Policy Manual

The official Washington County Public Schools' Policy Manual is available electronically via this website.

You can search all the policies and handbooks using the form below. Full text searching of all HTML and PDF files is enabled.

Note that you will need a current version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or some other software capable of reading PDF to view many of these documents.


Introduction

This manual contains the policies of the Washington County School Board; the major regulations intended to implement policy; and certain reference or "exhibit" documents that relate to policies and/or regulations.

Policy development in a modern, forward-looking school division is a dynamic, ongoing process. New problems, issues, and needs give rise to the continuing need to develop new policies or to revise existing ones.

How To Use This Manual

The Washington County Schools operate according to policies established by the Board. The Board, which represents the state and local community, develops policies after careful deliberation, and the school administration implements them through specific regulations and procedures. The Board then appraises the effects of their policies and makes revisions as necessary.

In the interests of harmony, efficiency, uniformity of interpretation, coordination of effort, and in fairness to all concerned, the Board makes this manual available to all who are affected by its policies. OFFICIAL School Board Policies will be maintained electronically and available on this website. In addition, hard copies will be maintained in each of the school libraries.

How The Manual Is Organized

The manual is organized according to the classification system developed by the Educational Policies Services of the National School Boards Association. The system provides an efficient means of coding, filing, and finding policies, regulations, and other documents.

There are 12 major classifications, each bearing an alphabetical code:

  • A - Foundations and Basic Commitments
  • B - School Board Governance and Operations
  • C - General School Administration
  • D - Fiscal Management
  • E - Support Services
  • F - Facilities Development
  • G - Personnel
  • H - Negotiations
  • I - Instructional Program
  • J - Students
  • K - School-Community Relations
  • L - Education Agency Relations

Subclassification under each heading is based on logical sequence and alphabetical subcoding.

How To Find A Policy

There are two ways to find a policy (or regulation) in the manual:

  1. Consider where the policy would be filed among the 12 major classifications. Click on the section in the menu to the left and glance down the listing until you find the term that mostly closely fits the topic you are seeking. Click on the View PDF link for that code to view the policy or regulation.
  2. Use the Search link at the top of this page to search for keywords or phrases.

What if you can't find the term you are seeking? The search index includes all the text of the policies and regulations and is updated nightly. If the term you are seeking is not included, look up a synonym or a more general or specific term appropriate to the topic.

Using the signs and symbols. Various signs and symbols are used in connection with the classification system. They are for your use in locating and/or in examining policies. Included are the following:

Also:
Certain policies bear two codes in the upper right-hand corner. The second is in parentheses and is preceded by "Also". This means that the indentical policy (or regulation) is filed under both codes.
-R
This symbol following a code indicates that the statement is a regulation, but not a Board policy.
-E
Exhibit. This symbol following a code indicates that the statement is a reference document, such as a calendar, application form, etc., rather than a policy.
*
An asterisk following a code indicates that the EPS/NSBA classification system has been expanded to include a new term.
Dates:
Wherever possible the original date of adoption/approval appears immediately following each policy/regulation.
LEGAL REF.
Pertinent legal references are given to tell the reader where in state law he many find certain statutes that relate to a policy. References direct the reader to Title 22.1 of the Code of Virginia (referred to in this Manual as "Code of Virginia"), the bylaws and regulations of the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia (referred to in this Manual as "Regulations of the Virginia Board of Education"), and to some other federal laws and regulations.

About Board Policies

Generally, the role of a board of education is to set policy and the role of the administration is to execute it. Here is the basic distinction as set forth by the National School Boards Association:

Policies are principles adopted by a board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted and many include also why and how much. They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in meeting a number of day after day problems. They need to be narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.

Regulations are the detailed directions developed by the administration to put policy into practice. They tell how, by whom, where, and when things are to be done.

These distinctions are serviceable most of the time. They reflect sound theory of government and administration. But the real world does not always conform. For example:

Often the state and federal governments requires boards of education to make detailed rules; and many regulations are established by law or by the state board of education.

Additionally, the public may demand that a board itself, not the administration, establish the specific rules and procedures in certain sensitive areas.

Thus, the separation of policies and administrative regulations in this manual follows several rules of thumb in addition to "basic theory":

  1. All edits of the State (even though regulations) are considered mandated by Board policy.
  2. Where the School Board has written regulations required by law or in particularly sensitive areas, and have incorporated them into policy, the entire statement is sometimes presented as policy; or the regulations may be extracted from the policy.
  3. Where the School Board has adopted rules (bylaws) concerning their own operations (for instance, how to conduct meetings), these statements concerning the operations of the School Board could appear as policies.

As long as the administration operates within the guidelines of policy adopted by the School Board, it may issue regulations without prior Board approval unless Board action is required by law. The Board, of course, is kept informed of all school division regulations issued by the administration, and all are subject to Board review.

Is The Manual Complete?

No. The manual contains all the current written polices of the Board to date. But continually, the need for putting additional policies in writing, for adopting new ones, and revising old ones becomes apparent. Additionally, state law and state board regulations change. Not matter how well conceived and well developed, a policy manual can never be 100% completely and 100% up to date. Policy development is a continuing process. So from time to time, new policies, regulations, and reference documents will be developed, coded according to the classification system, and electronically converted to our Official website Policy Manual and hard copy manual updates issued.

Order of Precedence. Board policies and regulations must be read and interpreted in the light of the Virginia statutes and state regulations. Wherever inconsistencies of interpretation arise, the law and state regulations prevail.

Terminology. To avoid problems of wording, masculine pronouns used in this manual refer to both sexes.


It is the hope of the Board that this collection of policies and regulations will make a greater harmony and efficiency possible in all areas of school operations. This will enable the Board to devote more time to its primary duty — the development of long-range policies and planning for the future of the school division.

The Washington County School Board

Date: April, 2008


Last Update: 2014-01-03 14:42:04

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