Section L: Education Agency Relations
- LA: Education Agency Relations Goals
- LB: Relations With Private Schools
- LBD: Home Instruction
- LC: Charter Schools
- LC-E: Charter School Application
- LE: Relations With Colleges and Universities
- LEA: Student Teaching and Internships
- LEB: ADVANCED/ALTERNATIVE COURSES FOR CREDIT
- LI: Relations With Educational Accreditation Agencies
LA: EDUCATION AGENCY RELATIONS GOALS
The Smyth County School Board generally supports the endeavors of other educational institutions whose goals are compatible with those of the division.
To the extent appropriate, the school division utilizes the resources of other educational institutions for the benefit of its students and the development of its staff.
The school division cooperates with educational institutions and agencies in selected areas of research and experimentation which have the potential to increase the effectiveness of teacher preparation or staff development and/or which directly improve the local instructional program. To protect students and teachers from unnecessary intrusions that may disrupt instruction and regular school activities, requests for college students and professors to observe classes or otherwise interact with students or division personnel must be submitted directly to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee.
The school division strives to improve the climate for education, particularly with reference to expanding the fiscal base, providing for efficient expenditure of funds, and bringing about state or federal legislation which improves education or contributes to division goals.
The school division cooperates with professional educational organizations whose goals are compatible with those of the division.Adopted: January 12, 2009
Revised: August 13, 2012
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78.
- EGAA: Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Materials
- GCQB: Staff Research and Publishing
- JHDA: Human Research
- JOB: Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires
- LEA: Student Teachers
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LB: RELATIONS WITH PRIVATE SCHOOLS
The School Board and superintendent shall work cooperatively with private schools that serve the community and students in matters of common interest, unless expressly prohibited by state statutes or local school board policy. The superintendent is authorized to consult with officials of these schools to determine areas of mutual concern and interest and to make recommendations to the Board. The School Board will not enter into agreement with any nonpublic school within the division to provide student transportation to and from such schools.
Adopted: January 12, 2009
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78; 22.1-176.1.
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LBD: HOME INSTRUCTION
The Smyth County School Board recognizes that when the requirements of Va. Code § 22.1-254.1 are complied with, instruction of children by their parents is an acceptable alternative form of education under the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any parent of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance if the parent:
- holds a high school diploma; or
- is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education; or
- provides the child with a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner;
- or provides evidence that the parent is able to provide an adequate education for the child.
For purposes of this policy, "parent" means any parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person having control or charge of a child.
Notification by Parents
Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify the superintendent no later than August 15 of the parent's intention to so instruct the child and provide a description of the curriculum to be followed for the coming year and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction. Any parent who moves into a school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall notify the superintendent of the parent's intention to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall comply with the requirements of this policy within thirty days of such notice. The superintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction.
Evidence of Progress
A parent who elects to provide home instruction to a child who is over the age of six as of September 30 of the school year shall provide the superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test or an equivalent score on the ACT, SAT, or PSAT test or (ii) an evaluation or assessment which the superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including but not limited to: (a) an evaluation letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person with a master's degree or higher in an academic discipline, having knowledge of the child's academic progress, stating that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress; or (b) a report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.
In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is not provided by the parent, the home instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the superintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education for their child and a remediation plan for the probationary year which indicates their program is designed to address any educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall make other arrangements for the education of the child which comply with Va. Code § 22.1-254.
Any parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of a child being home instructed, exempted or excused from school attendance shall comply with the immunization requirements provided in Va. Code § 32.1-46 in the same manner and to the same extent as if the child has been enrolled in and is attending school.
Upon request by the superintendent, the parent shall submit to the superintendent documentary proof of immunization in compliance with Va. Code § 32.1-46.
No proof of immunization shall be required of any child upon submission of (i) an affidavit to the superintendent stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the parent's or guardian's religious tenets or practices or (ii) a written certification from a licensed physician or nurse practitioner that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the child's health, indicating the specific nature of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization.
Notification to Parents
Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and PreACT examinations are available to students receiving home instruction pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-254.1. The superintended establishes a schedule identifying the dates by which students receiving home instruction must register to participate in such examinations. The superintendent notifies students receiving home instruction and their parents of the registration deadlines and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take such examinations.
Disclosure of Information
Neither the superintendent nor the School Board shall disclose to the Virginia Department of Education or any other person or entity outside of the local school division information that is provided by a parent or student to satisfy the requirements of this policy or subdivision B 1 of Va. Code § 22.1-254. Nothing in this policy prohibits the superintendent from notifying the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction.
JROTC Membership for Homeschooled students
for membership in a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (JROTC) unit maintained by
a secondary school but for their lack of enrollment in the division are permitted to be
members of the unit.
Homeschooled students who are members in the division’s JROTC units must
comply with behavioral, disciplinary, attendance and other rules applicable to all
students, including rules governing the use of the division’s computer systems. If a
student fails to comply, the school may withhold credit and/or terminate the student's participation in addition to taking any disciplinary action that would be taken against a full-time student for similar conduct.
Credit for Courses Taken
If a student returns to Smyth County Schools from being home schooled, credit may be given for home school courses. Students earning more than one-fourth the minimum number of credits for graduation while on home instruction shall not be considered for class rank. The principal will determine grade placement and course credit for a home schooled student who returns to school. Credit may be given by either:
- providing a transcript or report card from an accredited home education correspondence school or community college or college; or
- taking a diagnostic assessment in the subject area(s) in which credit is being requested. Grades for such work will be pass or fail.
Revised: October 10, 2011
Revised: August 10, 2015
Revised: February 12, 2018
Revised: July 29, 2019
- 10 U.S.C. § 2031.
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1 254, 22.1 254.1, 22.1-271.4, 32.1-46, 54.1-2952.2.
- IIBEA: Acceptable Compuer System Use
- JFC: Student Conduct
- JO: Student Records
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LC: CHARTER SCHOOLS
PurposeIn order to (i) encourage the development of innovative programs; (ii) provide opportunities for innovative instruction and student assessment; (iii) provide parents and students more choices; (iv) provide innovative scheduling, structure and management; (v) encourage the use of performance-based educational programs; (vi) establish high standards for teachers and administrators; and (vii) develop models for replication in other public schools, the Smyth County School Board receives and considers applications for the establishment of charter schools.
Definition of Charter School
A charter school is a public, nonreligious, non-home-based alternative school located within the Smyth County School Division or operated jointly by multiple school divisions. A charter school may not be home-based and may be created as a new school or by converting all or part of an existing public school. Conversions of private schools or home-based programs are not permitted. A charter school for at-risk pupils may be established as a residential school.
In establishing public charter schools within the division, the School Board will give priority to public charter school applications designed to increase the educational opportunities of at-risk students. At least one half of the public charter schools in the division must be designed for at-risk students. However, conversions of existing public schools into public charter schools that serve the same community as the existing public school do not count in the determination of school division compliance with the one-half requirement.
Enrollment in a charter school is open to any child who resides within the school division or, in the case of a regional public charter school, within any of the relevant school divisions, through a lottery process on a space-available basis, except that in the case of the conversion of an existing public school, students who attend the school and the siblings of such students are given the opportunity to enroll in advance of the lottery process. Students eligible to enroll in the school division pursuant to Va. Code § 22.1-3.B because they are the children of military personnel on active military duty who will reside in the division may participate in the lottery process for charter schools in the
division at the same time and in the same manner as students who reside in the division.
Public charter schools are subject to all federal laws and authorities as set forth in law and the charter contract. Public charter schools are subject to the same civil rights, health and safety requirements applicable to other public schools in the Commonwealth, except as otherwise provided by law.
Public charter schools are subject to the student assessment and accountability requirements applicable to other public schools. Nothing precludes a public charter school from establishing additional student assessment measures that go beyond state requirements if the School Board approves such measures.
Management committees of public charter schools are subject to and shall comply with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).
No public charter school shall discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services or any other unlawful basis, and each public charter school shall be subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the school division.
No public charter school shall discriminate against any student on the basis of limited proficiency in English and each public charter school shall provide students who have limited proficiency in English with appropriate services designed to teach such students English and the general curriculum, consistent with federal civil rights laws.
No public charter school shall engage in any sectarian practices in its educational program, admissions or employment policies or operations.
Any person, group or organization may submit an application for the formation of a public charter school to the Smyth County School Board. A complete application includes the applicant’s Virginia Public Charter School Application package submitted to the Virginia Board of Education, the result of the Virginia Board of Education’s review of the application and the Charter School Application Addendum (LC-E Smyth County Public School’s Charter School Application Addendum). Prior to submitting a charter school application to the School Board, a public charter school applicant shall submit its proposed charter application to the Virginia Board of Education for review and comment and a determination as to whether the application meets the approval criteria developed by the Virginia Department of Education. Charter School applications initiated by the Smyth County School Board must conform to the Virginia Public Charter School Application. However, such applications are not required to receive Virginia Board of Education review and comment prior to action by the School Board.
The Virginia Board of Education examines all applications other than those initiated by the School Board, for feasibility, curriculum, financial soundness, and other objective criteria it may establish, consistent with existing state law. The Virginia Board of Education's review and comment is for the purpose of ensuring that the application conforms with such criteria. The school division may work with a charter school applicant before the application is submitted to the Virginia Department of Education for review and recommendation.
All public charter school applicants, other than those initiated by the School Board, must also complete the application addendum in the format provided in Policy LC-E Smyth County Public School’s Charter School Application Addendum. The School Board shall establish a "review team" consisting of appropriate school personnel, a local business representative and a resident charter school proponent to evaluate charter school applications. The School Board shall designate the chair of the review team as the contact person for answering questions about the application process and receiving applications. The review team shall work cooperatively with applicants for charter schools. When an application is incomplete, the review team shall request the necessary information; an incomplete application is not grounds for denying a charter. However, if the applicant does not provide the necessary information within a reasonable timeframe (established by the review team) then the application may be denied.
The review team shall (1) recommend to the School Board appropriate criteria for reviewing charter school applications; (2) evaluate all charter school applications based on the review criteria adopted by the School Board; (3) recommend one of the following options to the Superintendent for each application: approve, reject, place on a waiting list or return with suggestions for improvement. The Superintendent will make a recommendation to the School Board based on the review team's recommendation; (4) monitor charter school progress if the charter school is approved; and (5) make recommendations for revocation, renewal or non-renewal of charter contracts for any approved charter schools.
Prior to the approval or rejection by the School Board, a public hearing will be held. The hearing will follow the same procedure as other public hearings for the School Board.
The Smyth County School Board shall require a regulation for receiving, reviewing and ruling on applications for the establishment of charter schools. Such regulation must include a timeline for the application and review process and the means for reviewing and evaluating each application, including the criteria on which the decision to grant or deny a charter will be based. A copy of the regulation, including the review criteria, shall be posted on the division's website and a copy shall be available to any interested party upon request.
School Board Decision
If the School Board denies a public charter school application, or revokes or fails to renew a charter agreement, it shall provide to the applicant or grantee its reasons, in writing, for such decision, and it shall post such reasons on its website. A public charter school applicant whose application was denied, or a grantee whose charter was revoked or not renewed, is entitled to petition the school board for reconsideration. The petition for reconsideration shall be filed no later than 60 days from the date the public charter school application is denied, or the charter agreement is revoked, or fails to be renewed. Such reconsideration shall be decided within 60 days of the filing of the petition.
The School Board shall establish a process for reviewing petitions of reconsideration, which shall include an opportunity for public comment. The petition of reconsideration may include an amended application based on the reasons given by the school board for such decision. Prior to seeking reconsideration, an applicant or grantee may seek technical assistance from the Superintendent of Public Instruction to address the reasons for denial, revocation, or non-renewal.
Upon reconsideration, the decision of the School Board to grant or deny a public charter school application or to revoke or fail to renew a charter agreement is final and not subject to appeal. Following a decision to deny a public charter school application or to revoke or fail to renew a charter agreement, the School Board submits documentation to the Board of Education as to the rationale for the School Board’s decision. The Board or Education has no authority to grant or deny a public charter school application or to revoke to fail to renew a charter agreement but may communicate any Board finding relating to the rationale for the School Board’s denial of the public charter school application or revocation of or failure to renew the charter agreement based on the documentation submitted in any school division in which at least half of the schools receive funding pursuant to Title I, Part A.
Nothing in this section prohibits an applicant whose application has been denied or a grantee whose charter has been revoked or not renewed from submitting a new application.
Within 90 days of approval of a charter application, the School Board and the management committee of the approved public charter school shall execute a charter contract that clearly sets forth (i) the academic and operational performance expectations and measures by which the public charter school will be judged and (ii) the administrative relationship between the School Board and public charter school, including each party's rights and duties. The 90-day period may be extended by up to 30 days by mutual agreement of the parties. Such performance expectations and measures shall include applicable federal and state accountability requirements and may be refined or amended by mutual agreement after the public charter school has collected baseline achievement data for its enrolled students.
The academic and operational performance expectations and measures in the charter contract shall be based on a performance framework that clearly sets forth the academic and operational performance indicators, measures and metrics that will guide the School Board's evaluations of the public charter school. The performance framework shall include indicators, measures and metrics for:
- student academic proficiency;
- student academic growth;
- achievement gaps in both proficiency and growth between the major student subgroups based on gender, race, poverty status, special education status, English language learner status and gifted status;
- recurrent annual enrollment;
- postsecondary education readiness of high school students;
- financial performance and sustainability; and
- the performance and stewardship of the management committee, including compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and terms of the charter contract.
The performance framework shall allow the inclusion of additional rigorous, valid and reliable indicators proposed by the charter school to augment external evaluations of its performance, provided that the School Board approves the quality and rigor of such indicators.
The performance framework shall require the disaggregation of all student performance data by major student subgroups based on gender, race, poverty status, special education status, English language learner status and gifted status.
Annual performance targets shall be set by the public charter school and the School Board and shall be designed to help each school meet applicable federal, state and School Board expectations.
The charter contract shall be signed by the chairman of the School Board and the president or chairman of the public charter school's management committee. Within 10 days of executing a charter contract, the School Board shall submit to the Board written notification of the charter contract execution, including a copy of the executed charter contract and any attachments.
No public charter school shall commence operations without a charter contract executed in accordance with this policy and approved in an open meeting of the School Board.
Waivers of School Board Policy and State Regulation
A charter school may operate free from School Board policies and state regulations, except the Standards of Quality, the Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Learning, as agreed in the charter contract.
The School Board shall request from the Virginia Board of Education, on behalf of its charter schools, waivers from state regulation contained in each approved charter application. If the charter school is designed to increase the opportunities of at-risk students, then the School Board shall request that the Virginia Board of Education approve an Individual School Accreditation Plan.
Management and Operation
A charter school shall be administered and operated by a management committee in the manner agreed to in the charter contract. The management committee shall be composed of parents of students enrolled in the school, teachers and administrators working in the school and representatives of any community sponsors, or any combination thereof. A charter school shall be responsible for its own operations. However, a charter school may negotiate and contract with the School Board, or any other third party, for the provision of necessary services; services provided by the School Board must be provided at cost.
The applicant and members of the management committee, administrators, and other personnel serving in a public charter school must disclose any ownership or financial interest they may have in renovating, lending, granting, or leasing public charter school facilities.
Charter school personnel shall be selected as agreed in the charter contract. Such personnel may, but are not required, to be employees of the School Board. However, all charter school personnel shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 22.1-296.1, 22.1-296.2, and 22.1-296.4.
Professional, licensed employees currently employed by the School Board may volunteer for assignment to a charter school and may be assigned by the School Board to a charter school for one contract year and reassigned annually upon the request of the employee and management committee. Professional, licensed employees assigned to a charter school shall receive the same employment benefits as such personnel assigned to noncharter schools. Professional, licensed personnel who request assignment to a noncharter school or who are not recommended for reassignment in the charter school, other than for reasons cited in § 22.1-307 of the Code of Virginia, shall be transferred to a noncharter school according to School Board policy.
The School Board may employ health, mental health, social services and other related personnel to serve in residential charter schools for at-risk students as determined in the charter agreement. However, the School Board is not required to fund the residential or other services provided by a residential charter school.
The School Board has the final authority to assign professional, licensed personnel to charter or other schools within the division.
Charter schools shall be funded as provided by law and negotiated in the charter contract.
Revocation and Renewal of the Charter Contract
The School Board may revoke a charter contract if:
- the charter school violates the conditions, standards or procedures established in the application;
- the charter school violates a material term of the charter contract (for example, failing to provide required reports to the School Board);
- the charter school fails to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management; or
- the charter school violates any provision of law from which it was not specifically exempted.
A charter contract may be renewed for up to five years. The management committee must apply to renew the charter by February 1 of the school year the charter expires.
The application for renewal shall contain:
- a report on the progress of the charter school in achieving the goals, objectives, program and performance standards for students and other conditions and terms the School Board required in the charter;
- a financial statement, on forms prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education, disclosing the costs of administration, instruction and other spending categories which is written in a way to allow the School Board and the public to compare such costs to the costs of other schools and comparable organizations; and
- other information the School Board may require.
If a charter contract is revoked or not renewed, or a charter school is dissolved, the management committee shall be responsible for all financial obligations of the charter school.
The School Board reports the following to the Virginia Board of Education:
- the grant or denial of charter applications, applications for renewal, and the revocation of any charter contract. For any such denial, revocation or failure to renew, the report to the Virginia Department of Education contains documentation as to the reason for the denial or revocation;
- whether a public charter school is designed to increase the educational opportunities of at-risk students.
The Virginia Board of Education will report the number of public charter schools established in Virginia, and the number of charters denied, in its annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly.Adopted: December 14, 2009
Revised: August 12, 2013
Revised: July 31, 2014
Revised: July 11, 2016
Revised: February 12, 2018
- 20 U.S.C. § 6311(b)(1)(B).
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § § 22.1-3, § 22.1-212.5 et seq.
- KBA Requests for Information Public Records
- KBA-F1 Request for Public Records
- KBA-F2 Record of Inspection and/or Delivery of Copies
- KBA-R Requests for Information Public Records
- LC-E [School Division] Charter School Application Addendum
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LC-E: SMYTH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATION ADDENDUM
Any person, group or organization may submit an application for the formation of a charter school. Applicants must follow state law and School Board policy regarding charter schools. A complete Smyth County Public Schools Charter School Application (“Application”) consist of (i) the Applicant’s Virginia Public Charter School Application package submitted to the Virginia Board of Education, (ii) the result of the Virginia Board of Education’s review of the Applicant’s state application, and (iii) the Smyth County Public Schools Charter School Application Addendum prepared in accordance with this policy. However, Charter School applications initiated by the Smyth County School Board are not required to receive Board of Education review and comment prior to action by the School Board.
Applications must be received by the School Board and the review team chair on or before October 1 prior to the year in which the charter school desires to open. An original plus twelve (12) copies of the application must be submitted. An application fee of $100 shall be submitted with the application. Applicants must follow the application format provided below.
I. Goals and Objectives: Educational Program
Provide a statement of the goals and objectives of the proposed public charter school. The following components must be addressed:
A. A description of the performance-based goals. To the extent possible, the application should include the academic performance indicators, measures and metrics that will guide the Smyth County School Board’s evaluations of the charter school and should include, at minimum:
- student academic proficiency;
- student academic growth;
- academic gaps in both proficiency and growth between major student subgroups;
- recurrent enrollment from year to year; and
- postsecondary readiness (for high schools).
B. A description of the measurable educational objectives to be achieved by the public charter school.
C. A description of the pupil performance standards and curriculum, which must meet or exceed any applicable Virginia Standards of Quality.
D. A description of how the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and the corresponding SOL Curriculum Framework will be used as the foundation for curricula to be implemented for each grade or course in the public charter school. Include within the description how the goals and objectives of the curricula will meet or exceed the Virginia Standards of Learning, address student performance standards related to state and federal assessment standards and include measurable outcomes.
E. A description of any internal and external assessment to be used to measure pupil progress towards achievement of the school’s pupil performance standards, in addition to the SOL assessments prescribed by Va. Code § 22.1-253.13:3.
F. A description of the public charter school assessment plan to obtain student performance data, which includes how the data will be used to monitor and improve achievement and how program effectiveness will be measured over a specified period of time. Also provide benchmark data on how student achievement will be measured and how these data will be established and documented in the first year of operation and how the data will be measured over each year of the term of the charter. The benchmark data should address targets for student improvement to be met in each year.
G. The timeline for achievement of pupil performance standards, in accordance with the Virginia SOL.
H. An explanation of the corrective actions to be taken in the event that pupil performance at the public charter school falls below the standards outlined in the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, (8 VAC 20-131-310).
I. Information regarding the minimum and maximum enrollment per grade for each year during the term of the charter contract, as well as class size and structure for each grade served by the public charter school.
J. Information regarding the proposed calendar and a sample daily schedule, including any plans to open prior to Labor Day.
K. A description of plans for identifying and successfully serving students with disabilities, English Learners, academically at-risk students and gifted and talented students which include the extent of the involvement of the School Board in providing such services.
L. If applicable, the following components should be addressed:
- any plans to utilize virtual learning in the educational program, including identification of the virtual learning source and a description of how virtual learning will be used and an estimate of how many students are expected to participate.
- a general description of any alternative accreditation plans, in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131-280), that the public charter school will request the School Board to submit to the Virginia Board of Education for approval.
- a general description of any alternative accreditation plan for serving students with disabilities, in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Governing Special Education Programs For Children With Disabilities in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131-40) that the public charter school will request the School Board to submit to the Virginia Board of Education for approval.
II. Evidence of Support
Provide evidence that an adequate number of parents, teachers, pupils or any combination thereof, supports the formation of a public charter school. The following components must be addressed:
- Information and materials indicating how parents, the community and other stakeholders were involved in supporting the application for the public charter school.
- Tangible evidence of support for the public charter school from parents, teachers, students and residents, or any combination thereof, including but not limited to information regarding the number of persons and organizations involved in the process and petitions related to the establishment of the charter school.
- A description of how parental involvement will be used to support the education needs of the students, the school’s mission and philosophy and its educational focus.
III. Statement of Need
Describe the need for a public charter school in the school division or relevant part of the school division. The following components must be addressed:
- A statement of the need for a public charter school that describes the targeted school population to be served and the reasons for locating the school in its proposed location.
- An explanation of why the public charter school is being formed. (Is the school being formed at the requests of parents or community organizations? How was the need determined? What data were examined as part of the needs assessment? Briefly describe the need and include a summary of the quantitative data.)
- An explanation of why a public charter school is an appropriate vehicle to address the identified need.
IV. Applicant Information
List the name, address, phone number and qualifications of the applicant(s) and designate an applicant contact person.
Describe the facility(ies) to be used for the charter school or the plan for the acquisition of a facility. The description should address:
- how the facility provides suitable instructional space;
- provisions for library services;
- provisions for the safe administration and storage of student records;
- provisions for the safe administration and storage of student medications;
- the applicant’s plan for complying with building and fire codes and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
- information on emergency evacuation plans;
- information regarding site location and preparation;
- the structure of operation and maintenance services; and
- financial arrangements for the facility, including any lease arrangements with the School Board or other entities and whether any debt will be incurred.
If the facility is not property of the school division, then the following must be provided:
- a certificate of occupancy;
- a health inspection certificate;
- an annual fire certificate of inspection;
- proof of compliance with federal, state and local health and safety laws and regulations; and
- a copy of the lease or contract under which the charter school will use the facility.
VI. Enrollment Process
Describe the enrollment process that is consistent with all federal and state laws and regulations and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination that are applicable to public schools and with any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the school division or, in the case of a regional public charter school, in effect for any of the relevant school divisions. The following components must be addressed:
- A description of the lottery process to be used for the establishment of a waiting list for students for whom space is not available.
- A description of a tailored admission policy that meets the specific mission or focus of the public charter school, if applicable.
- A timeline for when the lottery process will begin for the first academic year of enrollment and when parents will be notified of the outcome of the lottery process.
- A description of any enrollment-related policies and procedures that address special situations, such as the enrollment of siblings and children of faculty and founders and the enrollment of nonresident students, if applicable.
- An explanation of how the applicant will ensure that, consistent with the public charter school’s mission and purpose, community outreach has been undertaken so that special populations are aware of the formation of the public charter school and that enrollment is open to all students residing in the school division where the public charter school is located or in school divisions participating in a regional charter school.
- A description of how the transfer of student records and other program information to and from the public charter school will be accomplished.
- A description of how students seeking enrollment after the school year begins will be accommodated.
In the case of the conversion of an existing public school, describe how students who attend the school and the siblings of such students shall be given the opportunity to enroll in advance of the lottery process.
VII. Employment Terms and Conditions
Provide an explanation of the relationship that will exist between the proposed public charter school and its employees, including evidence that the terms and conditions of employment have been addressed with affected employees. At the discretion of the School Board, charter school personnel may be employees of the School Board, or Boards, granting the charter. Any personnel not employed by the School Board shall remain subject to the provisions of Va. Code §§ 22.1-296.1, 22.1-296.2, and 22.1-296.4. The following components must be addressed:
- A plan that addresses the qualification of teachers and administrators at the public charter school, including compliance with state law and regulation regarding Virginia Board of Education licensing requirements.
- A plan to provide high-quality professional develop programs.
- Provisions for the evaluation of staff at regular intervals and in accordance with state law and regulation.
- Provisions for a human resource policy for the public charter school that is consistent with state and federal law.
- Notification to all school employees of the terms and conditions of employment.
Describe how the public charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils. The following components must be addressed:
A. A description of how the transportation of studentrs will be provided:
- by the local school division;
- by the public charter school;
- by the parent(s); or
- though a combination of these options.
B. If transportation services will be provided by the public charter school, explain whether the school will contract for transportation with the School Board or with another entity or have its own means of transportation and indicate whether transportation will be provided to all students attending the school.
C. A description of transportation services for students with disabilities in compliance with Va. Code § 22.1-221 and the Board of Education’s Regulations Governing Special Education Programs For Children With Disabilities in Virginia (8 VAC 20- 131-40).
D. A description of transportation services for students in foster care in compliance with federal law.
IX. Residential Charter Schools
If the application is for a residential charter school for at-risk students, the following components must be addressed:
A. A description of the residential program to include:
- the educational program;
- a facilities description to include grounds, dormitories and staffing;
- a program for parental education and involvement;
- a description of after-care initiatives;
- the funding sources for the residential facility and other services provided;
- any counseling and other social services to be provided and their coordination with current state and local initiatives; and
- a description of enrichment activities available to students.
B. A description of how the facility will be maintained including, but not limited to:
- janitorial and regular maintenance services and
- security services to ensure the safety of students and staff.
X. Services to be Provided by the School Board
List the services and their estimated costs that the applicant wishes the School Board to provide; for example, food service, payroll or conducting criminal background checks. Also, list services and their estimated costs that will be provided by others.
Provide a detailed timeline, identifying each step required to establish the charter school, including, but not limited to, staff hiring, location and purchase of materials, implementing the evaluation plan, obtaining necessary services, opening an appropriate facility and consulting with experts, if necessary. Please remember that, as with establishing Regional Vocational and Governor’s Schools, it will take at least 8-12 months to implement the proposal.
XII. Health and Safety
Describe the procedures the charter school will implement to ensure the health and safety of the students and employees, including:
- How and if the management committee will conduct a state criminal record check on all employees;
- How the charter school will conduct fingerprinting and federal criminal record checks, if applicable;
- How the charter school will comply with the requirement to report child abuse; and
- How the charter school will comply with Occupational Safety & Health Act requirements.
Assure that the School Board will be defended, held harmless and indemnified against any claim, action, loss, damage, injury, liability, cost or expense of any kind as a result of the operation of the charter school or actions by its agents, employees, invitees or contractors.
Assure that if the charter school wants to renew its contract, it shall apply at least six months prior to the expiration of the contract.
XV. Displacement Plans: Pupils and Employees
A. Describe the plan for the displacement of pupils, teachers and other employees who will not attend or be employed in the public charter school, in instances of the conversion of an existing public school to a public charter school, and for the placement of public charter school pupils, teachers and employees upon termination or revocation of the charter.
The following components must be addressed:
- Identification of a member of the school’s leadership who will serve as a single point of contact for all activities that may need to take place for the school to close, including but not limited to the transfer of students to another school, the management of student records and the settlement of financial obligations.
- A notification process to parents/guardians of students attending the school and teachers and administrators of the closure date.
- A notification process to parents/guardians of students attending the public charter school of alternative public school placements within a set time period from the date that the closure is announced.
- Provisions for ensuring that student records are provided to the parent/guardian or another school identified by the parent or guardian within a set time period. If the student transfers to another school division, provisions for the transfer of the student’s record to the school division to which the student transfers shall be made upon request of that school division.
- Notification to the School Board of a list of all students in the school and the names of the schools to which these students will transfer.
- A placement plan for school employees that details the assistance to be provided, if any, within a set period of time from the date of closure. For teachers and administrators, the plan of assistance should address finding employment with the school division where the public charter school is located or other public school divisions.
- A close-out plan related to financial obligations and audits, the termination of contracts and leases, and the sale and/or disposition of assets within a set period of time from the date of closure. The plan shall include the disposition of the school records and financial accounts upon closure.
B. Describe the plan for the placement of students and employees if the charter school facility is destroyed (e.g. by flood or fire) or unable to be occupied for any reason.
XVI. Management and Operation
Describe the management and operation of the charter school, including the nature and extent of parental, professional educator and community involvement. List the names and addresses and relevant experience of the proposed management committee. This section should include:
- a detailed description of the relationship between the management committee and the School Board, including the charter school spokesperson (i.e. who is accountable to the School Board);
- how the charter school will be accountable to the public, including a plan for compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, the Virginia Public Records Act and reporting requirements;
- how the management committee is selected and its relationship to the teachers and administrators;
- a description of the rules and procedures followed to arrive at policy and operational decisions; and
- summaries of the job descriptions of key personnel, including the school leader/principal.
The following components must also be addressed:
A. An explanation of how support services will be funded and delivered. These services include, but are not limited to:
- food services;
- school health services;
- custodial services;
- extracurricular activities; and
- security services
B. An explanation of any partnership or contractual relationships (education management organization, food services, school health services, custodial services, security services, etc.) central to the school’s operations or mission, including information regarding the relationship of all contractors to the governing board of the public charter school, and information regarding how contractors and the employees of the contractors having direct contract with students will comply with Va. Code § 22.1-296.1.
C. Plans for recruiting and developing school leadership and staff.
XVII. Financial Plan: Evidence of Economical Soundness, Proposed Budget and Annual Audit
Provide a budget and any other information that illustrates the proposed charter school is economically sound for both the charter school and the school division. Include detailed sources of revenue and expenditures for the proposed term of the charter (at most five years) and a description of the manner in which an annual audit of the financial and administrative operations of the charter school, including any services provided by the school division, will be conducted. Anticipated gifts, grants or donations and a student fee schedule should be included. The following components must also be included:
- Proposed start-up and three-year budgets with clearly stated assumptions and information regarding projected revenues and expenditures.
- Proposed start-up and three-year cash flow projections with clearly stated assumptions and indications of short- and long-term sources of revenue.
- A proposed funding agreement with the School Board including information regarding anticipated local, state and federal per-pupil-amounts to be received and any information pertaining to the maintenance of facilities. In accordance with Va. Code § 22.1-212.14, the per pupil funding provided to the charter school will be negotiated in the charter agreement and will be commensurate with the average school-based costs of educating the students in the existing schools in the division or divisions unless the cost of operating the charter school is less than that average school-based cost. To the extent discussions have been held with the school division, please describe the outcome of those discussions. If there have been no discussions to date, please indicate the reason.
XVIII. Legal Liability and Insurance Coverage
Describe the proposed arrangement between the charter school and the School Board regarding their respective legal liability and applicable insurance coverage, including the types of insurance that will be obtained for the public charter school, its property, its employees, the charter school management committee and the School Board and its agents and the levels of insurance sought. Types of insurance include, but are not limited to;
- general liability;
- property and casualty (including vehicle coverage);
- officer and employee liability; and
- workers’ compensation.
Disclose ownership or financial interest in the public charter school by the charter applicant and the governing body, administrators, and other personnel of the proposed public charter school,and require that the applicant and the governing body, administrators, and other personnel of the public charter school shall have a continuing duty to disclose such interests during the term of the charter. The following components must be addressed:
- A description of how the applicant and members of the management committee will disclose any ownership or financial interest.
- Information regarding the frequency by which such disclosures will be made during the term of the charter.
- A description of ownership or financial interest of the applicant and/or members of the management committee in the proposed charter school. This includes any relationships that parties may have with vendors performing services at the school.
Describe and justify any waiver from School Board policies and state regulations that the charter school requests. The Standards of Quality, and by reference the Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Learning, may not be waived. Please note that state law only allows waivers of policy and regulation. No waiver of state statutes or federal statutes or regulations is permitted.
Assure that the charter school will follow state and federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, or the need for special education services and shall be subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect in the school division.
By signing and submitting this application for a public charter school, the applicant expressly assures the School Board that if the application is approved by the School Board, the school leadership of the public charter school will be retained on contract no later than 60 days prior to the opening date of the school.
The Applicant hereby certifies that the information and assurances contained within the Virginia Public Charter School Application submitted on behalf of the proposed charter school to the Virginia Board of Education and the information contained in this Public Charter School Application Addendum is correct.
Name of Authorized Official
Signature of Authorized Official
Revised: September 11, 2017
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LE: RELATIONS WITH COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
To protect students and teachers from unnecessary intrusions that may disrupt instruction and regular school activities, requests for college students and professors to observe classes, make surveys, have students complete questionnaires, use students for practice in standardized testing procedures, and interview students, shall be submitted directly to the superintendent by the dean or the head of the department of the college. Each project shall be fully described in order that proper judgment can be made as to the merits of the proposal, and so that arrangements with the schools can be effected with a minimum of interference with the regular school program.
Adopted: January 12, 2009
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79.3.
- JHDA: Human Research
- KFB: Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires
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LEA: STUDENT TEACHING AND INTERNSHIPS
The Smyth County School Board cooperates with accredited colleges and universities to provide opportunities for student teaching in accordance with the following guidelines:
- The first responsibility of the supervising teacher is the education of the students for whom he is responsible.
- Student teachers will be under the administrative direction of the principal of the school to which they are assigned.
- Teachers who serve as supervising teachers will have at least three years of teaching experience, with at least one of those years having been in the school to which the student teacher is assigned.
- All teachers who serve as supervising teachers will be recommended by the principal of the school to the superintendent or his/her designee for approval.
- All supervising teachers shall participate in any planned training for the supervision of student teaching to improve their competence as supervisors.
- A class will have no more than one student teacher during the regular school year. Only with the approval of the superintendent or his/her designee will any class have a student teacher assigned to it for more than one semester.
- No supervising teacher will have a student teacher assigned to him for more than one semester during the regular school year. Any exception to this limitation must be approved by the superintendent or his/her designee.
- The administrative and supervisory personnel in the school division may reject or to terminate any student teacher who has a negative effect on the instruction or welfare of students.
- Information concerning students may be available to student teachers at the discretion of the supervising teacher and/or principal. Student teachers will respect the confidential nature of information provided.
- Student teachers will follow all the policies and regulations of the Smyth County School Board that apply to teachers.
Adopted: December 14, 2009
Revised: August 13, 2012
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78
- JO: Student Records
- KN: Sex Offender Registry Notification
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LEB: ADVANCED/ALTERNATIVE COURSES FOR CREDIT
The Smyth County School Board has an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment with the community colleges that serve students in Smyth County specifying the options for students to complete an associate's degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies from the community college concurrent with a high school diploma. The agreement will specify the credit available for dual enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses with qualifying exam scores of three or higher.
The Smyth County School Board may enter into agreements for postsecondary credential, certification or licensure attainment with community colleges or other public institutions of higher education or educational institutions established pursuant to Title 23.1 of the Code of Virginia that offer a career and technical education curriculum. Such agreements shall specify (i) the options for students to take courses as part of the career and technical education curriculum that lead to an industry-recognized credential, certification or license concurrent with a high school diploma and (ii) the credentials, certifications or licenses available for such courses.
Beginning in the middle school years, students are counseled on opportunities for beginning postsecondary education and opportunities for obtaining industry certifications, occupational competency credentials, or professional licenses in a career and technical education field prior to high school graduation. Such opportunities will include access to at least three Advanced Placement courses or three college-level courses for degree credit. Students taking advantage of such opportunities e are not denied participation in school activities for which they are otherwise eligible. Wherever possible, students are encouraged and afforded opportunities to take college courses simultaneously for high school graduation and college degree credit (dual enrollment), under the following conditions:
- Written approval of the high school principal prior to participation in dual enrollment must be obtained.
- The course or courses being taken must meet or exceed the course expectations of the corresponding high school course.
- The college must accept the student for admission to the course or courses.
- The course or courses must be given by the college for degree credits (no remedial courses will be accepted).
- Official grade information must be received by the home high school prior to the high school granting credit.
Adopted: July 11, 2016
Revised: September 11, 2017
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:1
- 8 VAC 20-131-140
- IGBI: Advanced Placement Classes and Special Programs
- IKF: Graduation Requirements
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LI: RELATIONS WITH EDUCATIONAL ACCREDITATION AGENCIES
All Smyth County Public Schools are accredited according to standards developed by the Virginia Board of Education. The School Board reports the accreditation status of each school in the division annually in a public session of a board meeting.
The school board recognizes individual schools under the Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) program established by the Virginia Board of Education to recognize and reward fully accredited schools that make significant progress toward achieving advanced proficiency levels in reading, mathematics, science, and history and social science, and other indicators of school and student performance that are aligned with Virginia's goals for public education. The recognition may include public announcements, media releases, and other appropriate recognition.
The school board may ask the Board of Education for release from state regulations or, on behalf of one or more of its schools, for approval of an Individual School Accreditation Plan for the evaluation of the performance of one or more of its schools as authorized for certain other schools by the Standards of Accreditation. A request for a waiver from state regulations that are not (i) mandated by state or federal law or (ii) designed to promote health or safety will be made by the superintendent and chairman of the School Board on behalf of the School Board. The waiver request will describe how release from state regulations is designed to increase the quality of instruction and improve the achievement of students in the affected school or schools.
The School Board, by the superintendent and chairman of the School Board, may also request that the Board of Education grant waivers of specific requirements in Va. Code § 22.1-253.13:2, permitting the School Board to assign instructional personnel to the schools with the greatest needs, so long as the school division employs a sufficient number of personnel division-wide to meet the total number required by Va. Code § 22.1-253.13:2 and all pupil/teacher ratios and class size maximums set forth in subsection C of Va. Code § 22.1-253.13:2 are met. In its request, the School Board will demonstrate that the waivers from specific Standards of Quality staffing standards will increase the quality of instruction and improve the achievement of students in the affected school or schools.
Adopted: January 12, 2009
Revised: June 28, 2010
Revised: June 28, 2011
Revised: August 12, 2013
Revised: July 31, 2018
- Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-253.13:3, 22.1-253.13:9.
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