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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Policy 5-11

STUDENTS

Age of Compulsory Attendance/Exemptions

Every parent, guardian, or other person having control of a child who will have reached their fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed their eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the Superintendent or provide home instruction for the child pursuant to Virginia Code § 22.1-254.1.

As prescribed in the regulations of the Board of Education, the compulsory education requirement may also be met by (i) attending an alternative program of study or work/study offered by a public, private, denominational or parochial school or by a public or private degree-granting institution of higher education; (ii) in the case of any five-year-old child, by sending the child to any public educational prekindergarten program, including a Head Start program, or in a private, denominational or parochial educational prekindergarten program; (iii) for a student who is at least sixteen years of age through an individual student alternative education plan developed in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Superintendent in Division Regulation 6-76.1; or (iv) obtaining a high school diploma, its equivalent, or a certificate of completion.

The requirements of this policy apply to children in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Correction who have not passed their eighteenth birthday and children required by the Superintendent to take a special program of prevention, intervention or remediation pursuant to Virginia Code §§ 22.1-253.13:1 and 22.1-254.01.

Within one calendar month of the opening of school, each school board shall send to the parents or guardian of each student enrolled in the division a copy of the compulsory school attendance law and the enforcement procedures and policies established by the school board.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that all school-age children residing in the division, not otherwise excused pursuant to the guidelines set forth in Division Regulation 5-11.1, meet the compulsory education requirements contained in this policy and Virginia Code § 22.1-254.

Editor's Notes
See School Board Policy 5-12 for Legal Withdrawal.

See School Board Policy 5-13 and any implementing regulations for home instruction.

Legal Reference:

Code of Va., § 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.-A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth 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, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

As prescribed in the regulations of the Board of Education, the requirements of this section may also be satisfied by sending a child to an alternative program of study or work/study offered by a public, private, denominational or parochial school or by a public or private degree-granting institution of higher education. Further, in the case of any five-year-old child who is subject to the provisions of this subsection, the requirements of this section may be alternatively satisfied by sending the child to any public educational prekindergarten program, including a Head Start program, or in a private, denominational or parochial educational prekindergarten program.

Instruction in the home of a child or children by the parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of such child or children shall not be classified or defined as a private, denominational or parochial school.

The requirements of this section shall apply to (i) any child in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Corrections who has not passed his eighteenth birthday and (ii) any child whom the division superintendent has required to take a special program of prevention, intervention, or remediation as provided in subsection C of § 22.1-253.13:1 and in § 22.1-254.01. However, the requirements of this section shall not apply to any child who has obtained a high school diploma, its equivalent, or a certificate of completion or who has otherwise complied with compulsory school attendance requirements as set forth in this article.

B. A. school board shall excuse from attendance at school:

1. Any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, "bona fide religious training or belief" does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code; and

2. On the recommendation of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which the pupil resides and for such period of time as the court deems appropriate, any pupil who, together with his parents, is opposed to attendance at a school by reason of concern for such pupil's health, as verified by competent medical evidence, or by reason of such pupil's reasonable apprehension for personal safety when such concern or apprehension in that pupil's specific case is determined by the court, upon consideration of the recommendation of the principal and division superintendent, to be justified.

C. A School Board may excuse from attendance at school: Legal Reference, Continued

1. On recommendation of the principal and the division superintendent and with the written consent of the parent or guardian, any pupil who the school board determines, in accordance with regulations of the Board of Education, cannot benefit from education at such school; and

2. On recommendation of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which the pupil resides, any pupil who, in the judgment of such court, cannot benefit from education at such school.

D. Local school boards may allow the requirements of subsection A of this section to be met under the following conditions:

For a student who is at least sixteen years of age, there shall be a meeting of the student, the student's parents, and the principal or his designee of the school in which the student is enrolled in which an individual student alternative education plan shall be developed in conformity with guidelines prescribed by the Board, which plan must include:

a. Career guidance counseling;

b. Mandatory enrollment and attendance in a general educational development preparatory program or other alternative education program approved by the local school board with attendance requirements that provide for reporting of student attendance by the chief administrator of such GED preparatory program or approved alternative education program to such principal or his designee;

c. Counseling on the economic impact of failing to complete high school; and

d. Procedures for reenrollment to comply with the requirements of subsection A of this section.

A student for whom an individual student alternative education plan has been granted pursuant to this subsection and who fails to comply with the conditions of such plan shall be deemed to be in violation of subsection A of this section.

Students enrolled with an individual student alternative education plan shall be counted in the average daily membership of the school division.

E. A school board may, in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 22.1-277 and upon a finding that a school-age child has (i) committed an offense in violation of school board policies, (ii) been charged with an offense relating to the Commonwealth's laws, or with a violation of school board policies, on weapons, alcohol or drugs, or intentional injury to another person, or (iii) been expelled from school attendance pursuant to § 22.1-277.01, require the child to attend an alternative education program as provided in § 22.1-209.1:2 or § 22.1-277.1.

F. Whenever a court orders any pupil into an alternative education program offered in the public schools, the local school board of the school division in which the program is offered shall determine the appropriate alternative education placement of the pupil, regardless of whether the pupil attends the public schools it supervises or resides within its school division.

The juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which a pupil resides or in which charges are pending against a pupil, or any court in which charges are pending against a pupil, may require the pupil who has been charged with (i) a crime which resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, (ii) a violation of Article 1 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2, or (iii) any offense related to possession or distribution of any Schedule I, II, or III controlled

Legal Reference, Continued

substances to attend an alternative education program, including, but not limited to, night school, adult education, or any other education program designed to offer instruction to students for whom the regular program of instruction may be inappropriate.

This subsection shall not be construed to limit the authority of school boards to expel, suspend, or exclude students, as provided in §§ 22.1-277, 22.1-277.01, and 22.1-277.2. As used in this subsection, the term "charged" means that a petition or warrant has been filed or is pending against a pupil.

G. Within one calendar month of the opening of school, each school board shall send to the parents or guardian of each student enrolled in the division a copy of the compulsory school attendance law and the enforcement procedures and policies established by the school board.

H. The provisions of this article shall not apply to:

1. Children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases while suffering from such diseases;

2. Children whose immunizations against communicable diseases have not been completed as provided in § 22.1-271.2;

3. Children under ten years of age who live more than two miles from a public school unless public transportation is provided within one mile of the place where such children live;

4. Children between the ages of ten and seventeen, inclusive, who live more than 2.5 miles from a public school unless public transportation is provided within 1.5 miles of the place where such children live; and

5. Children excused pursuant to subsections B and C of this section.

Further, any child who will not have reached his sixth birthday on or before September 30 of each school year whose parent or guardian notifies the appropriate school board that he does not wish the child to attend school until the following year because the child, in the opinion of the parent or guardian, is not mentally, physically or emotionally prepared to attend school, may delay the child's attendance for one year.

The distances specified in subdivisions 3 and 4 of this subsection shall be measured or determined from the child's residence to the entrance to the school grounds or to the school bus stop nearest the entrance to the residence of such children by the nearest practical routes which are usable for walking or riding. Disease shall be established by the certificate of a reputable practicing physician in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Education.


Code of Va., § 22.1-263. Violation constitutes misdemeanor.

Code of Va., § 22.1-264. Misdemeanor to make false statements as to age.

Code of Va., § 22.1-265. Inducing children to absent themselves.

Code of Va., § 22.1-266. Law-enforcement officers and truant children.

Code of Va., § 22.1-267. Proceedings against habitually absent child.

Code of Va., § 22.1-268. Duty of Commonwealth's attorneys to prosecute cases arising under article; jurisdiction of offenses.

Code of Va., § 22.1-269. Board to enforce.

Code of Va., § 16.1-279. Disposition.

Adopted by School Board: June 15, 1993 (Effective August 14, 1993) Amended by School Board: May 16, 2000