Federal code, state code, and Virginia School Boards Association policy set certain requirements for school divisions regarding annual notifications, public hearings, and postings. Richmond Public Schools has addressed each of the requirements below for the 2018-2019 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 804.780.7100 or visit the Richmond City Hall at 301 N. 9th Street, 17th Floor, in the City of Richmond.
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. View School Board Policy IIBE, Acceptable Use of Technology (page 37), which includes policy regulation and responsible use acceptance agreements and procedures.
Each school division must annually notify parents, employees and other building occupants about asbestos inspections, response actions, and post-response action activities, including periodic reinspection and surveillance activities that are planned or in progress. View the division's Asbestos Notification.
Availability of School Division Policies and Regulations
Each division must make an annual announcement at the beginning of the school year advising the public that current copies of all division policies and regulations are available on the division’s website. The announcement should also state that printed copies of school division policies and regulations are available to citizens who do not have online access. 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, in line item form, including the estimated required local match, on the division’s website. The document must also be made available in hard copy as needed for citizens for inspection. The school division's 2015-16 Adopted Budget, along with associated documents and presentations, can be accessed through the Budget & Financial Reporting site.
Child Nutrition Services
Each division which participates in the Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools programs must notify parents and the public about the programs. Parents of all children in attendance at school must receive a notice containing an application form and the following information: eligibility criteria for benefits; application procedures; an explanation that an application for benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete documentation including, for households applying on the basis of income and household size - names of all household members - income received by each household member, identified by source of the income (such as earnings, wages, welfare, pensions, support payments, unemployment compensation and social security and other cash income) - the signature of an adult household member - the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application or an indication that he/she does not possess a social security number; an explanation that households with children who are members of currently identified food stamp, FDPIR (food distribution program for households on Indian reservations) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) households may submit an abbreviated application for benefits for those children with the following information: the child’s name and appropriate food stamp or TANF case number or FDPIR case number or other identifier and the name and signature of an adult household member; an explanation that the information on the application may be verified at any time during the school year; how a household may apply for benefits at any time during the school year as circumstances change; a statement to the effect that children having parents or guardians who become unemployed are eligible for free or reduced price meals or for free milk during the period of unemployment if the loss of income causes the household income during the period of unemployment to be within the eligibility criteria; a statement to the effect that in certain cases foster children are eligible for free or reduced price meals or free milk regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside and that households wishing to apply for such benefits for foster children should contact the school • the statement: “In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age or disability”; how a household may appeal the decision on the application; and a statement that Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants may be eligible for free or reduced price meals.
The public notification must be made at the beginning of each school year. It must contain the same information given to parents and must be provided to the informational media, the local unemployment office and to any major employers contemplating large layoffs in the area from which the school draws its attendance. The public announcement must contain a copy of the letter or notice sent to parents.
In addition, schools must post a report of the most recent food safety inspection in a publicly visible location. A copy of the inspection report must be provided to members of the public upon request.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) directs divisions which participate in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program to have a policy in place for participating children who do not have money in their account or in hand to cover the cost of the meal at the time of service. The USDA directs the division’s policy on unpaid meal charges to be delivered to all households at the start of the school year and to households that transfer into the school division during the school year.
Code of Student Conduct, Compulsory Attendance Law, Parental Responsibility and Involvement
Within one calendar month of the opening of school, each division must, simultaneously with any other materials customarily distributed at that time, send to the parents of each enrolled student: a notice of the requirements of Va. Code regarding parental responsibility and involvement; a copy of the school 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. Each parent must sign and return to the student’s school a statement acknowledging the receipt of the above materials and each school must maintain records of such signed statements. The materials sent to parents must include a notice that by signing the statement of receipt, parents expressly reserve their rights protected by the constitutions or laws of the United States or the Commonwealth and that parents have the right to express disagreement with a school's or school division's policies or decisions. View the Student Code of Responsible Ethics (SCORE). The document is also available en español. SCORE is made available for at the start of each school year and includes excerpts from School Board policies as well as the Code of Virginia.
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 must also include actual per pupil state and local education expenditures for the previous school year. The notice may include federal funds spent for public education in the division. The notice shall be made available in a form provided by DOE and published on the school division’s website or in hard copy on request. The notice should be printed on a form prescribed by the Board of Education and distributed to school divisions for publication. Refer to School Board Policy DIA, Reporting Per Pupil Costs (page 12).
Parents must be notified annually regarding the academic and career guidance and personal/social counseling programs which are available to their children. The notification must include the purpose and general description of the programs, information regarding ways parents may review materials to be used in guidance and counseling programs at their child's school and information about the procedures by which parents may limit their child's participation in such programs. Refer to School Board Policy IJ, Guidance and Counseling Program (page 47).
Credits Required for Graduation
Each division must notify the parents of rising eleventh and twelfth grade students of requirements for graduation pursuant to the standards for accreditation, and requirements that have yet to be completed by the individual student for graduation. The counseling office at each Richmond City high school addresses this requirement on an individual student basis. Refer to School Board Policy IKF, Standards of Learning Tests and Graduation Requirements (page 43).
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, inclusive. The division must notify parents of students who fail to graduate or to achieve graduation requirements as provided in the standards for accreditation and who have not reached 20 years of age on or before August 1st 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 Va. 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, career and technical education programs, including internships, externships, apprenticeships, credentialing programs, certification programs, licensure programs, and other work-based learning experiences, the International Baccalaureate program and Academic Year Governor’s School Programs. The notification must include the qualifications for enrolling in such classes and programs classes, programs and experiences, and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take the advanced placement and International Baccalaureate examinations. Notification must also be given to students and parents of the division’s 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. The division publishes this information annually in the high school program of studies.
Eating Disorders Awareness Information
Every school board must annually provide information to parents of pupils in grades five through 12 regarding eating disorders. The information must be consistent with guidelines developed by the Virginia Department of Education. View the policy guidelines. Also available is the Eating Disorder Notice (en español).
Each school’s written procedures to follow in emergencies such as fire, injury, illness and violent or threatening behavior 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. Refer to School Board Policy EB, School Crisis, Emergency Management, and Medical Response Plan (page 4).
School divisions receiving federal funds to provide a language instruction educational program must, not later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year, inform the parents of English learners of the following: the reasons for the identification of their child as an English learner and in need of placement in a language instruction educational program; the child's level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child's academic achievement; the methods of instruction used in the program in which their child is, or will be participating, and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction; how the program in which their child is, or will be participating, will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child; how such program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation; the specific exit requirements for the program, including the expected rate of transition from such program into classrooms that are not tailored for English learners and the expected rate of graduation from high school (including four year adjusted cohort graduation rates and extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rates for such program) if federal funds are used for children in high schools; in the case of a child with a disability, how such program meets the objectives of the individualized education program of the child; information pertaining to parental rights that includes written guidance detailing o the parents’ right to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request and o the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available information pertaining to parental rights that includes written guidance assisting parents in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than one program or method is offered by the division. For those children who have not been identified as English learners prior to the beginning of the school year, the division must give the notifications listed above to parents within the first two weeks of the child being placed in a language instruction educational program. In addition, parents of English learners will be notified regarding parental involvement opportunities in the same manner as notice is given regarding other Title I programs. Refer to School Board Policy IGBF, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (page 21). For more information about our English Learners programs, please visit the English as a Second Language (ESL) homepage.
The school division’s policy regarding student fees and the fee schedule must be provided to parents annually and posted on the division’s website. View webpage addressing Student Fees, Tuitions, and Charges.
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
School divisions must provide parents/guardians 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. School divisions must give notice of the categories of information, if any, which they have designated as directory information. This requirement may be met by providing parents a copy of the division’s FERPA policy. The division must allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been given for a parent to inform the division that any or all of the information designated should not be released without the parent's prior consent. View the Notification of Rights Under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools and the FERPA Notice for Directory Information (Spanish version). Refer to School Board Policy JO, Student Records, which includes the school division's FERPA policy.
Gifted Education Plan
Each division is required to make its comprehensive plan for the education of gifted students accessible through the division’s website. The division must also ensure printed copies are available to citizens who do not have online access. Refer to the RPS Gifted Education Plan 2017-2022
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 (page 52).
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 policies adopted by the local school board. Notice of this provision must be provided to parents with a deadline and format for making such a request. Notice of this provision is provided to parents with the final middle school report card. Refer to School Board Policy IKFA, Middle School Students Taking High School Credit Courses.
Each division must provide public notice of the education rights of the homeless students enrolled in the division. The notice is to be disseminated in places where homeless students receive services, including schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens. The notice must be in a “manner and form” understandable to homeless students and their parents/guardians, “including, if necessary and to the extent feasible,” in their native language. Refer to School Board Policy JECA, Admission of Homeless Children (page 41).
At the beginning of each school year, every school must provide to parents or guardians the learning objectives to be achieved at their child’s grade level or, in high school, a copy of the syllabus for each of their child’s courses. 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. The full Richmond Public Schools curricula for grades PK-12 may be viewed here.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
Parents of children selected to participate in any NAEP assessment must be informed before the administration of any 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. Parents and members of the public must have access to all assessment data, questions and complete and current assessment instruments of any NAEP assessment except personally identifiable information and questions that may be reused in the future. School divisions must make reasonable efforts to inform parents and the public about their right of access to assessment data. If access is requested in writing, it must be provided within 45 days of the request and be made available in a secure setting that is convenient to both parties.
A number of federal statutes protect the rights of beneficiaries in programs or activities that receive financial assistance from discrimination. Specifically, the following statutes prohibit discrimination: • Title VI on the basis of race, color and national origin 10 | P a g e • Title IX on the basis of sex • Section 504 on the basis of disability • the Age Discrimination Act on the basis of age • Title II prohibits state and local governments from discriminating on the basis of disability • the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects employees from discrimination on the basis of genetic information In addition, the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act prohibits schools which have an open forum or limited public forum from discriminating based on the membership or leadership criteria of the Boy Scouts of America or the other designated youth groups. 20 U.S.C. § 7905. The regulations implementing these statutes require school divisions to notify students, parents, and others that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. Title VI, 34 C.F.R. § 100.6(d); Title IX, 34 C.F.R. § 106.9; Section 504, 34 C.F.R. § 104.8; Age Discrimination Act, 34 C.F.R. § 110.25; Title II, 28 C.F.R. § 35.106; see also 34 C.F.R. 108.5 (re the Boy Scouts). Employers are required to post a notice approved by the EEOC regarding GINA. VSBA Policy GBA/JFHA Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation; 42 U.S.C. § 2000ff1; 29 C.F.R. 1635.10(c). A notice may be downloaded at http://www1.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf. Students and employees must be notified of the name, office address and phone number of the division’s Compliance Officer(s) under Title IX (34 C.F.R. § 106.8), Section 504 (34 C.F.R. 104.8), the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. § 35.107) and the Age Discrimination Act (34 C.F.R. § 110.25). The division's Non-Discrimination Statement can be accessed from the division website. More detailed information, including contact information for our Compliance Officers and procedures, can be found in School Board Policy JFHA, Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation (for students) or School Board Policy GBA, Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation (for personnel).
Parent and Family Engagement Policy
Districts 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 (page 11).
Postsecondary Education and Employment Data
Each school board’s career and technical education program must include annual notice on its website to enrolled high school students and their parents of the availability of the postsecondary education and employment data published by the State Council of Higher Education and the opportunity for such students to obtain a nationally recognized career readiness certificate at a local public high school, comprehensive community college or workforce center. The Richmond Public Schools CTE website is available.
PPRA (Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment)
The PPRA requires school 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. This notice must be given directly to the parents of students enrolled in the division. The notice must be given at least annually at the beginning of the school year and within a reasonable time after any substantive change in the policy. View School Board Policy KFB, Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires.
In addition, divisions must also directly notify parents, at least annually at the beginning of the school year, of the specific or approximate dates during the school year when the following activities will occur: activities involving the collection, disclosure or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or selling that information; the administration of any survey concerning sensitive information; any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening.
Promotion, Retention and Remediation Policies
At the beginning of each school year, every school must provide to parents and guardians a copy of the division’s promotion, retention and remediation policies. View School Board policies IKEB, Promotion/Retention/Acceleration (page 50) 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 juveniles as adults for the commission of certain crimes. The methods of providing the information may include, but are not limited to, announcements in schools, written notification to parents, publication in student handbooks, and inclusion with other materials distributed to parents at the beginning of each school year. Refer to School Board Policy JFCL, Notification Regarding Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults
School boards must annually on or before December 31, report to the public the actual pupil/teacher ratios, by school, for the current school year, in elementary school classrooms and also must report the actual pupil/teacher ratio in middle school and high schools in the division by school.
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 that request them unless the parents specifically request that this information not be released. View School Board Policy JO, Student Records (page16).
Report Cards/ Quality Profiles
Divisions that receive Title I funds must prepare and distribute specified information to parents.Federal law refers to the distribution of this information as a report card. The Virginia Board of Education, in the Standards of Accreditation as revised in January 2018, now uses the term "School Quality Profile." The Virginia Department of Education now posts the information required by federal law to appear in division and school report cards on its website and has stated that this posting satisfies the requirements of federal law. 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, Richmond Public Schools 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. View the division's bus saftey rules.
School Lunch Program
Each division that participates in the Free and Reduced Price Meals program must notify parents and the public about the programs. Information about the division's Free and Reduced Price Meals Program is provided to parents at the beginning of each school year within First Day Packets.
In addition, schools must post a report of the most recent food safety inspection in a publicly visible location. Each Richmond Public Schools 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 or Visually Impaired
Each school board shall annually post information distributed by the Department of Education describing the 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. School boards must also inform the parents of the availability of the information and ensure that packets of the information are available in an accessible format for review by parents who do not have Internet access. The following link provides a summary of resources for students with hearing or visual impairment: 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.
Sex Offender Registry
Every school board must annually notify the parent of each student enrolled in the school division of the board’s policy regarding sex offenders and of the availability of information in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and the location of the Internet website. 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. Also available is the Sex Offender Annual Notice (en español).
Each division must, at least annually, conduct a public awareness campaign (also known as a child find program) to: inform the community of the rights of persons, ages two to 21, inclusive, to a free appropriate public education and the availability of special education programs and services; generate referrals; and explain the nature of disabilities, the early warning signs of disabilities and the need for services to begin early. View School Board Policy IGBA, Programs for Students with Disabilities. View the Special Education Annual Notice (en español) and the RPS Special Education Procedures (en español)
Standards of Learning (SOLs)
At the beginning of each school year, every school must provide to parents or guardians a copy of 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. Prior to the start of each school year, the school division publishes SOL testing information in the School Year Calendar. Test administration varies by school. Parents, please check with your child's school for specific testing dates and times. Refer to School Board Policy IKF, Standards of Learning and Graduation Requirements (page 52).
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.
Effective August 2, 2016, 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 as soon as is practicable after the assessment is given. The reports must be in an understandable format and, to the extent practicable, be in a language that parents can understand. Richmond Public Schools handles such notifications on an individual student basis.
At the beginning of each school year, 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 (in a timely manner) information regarding the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teachers, including whether the teacher 1) has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction, 2) is teaching under emergency or other provisional status and 3) is teaching in the field or discipline of the teacher’s certification. The notification must also inform the parents that they may request information regarding whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications. Starting in 2017-2018, school divisions will be required to send notification 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. Richmond Public Schools handles all such notifications on an individual student basis, when applicable. Information regarding the professional qualifications of the division's teachers may be obtained through the Richmond Public Schools' Human Resources Department.
Testing Transparency and Parent Opt Out
Effective August 2, 2016, at the beginning of each school year, school divisions that receive Title I funds shall notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving Title I funds that the parents may request, and the division will provide (in a timely manner), information regarding any state or division policy regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by 20 U.S.C. § 6311(b)(2) and by the state or division, which shall include a policy, procedure or parental right to opt the child out of such assessment, where applicable. In addition, divisions that receive Title I funds shall make widely available through public means (including by posting in a clear and easily accessible manner on the division’s website and, where practicable, on the website of each school in the division, for each grade, information on each assessment required by the state to comply with 20 U.S.C. § 6311, other assessments required by the state, and where such information is available and feasible to report, specified information regarding assessments required division wide by the division.
Voluntary Retirement Savings Programs (403(b) Plans)
Divisions which have 403(b) retirement plans must notify employees about the plan at least once each year. View School Board Policy GBR, Voluntary Retirement Savings Program (page 71). To learn more about retirement benefits for Richmond Public School 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 pursuant to Va. Code § 32.1-73.8 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 notice must be in writing and be given at least 30 days prior to administration of the survey. The notice will inform the parent regarding: the nature and types of questions included in the survey; the purposes and age-appropriateness of the survey; how information collected by the survey will be used; who will have access to such information; whether and how any findings or results will be disclosed; and the steps that will be taken to protect students' privacy. Parents have the right to review the survey prior to its administration. Refer to School Board Policy KFB, Administration of Surveys and Questionnaires (page 27).