A. Students in grades 9-11 must carry the equivalent of six credit-bearing courses and must elect to carry another approved course or a repeat course in the seventh period.
B. All students in grade twelve (senior students) must carry the equivalent of four credit- bearing courses. Student athletes need to carry the equivalent of five credit-bearing courses.
C. Unless a waiver is granted, senior students must also carry other approved courses, repeat courses, or study halls in the other three periods.
D. Senior students for whom a waiver is granted may be dismissed from school after the fourth, fifth, or sixth period. Transportation from school to home will not be provided for students who are dismissed early.
E. A waiver to the student course load requirement may be granted for a senior student if that student has earned sufficient credits such that a reduced course load in the senior year will still permit the student to meet all graduation requirements by the end of the year.
F. Applications for senior student course load waivers will be accepted each spring and fall for the following semester.
G. To be considered for a waiver, a senior student and a parent or legal guardian must complete, sign, and submit the application to the guidance office by the posted deadline. The guidance counselor will review the data and recommend that the building principal approve or deny the waiver application. If the waiver is approved, the senior student’s schedule for the next semester will reflect the early dismissal.
H. At the beginning of the semester for which the waiver has been approved, the guidance counselor will again review the senior student’s data to ensure that the student still qualifies for the waiver.
I. The approved waiver application will be kept on file at the school, and a list of all senior students for whom a waiver has been approved will be sent to the director of secondary education at the start of each semester.
J. Unless under the direct supervision of a staff member, senior students for whom a waiver is approved must exit the school building promptly after their early dismissal time and shall not return to the school property for school activities until the end of the instructional day. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the waiver being revoked.
K. Beyond this policy there may be other allowances for early dismissals, such as those approved for work/study programs or off-site instruction, individual allowances for certain health conditions, and so on. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede the policies, regulations, and practices associated with such other early dismissals.
L. By completing an application for a waiver, the student and parent/guardian accept responsibility for any repercussions which may be related to the student’s reduced course load. Such possible repercussions specifically, but not exclusively, include those related to admissions, selections, or eligibility for any schools, programs, activities, recognitions, or the like.
M. Students attending a fifth high school year may be allowed to carry a reduced load as approved by the principal. Other students may be permitted to carry fewer courses only upon approval by the Superintendent or designee.
Adopted by School Board: June 19, 1973
Revised by School Board: September 7, 1976
Revised by School Board: January 6, 1981
Revised by School Board: November 2, 1982
Revised by School Board: September 18, 1998
Revised by School Board: April 20, 2010
Revised by School Board: May 7, 2019
Board of Education Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131.