Superintendent’s Memo #263-11
COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
September 23, 2011
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Openings
At its meeting on July 28, 2011, the Board of Education adopted Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Openings. The purpose of the guidelines is to update action taken by the Board in 1999 when it approved a resolution Establishing Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Opening. The guidelines approved in July address the following:
- Setting forth the provisions in resolution as Board guidelines and making revisions for clarity and consistency.
- Updating the Pre-Labor Day opening approval requirements to comport with current law by incorporating the provisions House Bill 1885 from the 2011 General Assembly and Senate Bill 253 passed during the 2010 General Assembly Session.
- Updating approval requirements to comport with House Bill 1483 from the 2011 General Assembly. This legislation, which became effective on July 1, 2011, permits a school division to request a waiver if it is completely surrounded by a school division that has been granted a waiver to begin school before Labor Day. (Please see http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2011/098-11.shtml for additional information regarding this option for opening schools prior to Labor Day.)
- Adding language for clarity from the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, related to experimental and innovative programs, which were referenced in the 1999 resolution, but were not actually included in the resolution. The new language states:
The experimental or innovative program must be approved by the Board pursuant to its Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia at 8 VAC 20-131-290 which specifies that the request must include:
- Purpose and objectives of the experimental/innovative programs;
- Description and duration of the programs;
- Anticipated outcomes;
- Number of students affected;
- Evaluation procedures; and
- Mechanisms for measuring goals, objectives, and student academic achievement.
You will find the Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Openings in the attachment below and posted on the Department’s Web site at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/guidance/index.shtml. Please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions regarding these issues.
- Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Openings (PDF)