College Partnership Laboratory Schools
College partnership laboratory schools are public schools established by contract between the governing board of a college partnership laboratory school and the Board of Education. Legislation approved by the 2010 General Assembly (HB 1389 and SB 736) and the 2012 General Assembly (HB 577) allows any public or private institution of higher education in the commonwealth with an approved teacher-preparation program to establish a college partnership laboratory school.
The Board of Education has developed procedures for receiving, reviewing and ruling on applications to create laboratory schools. A college partnership laboratory school may be established to:
- Stimulate innovative programs in preschool through grade 12;
- Provide opportunities for innovation in instruction and assessment;
- Provide teachers with an avenue for delivering innovative instruction and school scheduling, management and structure;
- Encourage performance-based educational programs;
- Establish high standards for both teachers and administrators;
- Encourage greater collaboration between pre-kindergarten and postsecondary program providers; and
- Develop model programs.
- A description of the Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Application Process (Word)
- Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Application (Word) – The application must be submitted to the Board of Education.
- Criteria Checklist for Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School Applications (Word)
College partnership laboratory schools’ enrollment is open to any school-age student who is a Virginia resident on a lottery, space-available basis. A college partnership laboratory school may not charge tuition for courses required for high school graduation. However, pursuant to § 23-299.2 of the Code of Virginia, (i) tuition may be charged for courses for which the student receives college credit and for enrichment courses that are not required to earn a Board of Education approved high school diploma, and (ii) for college partnership laboratory schools that form a collaborative partnership, in accordance with subsection F, with one or more public school divisions, the school board of the partnering school division that administers student enrollment in accordance with subsection A may charge tuition in accordance with § 22.1-5 for students who do not reside within the partnering school division. No tuition will be charged to students attending the college partnership laboratory school, except as described in subsection D of § 23-299.2.
Governance & Standards
Management of a laboratory school is the responsibility of the governing board established by the partnering institution of higher learning. An approved college partnership laboratory school is designated as a local education agency, but does not constitute a school division. A college partnership laboratory school shall be subject to all federal and state laws and regulations and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services.
Like all public schools in the commonwealth, college laboratory schools are subject to the Standards of Learning, Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Quality. An educational program provided to students enrolled in a public school division pursuant to a collaborative partnership between the college partnership laboratory school and the public school division is considered to be the educational program of the public school division for purposes of the Standards of Accreditation. Teachers must be licensed by the Board of Education or, in the case of instructors in teacher-preparation programs, be eligible for a Virginia teaching license.
The Board of Education established this committee to develop procedures for receiving, reviewing and ruling on applications from Virginia public colleges and universities to establish laboratory schools. The committee also is charged with developing criteria for disbursements from the College Partnership Laboratory School Fund.
House Bill 1389 and Senate Bill 736 (2010 General Assembly) also created a College Partnership Laboratory School Fund for the purposes of establishing or supporting laboratory schools. This special non reverting fund includes appropriations by the General Assembly and gifts, bequests or donations. The fund retains its own interest and balances and is not subject to reversion to the General Fund.