POLICY MANUAL

Curriculum: Scope and Sequence - Policy P6-17

All programs of study in the division's elementary and secondary schools, as described in curriculum guides and course outlines, shall conform to or go beyond the standards established by the General Assembly of Virginia and the State Board of Education.

Legal Reference

§ 22.1-253.13:1. Standard 1. Instructional programs supporting the Standards of Learning and other educational objectives.  A. The General Assembly and the Board of Education believe that the fundamental goal of the public schools of the Commonwealth must be to enable each student to develop the skills that are necessary for success in school, preparation for life, and reaching their full potential. The General Assembly and the Board of Education find that the quality of education is dependent upon the provision of (i) the appropriate working environment, benefits, and salaries necessary to ensure the availability of high-quality instructional personnel; (ii) the appropriate learning environment designed to promote student achievement; (iii) quality instruction that enables each student to become a productive and educated citizen of Virginia and the United States of America; and (iv) the adequate commitment of other resources. In keeping with this goal, the General Assembly shall provide for the support of public education as set forth in Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia.

B. The Board of Education shall establish educational objectives known as the Standards of Learning, which shall form the core of Virginia's educational program, and other educational objectives, which together are designed to ensure the development of the skills that are necessary for success in school and for preparation for life in the years beyond. At a minimum, the Board shall establish Standards of Learning for English, mathematics, science, and history and social science. The Standards of Learning shall not be construed to be regulations as defined in § 2.2-4001.

The Board shall seek to ensure that the Standards of Learning are consistent with a high-quality foundation educational program. The Standards of Learning shall include, but not be limited to, the basic skills of communication (listening, speaking, reading, and writing); computation and critical reasoning, including problem solving and decision making; proficiency in the use of computers and related technology; and the skills to manage personal finances and to make sound financial decisions.

The English Standards of Learning for reading in kindergarten through grade three shall be based on components of effective reading instruction, to include, at a minimum, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and text comprehension.

The Standards of Learning in all subject areas shall be subject to regular review and revision to maintain rigor and to reflect a balance between content knowledge and the application of knowledge in preparation for eventual employment and lifelong learning. The Board of Education shall establish a regular schedule, in a manner it deems appropriate, for the review, and revision as may be necessary, of the Standards of Learning in all subject areas. Such review of each subject area shall occur at least once every seven years. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Board from conducting such review and revision on a more frequent basis.

To provide appropriate opportunity for input from the general public, teachers, and local school boards, the Board of Education shall conduct public hearings prior to establishing revised Standards of Learning. Thirty days prior to conducting such hearings, the Board shall give notice of the date, time, and place of the hearings to all local school boards and any other persons requesting to be notified of the hearings and publish notice of its intention to revise the Standards of Learning in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Interested parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard and present information prior to final adoption of any revisions of the Standards of Learning.

In addition, the Department of Education shall make available and maintain a website, either separately or through an existing website utilized by the Department of Education, enabling public elementary, middle, and high school educators to submit recommendations for improvements relating to the Standards of Learning, when under review by the Board according to its established schedule, and related assessments required by the Standards of Quality pursuant to this chapter. Such website shall facilitate the submission of recommendations by educators.

School boards shall implement the Standards of Learning or objectives specifically designed for their school divisions that are equivalent to or exceed the Board's requirements. Students shall be expected to achieve the educational objectives established by the school division at appropriate age or grade levels. The curriculum adopted by the local school division shall be aligned to the Standards of Learning.

The Board of Education shall include in the Standards of Learning for history and social science the study of contributions to society of diverse people. For the purposes of this subsection, "diverse" includes consideration of disability, ethnicity, race, and gender.

The Board of Education shall include in the Standards of Learning for health instruction in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Such instruction shall be based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. No teacher who is in compliance with subdivision D 4 of § 22.1-298.1 shall be required to be certified as a trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to provide instruction for non-certification.

With such funds as are made available for this purpose, the Board shall regularly review and revise the competencies for career and technical education programs to require the full integration of English, mathematics, science, and history and social science Standards of Learning. Career and technical education programs shall be aligned with industry and professional standard certifications, where they exist.

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

Local school boards shall also develop and implement programs of prevention, intervention, or remediation for students who are educationally at risk including, but not limited to, those who fail to achieve a passing score on any Standards of Learning assessment in grades three through eight or who fail an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit. Such programs shall include components that are research-based.

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

Any student who fails to achieve a passing score on all of the Standards of Learning assessments for the relevant grade level in grades three through eight or who fails an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit shall be required to attend a remediation program or to participate in another form of remediation. Division superintendents shall require such students to take special programs of prevention, intervention, or remediation, which may include attendance in public summer school programs, in accordance with clause (ii) of subsection A of § 22.1-254 and § 22.1-254.01.

Remediation programs shall include, when applicable, a procedure for early identification of students who are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments in grades three through eight or who fail an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit. Such programs may also include summer school for all elementary and middle school grades and for all high school academic courses, as defined by regulations promulgated by the Board of Education, or other forms of remediation. Summer school remediation programs or other forms of remediation shall be chosen by the division superintendent to be appropriate to the academic needs of the student. Students who are required to attend such summer school programs or to participate in another form of remediation shall not be charged tuition by the school division.

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

The Board of Education shall establish standards for full funding of summer remedial programs that shall include, but not be limited to, the minimum number of instructional hours or the equivalent thereof required for full funding and an assessment system designed to evaluate program effectiveness. Based on the number of students attending and the Commonwealth's share of the per pupil instructional costs, state funds shall be provided for the full cost of summer and other remediation programs as set forth in the appropriation act, provided such programs comply with such standards as shall be established by the Board, pursuant to § 22.1-199.2.

D. Local school boards shall also implement the following:

1. Programs in grades K through three that emphasize developmentally appropriate learning to enhance success.

2. Programs based on prevention, intervention, or remediation designed to increase the number of students who earn a high school diploma and to prevent students from dropping out of school. Such programs shall include components that are research-based.

3. Career and technical education programs incorporated into the K through 12 curricula that include:

a. Knowledge of careers and all types of employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, apprenticeships, entrepreneurship and small business ownership, the military, and the teaching profession, and emphasize the advantages of completing school with marketable skills;

b. Career exploration opportunities in the middle school grades; and

c. Competency-based career and technical education programs that integrate academic outcomes, career guidance, and job-seeking skills for all secondary students. Programs shall be based upon labor market needs and student interest. Career guidance shall include counseling about available employment opportunities and placement services for students exiting school. Each school board shall develop and implement a plan to ensure compliance with the provisions of this subdivision. Such plan shall be developed with the input of area business and industry representatives and local community colleges and shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with the timelines established by federal law.

4. Educational objectives in middle and high school that emphasize economic education and financial literacy pursuant to § 22.1-200.03.

5. Early identification of students with disabilities and enrollment of such students in appropriate instructional programs consistent with state and federal law.

6. Early identification of gifted students and enrollment of such students in appropriately differentiated instructional programs.

7. Educational alternatives for students whose needs are not met in programs prescribed elsewhere in these standards. Such students shall be counted in average daily membership (ADM) in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education.

8. Adult education programs for individuals functioning below the high school completion level. Such programs may be conducted by the school board as the primary agency or through a collaborative arrangement between the school board and other agencies.

9. A plan to make achievements for students who are educationally at risk a divisionwide priority that shall include procedures for measuring the progress of such students.

10. An agreement for postsecondary degree attainment with a community college in the Commonwealth specifying the options for students to complete an associate's degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies from a community college concurrent with a high school diploma. Such agreement shall specify the credit available for dual enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses with qualifying exam scores of three or higher.

11. A plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of dual enrollment and advanced placement classes, the International Baccalaureate Program, and Academic Year Governor's School Programs, the qualifications for enrolling in such classes and programs, and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take the advanced placement and International Baccalaureate examinations. This plan shall include notification to students and parents of the agreement with a community college in the Commonwealth to enable students to complete an associate's degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies concurrent with a high school diploma.

12. Identification of students with limited English proficiency and enrollment of such students in appropriate instructional programs.

13. Early identification, diagnosis, and assistance for students with reading and mathematics problems and provision of instructional strategies and reading and mathematics practices that benefit the development of reading and mathematics skills for all students.

Local school divisions shall provide reading intervention services to students in kindergarten through grade three who demonstrate deficiencies based on their individual performance on the Standards of Learning reading test or any reading diagnostic test that meets criteria established by the Department of Education. Local school divisions shall report the results of the diagnostic tests to the Department of Education on an annual basis, at a time to be determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Each student who receives early intervention reading services will be assessed again at the end of that school year. The local school division, in its discretion, shall provide such reading intervention services prior to promoting a student from grade three to grade four. Reading intervention services may include the use of: special reading teachers; trained aides; volunteer tutors under the supervision of a certified teacher; computer-based reading tutorial programs; aides to instruct in-class groups while the teacher provides direct instruction to the students who need extra assistance; and extended instructional time in the school day or school year for these students. Funds appropriated for prevention, intervention, and remediation; summer school remediation; at-risk; or early intervention reading may be used to meet the requirements of this subdivision.

Local school divisions shall provide algebra readiness intervention services to students in grades six through nine who are at risk of failing the Algebra I end-of-course test, as demonstrated by their individual performance on any diagnostic test that has been approved by the Department of Education. Local school divisions shall report the results of the diagnostic tests to the Department of Education on an annual basis, at a time to be determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Each student who receives algebra readiness intervention services will be assessed again at the end of that school year. Funds appropriated for prevention, intervention, and remediation; summer school remediation; at-risk; or algebra readiness intervention services may be used to meet the requirements of this subdivision.

14. Incorporation of art, music, and physical education as a part of the instructional program at the elementary school level.

15. A program of physical fitness available to all students with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year. Such program may include any combination of (i) physical education classes, (ii) extracurricular athletics, or (iii) other programs and physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board. Each local school board shall incorporate into its local wellness policy a goal for the implementation of such program during the regular school year.

16. A program of student services for kindergarten through grade 12 that shall be designed to aid students in their educational, social, and career development.

17. The collection and analysis of data and the use of the results to evaluate and make decisions about the instructional program.

E. From such funds as may be appropriated or otherwise received for such purpose, there shall be established within the Department of Education a unit to (i) conduct evaluative studies; (ii) provide the resources and technical assistance to increase the capacity for school divisions to deliver quality instruction; and (iii) assist school divisions in implementing those programs and practices that will enhance pupil academic performance and improve family and community involvement in the public schools. Such unit shall identify and analyze effective instructional programs and practices and professional development initiatives; evaluate the success of programs encouraging parental and family involvement; assess changes in student outcomes prompted by family involvement; and collect and disseminate among school divisions information regarding effective instructional programs and practices, initiatives promoting family and community involvement, and potential funding and support sources. Such unit may also provide resources supporting professional development for administrators and teachers. In providing such information, resources, and other services to school divisions, the unit shall give priority to those divisions demonstrating a less than 70 percent passing rate on the Standards of Learning assessments.

§ 22.1-201. Study of documents of Virginia history and United States Constitution.

To increase knowledge of citizens' rights and responsibilities thereunder and to enhance the understanding of Virginia's unique role in the history of the United States, the Declaration of American Independence, the general principles of the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, the charters of April 10, 1606, May 23, 1609, and March 12, 1612, of The Virginia Company, and the Virginia Declaration of Rights shall be thoroughly explained and taught by teachers to pupils in public elementary, middle, and high schools. Emphasis shall be given to the relationship between these documents and Virginia history, and to citizenship responsibilities inherent in the rights included in these documents. Written examinations as to each of such documents shall be given.

§ 22.1-202. Instruction in history and principles of flags of United States and Virginia; pledge of allegiance to American flag; guidelines developed by the Board.

A. Instruction in the history and principles of the flag of the United States and the flag of the Commonwealth shall be given in one or more grades in every school division. The instruction shall include the pledge of allegiance and the appropriate etiquette and conventions for respecting the dignity and appropriate display of such flags.

In recognition of the civic heritage of the United States of America, all students shall be required to learn the Pledge of Allegiance and to demonstrate such knowledge.

B. To promote compliance with constitutional restrictions as well as observance of constitutional rights, the Board of Education shall, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, develop guidelines on constitutional rights and restrictions relating to the recitation of the pledge of allegiance to the American flag in public schools.

The Board's guidelines shall include, but shall not be limited to, provisions which address the following: the initiative and involvement of local school boards, individual schools, administrators, teachers, and students; the propriety and constitutionality of any recitation or participation requirements; appropriate etiquette and conventions for respecting the dignity and appropriate display of the flag of the United States and the flag of the Commonwealth; and relevant state and federal constitutional concerns, such as freedom of speech and religion.

These guidelines shall not be subject to the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). However, to provide appropriate opportunity for involvement by the general public, teachers, and local school boards, the Board of Education shall conduct public hearings prior to establishing such guidelines. Thirty days prior to conducting such hearings, the Board shall give written notice by mail of the date, time, and place of the hearings to all local school boards and any other persons requesting to be notified of the hearings and publish notice of its intention to hold such hearings in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Interested parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard and present information prior to the adoption of such guidelines.

C. Each school board shall require the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in each classroom of the school division and shall ensure that the flag of the United States is in place in each such classroom. Each school board shall determine the appropriate time during the school day for the recitation of the Pledge. During such Pledge of Allegiance, students shall stand and recite the Pledge while facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts or in an appropriate salute if in uniform; however, no student shall be compelled to recite the Pledge if he, his parent or legal guardian objects on religious, philosophical or other grounds to his participating in this exercise. Students who are thus exempt from reciting the Pledge shall remain quietly standing or sitting at their desks while others recite the Pledge and shall make no display that disrupts or distracts others who are reciting the Pledge. School boards shall provide appropriate accommodations for students who are unable to comply with the procedures described herein due to disability.

The school board's code of conduct shall apply to disruptive behavior during the recitation of the Pledge in the same manner as provided for other circumstances of such behavior.

D. The Office of the Attorney General shall intervene on behalf of local school boards and shall provide legal defense of the provisions of this section.

Code of Va.,   § 22.1-204.  Study of accident prevention. In one or more of the elementary or secondary grades of every school division there shall be provided a course of study including elementary training in accident prevention, in proper conduct on streets and highways, in the operation of motor vehicles as required by the traffic laws of this Commonwealth, and in ways and means of preventing loss of lives and damage to property through preventable fires. Such course shall be required of every pupil completing the course of study in any such grade.  (1997)

§ 22.1-205. Driver education programs.  A. The Board of Education shall establish for the public school system a standardized program of driver education in the safe operation of motor vehicles. Such program shall consist of classroom training and behind-the-wheel driver training. However, any student who participates in such a program of driver education shall meet the academic requirements established by the Board, and no student in a course shall be permitted to operate a motor vehicle without a license or permit to do so issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The program shall include instruction concerning (i) alcohol and drug abuse, (ii) aggressive driving, (iii) distracted driving, (iv) motorcycle awareness, (v) organ and tissue donor awareness, (vi) fuel-efficient driving practices, and (vii) in Planning District 8, for any student completing a driver education program beginning in academic year 2010 - 2011, an additional minimum 90-minute parent/student driver education component included as part of the in-classroom portion of the driver education curriculum, requiring the participation of the student's parent or guardian and emphasizing parental responsibilities regarding juvenile driver behavior, juvenile driving restrictions pursuant to the Code of Virginia, and the dangers of driving while intoxicated and underage consumption of alcohol. Such instruction shall be developed by the Department in cooperation with the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, the Department of Health, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, as appropriate. Such program shall require a minimum number of miles driven during the behind-the-wheel driver training.

B. The Board shall assist school divisions by preparation, publication and distribution of competent driver education instructional materials to ensure a more complete understanding of the responsibilities and duties of motor vehicle operators.

C. Each school board shall determine whether to offer the program of driver education in the safe operation of motor vehicles and, if offered, whether such program shall be an elective or a required course. In addition to the fee approved by the Board of Education pursuant to the appropriation act that allows local school boards to charge a per pupil fee for behind-the-wheel driver education, the Board of Education may authorize a local school board's request to assess a surcharge in order to further recover program costs that exceed state funds distributed through basic aid to school divisions offering driver education programs. Each school board may waive the fee or the surcharge in total or in part for those students it determines cannot pay the fee or surcharge. Only school divisions complying with the standardized program and regulations established by the Board of Education and the provisions of § 46.2-335 shall be entitled to participate in the distribution of state funds appropriated for driver education.

School boards in Planning District 8 shall make the 90-minute parent/student driver education component available to all students and their parents or guardians who are in compliance with § 22.1-254.

D. The actual initial driving instruction shall be conducted, with motor vehicles equipped as may be required by regulation of the Board of Education, on private or public property removed from public highways if practicable; if impracticable, then, at the request of the school board, the Commissioner of Highways shall designate a suitable section of road near the school to be used for such instruction. Such section of road shall be marked with signs, which the Commissioner of Highways shall supply, giving notice of its use for driving instruction. Such signs shall be removed at the close of the instruction period. No vehicle other than those used for driver training shall be operated between such signs at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour. Violation of this limit shall be a Class 4 misdemeanor.

E. The Board of Education may, in its discretion, promulgate regulations for the use and certification of paraprofessionals as teaching assistants in the driver education programs of school divisions.

F. The Board of Education shall approve correspondence courses for the classroom training component of driver education. These correspondence courses shall be consistent in quality with instructional programs developed by the Board for classroom training in the public schools. Students completing the correspondence courses for classroom training, who are eligible to take behind-the-wheel driver training, may receive behind-the-wheel driver training (i) from a public school, upon payment of the required fee, if the school division offers behind-the-wheel driver training and space is available, (ii) from a driver training school licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or (iii) in the case of a home schooling parent or guardian instructing his own child who meets the requirements for home school instruction under § 22.1-254.1 or subdivision B 1 of § 22.1-254, from a behind-the-wheel training course approved by the Board. Nothing herein shall be construed to require any school division to provide behind-the-wheel driver training to nonpublic school students.

§ 22.1-206. Instruction concerning drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse.   A. Instruction concerning drugs and drug abuse shall be provided by the public schools as prescribed by the Board of Education.

B. Instruction concerning the public safety hazards and dangers of alcohol abuse, underage drinking, and drunk driving shall be provided in the public schools. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall provide educational materials to the Department of Education. The Department of Education shall review and shall distribute such materials as are approved to the public schools.

Code of Va.,   § 22.1-207.  Physical and health education. Physical and health education shall be emphasized throughout the public school curriculum by lessons, drills and physical exercises, and all pupils in the public elementary, middle, and high schools shall receive as part of the educational program such health instruction and physical training as shall be prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health.  (1997)

§ 22.1-207.1. Family life education. The Board of Education shall develop by December 1, 1987, standards of learning and curriculum guidelines for a comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum in grades K through 12. Such curriculum guidelines shall include instruction as appropriate for the age of the student in family living and community relationships; the benefits, challenges, responsibilities, and value of marriage for men, women, children, and communities; abstinence education; the value of postponing sexual activity; the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy; human sexuality; human reproduction; dating violence, the characteristics of abusive relationships, steps to take to avoid sexual assault, and the availability of counseling and legal resources, and, in the event of such sexual assault, the importance of immediate medical attention and advice, as well as the requirements of the law; the etiology, prevention and effects of sexually transmitted diseases; and mental health education and awareness.

All such instruction shall be designed to promote parental involvement, foster positive self concepts and provide mechanisms for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of modern living according to the students' developmental stages and abilities. The Board shall also establish requirements for appropriate training for teachers of family life education, which shall include training in instructional elements to support the various curriculum components.

For the purposes of this section, "abstinence education" means an educational or motivational component which has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by teenagers' abstaining from sexual activity before marriage.

Code of Va., § 22.1-208. Emphasis on moral education   The entire scheme of instruction in the public schools shall emphasize moral education through lessons given by teachers and imparted by appropriate reading selections.  (1997)

Adopted by School Board:  January 6,  1981

 

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