Parental Responsibility and Involvement Requirements
State code maintains that each parent of a student enrolled in a public school has a duty to assist the school in enforcing the standards of student conduct and compulsory school attendance in order that education may be conducted in an atmosphere free of disruption and threat to persons or property, and supportive of individual rights.
Annually, the Code of Virginia requires each school division to provide the following to the parents of each enrolled student:
- A notice of the requirements of Virginia Code § 22.1-279.3 regarding parental responsibility and involvement;
- A copy of the school board's standards of student conduct; and
- A copy of the compulsory school attendance law.
At the beginning of each school year, Albemarle County Public Schools shares this information with parents/guardians through the online student registration/verification form. In return, parents must indicate receipt of these materials.
Notice: By acknowledging receipt, parents shall not be deemed to waive, but to expressly reserve, their rights protected by the constitutions or laws of the United States or the Commonwealth. Parents shall have the right to express disagreement with a school's or school division's policies or decisions.
School Board Policy JFC, Student Conduct
The following is an excerpt from School Board Policy JFC, Student Conduct, which is available in full on our ElectronicSchoolBoard website. The policy content published below was last amended on January 28, 2016, and last reviewed on September 12, 2019.
The following are standards of student conduct established by the School Board for all students. The consequences of any act are determined on the basis of the facts presented in each situation in the reasonable discretion of the Board, its designated committees and other appropriate school officials.
A student shall not intentionally take or attempt to take the personal property of another person by force, fear or other means.
2. Possession or Use of Weapons or Other Dangerous Articles
Students shall not have in their possession any type of unauthorized firearm or other dangerous weapon or device (see Policy JFCD, Weapons in Schools):
- any pistol, shotgun, rifle or other firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, operative or inoperative, or any object similar in appearance to a firearm, whether capable of being fired or not;
- any pneumatic gun, which includes pellet guns, BB guns, and CO2 air pistols; or
- any knife, razor, slingshot, brass or metal knuckles, blackjacks, explosives, or other dangerous articles.
A student further shall not misuse an acceptable object (such as a pencil, baseball bat, etc.) in a manner which endangers a person's safety or health. Possession includes storage in a vehicle, locker, or other receptacle. Any weapon possessed in violation of this policy shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons who carry such weapon or weapons as part of the curriculum or other programs sponsored by the school or any organization permitted by the school to use its premises.
3. Profane, Obscene, or Abusive Language or Conduct
Students shall not use vulgar, profane or obscene language or gestures or engage in conduct that is vulgar, profane, and obscene or disrupts the teaching and learning environment.
4. Assault and Battery
A student shall not assault or commit battery upon another person on school property, on school buses or during school activities on or off school property. An assault is a threat of bodily injury.
A battery is any bodily hurt, however slight, done to another in an angry, rude or vengeful manner.
Students shall not willfully or maliciously damage or deface any school building or other property owned or under the control of the School Board. In addition, students shall not willfully or maliciously damage or deface property belonging to or under the control of any other person at school, on a school bus or at school-sponsored events (see Policy JN-R).
No student shall enter upon any school property at night without authorized consent. Any student directed to leave or refrain from entering school property and who fails to do so shall be subject to disciplinary action. The student shall not trespass on school property or use school facilities without proper authority or permission, or during a period of suspension or expulsion.
Students are expected to perform honestly on schoolwork and tests. The following actions are prohibited:
- Cheating on a test or assigned work by giving, receiving, offering and/or soliciting information
- Plagiarizing by copying the language, structure, idea and/or thoughts of another
- Falsifying statements on any assigned schoolwork, tests or other school documents.
8. Student Dress and Displays
Students are expected to dress appropriately for a K-12 educational environment. Any clothing and displays that interfere with or disrupt the educational environment is unacceptable. Clothing and displays with language or images that are vulgar, discriminatory or obscene, or clothing and displays that promote illegal or violent conduct, such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, or drug paraphernalia or clothing and displays that contain threats such as gang symbols are prohibited. In addition, clothing and displays that demean or promote harassment or hatred toward an identifiable person or group based on race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation*, or disability, including, but not limited to, Confederate imagery and other symbols of hate and oppression, such as the swastika, cause substantial disruption to the educational environment and, therefore, are prohibited.
Disciplinary action will be taken against any student taking part in gang-related activities that are disruptive to the school environment, which include the display of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, tattoo, or manner of grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, or any other attribute, denotes membership in a gang that advocates illegal or disruptive behavior. Parents of students requiring accommodation for religious beliefs, disabilities, or other good causes should contact the principal. Students not complying with this policy will be asked to cover the noncomplying clothing, remove or cover the display, change clothes, or go home.
9. Bus-Related Offenses
Students shall not behave in a disruptive manner or otherwise violate these Standards of Conduct while waiting for a school bus, while on a school bus or after being discharged from a school bus.
10. Disruptive Conduct & Defiance of School Personnel
Students are entitled to a learning environment free of unnecessary disruption. Any physical or verbal disturbance which interrupts or interferes with teaching and orderly conduct of school activities is prohibited.
Students shall comply with any oral or written instructions made by school personnel within the scope of their authority as provided by Board policies and regulations. A student shall not interfere with the orderly process of instruction.
A student shall comply with the directions of a teacher or other school employee.
11. Leaving without Permission
A student is prohibited from leaving the school campus during the school day without authorization of designated school authorities.
12. Accessory to a Violation
A student who acts as an accessory or accomplice to another in violation of any provision of the Standards of Student Conduct will be subject to corrective action as outlined in the Standards of Student Conduct.
13. Distribution or Sale of Illegal Drugs or Possession or Distribution with Intent to Sell
Students shall not manufacture, give, sell, distribute or possess with intent to give, sell or distribute marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, or other controlled substance as defined in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 15.1 of Title 54 of the Code of Virginia.
14. Use and/or Possession of Alcohol, Tobacco Products, Nicotine Vapor Products, Anabolic Steroids and Other Drugs
A student shall not possess, use, and/or distribute any of the restricted substances listed below on school property, on school buses, or during school activities, on or off school property.
A student shall not attempt to possess, use, consume, procure, and/or purchase, any of the restricted substances listed below or what the student believes are any of the restricted substances listed below.
Restricted Substances include but are not limited to alcohol, tobacco products as defined in Policy JFCH Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products, nicotine vapor products as defined in Policy JFCH Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products, inhalant products, and other controlled substances defined in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 15.1 of Title 54 of the Code of Virginia, such as anabolic steroids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, marijuana, imitation and look-alike drugs, drug paraphernalia, and any prescription or non-prescription drug possessed in violation of School Board policy.
The School Board may require any student who has been found in possession of, or under the influence of, drugs or alcohol in violation of School Board policy to undergo evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse, or both, and, if recommended by the evaluator and with the consent of the student’s parent, to participate in a treatment program.
In addition to any other consequences which may result, a student who is a member of a school athletic team will be ineligible for two school years to compete interscholastic athletic competition if the school principal and the division superintendent determine that the student used anabolic steroids during the training period immediately preceding or during the sport season of the athletic training team, unless such steroid was prescribed by a licensed physician for a medical condition.
A student, either individually or as a part of a group, shall not bully others either in person or by the use of any communication technology including computer systems, telephones, pagers, or instant messaging systems. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or written intimidation, taunting, name-calling, and insults and any combination of prohibited activities.
“Bullying” means any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. “Bullying” includes cyber bullying. “Bullying” does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument or peer conflict.
The principal notifies the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation of bullying.
Students shall not engage in hazing.
Hazing means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily harm on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity.
The principal of any school at which hazing which causes bodily injury occurs shall report the hazing to the local Commonwealth Attorney.
A student shall not sexually harass another student or any school employee, volunteer, student teacher or any other person present in school facilities or at school functions. (See Policy JFHA/GBA, Prohibition Against Harassment and Retaliation). Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances regardless of sexual orientation*, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
18. Attendance; Truancy
Students shall attend school on a regular and punctual basis unless otherwise excused in accordance with School Board policy or regulation. (See Policy JED Student Absences/Excuses/Dismissals.)
If a student who is under 18 years of age has 10 or more unexcused absences from school on consecutive school days, the principal may notify the juvenile and domestic relations court, which may take action to suspend the student’s driver’s license.
19. Threats or Intimidation
Students shall not make any verbal, written, or physical threat of bodily injury or use of force directed toward another person. Students shall not use electronic technology or communication devices, such as the internet or cell phones, to intimidate or threaten for any reason.
A student shall not bet money or other things of value, or knowingly play or participate in any game involving such a bet, on school property, on school buses or during any school related activity.
21. Gang Activity
Gang-related activity is not tolerated. Symbols of gang membership are expressly prohibited (i.e., clothing that symbolized association, rituals associated with, or activities by an identified group of students). (See Policy JFCE Gang Activity or Association.)
22. Communication Devices
Students may possess a beeper, cellular telephone, smart phone, tablet, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or other communications device on school property, including school buses, provided that the device remain off and out of sight during instructional time unless it is being used for instruction purposes at the direction of the student’s teacher. Additionally, the student must cease use of the device if a school bus driver directs the student to discontinue use of the device if it distracts or creates an unsafe environment while the student is on the school bus. At no time may any device be used with an unfiltered connection to the Internet. The division is not liable for devices brought to school or school activities.
If a student possesses or uses such a device other than as permitted in this policy, in addition to other disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed, the device may be confiscated from the student and returned only to the student’s parent.
23. Reports of Conviction or Adjudication of Delinquency
Any student for whom the superintendent has received a report pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-305.1 of an adjudication of delinquency or a conviction for an offense listed in subsection G of Va. Code § 16.1-260 may be suspended or expelled.
24. Acceptable Use of the Internet
Students shall abide by the Albemarle County Public School Division’s Acceptable Computer Use Policy and Regulation. (See Policy IIBE Acceptable Use of Technology.)
25. Felony Charges
Students charged with any offense, wherever committed, that would be a felony if committed by an adult may be disciplined and/or required to participate in prevention/ intervention activities.
26. Bomb Threats
Students shall not engage in any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive or incendiary materials or devices or hoax explosive devices or chemical bombs as defined in the Code of Virginia. Moreover, students shall not make any threats or false threats to bomb school personnel or school property.
No student may obtain or attempt to obtain anything of value from another by using a threat of any kind.
Exchanging mutual physical contact between two or more persons by pushing, shoving or hitting with or without injury is prohibited.
Students shall not engage in a pattern of behavior that places another person in fear of serious harm.
30. Other Conduct
In addition to these specific standards, students shall not engage in any conduct which materially and substantially disrupts the ongoing educational process or which is otherwise a violation of federal, state or local law.
*Definition of Sexual Orientation: One’s attraction to the same sex, opposite sex or both sexes, real or perceived. This definition is intended to describe the status of persons and does not render lawful any conduct prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Code of Virginia
§ 22.1-254 Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article
School Board Policy JEA, Compulsory Attendance
The following is an excerpt from School Board Policy JEA, Compulsory Attendance, which is available in full on our ElectronicSchoolBoard website. The policy content published below was last amended on September 18, 2018.
Every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall cause such child to attend a public school or otherwise provide the child with an education in accordance with state law unless the child is exempt from the state’s compulsory attendance requirement.