined in Va. Code § 9.1-902 in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent.

No adult who has been convicted of a Tier III offense, as defined in Va. Code § 9.1-902, may enter or be present during school hours, and during school-related or school-sponsored activities on any property the person knows or has reason to know is a school or child day center property, school bus, or on any property, public or private, when such property is solely being used by an elementary or secondary school for a school-related or school-sponsored activity unless

  • the person is a lawfully registered and qualified voter and is coming upon such property solely to vote;
  • the person is a student enrolled at the school; or
  • the person has obtained a court order pursuant to Va. Code 18.2-370.5.C allowing the person to enter and be present upon such property, has obtained the permission of the School Board or its designee for entry within all or part of the scope of the lifted ban, and is in compliance with the School Board’s terms
    and conditions and those of the court order.
Adopted: April 14, 2009
Revised: January 25, 2010
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-79, 22.1-79.3, , 9.1-
        902, 9.1-914, and 19.2-390.1. 9.1-918 and 18.2-370.5.
      • Commonwealth v. Doe, 278 Va. 223

Cross References

      • BBA: School Board Powers and Duties
      • DJF: Purchasing Procedures
      • KK: School Visitors
      • KNAJ: Relations with Law Enforcement Authorities

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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 And Crimes Against Minors Registry Information.

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 felony 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.

If the local law-enforcement agency employs school resource officers, the School Board and the agency have a memorandum of understanding that sets forth the powers and duties of the school resource officers. The memorandum of understanding addresses the use of seclusion and restraint by law enforcement personnel in school settings. The memorandum of understanding addresses the use of seclusion and restraint by law enforcement personnel in school settings. The School Board and the law-enforcement agency review and amend or affirm the memorandum of understanding at least every two years or at any time upon the request of either party. The School Board provides notice and an opportunity for public input during each review period for the memorandum of understanding. The current memorandum of understanding is conspicuously published on the division website.

Adopted: January 12, 2009
Revised: June 28, 2011
Revised: April 13, 2015
Revised: February 8, 2021
Revised: April 12, 2021
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 8.01-47, 8.01-293, 9.1-101, 16.1-264, 22.1-279.3:1, 22.1-279.9, 22.1-280.2:1, 22.1-293.
      • 8 VAC 20-750-70

Cross References

      • JFC: Student Conduct
      • JGD/JGE: Student Suspension/Expulsion
      • CLA: Reporting Acts of Violence and Substance Abuse
      • KN: Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Information

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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

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-288.1; 52-31.1.

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KP: PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All staff members respect the parental rights of both parents. Unless there is a law, legally binding document, or court order to the contrary, both parents have the right to:

      1. inspect and review the child's school records, in accordance with Policy JO: Student Records;
      2. visit the school in accordance with Policies KK: School Visitors and KN: Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry Information;
      3. receive all notifications required by law;

Parent Responsibilities

The custodial parent has the responsibility to:

      1. keep the school office informed of the parent’s address and how the parent 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 custodial 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 informed of changes in the parent's phone number and address. 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
Revised: July 12, 2021

Legal References

      • 20 U.S.C. §1232g
      • 34 C.F.R. § 99.
      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-4.3, 22.1-78, 22.1-287

Cross References

 
      • JO: Student Records
      • KK: School Visitors
      • KN: Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry Information

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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:

      • A statement of the educational purpose for the relationship.
      • A statement that the School Board has the right to terminate the agreement without penalty if it determines that the agreement is having an adverse impact on the educational experience of students.
      • A statement that if an agreement is terminated because of an adverse impact on the educational experience of students, no other agreement for an educational partnership or sponsorship will be entered into between the School Board and the partner or sponsor whose agreement has been terminated for a specified period of time.
      • A statement detailing the specific benefits to the school or school division from the agreement.
      • A statement clearly defining the roles, expectations, rights, and responsibilities of all parties to the agreement. This statement shall include a statement of whether the agreement permits the sponsor or partner to advertise in connection with the agreement and if so, the extent of such advertising.
      • A statement clearly defining whether the agreement creates any exclusive rights for the sponsor or partner and, if such rights are created, clearly defining those rights. If no exclusive rights are created, the agreement shall include a statement that the existence of the sponsorship or partnership will not limit the discretion of the School Board or its personnel in the use of sponsored or nonsponsored materials.
      • The duration of the agreement.
      • A statement that the school or School Board retains the exclusive right to authorize the use of its name, logo, or other similar information.
      • A statement that the school or School Board must approve its identification as a partner or co-sponsor in all publicity materials.
      • A statement of the monetary value to be received by the school or school division pursuant to the agreement.
      • A statement defining how the benefits arising from agreement will be distributed.
      • A statement of the basis on which students will be permitted to participate in the program or otherwise benefit from the agreement.
      • A statement that the sponsor or partner assumes the responsibility for obtaining the consent of any student or School Board employee whose likeness may appear in any materials disseminated by the partner or sponsor.
      • A statement disclosing any relationship between the sponsor or partner, or any of its employees or major stockholders, and any student, School Board employee, School Board member, or the superintendent.
      • A statement that all partnerships and sponsorships will be consistent with all federal and state laws, local ordinances, school division policies and regulations, and with all preexisting School Board contracts. If the terms of the partnership or sponsorship agreement establishes that the employees, contractors, or others acting on behalf of the partner or sponsor will have direct contact with students on school property during regular school hours or during school-sponsored activities, sponsor or partner must certify that all such persons have not been convicted of any violent felony set forth in the definition of a barrier crime in subsection A or Va. Code 19.2-392.01; any offense involving the sexual molestation or physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child, or
        any crime of moral turpitude.
      • A statement that if the terms of the partnership or sponsorship agreement establish that the employees, contractors, or others acting on behalf of the partner or sponsor will have direct contact
        with students on school property during regular school hours or during school-sponsored activities, the individuals acting on behalf of the partner or sponsor may have been convicted of any felony or
        crime of moral turpitude that is not set forth in the definition of barrier crime in subsection A of Va. Code 19.2-392.02 and does not involve the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse, or rape of
        a child, provided that in the case of a felony conviction, the individuals, civil rights have been restored by the Governor.
      • A statement that no partnership or sponsorship shall exploit any student or School Board employee.
      • A statement that no sponsor or partner shall be permitted to collect personal information, including names, addresses or telephone numbers of students or School Board employees because of the partnership or sponsorship.
      • A statement that any curriculum materials provided pursuant to the agreement will be held to the same standards as other curriculum materials.
      • A statement that any participation by any student or School Board employee in any activity established pursuant to the agreement will be purely voluntary. If a student or School Board employee wants to participate in any sponsored or partnered activity but objects to using the materials provided by the sponsor or partner, the sponsor or partner must supply substantially similar materials to which the student does not object for that student to use in the activity. If a student objects to using materials provided by the sponsor or partner, the School Board employee in charge of the activity shall provide for a means by which the student’s objections are made known to other students involved in the activity and by which those objections are discussed in an educational manner.

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:

      • promotion of hostility or violence;
      • an attack on ethnic, racial, or religious groups;
      • discrimination prohibited by any law or School Board policy;
      • promotion of the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, nicotine vapor products or firearms;
      • promotion of sexual, obscene, or pornographic activities; or
      • promotion of any image that is not in keeping with the established goals and purposes of the School Board.
Adopted: June 9, 2014
Revised: March 9, 2020
Revised: February 8, 2021

Legal References

      • Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-79.5, 22.1-89.4; 22.1-296.1, 22.1-279.6.

Cross References

      • DJF: Purchasing Procedures
      • DJG: Vendor Relations
      • DO: Non-Locally Funded Programs
      • IIAA: Textbook Selection, Adoption, and Purchase
      • IIAB: Supplementary Materials Selection and Adoption
      • IICB/IICC: Community Resource Persons/School Volunteers
      • JFCB: Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity
      • JHCF: Student Wellness
      • JL: Fund Raising and Solicitation
      • KA: Goals for School-Community Relations
      • KH: Public Gifts to the School
      • KLB: Public Complaints about Learning Resources

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