Instructional Support

POLICY 6-5.1 SCHOOL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAMS

Definition of Service Domains

Pursuant to the Standards of Quality, the following school counseling services and classroom guidance are available to all students in Hanover County Public Schools:

1. Academic guidance and counseling which assist students and their parents in acquiring knowledge of the curricula choices available to students, including planning a program of studies, arranging and interpreting academic testing, and seeking post-secondary educational and career opportunities.

2. Career guidance and counseling which help students to acquire information and plan action about work, jobs, apprenticeships, and post-secondary educational and career opportunities.

3. Personal/social counseling which assist students in developing an understanding of themselves, the rights and needs of others, how to resolve conflict and to define individual goals that reflect their interests, abilities and aptitudes.

Types of Service Delivery

These services are provided through:

1. Classroom Guidance: lessons conducted by the school counselor in the classroom for all students at each grade level.

2. Small Group Counseling: available to students experiencing specific and commonly shared concerns. Emphasis is on problem solving and the development of positive and effective personal skills.

3. Individual Counseling: direct assistance to individual students. Counseling of individual students is conducted to help them learn more efficiently and effectively with emphasis on identifying concerns early before they interfere with learning.

No student is required to participate in any counseling program to which the student’s parents object.

Procedures for Service Delivery

The framework for the delivery of these services is as follows:

1. Written notification will be provided to parent(s)/guardian(s) at least annually about the academic, and career guidance and personal/social counseling programs which are available to their children. The notification shall include the purpose and general description of the programs, information regarding ways parent(s)/guardian(s) may review materials to be used in guidance and counseling programs at their child’s school and information about the procedure by which parent(s)/guardian(s) may limit their child's participation in such programs.

2. School counselors are prohibited from using counseling techniques which are beyond the scope of the professional certification or training of counselors, including hypnosis or other psychotherapeutic techniques that are normally employed in medical or clinical settings and focus on mental illness or psychopathology.

3. All information and records of personal/social counseling shall be kept confidential and separate from a student's cumulative educational record and not disclosed to third parties without prior parental (guardian) consent or as otherwise provided by law. See Policy and Regulation 7-1.4 (Student Records).

4. Parent(s)/guardian(s) may elect in writing to have their child not participate in classroom guidance lessons, or any counseling activity to which they object.

5. Parental (guardian) permission is required in writing for any small group counseling or on-going, structured individual counseling in the personal/social domain following initial contacts.

6. Parental (guardian) permission is not required for short duration personal/social counseling which is needed to maintain order, discipline or a productive learning environment. 

7. School officials may permit on-going, structured personal/social counseling for children whom they believe would benefit from such counseling, but whose parent(s)/guardian(s) fail to respond either affirmatively or negatively to reasonable requests for consent. Refusal of services must be in writing to the principal.

Psychological Services

The services of the school psychologists are available to students who have been identified as in need of these services.

Employment Counseling and Placement Services

Employment counseling and placement services to furnish information relating to the employment opportunities available to students graduating from or leaving the schools in the school division is available to all secondary students. Such information includes all types of employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, apprenticeships, the military, career education schools and the teaching profession. In providing such services, the School Board shall consult and cooperate with the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Labor and Industry, local business and labor organizations and career schools.

If the School Board provides access to one or more of its high schools and contact with such high school’s student body or other contact with its high school students during a school or school division-sponsored activity to persons or groups for occupational, professional or educational recruitment, it shall provide equal access on the same basis to official recruiting representatives of the military forces of the Commonwealth and the United States.

College and Career Readiness

The School Board shall provide courses in career investigation in elementary, middle and secondary school that comply with the content standards and curriculum guidelines developed by the Board of Education.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-130.1, 22.1-209, 22.1-253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:3; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-140; Regulations Regarding School Guidance and Counseling Programs in the Public Schools of Virginia, 8 VAC 20-620-10.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: October 14, 2008, October 9, 2018

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-5.1 SCHOOL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAMS

Pursuant to Hanover County School Board Policy 6-5.1 (Procedures for Service, Delivery, number 5), the following are examples for parental(guardian) permission forms which are required to be used for any small group counseling or on-going, structured individual counseling in the personal/social domain following initial contacts. 

Sample Counseling Letters

POLICY 6-5.2 SCHOOL LIBRARIES/MEDIA CENTERS

The primary function of Hanover County Public School libraries/media centers is to implement, enrich and support the educational program of the schools. The centers provide a wide range of materials at various levels of sophistication with a diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view.

To this end the Hanover County School Board declares that the primary responsibilities of the libraries/media centers are:

1. To provide materials that will stimulate the acquisition of factual knowledge and the development of literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards.

2. To provide a source of information which, when consulted, may enable pupils to make informed judgments.

3. To provide materials containing a wide range of views on issues so that students may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking.

4. To provide materials representative of religious, ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to the American heritage.

5. To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the libraries/media centers.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Schools, 8 VAC 20-131-190.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-5.3 COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS

Instructional and other staff of the Hanover County Public Schools shall honor the requirements of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, et seq. The division superintendent or his designee shall, from time to time, distribute information including, where appropriate, guidelines to assist school staff in resolving issues related to copyright law, particularly the fair use and educational use exceptions.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22-1.70, 22.1-78; 17 U.S.C. sections 101, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-5.4 HOMEWORK

The Hanover County School Board supports the assignment of homework to pupils when its use has the purpose of enriching and extending school experiences. Teachers are responsible for thoroughly explaining homework assignments before pupils are to be expected to perform the assigned task(s). Teachers are also responsible for reviewing and/or evaluating homework assignments. Within this framework, careful consideration shall be given to the amount and timing of homework. In addition, quality assignments shall be the primary goal. The division superintendent or his designee may develop guidelines for the use of homework.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-253.13:7; Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131-10, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: July 12, 2016

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-5.4(A) GUIDELINES FOR HOMEWORK: K-12

The following homework guidelines were developed cooperatively by parents, teachers, and administrators. Teachers, students, and parents share in the responsibilities for successful implementation of the homework guidelines.

Purpose

The purpose of homework is to benefit the student. Homework should supplement and reinforce the skills taught during the school day while assisting the student in becoming an independent and responsible learner. The four types of commonly assigned homework are shown below: 

Type

Definition

Purpose

Completion

Any work assigned during the school day not completed in class 

Help student keep up to date with classroom curriculum 

Practice

Any work that increases or improves fluency of a skill or a process that is not yet fluent 

Helps students practice newly acquired skills to develop fluency  

Preparation 

Any work that prepares students for upcoming lessons or classes 

Encourages students to acquire background information or to bring their prior experiences to upcoming units of study  

Extension

Any work that explores and refines learning in new contexts or integrates and expands on classroom learning  

Encourages students to problem solve and/or think critically and creatively.  

Teacher Responsibilities

1. Communicate the assignment in an appropriate manner for the individuals in the class and thoroughly explain the homework.

2. Assign homework that supplements and reinforces lesson objectives.

3. Individualize assignments when appropriate based on needs, achievement levels, and/or interests of the students. Consider students’ accommodations and modifications when assigning homework.

4. Focus on quality of homework instead of quantity.

5. Provide written instructions, including a statement of the project's objectives and evaluation criteria, when making long-term assignments.

6. Use discretion in making homework assignments over weekends and holidays, in order to leave time for family activities and long-term projects. Homework shall not be due on the school day immediately following a holiday.

7. Never assign homework as a behavior management tool.

Student Responsibilities

1. Students are expected to exert their best efforts to complete the assignments as directed.

2. It is the student's responsibility to inform the teacher if they did not understand the assignment at the time the assignment was made.

3. Secondary students should complete their homework assignments independently. (Please observe Code of Student Conduct.)

Parent Responsibilities

1. Maintain an awareness of the child's homework assignments.

2. Make available appropriate materials and resources, e.g., a quiet well-lit workspace and a regularly scheduled study/work time.

3. Provide necessary assistance while encouraging the child to complete the work independently.

4. Use available classroom or school-wide communication tools (ex. online gradebook, agenda, digital classroom sites) to be informed of assignments, homework, and grades.

EVALUATION AND FOLLOW-UP OF HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS

Teacher Responsibilities

1. Review and/or evaluate the assignments as soon as possible. Consider students’ accommodations and modifications if the assignment is graded.

2. Determine why a student fails to complete assignments and initiate communication between the school and the home, especially if the pattern continues.

Parent Responsibility

Confer with teacher(s) regarding questions about homework and/or long-term projects.

Student Responsibility

1. Ask questions in order to reinforce learning.

2. Use available classroom or school-wide communication tools (ex. online gradebook, agenda, digital classroom sites) to be informed of assignments, homework, and grades.

FREQUENCY AND DURATION OF HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS  

Grade Level 

Frequency

Duration

  • The following is a suggested average time-frame for all subjects combined.

  • Average time recommendations do not include daily independent reading.

  • Average time recommendations do not include time for long-term projects. 

Flexible

Age appropriate activities will be assigned at the teacher’s discretion  

1

Daily

10-15 minutes

Daily

20 minutes 

3

Daily

30 minutes 

4-5 

Daily

40-50 minutes 

6, 7, 8

Daily

90 minutes 

9, 10, 11, 12

Daily

120 minutes 
Advanced courses will require additional time

Amended: July 12, 2016

REGULATION 6-5.4(B) MAKE-UP OF SCHOOL WORK AND/OR TESTS

Students with excused absences must make arrangements with their teachers for completing the necessary make-up work. Teacher should inform students of required assignments. All make-up work, including tests, should be made up in accordance with the number of days missed. For example, if a student is absent from four class sessions, all make-up work should be completed within the next four scheduled class sessions. Make-up work is to be completed at a mutually agreed-upon time between teacher and student such as before school, after school, during study hall, or during other arranged times.

Amended: July 12, 2016

POLICY 6-5.5 TEXTBOOKS

Adoption

All basal textbooks used in the Hanover County Public Schools shall be adopted by the Hanover County School Board in accordance with applicable Virginia law and regulations established by the Virginia Board of Education. All supplemental textbooks shall be approved by of the division superintendent or his designee prior to use in the classroom.

The Virginia Department of Education adopts a multiple list of basal texts for a six-year period. At the end of a two-year period additional materials may be evaluated and added to the existing multiple basal list. Upon receiving the State's multiple list, the School Board shall establish a plan for its selections from the list. As outlined in the Hanover County Public Schools’ Five-Year Curriculum Development Plan, textbook adoptions are staggered so that all texts will not be adopted in one year. Textbooks for elective courses not included in the state two-year adoption cycle may be adopted in interim years by the school division.

Textbook Adoption Committees

Textbook adoption is a component of curriculum development as outlined in the Five-Year Curriculum Development Plan. A division level curriculum development committee is formed by the assistant superintendent of instructional leadership for every content area, K-12. When the textbook adoption process is scheduled to occur in a content area, members of the curriculum development committee will serve on the textbook adoption committee.

Hearings shall be held wherein selected committees listen to presentations made by publishers' representatives. The committees then recommend their choices on a point basis. Final selection shall be at the recommendation of the division superintendent and the approval of the School Board based primarily on the recommendation of the respective adoption committees.

Sale of Textbooks

Used textbooks may be sold at cost. New textbooks may be purchased only through the School Board office.

Textbooks for Students

Free textbooks shall be provided for students in Hanover County Public Schools. All books shall be returned by each student who has been in attendance in the school division or payment shall be made for books missing or damaged.

When students move from one public school to another within Hanover County, a textbook transfer form will be used to transfer the textbooks between schools. Consumable books assigned to a student shall accompany the student when he transfers to another public school within Hanover County. These books shall be returned along with the hardback books when a student withdraws from school for any reason.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-238 through 22.1-253; Regulations Governing Instructional Materials – Selection and Utilization by Local School Board, 8 VAC 20-170-10; Regulations Governing Textbook Adoption Local Level, 8 VAC 20-230-10; Regulations Governing Textbooks – Free or Rental Systems State Aid, 8 VAC 20-190-10.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-5.5 TEXTBOOK ADOPTION GUIDELINES

Selection of Committee Members

Generally

Textbook adoption is a component of curriculum development as outlined in the Five-Year Curriculum Development Plan. A division level curriculum development committee is formed by the assistant superintendent of instructional leadership for every content area, K-12. When the textbook adoption process is scheduled to occur in a content area, members of the curriculum development committee will serve on the textbook adoption committee.

Textbook committees consist of one administrator from each level for which a text is being adopted; three parents (one from each corridor) who are serving on the curriculum development committee; one or two teachers from each school (department chairperson if applicable), and a Hanover County School Board member. The principal will be informed of all administrator, teacher and parent appointments made in his building.

The lead teacher specialist for a content area (if one exists) will chair the curriculum development committee and textbook adoption committee. Recommendations for members of the division-level curriculum development committee may be made by lead teacher specialists, directors of elementary, middle, and high school, principals, County Council of PTA’s, individual school parent/teacher organizations, and teachers to the assistant superintendent of instructional leadership. Persons serving on division-level curriculum development committees will also serve on division-level textbook adoption committees.

School Board Members

Each committee shall have a School Board member serving on it in accordance with School Board Policy 6-5.5.

Responsibilities

Chairman

The chairman of the textbook adoption committee presides at all meetings. As such, the chairman's responsibilities are to:

1. submit a list of recommended committee members (after consultation with the respective building principal) to the division superintendent for School Board approval;

2. establish meeting dates, times and places and notify all members of the same;

3. guide and direct the activities of the committee;

4. supply proper forms and materials and coordinate their distribution;

5. assist committee members in coming to consensus about textbook adoption;

6. maintain communication with the director of instructional support services regarding publishers' meetings and the ordering of textbooks;

7. submit the names of recommended textbooks to the division superintendent for School Board approval;

8. recommend ways to provide teacher inservice on using the newly adopted materials; and

9. coordinate the acquisition of ancillary materials.

Teachers

Teachers' responsibilities are to:

1. review sample textbooks;

2. evaluate textbooks;

3. complete textbook assessments listing strengths, weaknesses, congruency with curriculum, etc.; and

4. submit assessments to their school's committee representative(s).

Committee Members

Committee members’ responsibilities are to:

1. attend textbook committee meetings;

2. review all textbooks;

3. communicate guidelines and pertinent information to teachers throughout the process, and strive to reach consensus at the building level;

4. collect and review teachers' assessments of textbooks;

5. articulate (verbally and in writing) strengths/weaknesses of each textbook based upon teachers' input;

6. narrow selection to top three textbooks; and

7. reach consensus and recommend the textbooks to the division superintendent and School Board members (vote only if unable to reach agreement).

Criteria for Textbook Adoption

Committee members shall consider textbooks relevant to purpose, content, methodology, and practical characteristics.

Purpose

Textbooks will supplement and enrich the curricula and will enhance and promote student opportunities for independent thinking and learning.

Content

1. Content is unbiased, nondiscriminatory, and not demeaning of individuals or groups. Materials are free of ethnic, racial, cultural, age, and gender bias.

2. Content is accurate, up-to-date, and free of grammatical, mathematical, graphical, and content errors.

3. Content has sufficient depth to extend students' learning. Materials provide enrichment ideas for students ready to go beyond the content of the text.

4. Content is relevant, clear, logical, and sequential.

5. Content includes appropriate illustrations, photographs, and graphical information to reinforce the development of important concepts.

6. Content supports instructional delivery in concepts, skills, and applications.

7. Content (including reading level) is appropriate for the age and maturity of students.

8. Information presented in tables, figures, examples, and illustrations extends the content.

9. Content is consistent with Hanover County curricula both in scope and sequence.

10. There are no omissions of critical content as defined by appropriate standards and accreditation requirements.

Methodology

1. Presentation and organization assist the teacher in providing for individual differences and various learning styles among students.

2. Suggestions to teachers are educationally sound and sufficiently varied.

3. Teachers' materials provide information on classroom management, suggested time frames for instruction, clear directions and appropriate safety precautions, and procedures for differentiating instruction.

4. A variety of assessment measures is provided for the student (self-evaluation) and the teachers. Assessment options include open-ended responses, performances, products, and collections of work.

5. Assessment items and scoring criteria address various levels of thinking and learning.

6. Instructional materials integrate assessment in support of instruction.

Practical Characteristics

1. Reference tools are included when appropriate.

2. Textbooks are well constructed and durable.

3. General appearance of the book is attractive.

4. Cost is reasonable for the product.

5. Shipping costs are reasonable.

6. The adopted text will be available from the publisher throughout the adoption period.

7. Appropriate materials are available at the time of adoption.

8. Textbooks will be delivered within 30 days unless otherwise specified.

9. Instructional consultants will provide free staff development and support throughout the adoption period to Hanover County teachers.

Suggested Time Frame for Textbook Adoption Process

October - Confirm committee members for presentation at November School Board meeting.

November - School Board approval of committee. Director of instruction support services orders textbook samples from publishers.

December - First organizational meeting for explanation of process and distribution of materials. Review books.

January - Review books.

February - Meeting to select top three choices among possibilities. Director of instructional support services contacts publishers to invite them to March meeting.

March - Display books for parents (perhaps in school library or other central location). Meeting with publishers for presentation of materials. Meeting to make final selection of texts for School Board approval.

April - (Meet to make final decision, if needed.) Submit recommended materials to the division superintendent for School Board approval. Director of instructional support services orders books and materials approved by School Board.

May - (Submit to School Board for approval, if needed.)

June - Director of instructional support services orders books; materials approved by School Board.

Consideration to Textbooks Not on the Virginia Board of Education's Approved Textbook List

Rationale

It may sometimes be warranted to recommend a textbook or series for adoption that is not on the approved Virginia Board of Education Textbook Adoption List. The Virginia Department of Education may not have approved texts in some subject areas, or it may be that the approved texts are not appropriate for all academic levels of instruction. Any member of the committee may suggest a text for consideration by the committee.

Process

The same evaluation process should be followed. If the committee recommends the adoption of a book not on the State adoption list and the School Board approves the adoption, then the Virginia Department of Education must be notified in writing of the decision.

Ramifications

There is generally no price guarantee for books not on the State adoption list. That is, price increases may take place throughout the six-year cycle. Also, the availability of adopted editions and accompanying supplemental materials is not guaranteed for the six-year cycle.

Working with Publishers

Obtaining textbooks and supplemental materials is the responsibility of the director of instructional support services. After textbook adoption procedures are concluded, those texts and materials requested by publishers to be returned should be collected at a central location.

POLICY 6-5.6 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The Hanover County School Board shall review and approve guidelines and procedures for the selection, evaluation, approval, and use of instructional materials consistent with applicable Virginia law and regulations established by the Virginia Board of Education. The division superintendent or his designee shall periodically review guidelines and procedures and bring recommendations for changes to the School Board.

The primary objective in the selection of instructional materials is to provide those materials which implement, enrich, and support the educational program of the school. It is the responsibility of the school system to provide a wide range of materials on different levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and representing different points of view.

The process of evaluating materials is continuous and systematic. Materials purchased for use in a classroom or school library are considered on the basis of overall purpose, timeliness, importance of the subject matter, quality of writing or production, readability and popular appeal, authoritativeness, reputation of the author, artist, publisher, producer, format, and cost, support of the educational program, and age and developmental appropriateness.

The selection of textbooks is addressed by Policy 6-5.5, TEXTBOOKS.

Supplementary instructional materials are used to enrich and support curriculum objectives and educational programs at the school. Supplementary materials used in a classroom shall be selected utilizing the same procedures as materials purchased by the school division.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-238 through 22.1-253; Regulations Governing Instructional Materials – Selection and Utilization By Local School Boards, 8 VAC 20-170-10; Regulations Governing Textbook Adoption-Local Level, 8 VAC 20-230-10.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: January 13, 2015

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-5.6(A) PROCEDURE FOR UTILIZATION OF SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL

Supplementary materials (materials not purchased by HCPS), including, but not limited to, teacher-made materials, may be reviewed by the principal or the principal’s designee. While such materials do not require the prior approval of the principal or the principal’s designee, instructional staff shall exercise care in their preparation or selection. Instructional staff shall ensure that any such materials are aligned with the approved curriculum and consistent with applicable School Board policies including, but not limited to, Policy 6-1.10, Teaching About Sensitive or Controversial Topics. Any material that raises a reasonable concern relating to its appropriateness shall be submitted to the principal or the principal’s designee for prior approval on the Request for Utilization of Supplementary Materials Form.

Guidelines of Supplementary Materials

When developing lessons and selecting supplementary materials around sensitive or controversial topics, teachers and school administrators shall ensure that:

1. Supplementary materials are aligned with the approved curriculum and both content and illustrations are grade-level appropriate;

2. Full-length films are not encouraged for use in classroom instruction. Whenever possible, video clips are deemed more instructionally appropriate. The use of a full-length film in its entirety in classroom instruction must meet the following rating guidelines:

  • Only “G” rated films may be shown in grades K-2

  • Only “G” and “PG” films may be shown for grades 3-7

  • Only “G,”“PG,” and “PG-13” films may be shown for grades 8-12

3. Parents receive notice prior to the introduction of controversial or sensitive topics. A course syllabus that includes a list of these topics shall constitute such notice at the middle and high school levels;

4. Students are provided background knowledge necessary to participate in an activity;

5. Thorough follow-up is provided to address misunderstandings or to allow for student reactions; and

6. Upon receiving notification, parents/guardians may request an alternative assignment. The appropriate subject area curriculum specialist may provide assistance to staff in complying with this policy.

Amended: January 13, 2015, June 14, 2016 

REGULATION 6-5.6(B) PROCEDURE FOR SELECTING FAMILY LIFE MATERIALS

Supplemental audiovisual materials for the Family Life Education program must be reviewed and approved by a division-wide committee consisting of at least 1 administrator, 2 parents, 2 teachers, and the appropriate elementary or secondary director (or designee).

New audiovisual materials may be recommended to the review committee by completing the attached Request for A-V Family Life Materials. All requests will be reviewed for possible purchase. It is important that all appropriate questions on the request form be answered as thoroughly as possible.

Recommended audiovisual materials will be evaluated and reviewed as to the appropriateness for the content area and specific objective, presentation style, and technical quality. The attached approval form must be completed and signed by the committee members prior to the requested materials being used in any classroom. 

POLICY 6-5.7 COMPLAINTS REGARDING INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND LEARNING RESOURCES

Complaints

The selection of learning resources is governed by Hanover School Board Policies 6-5.5 and 6-5.6. Despite the care taken in selecting suitable learning resources, and despite the qualifications and expertise of persons involved in that selection process, the School Board recognizes that occasional objections to materials may be made. It is, therefore, the policy of the School Board to provide channels of communication and a procedure to follow for any person who is the parent or guardian of a student in Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS), or is a resident of Hanover County, in expressing and resolving concerns about learning resources, including instructional materials, used in teaching the curriculum.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-87, 22.1-253.13:7.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: January 13, 2015

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-5.7 REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Instructional materials, whether basal, supplemental, or library materials, may be challenged by any parent or guardian of a Hanover County Public Schools student, Hanover County Public Schools employee, or Hanover County resident. Challenged materials may continue to be used until the challenge has been resolved or the appeals process has been completed. If a certain material is under review, an additional reconsideration form may not be submitted until a decision at Level Two of the appeals process is reached. The action taken at the highest level of review will remain in effect for a period of four (4) years. After this time the material may be reconsidered following selection policy guidelines.

There are four levels of review for challenges to instructional materials:

Level One, Conference with Principal
Level Two, Local School Review Committee
Level Three, HCPS Instructional Material Review Committee (IMRC)
Level Four, School Board Review

Level One, Conference with Principal:

a. If a complainant is concerned about the use of an instructional material, a conference shall be held with the principal and the teacher or librarian to discuss the use of the material. The principal will give the complainant his/her decision either orally at the conclusion of the conference or in writing within three (3) school days, and provide the complainant with the form for appealing.

b. If the complainant is a parent or guardian and requests the material be withdrawn from use with his/her child, the principal may honor the request if he/she decides that the substitution of another instructional material is appropriate. The material shall not be withdrawn from use with other students at this time.

c. If the complainant desires further action, the principal shall provide him/her with the Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Form. The form is due seven (7) school days after the principal’s conference. The principal shall notify in writing the Superintendent that the material is under consideration. The principal also will notify involved school instructional personnel that the material is under consideration.

Level Two, Local School Review Committee:

a. Upon receipt of the completed Reconsideration of Instructional Material Form, the principal shall establish a review committee to include at least one administrator, two teachers, a librarian, and one community member. A review committee convened by a high school principal may also include one student. The Lead Teacher Specialist for Library Media Services will assist in coordinating this level of review.

b. Prior to meeting with the complainant, the review committee shall:

i. Review the completed form submitted by the complainant.
ii. Read, view, or experience the challenged material in its entirety.
iii. Invite the teacher(s) utilizing the challenged instructional material to discuss why they chose to use it and how they use it.
iv. Consider whether the challenged instructional material has general acceptance among educators as an instructional material for the relevant student age-group by consulting reviews and recommended lists, if available.
v. Consider the extent to which the challenged instructional material supports the school educational program, including relevant Standards of Learning (Checklist for Committee’s Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Form).
vi. Evaluate the challenged instructional material for its strength and value as a whole and not in part.

c. An opportunity will be given for the complainant to meet with the committee to present and discuss the complainant’s challenge. This meeting should be scheduled within ten (10) school days of receipt of the completed Reconsideration of Instructional Material Form. If the complainant does not accept the opportunity to meet, the committee will discontinue its review.

d. The review committee will meet as a group to discuss the complainant’s challenge after the complainant has concluded his/her meeting with the review committee. The review committee will set forth its decision concerning the challenged instructional material in writing. The principal will send a letter to the complainant to advise him/her of the review committee’s decision. The principal will also forward a copy of this letter, the complainant’s completed form, and the review committee’s written decision to the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Level Three, HCPS Instructional Material Review Committee (IMRC):

If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the review committee, he or she may appeal the decision to the HCPS Instructional Material Review Committee (IMRC) by notifying the principal in writing within seven (7) school days of the date of the principal’s letter to the complainant. An appeal submitted after the seven-day deadline will not be considered.

a. Upon receipt of an appeal of the decision of the Local School Review Committee, the Superintendent will convene a meeting of the IMRC. The composition of the IMRC will include the Superintendent or his/her designee, who serves as the IMRC chairperson, the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership, and the Lead Teacher Specialist for the specific content area in which the challenged instructional material is used.

b. The HCPS IMRC shall:

i. Study the written decisions of the Review Committee and all information considered by the Review Committee to make its decision.
ii. Invite the complainant to appear before the IMRC to present and discuss the complainant’s appeal. This meeting should be scheduled within ten (10) school days of receipt of the appeal. If the complainant does not choose to meet with the IMRC, the IMRC will discontinue its review of the appeal and the Review Committee’s decision will stand.
iii. The IMRC will meet to discuss the complainant’s appeal after the complainant has concluded his or her meeting with the IMRC. The IMRC will communicate its decision concerning the challenged instructional material in writing. The Superintendent will send a letter to the complainant to advise him/her of the IMRC’s decision.

Level Four, School Board Review:

The School Board shall be informed of such complaints when in the opinion of the division Superintendent:

a. They indicate a need for change in the School Board policy.

b. They seem to represent fairly widespread concern in the community.

c. They raise substantive questions about the adequacy of any phase of the educational program.

d. They are of such magnitude as to cause undue damage to the image or reputation of the schools.

The complainant shall have the right to appeal any decisions of the division Superintendent to the School Board within seven (7) school days of the date of the Superintendent’s letter to the complainant. An appeal submitted after the seven-day deadline will not be considered. The School Board’s review will be a consideration of the record, which shall include all materials reviewed during Levels One, Two, and Three. The decision of the School Board shall be final.

Amended: January 13, 2015

Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

Checklist for Committee’s Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

POLICY 6-5.8 FIELD TRIPS

The Hanover County School Board supports the use of field trips to extend the learning opportunities provided in the regular instructional program and to provide opportunities for competition for students in extracurricular programs. Trips shall be approved by the division superintendent or his designee. Principals are expected to consider the educational value of the trip, the availability of the learning opportunities and the distance, time and expense involved in the trip. Principals are also responsible for following all procedures for requesting approval of field trips. Only properly insured modes of transportation are to be used for school trips. Principals should insure that no student is denied participation on a field trip because of the expense of the trip.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-176.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-5.8 FIELD/RECREATIONAL/CLASS TRIPS

Approval

All school-sponsored trips must be approved by the division superintendent or his designee.

Chaperones

All school-sponsored trips must include an adequate number of adult chaperones (1 per 10 students). Chaperones must adhere to the following guidelines:

Before the trip:

  • Complete a “School Volunteer Registration Sheet.”

  • Alert the supervising teacher of any medical, emotional, or physical conditions which may impact ability to perform responsibilities.

  • Review the section regarding Rules Governing Bus Transportation in the Code of Student Conduct.

  • Notify the supervising teacher of any specialized certification(s) or qualification(s) in CPR and/or First Aide or EMT/Paramedic.

  • Submit a copy of personal insurance if providing transportation for students in a personal vehicle.

During the trip:

  • Report to and take direction from the supervising teacher.

  • Remain alert and aware of potential danger.

  • Report any suspicious or inappropriate activity not recognized as being approved by the school to the supervising teacher.

  • Be in possession or have access to a copy of the permission slips showing the students’ names, emergency numbers to reach parents, and any relevant medical information regarding student needs for each student under their supervision.

  • Do not release any student under any circumstances to anyone not identifiable as the guardian parent, biological parent, custodial parent, or foster parent. A grandparent, step-parent, or a family member or friend of the family must have written permission signed by the custodial parent to transport a child from a school sponsored field trip and must be able to prove his or her identity to the chaperone and to the supervising teacher prior to release of the child.

  • Be prepared to assume the role of supervisor should the teacher become disabled or unable to supervise the field trip, or should the transportation vehicle break-down or become involved in an accident.

Guidelines

The following guidelines should be adhered to:

1. Teachers desiring to take a field trip should submit plans to the principal showing the relationship of the trip to the regular classroom work of the students, the objectives of the trip, and plans for evacuation and follow-up activities. Such plans must be approved before discussing them with the students or parents. It is suggested that the subject teacher discuss the trip with the department head. The principal shall approve or disapprove any such plans or trips before requesting permission from the director of instructional support services.

2. The principal must request and be granted permission by the division superintendent’s office before any field trips are scheduled.

3. Completion of plans and notification of parents shall be made following approval from the central office.

4. Written permission from each student must be received by the principal and filed prior to the date of the proposed field trip. Parental permission slips must be kept on file for at least two months.

5. Primary grades, (K, 1, 2, 3) should usually be limited to not more than two (2) trips per grade, per year. These trips should be limited to within the boundaries of Hanover County or immediate surrounding areas. Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 should usually be limited to not more than two (2) trips per grade. One of these trips may be outside Hanover County or the immediate surrounding area.

6. Children in grades 4 through 12 should be permitted to attend not more than one (1) musical concert a year in the Richmond area, in addition to any field trips that may be taken.

7. Arrangements should be made prior to the trip for students who may require medical attention (i.e. an Epi-Pen) or medication during the trip.

Permission Form

No Hanover County Public School student shall be permitted to participate in a school-sponsored field trip without returning a permission slip signed by his parent(s). Instructional staff should use the attached Transportation & Field Trip Authorization form.

Privately Sponsored Trips

The School Board does not endorse any privately sponsored trips for students or any student trips that are not a part of the instructional program. The faculty shall not be permitted to solicit students for such trips during the school day. The division superintendent shall emphasize to any interested students and/or parents that trips of this nature are strictly private enterprises.

Transportation

Transportation requests for use of County buses shall be submitted electronically thirty (30) days prior to the date of requested travel, and approved by the division superintendent or designee.

Normally school buses shall not be used for travel except within the boundaries of Hanover County and a reasonable area. (School bus transportation requests shall be made by the principal using the forms provided.) Commercial vehicles shall be used for trips beyond the limitations placed on school bus transportation.

Where commercial transportation is being utilized, a letter of explanation and intent shall be submitted to the division superintendent’s office thirty (30) days prior to the date of requested travel. Arrangements for commercial transportation shall be the responsibility of each respective principal and a written certificate of insurance shall be on file in the principal’s office. When a Hanover County Public School bus is used on field trips as a part of the established program, normally there shall be no fees for transportation.

Private vehicles may be used to transport students on field trips only with prior approval of the division superintendent or his designee and with the assurance that all insurance requirements have been met. No student should be denied the privilege of going on a school-sponsored field trip because of a lack of funds.

Overnight Trips

The School Board generally discourages student trips out-of-state and/or requiring overnight accommodations. However, in those circumstances when such trips present unique educational or extra-curricular opportunities, the division superintendent or his designee shall give requests for such trips special consideration. During overnight trips, the chaperone ratio should be increased to one for every six students.

Under an elevated or imminent alert status or when deemed appropriate by school division staff, extra precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of staff, students and chaperones. The school division reserves the right to deny or withdraw field trip approval when it is deemed appropriate.

Amended: April 22, 2003, September 16, 2003, August 24, 2004, July 12, 2005, March 27, 2012

Field Trip Forms

POLICY 6-5.9 EMPLOYMENT AND WORK-TRAINING CERTIFICATES

Employment certificates for qualified Hanover County Public School students shall be issued only by the division superintendent or his designee in accordance with all applicable law. The division superintendent or his designee shall have the authority to administer the oath provided for granting such permits and to make any examination necessary for the issuance thereof. No fee shall be charged for issuing any such certificate, nor for administering any oath or rendering any services in respect thereto.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 40.1-78, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

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