Federal code, state code, and Virginia School Boards Association policy set certain requirements for school divisions regarding annual notifications, public hearings, and postings. Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) has addressed each of the requirements below for the 2016-17 school year.
Parents or guardians who would prefer to receive a printed copy of any of the "Required Notifications" below may contact the school division's central office at 434-296-5820 or visit the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road, 3rd Floor, in Charlottesville.
- Acceptable Computer System Use Agreement
- Each student and his or her parent (as well as each employee) must sign the division's acceptable computer use agreement before using the division's computer system. Annually, a link to School Board Policy IIBE, Acceptable Use of Technology, which includes policy regulation and responsible use acceptance agreements and procedures, is provided within the online student registration/verification form.
- Each division must notify parents, employees and other building occupants about asbestos inspections, response actions, and post-response action activities. View the division's 2016-17 Asbestos Notification.
- Availability of School Division Policies and Regulations
- Each division must make an annual announcement advising the public that current copies of all division policies and regulations are available on the division's website. The announcement also should state that printed copies of school division policies and regulations are available to citizens who do not have online access. Copies of the division's policies are available online through our Electronic School Board website or at the county libraries, school division offices, and each of our county schools. Each summer, the school division prints general information about our School Board, including information about accessing policies, within the School Year Calendar, which is mailed to each ACPS family and also available in every school office. Refer to School Board Policy BFB, Board Policy Manual.
- Upon approval of the school division's budget by the appropriating body every year, the school board must publish the approved annual budget on the division's website. The school division's 2016-17 Adopted Budget, along with associated documents and presentations, can be accessed through the 2016-17 Budget Development site. A line item view of the 2016-17 Adopted Budget can be found on page A-19.
- Code of Student Conduct, Compulsory Attendance Law, Parental Responsibility and Involvement
- Each division must supply parents of each enrolled student a notice of the requirements regarding parental responsibility and involvement, a copy of the division's standards of student conduct, and a copy of the compulsory school attendance law and the enforcement procedures and policies adopted by the school board. In return, each parent must acknowledge receipt of these materials. Annually, a link to the 2016-17 Parental Responsibility and Involvement Requirements packet (en español) is provided within the online student registration/verification form and includes excerpts from the Code of Virginia and the following School Board policies: JFC, Student Conduct; JEA, Compulsory Attendance; JED, Student Absences/Excuses/Dismissals; and JEG, Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance.
- Cost per Pupil
- The superintendent must prepare and distribute notification of the estimated average per pupil cost for public education in the division for the upcoming school year. The notice also must include actual per pupil state and local education expenditures for the previous school year. View Per Pupil Expenditures for ACPS. Refer to School Board Policy DIA, Reporting Per Pupil Costs.
- Parents must be notified regarding the academic and career guidance and personal/social counseling programs that are available to their children, including procedures by which parents may limit their child's participation in such programs. View our counseling curriculum online, or view our counseling program brochures by grade level: Elementary, Middle, and High. Refer to School Board Policy IJ, Guidance and Counseling Program.
- Credits Required for Graduation
- Each division must notify the parents of rising juniors and seniors of requirements for graduation pursuant to the standards for accreditation. The counseling office at each ACPS high school addresses this requirement on an individual student basis. Refer to School Board Policy IKF, Standards of Learning Tests and Graduation Requirements.
- Further, the division must notify parents of students with disabilities who have an IEP and who fail to meet the graduation requirements of the student's right to a free and appropriate education to age 21. The division also must notify parents of students who fail to graduate or to achieve graduation requirements as provided in the standards of accreditation and who have not reached 20 years of age on or before August 1 of the school year of the right to a free public education. If the student is one for whom English is a second language, the division will notify the parent of the student's opportunity for a free public education in accordance with state code. Refer to School Board Policy IAA, Notification of Learning Objectives.
- Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement Classes, and Special Programs
- Students and their parents must be notified of the availability of dual enrollment, advanced placement classes, the International Baccalaureate program, and Academic Year Governor's School Programs. The division publishes this information within Pathways to Your Future, the guide to high school credit courses.
- Eating Disorders Awareness Information
- Every school board must annually provide information to parents of students in grades 5-12 regarding eating disorders. View the information sheet for parents.
- Emergency Procedures
- Each school's written procedures to follow in emergencies must be outlined in the student handbook and discussed with staff and students in the first week of each school year. Student handbooks are distributed by individual schools, and emergency procedures are discussed with students and parents during student orientation and Back-to-School events. View the 2016-17 Back-to-School schedule. Refer to School Board Policy EB, School Crisis, Emergency Management, and Medical Response Plan.
- English Learners
- School divisions receiving federal funds to provide a language instruction educational program must inform the parents of English learners of the reasons for the
identification of their child as an English learner in need of placement in a language instruction program, as well as
the details of the division's language instruction program and
information pertaining to parental rights. ACPS sends home a letter to all parents of ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) students including the details required by federal law, either in the first 30 days of school or within 2 weeks of entry into the program during the school year. Parents also may refer to School Board Policy IGBF, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). For more information about our support programs for English Language Learners, please visit the International & ESOL Program homepage.
- The school division's policy regarding student fees and the fee schedule must be provided to parents annually. Refer to School Board Policy JN, Student Fees, Fines, and Charges. View the 2016-17 Fee Schedule, which includes fees for high schools, and middle schools. For elementary students, there is a $10 fee that covers the cost of a recorder and recorder book. Parents will receive notification from their child's music teacher when this fee is due.
- FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
- Divisions must provide parents and adult students annual notice of their rights to inspect and review education records, amend education records, consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in education records, and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. View the Model Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools. Also, refer to School Board Policy JO, Student Records, which includes the school division's FERPA policy and defines the categories of information the school division designates as directory information.
- Graduation Requirements
- At the beginning of each school year, every school must provide to students in all grade levels a notice of all requirements for Board of Education-approved Diplomas. View the graduation requirements (minimum credit and course requirements) approved by the Virginia Department of Education: Advanced Studies Diploma | Standard Diploma | Modified Standard Diploma.View the school division's graduation requirements in School Board Policy IKF, Standards of Learning and Graduation Requirements. The division also publishes graduation requirements within Pathways to Your Future, the guide to high school credit courses.
- High School Credit-Bearing Courses Taken in Middle School
- For any high school credit-bearing course taken in middle school, parents may request that grades be omitted from the student's transcript and the student not earn high school credit for the course in accordance with School Board Policy IKFA, Middle School Students Taking High School Credit Courses. The counseling office at each ACPS middle school addresses this requirement on an individual student basis.
- Homeless Students
- Each division must give public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths. View the Educational Rights of Homeless Youth poster (en español) published by the National Center for Homeless Students. Refer to School Board Policy JECA, Admission of Homeless Children.
- Internet Privacy
- Every school division that has an Internet website must make its Internet privacy statement conspicuously available on its website. The division's Privacy Statement can be accessed from the menu at the bottom of every page of the division website.
- Learning Objectives
- Every school must provide to parents the learning objectives to be achieved at their child's grade level. Refer to School Board Policy IAA, Notification of Learning Objectives. In high school, this requirement is met by providing students with a syllabus for each of their courses. Parents also may find it helpful to view course descriptions detailed within Pathways to Your Future, the guide to high school credit courses. The Middle School Program Guide provides a summary of learning objectives for grades 6-8. ACPS curricula for grades PK-12 may be viewed through the Department of Instruction homepage for the following core instructional areas: Career & Technical Education, Fine Arts, Health & Physical Education, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, and Virtual Learning.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
- In accordance with federal code, ACPS will inform parents of children selected to participate in any NAEP assessment that their child may be excused from participation for any reason, is not required to finish any authorized assessment, and is not required to answer any test question. Further, parents will be informed of their right of access to assessment data.
- Divisions must notify students, parents and others that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. The division's Non-Discrimination Statement (en español) can be accessed from the menu at the bottom of every page of the division website. More detailed information, including contact information for our Compliance Officers and procedures, can be found in School Board policies JFHA, Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation (for students) and GBA, Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation (for personnel).
- Parent and Family Engagement Policy
- Divisions and schools that receive Title I funds must distribute their parental involvement policy to parents of students in Title I programs. Refer to School Board Policy IGBC, Parental Involvement.
- Postsecondary Education and Employment Data
- The school division's Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program must include annual notice on its website to enrolled high school students and their parents of the availability of postsecondary education and employment data published by the State Council of Higher Education. (Hint: Use the drop-down box to search by institution.) Additionally, the Virginia Department of Education's Office of Career & Technical Education recommends the CTE resources provided by the Trailblazers website.
- PPRA (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment)
- The PPRA requires divisions to provide notice of their policy controlling the administration of surveys on certain sensitive topics, including political or religious beliefs and behavior involving sex or illegal conduct. View School Board Policy KFB, Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires.
- Promotion, Retention and Remediation Policies
- Every school must provide to parents a copy of the division's promotion, retention and remediation policies. View School Board policies IKEB, Promotion/Retention/Acceleration, and IGBE, Remedial and Summer Instruction Program.
- Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults
- School boards must provide information developed by the office of the Virginia Attorney General to students regarding laws governing the prosecution of juvelines as adults for the commission of certain crimes. Open the Laws Regarding the Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults, as developed by the Office of the Attorney General. Refer to School Board Policy JFCL, Notification Regarding Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults.
- Pupil/Teacher Ratios in Elementary School Classrooms
- School boards must annually report to the public the actual pupil/teacher ratios in elementary school classrooms by school. ACPS annually reports class size data each fall, typically in late October/early November. View the 2015-16 Class Size Report.
- Release of Student Records to Armed Forces Recruiters and Educational Institutions
- Divisions must notify parents that they will release the names, addresses and telephone numbers of secondary students to all recruiters or institutions of higher education upon request, unless parents specifically request that this information not be released. View School Board Policy JO, Student Records.
- Report Cards
- Divisions that receive Title I funds must prepare and distribute to parents an annual district report card showing specified information. The Virginia Department of Education now posts this information on its website. Report cards for schools, school divisions and the state provide information about student achievement, accountability ratings, attendance, program completion, school safety, teacher quality, and other topics. Reports may be viewed and downloaded as PDF files or Microsoft Excel files. Refer to School Board Policy CMA, Albemarle County School Division Annual Report Card.
- School Bus Rider Safety Rules
- A copy of bus rider safety rules shall be sent to parents at the beginning of the school year. The information shall include a request that parents or their designee accompany their young children to and from the bus stop. Annually, a link to the Parent's Guide to Transportation (en español) is provided within the online student registration/verification form.
- School Lunch Program
- Each division that participates in the Free and Reduced Price Meals program must notify parents and the public about the programs. Annually, a printed Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals is included in every student’s First Day Packet and available in each school office. Links to the form and program information also are provided within the online student registration/verification form. New this year, beginning in August 2016, families may apply for free and reduced meal benefits online through the Child Nutrition Program website. Refer to School Board Policy EFB, Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program. Public notification is provided through an annual press release: Albemarle County Public Schools Issues 2016-17 Policy for Providing Free or Reduced Price Meals for Students (August 5, 2016).
- Also, schools must post a report of the most recent food safety inspection in a publicly visible location. Each ACPS cafeteria receives at least two inspections per year. The most recent inspection is posted in each cafeteria in public view.
- Services for Students Identified as Hearing Impaired or Visually Impaired
- Each school board shall annually post information distributed by the Department of Education describing educational and other services available through the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to the parents of those students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired. View Services for Students Identified as Hearing or Visually Impaired.
- Each year, the state requires that school divisions notify all parents of students in grades 5-10 about a physical condition known as scoliosis. This condition affects about two or three percent of all adolescents and causes a curvature in the spine. The division's Scoliosis Information for Parents was developed in consultation with the University of Virginia Department of Pediatric Orthopedics.
- Sex Offender Registry
- Every school board must notify parents of the board's policy regarding sex offenders. View School Board Policy KN, Sex Offender Registry Notification. The Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry can be accessed online through the Virginia State Police website.
- Special Education
- Each division must conduct a public awareness campaign (also known as a child find program) to inform the community about special education programs and services. The Albemarle County School Board maintains an active and continuing child find program designed to identify, locate and evaluate those children residing in the division who are birth to 21 inclusive who are in need of special education and related services. View School Board Policy IGBA, Programs for Students with Disabilities.
- Standards of Learning (SOLs)
- Every school must provide to parents the Standards of Learning applicable to their child's grade or course requirements and the approximate date and potential impact of the child's next SOL testing. Each summer, the school division prints general information about Virginia Standards of Learning within the School Year Calendar, which is mailed to each ACPS family and also available in every school office. SOL testing windows are noted on the month-by-month calendar; however, test administration varies by school. Parents, please check with your child's school for specific testing dates and times. For general information about SOLs and other assessments administered by ACPS, visit our Assessment web page. Refer to School Board Policy IKF, Standards of Learning and Graduation Requirements.
- State expectations for student learning and achievement can be accessed through the Virginia Department of Education website for the following subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science, History & Social Science, Family Life, Economics & Personal Finance, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Computer Technology, Health, Physical Education, and Driver Education.
- Student Achievement
- Schools that receive Title I funds must provide parents individual reports regarding their student's level of achievement and academic growth on the state's academic assessments. ACPS handles such notifications on an individual student basis.
- Teacher Qualifications
- Divisions that receive Title I funds must notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving Title I funds that the parents may request, and the division will provide, information regarding the professional qualifications of their child's classroom teachers. ACPS handles all such notifications on an individual
student basis. Information regarding the professional
qualifications of the division's teachers may be obtained through the
Albemarle County Human Resources Department.
- Note: School divisions no longer are required to send notifications to parents in Title I schools if their children are taught four or more weeks by a non-highly qualified teacher. Beginning in 2017-18, school divisions will be required to send notifications to parents in Title I schools if their children are taught four or more weeks by a teacher who is not properly licensed in Virginia to teach the class to which the students are assigned.
- Testing Transparency and Parent Opt Out
- Divisions that receive Title I funds shall notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving Title I funds that parents may request, and the division will provide, information regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by the state or division, including information about the parental right to opt a child out of an assessment, where applicable. ACPS handles all such notifications on an individual
- Additionally, divisions that receive Title I funds will publish on their website information on each assessment required by the state or division, where such information is available. For general information about assessments administered by ACPS, visit our Assessment web page.
- Voluntary Retirement Savings Programs (403(b) Plans)
- Divisions that have 403(b) retirement plans must notify employees about the plan. View School Board Policy GBR, Voluntary Retirement Savings Program. To learn more about retirement benefits for Albemarle County employees, please contact Human Resources at 434-296-5827 or visit the Human Resources Retirement Benefits web page.
- Youth Health Risk Behavior Survey
- The school board must notify parents of each student enrolled in a middle or high school selected for participation in the survey of student health risk behaviors that their child may be randomly selected to participate in the survey unless the parent denies consent for the student's participation in writing prior to administration of the survey. The school division will provide such notice at least 30 days prior to administration of the survey. Refer to School Board Policy KFB, Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires.
Required Public Hearings
- Before the School Board approves its budget for submission to the appropriating body, the board must hold at least one public hearing to hear the views of the citizens. Public notice of the hearing will be given at least 10 days in advance in The Daily Progress newspaper.
- Alternatives to Animal Dissection
- School boards must provide notice that they provide alternatives to animal dissection. ACPS provides such notice in relevant science course syllabi. Additionally, teachers bring attention to alternatives at relevant times during the school year.
- Bill of Rights
- In accordance with Virginia School Boards Association Policy IEC, the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States is posted in a conspicuous place in each Albemarle County school.
- Child Abuse Reporting
- A notice must be posted in each school regarding suspicion of child abuse or neglect and subsequent reporting. View the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) poster, A Guide for School Employees to Recognize and Report Child Abuse, which includes the VDSS toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline. Refer to School Board Policy JHG, Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting.
- Comprehensive Plan
- Prior to the adoption of the division's comprehensive plan (referred to by ACPS as "strategic plan") or revisions thereto, the plan or revisions must be posted on the division's website, and a hard copy of the plan must be made available for public inspection and copying. View the division's Horizon 2020 Strategic Plan, 2013-2020.
- Further, each school board must present a report to the public by November 1 of each odd-numbered year
on the extent to which the objectives of the division's strategic plan have been met during the previous two
school years. View the most recent report, End-of-Year Strategic Priorities Update, 2015-16 (May 2016). For more information about the division's strategic planning process, visit our Strategic Planning website.
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, including school divisions, must post Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Each employer of 50 or more employees shall post on the premises of the workplace a notice regarding Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
- Employers are required to post a notice approved by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding GINA, which protects employees from discrimination on the basis of genetic information. View the Equal Opportunity poster published by the EEOC.
- Minimum Wage
- Each employer must post, in conspicuous places on the premises of the workplace, a notice prepared or approved by the Secretary of Labor regarding the federal minimum wage law. View the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage poster published by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- National Motto
- In accordance with Virginia School Boards Association Policy IEB, the statement "In God We Trust," the National Motto enacted by Congress in 1956, is posted in a conspicuous place in each Albemarle County school.
- Online Courses and Programs
- Divisions must post information regarding online courses and programs available through the division on their website. View the division's Virtual Learning web page.
- USERRA (Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act)
- Employers are required to provide employees with notice of their rights, benefits and obligations under USERRA. View Your Rights Under USERRA: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
- Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act
- All employers in Virginia, including school divisions, must post all notices related to unemployment insurance furnished by the Virginia Unemployment Commission. View the Virginia Employment Commission Notice to Workers concerning unemployment insurance.
- Workers' Compensation
- School divisions must post, at a location frequented by employees, notice of compliance with the provisions of the Virginia Worker's Compensation Act. View the Workers' Compensation Notice published by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission.