Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Virginia Last Updated: 6/4/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Mandate: Code §22.1-207 (1991) requires that “physical and health education shall be emphasized throughout the public school curriculum by lessons, drills and physical exercises, and all pupils in the public elementary, middle, and high schools shall receive as part of the educational program such health instruction and physical training as shall be prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health,” but the statute does not specify grades levels or amounts of instructional time. 8VAC20-320-10 (1980), adopted by the Virginia State Board of Education, requires that “elementary and secondary schools shall present a comprehensive health education program which focuses on instruction related to alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and health, personal growth and personal health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, physical fitness, accident prevention, personal and family survival, environmental health, mental health, and consumer education,” but again grades levels or amounts of instructional time are not specified. 8VAC20-131-50 (2000) requires high school students to earn at least 2 credits in health and physical education (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Code §22.1-200 (1985) and 8VAC20-131-80 (2000) requires elementary schools to provide instruction in health education. 8VAC20-131-90 (2000) requires middle schools to provide instruction and 8VAC20-131-100 (2000) requires secondary schools to provide instruction.

 
Curriculum Content:Curriculum matters are left to the local schools, as outlined in 8VAC20-170-10 (1980). Code §22.1-253.13:1 (2003) provides the basis for the Health Education Standards of Learning (2008), which “delineate the concepts, processes, and skills for health education in kindergarten through grade 10 for Virginia’s public schools... Each school division’s school board is responsible for incorporating the Virginia Standards of Learning into its curriculum. The Health Education Standards of Learning do not prescribe the grade level at which the standards must be taught. The Board of Education recognizes that school divisions [school districts] will adopt an instructional sequence that best serves their own students.”
 

State Assessment Requirement: None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 4/25/2012

Mandate: Code 22.1-207 (1991) requires that "physical and health education shall be emphasized throughout the public school curriculum by lessons, drills and physical exercises, and all pupils in the public elementary, middle, and high schools shall receive as part of the educational program such health instruction and physical training as shall be prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health," but the statute does not specify grades levels or amounts of instructional time. State Board of Education Rule 8VAC20-320-10 (1980) requires all elementary and secondary schools to present a comprehensive health education program that focuses on providing instruction in physical fitness. House Joint Resolution No. 260 (2004) urges school districts to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive physical education to teach students how to conduct and maintain physically active lifestyles. HB1092 (2012) requires the Board of Education to develop physical education guidelines for public elementary and middle schools.

8VAC20-131-50 (2000) requires high school students to earn at least 2 credits in health and physical education (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Code 22.1-253.13:1 (2008) mandates local boards to develop and implement a K-12 program of instruction that emphasizes essential skills and concepts of physical education. The program must have a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average. This may be met by physical education classes, extracurricular athletics, or other programs or physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board. 

State Board of Education Rule 8VAC20-131-80 (2000) requires elementary schools to provide a program of instruction in physical education to each student. Similarly, Code 22.1-200 (1980) requires physical education to be one of the subjects taught in the elementary grades in every public school. Each elementary school shall provide students with a daily recess during the regular school year as determined by the school.  8VAC20-131-90 (2000) requires each middle school to provide instruction in physical education. 8VAC 20-131-100 (2000) requires secondary schools to provide 2 units of health and physical education for students to meet the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-50.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students in grades K-10 to be able to explain good health and the benefits of physical activity and fitness, and the role of regular physical activity.

Physical Fitness Assessment: The Physical Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires a standardized physical assessment of students in grades 4-12.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

SB640 (2008) requires mental health education and awareness as a part of the sequential family life curriculum for grades K-12. 8VAC20-320-10 (1980) requires elementary and secondary schools to provide a comprehensive health education program which includes a focus on mental health. The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students to be taught emotional, social, and mental health skills in grades K-2 and 6-10. Health Smart Virginia recommends specific curricula for meeting these standards.

Character Education: Code 22.1-208.01 (2005) requires local school boards to establish a character education program including basic components reflecting civic virtues, promoting student achievement, and reducing disciplinary problems in its schools. The components of each program shall be developed with students, their parents, and the community at large. Specific character traits to be taught are outlined in the statute. The Board of Education must establish criteria for the program.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Mandate: Code 22.1-207.1 (2008) requires the board of education to develop K-12 standards of learning and curriculum guidelines for "comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum. The guidelines shall include age appropriate instruction in "family living and community relationships, abstinence education, the value of postponing sexual activity, the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, human sexuality, human production, steps to take to avoid sexual assault, and availability of counseling and legal resources. " Curriculum matters, however, are left to the local schools, as outlined in Virginia 8VAC20-170-10 (2000). The state's Health Education Standards of Learning do not specifically mention HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention, however, the Board of Education Guidelines on Family Life Education (2004) does outline instruction on the etiology, prevention and effects of STDs, including AIDS, and choices involving unwanted pregnancies.

Curriculum Content: 8VAC20-131-170 says, "each school may implement the Standards of Learning for the Family Life Education program promulgated by the board or a Family Life Education program consistent with the guidelines developed by the board, which shall have the goals of reducing the incidence of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases and substance abuse among teenagers."

Parental Approval: Code 22.1-207.2 (1991) reserves the right for each parent/guardian to review the complete family life curricula. 8VAC20-170-10 (1980) allows parents to remove a student from class for the duration of the treatment of a sensitive or controversial topic. Parents should be required to justify their requests." Similarly, the Board of Education Guidelines for Family Life Education calls for an "opt-out" procedure that allows parents or guardians to excuse students from all or part of the program.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

8VAC20-580-100 (1994) requires schools to provide students with information on the relationship between nutrition, learning, and health through educational experiences or information in the classroom and cafeteria. More specifically, 8VAC20-320-10 (1980) requires all elementary and secondary schools to present a comprehensive health education program that focuses on providing instruction in nutrition.

The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students in grades K-10 to be able to explain good health and proper nutrition, healthy food choices, components of a balanced meal, and the connection between dietary guidelines and weight management.

House Joint Resolution No. 260 (2004) urges school districts to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive nutrition education to teach students how to conduct and maintain healthy eating habits..

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Alcohol: 8VAC20-320-10 and  8VAC20-310-10 (1980) require elementary and secondary schools provide instruction related to alcohol as part of a comprehensive health education program. Alcohol use prevention is included throughout the Health Education Standards of Learning (2008).

Tobacco: 8VAC20-320-10 requires elementary and secondary schools to provide instruction related to smoking and health as part of a comprehensive health education program. Tobacco use prevention is included throughout the Health Education Standards of Learning (2008).

Drugs: 8VAC20-320-10 and 8VAC20-310-10 require elementary and secondary schools provide instruction related to drug abuse as part of a comprehensive health education program. Drug abuse prevention is included throughout the Health Education Standards of Learning (2008).
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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Code 22.1-279.9 (2004) requires school boards to develop programs to prevent hazing. These programs may include providing education related to Virginia's criminal law, peer mediation, conflict resolution, any program focused on demonstrating the consequences of violence and crime. Health Smart Virginia also recommends specific curricula for meeting the Standards of Learning.  Code 22.1-207.1 (2007) requires instruction on dating violence and characteristics of abusive relationships to be included in Family Life Education (required in grades K-12).

Bullying/Harassment: The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students to be taught how to identify bullying behaviors in grade 4. Code 22.1-208.01 (2005) requires local school boards to establish character education programs, which must address the inappropriateness of bullying.

Fighting/Gangs: The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students be taught the relationship between self-image and gang-related behaviors in grade 6. Students are also taught resistance skills to avoid violence, gangs, weapons, and drugs in grade 6 and 10. Alternatives to gang-related behavior are taught in grade 7 and 8. Students are to be taught about the risks associated with gang-related activities. The standards also require students to be taught the conflict resolution and nonviolent/peaceful strategies, the impact of verbal and nonverbal aggressive, and the consequences of acts of violence in grades 2-10.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse: The Health Education Standards of Learning requires students to be taught how to recognize tendencies towards harming oneself in grade 10. Code 22.1-272.1 (1999) requires licensed school board employees to contact parents of students at imminent risk of suicide. The Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Health, is required to develop Suicide Prevention Guidelines.

Driver Education: Code 22.1-205 (2003) requires the Board of Education to establish a standardized program of driver education for the public school system. In accordance with the law, the program includes classroom training and behind-the-wheel driver training. Any student who participates in the program must meet academic requirements and have a license or permit to operate a motor vehicle. The driver education program must include alcohol and drug abuse, aggressive driving, and motorcycle awareness.

Accident Prevention: Code 22.1-204 (1991) requires a course of study in accident prevention in one or more of the elementary grades or in one or more of the secondary grades of every school division. The training includes accident prevention, proper conduct on streets and highways, operation of motor vehicles as required by traffic laws in Virginia, and in ways and means of preventing loss of lives and damage to property through preventable fires.

Other: Code 22.1-70.2 (2006) requires each division superintendent to include a component of internet safety for students in their instructional program. 

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Professional Development: The Virginia Center for School Safety, in collaboration with the Department of Education, provides professional development opportunities to school division personnel in violence, gang, and bullying prevention.

Code 22.1-279.6 (2008) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and model policies that include standards for in-service training of school personnel in the management of student conduct and student offense in violation with school board policies.

8VAC20-580-100 (1994) requires schools to provide teachers with information on the relationship between nutrition, learning, and health through educational meetings, seminars, newsletters, or other resource materials.

Staff development in health topics is also brokered through the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers in elementary grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree, with no additional coursework in health. For prospective teachers in middle or high school, the state requires the candidate to have graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in health and physical education; or to have completed a major in health and physical education or 45 semester hours of course work. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in 8VAC20-21-140 (1998) and 8VAC20-21-280 (1998).

Professional Development:8VAC20-21-100 (2002) requires a minimum of 90 points (3 semester hours in a content area) in the license holder's area of endorsement for license holders without a master's degree.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Pre-service Requirement: 8VAC20-21-280 (1998) ensures that teacher candidates for physical education programs for Pre-K-12 will have competency in the knowledge, skills, and process for teaching physical education. The minimum requirements are graduation from a teacher preparation program in health and physical education or completion of a major in health and physical education or 45 semester hours of coursework in the areas specified in the code.

Professional Development: 8VAC20-21-100 (2002) requires a minimum of 90 points (3 semester hours in a content area) in the license holder's area of endorsement for license holders without a master's degree.

Student-to-Teacher Ratio: Code 22.1-253.13:2 (2004) requires local school boards to employ five positions per 1,000 students in grades K-5 to serve as resource teachers in art, music, and physical education.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Pre-Service Requirement: Code 22.1-274 (1999) allows school boards to provide pupil personnel and support services. School boards may employ nurses if they meet standards as may be determined by the Board of Education. Subject to the approval of the appropriate local governing body, a local health department may also provide personnel for health services for the school division.

12VAC30-50-229.1 (2002) allows school divisions participating as a Medicaid provider to provide skilled nursing services to a child who has a prescribed educational program under Part B of IDEA. These services must be performed by a Virginia licensed registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) under the supervision of a licensed RN.

For licensure as a registered nurse, Code 54.1-3017 (1988) requires the completion of an approved four-year high school, the possession of a diploma or degree from an approved professional nursing education program, and the passing of a board of nursing approved examination. For licensure as practical nurse, Code 54.1-3020 (1998) requires the completion of two years of high school or its equivalent, the possession of a diploma from an approved nursing education program, the passing of a written examination required by the Board, and has not committed any acts requiring disciplinary action.

Professional Development
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Student-to-Nurse Ratio
: Code 22.1-274 recommends there be one nurse per 1,000 students.
Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The Manual for the Training of Public Employees in the Administration of Medication requires unlicensed school personnel who are expected to help administer medications at school to have training regarding state and local school division policy and procedures for administering medication. Code 22.1-274 E (1999) states that for schools with instructional and administrative staff of fewer than 10, and having at least one student diagnosed as having diabetes, at least one employee must have been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon. All other school buildings with instructional and administrative staff of ten or more must have at least two employees so trained.

Professional Development: The Virginia Center for School Safety, in collaboration with the Department of Education, provides professional development opportunities to school division personnel in violence, gang, and bullying prevention. Code 22.1-274 E requires school boards with school buildings with an instructional and administrative staff of fewer than ten to have at least one employee with certification in CPR & within the last 2 years, received training in emergency care and CPR. All other school buildings with an instructional and administrative staff of ten or more must have at least two employees so trained.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: 8VAC20-21-610 (1998) requires a master's degree from an approved counselor education program with 100 clock hours clinical experience in a grades preK-6 setting and 100 clock hours in a grades 7-12 setting or has completed sufficient coursework and clinical experience to acquire the expected competencies. Two years of successful, full-time teaching or guidance and counseling experience is also required.

Professional Development: 8VAC20-21-100 (2002) requires 180 professional development points within a five-year period based on an individualized professional development plan for license renewal.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: 8VAC20-131-240 (2000)  requires there to be one full-time counselor at an elementary school for every 500 students,  a middle schoole for every 400 students, and a secondary school for every 350 students.
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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: 8VAC20-21-620 (1998) requires completion of an approved program in school psychology. Sixty graduate hours which culminate in at least a master's degree and the completion of a documented one or two year supervised internship with experiences at multiple age levels, one half of which is completed in an accredited school setting; OR a certificate issued by the National School Psychology Certification Board.

Professional Development: 8VAC20-21-100 (2002) requires 180 professional development points within a five-year period based on an individualized professional development plan for license renewal.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: 8VAC20-21-630 (1998) requires a master's in social work from an accredited school of social work with a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours. Also required are six graduate semester hours in education and either a completed supervised practicum or field experience of 400 clock hours discharging duties as a school social worker or one year of full-time supervised experience as a school social worker.

Professional Development: 8VAC20-21-100 (2002) requires 180 professional development points within a five-year period based on an individualized professional development plan for license renewal.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 7/14/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 7/21/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: According to the Virginia High School League's requirements, any school sponsoring an interscholastic activity in named sports or academic areas are required to have at least one member of that activity's coaching staff to attend a Virginia High School League's sponsored rules clinic for that activity in each year that one if offered.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Additional Accountability Requirements: The Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a memo asking each school division [district] to report on the status of the local wellness policy as part of the required School Health Advisory Board Annual Report."

Additional Content Requirements: 22.1-253.13:1 (2008) requires local school boards to incorporate a goal of making 150 minutes per week of physical fitness available to all students. This may include physical education classes, extracurricular athletics, or other programs or physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board.

Guidance Materials: The Governor's office has created an online Scorecard for the Governor's Nutrition and Physical Activity Award that encourages schools to compete with each other, locally, and statewide. It is promoted as a voluntary best practice standard and has been used by a majority of school divisions as benchmarks for measuring progress of local wellness policies.

Other: None

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Food Services: 8VAC20-290-10 (1980) requires that any food items sold during lunch periods be limited to only those recognized as being components of the USDA school lunch program's reimbursable meal; the income from the sale of these items must accrue to the school lunch account.

Code 22.1-207.4 (2010) requires the Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Health, to develop nutritional guidelines for all competitive foods sold to students during school hours by December 1, 2011.This shall include guidelines for calorie, fat, sugar and sodium content.  The statute requires the Board to adopt either the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Competitive Food Guidelines or the Institute of Medicine's Recommended Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools as the intitial statewide standard for competitive foods. Each local school board must adopt the standards as a part of their local wellness policy.
Code 22.1-207.3 (1994) requires each school board to establish a school breakfast program in any public school in which 25% or more of the enrolled students were approved to receive free or reduced price meals in the federally funded lunch program during the previous school year.

8VAC20-580-10 (1994) sets forth regulations for schools that are required to participate in the school breakfast program as set forth in 22.1-207.3. Schools must comply with state and federal regulations for meal preparation and service; provide a minimum of 2 hours between breakfast and lunch whenever possible; and all foods sold from 6:00am until after the last breakfast service must be of sound nutritional value and the income from the sale of these items must accrue to the school nutrition account.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast:
Code 22.1-207.3 (1993) requires school breakfast in public schools in which 25 percent or more students are eligible for free and reduced price lunch.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: Code 3.1-14.4 (2007) requires the Commissioner of Education to establish and maintain a farm-to-school website. The website shall facilitate and promote the purchase of Virginia farm products by schools, universities, and other educational institutions. The website shall present information including the availability of Virginia farm products, including types and amount, and the names of and contact information for farmers, farm organizations, and businesses marketing such products. 
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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/4/2014

Code 22.1-207.4 (2010) requires the Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Health, to develop nutritional guidelines for all competitive foods sold to students during school hours by December 1, 2011.This shall include guidelines for calorie, fat, sugar and sodium content.  The statute requires the Board to adopt either the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Competitive Food Guidelines or the Institute of Medicine's Recommended Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools as the intitial statewide standard for competitive foods. Each local school board must adopt the standards as a part of their local wellness policy.

 

Fundraising:
8VAC20-290-10 and 8VAC20-580-10 (State Board of Education) (1994) prohibit the sale of food items, during the lunch period and from 6:00am through the end of the last breakfast service, for the profit of any entity other than the school nutrition program.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/22/2010
General Physical Activity Requirement: No state policy.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
:
State Board Rule 8VAC20-131-200 (2006) requires elementary schools to provide students with daily recess during the school year as determined appropriate by the school.

Recess Before Lunc.h: No state policy

Walking/Biking to school: No state policy.
Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 6/21/2010

Interscholastic Athletics: Code 22.1-276.3 (2005) requires any organization governing interscholastic activities among public high schools to develop, implement, and enforce rules stating that any school athletic team member determined to have used anabolic steroids during the training period to be ineligible for 2 years to compete in interscholastic athletic competition unless prescribed by a licensed physician for a medical condition.

Concussion and Sports Related Brain Injury: Code 22.1-275.1 (2010) requires the Board of Education to develop and distribute to each local school division guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal from and return to play, and risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play. Each local local school division must then develop policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussion in student-athletes. The policies must (1) Require the student athlete and their parent or guardian to annually review and sign information on concussions, (2) Require that a student athlete suspected by their coach, athletic trainer or team physician of sustaining a concussion or brain injury in a practice or game be removed from the activity at that time. Once removed, they may not return to play that same day nor until evaluated and cleared by a licensed health care provider. The licensed health care provider may be a volunteer.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Code 22.1-279.6 (2005) requires school boards to adopt a code of student conduct to preserve a safe, non-disruptive environment for effective teaching and learning. Code 22.1-279.9 (2004) also requires school boards to develop prevention programs for violence and crime on school property and at school-sponsored events.

Code 22.1-276.2 (2001) gives teachers the authority and outlines the criteria for removing a student from class for disruptive behavior. Code 22.1-277.04 (2001) further allows a pupil to be suspended for no more than 10 school days if the pupil's presence poses a danger to persons or property or is an ongoing threat of disruption.

Fighting/Gangs: Code 22.1-279.6 requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and to develop model policies for codes of student conduct to include gang-related activity and intentional injury of others. 8VAC20-131-260 (1993) requires schools to have a written procedure, in accordance with local school board guidelines, for responding to violent, disruptive, or illegal activities by students on school property or while at a school sponsored activity.

Code 18.2-415 (1990) states that any person who causes a disruption in a school whereby the orderly conduct of the institution is interfered with or has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence from the students is guilty of disorderly conduct, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Code 16.1-260 (2004) further requires the intake officer of a juvenile court to file a report with the division superintendent of the school division in which any student is subject of a petition alleging they were a member of, participated in, or recruited for a (criminal) street gang or has assaulted or caused bodily harm on another. These acts are felonies per Codes 18.2-46.2 (2000) and 18.2-46.3 (2005) and carry more severe punishments if committed in a school zone.

Weapons: Code 22.1-277.07:1 (2004) allows each school division to develop and implement policies prohibiting the possession of firearms on school property, school buses, and at school-sponsored activities. Code 16.1-260 requires the intake officer of a juvenile court to file a report with the division superintendent of the school division in which any student is subject of a petition alleging they committed a firearm offense pursuant to Codes 18.2-279, 18.2-288, 18.2-299, and 18.2-308. Code 22.1-277.07 requires a school board to expel a pupil from school for not less than 1 school year if it is determined that the pupil brought a firearm onto school property or to a school-sponsored activity in compliance with the federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994.

Drugs and Alcohol: Code 22.1-279.6 requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and to develop model policies for codes of student conduct to include standards consistent with state and federal law concerning school board policies on drugs and alcohol. Code 22.1-277.08 (2001) requires school boards to expel any student determined to have brought a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or marijuana onto school property or to a school-sponsored activity.

Code 22.1-292.2 (2005) requires the Board of Education to suspend or revoke the license of any teacher who "knowingly and willfully with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition procures, sells, or administers anabolic steroids or causes such drugs to be procured, sold, or administered to a student who is a member of a school athletic team, or fails to report the use of such drugs by a student to the school principal and division superintendent".

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Code 22.1-279.9 requires school boards to develop prevention programs for violence and crime on school property and at school-sponsored events, in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. Code 22.1-279.8 (2004) allows school boards to establish a school safety audit committee, which may consist of local law enforcement agents. Code 22.1-288.1 (1990) requires each school board to develop cooperative arrangements with local law enforcement agencies to receive notification of missing children.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 5/23/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Code 22.1-279.6 (2012) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guidelines and model policies must include self-defense, bullying, the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, and dissemination of such policies to students, their parents, and school personnel,  and standards for in-service training of school personnel in and examples of the appropriate management of student conduct and student offenses in violation of school board policies. School boards are required to adopt and revise regulations that are are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, the guildelines of the Board. Each school board must include in its code of conduct prohibitions against bullying, hazing and profane or obscene language or conduct.

Code 8.01-220.1:2 (2005) provides immunity from liability for school employees and volunteers from civil damages arising from reporting alleged acts of bullying or crimes against others, if the person in good faith promptly reports such acts or crimes to the appropriate school official incompliance with specified procedures.

Cyberbullying: Code 22.1-279.6 (2008) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guildelines and model policies must include standards for school board policies on the use of electronic means for the purposes of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

Hazing: Code 22.1-279.6 (2008) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guildelines and model policies must include standards for school board policies on hazing, and policies must cite Code 18.2-56, which defines and prohibits hazing and imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor for violations.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Response and Management Plans: Code 22.1-279.8 (2004) requires each school board to develop a written school crisis and emergency management plan, which may be based on a model created and revised. School safety audits are also required to be conducted annually by every local school and the results made public. Code 22.1-279.6 (2005) requires school boards to adopt a code of student conduct, which specifies the procedures for suspension and expulsion of students who violate the code and requires schools to have a contingency plan for emergencies according to 8VAC20-131-260 (2000).

Reporting Incidents of Violence8VAC20-560-10 (1992) requires the principal of each public school to collect and maintain information on incidence of crime and violence and the students involved in such incidence that occur on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity. This information is reported semi-annually to the division superintendent who files an aggregate report with the Department of Education annually.

Code 22.1-279.3:1 (2005) calls school boards to adopt procedures that require reports to be made to the division superintendent and the principal on all incidents on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event involving assault or assault and battery, any conduct involving controlled substances, threats against school personnel, the illegal carrying of a firearm, any illegal conduct involving explosives or threat to use explosives, or the arrest and charging of a student. The offending student's parents must also be informed of any such criminal offense committed and be referred to law enforcement for details. Code 16.1-260 (2004) requires the intake officer of a juvenile court to file a report with the division superintendent of the school division in which any student is subject of a petition alleging they committed one of the listed offenses.

Law enforcement is also required to report any felonious offense to the school principal and the district superintendent, and the principal shall notify law enforcement when a student commits any of the fore-mentioned acts excepting assault or assault and battery that does in bodily injury.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

 the principal of each public school to collect and maintain information on incidence of crime and violence, including possession of tobacco products, and the students involved in such incidence that occur on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity. This information is reported semi-annually to the division superintendent who files an aggregate report with the Department of Education annually.

Codes 15.2-2800, 2801, 2802, 2803, 2804, 2805, 2806, 2807, 2808, 2809, and 2810 (2002) stipulate that public school buildings and grounds must be smoke-free; thus, no smoking is permitted by anyone at any time. More specifically Code 15.2-2801 prohibits smoking in the interior of any elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools, and further prohibits smoking in public school buses.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

Although it is not specific to school playgrounds, 22VAC15-30-410 (1998) does declare that playgrounds shall be located and designed to protect children from hazards.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Vision and Hearing: Code 22.1-273 (1995) calls for the principal of each school identified by the school board to ensure the testing of sight and hearing of relevant pupils unless it was included as part of the examination required in Code 22.1-270 (2004).

Chronic Health Conditions: The Department of Education, with the Virginia Department of Health, developed the Guidelines for Managing Asthma in Virginia Schools (2003), which suggest school nurses, as part of their duties, identify those students with asthma.

Body Mass Index (BMI):No state policy.

Other: Code 22.1-273.1 (2003) requires each school board to provide information to parents or implement a program of regular screening for scoliosis for pupils in grades 5-10, unless it was included as part of the examination required in Code 22.1-270.

Code 22.1-270 prohibits any student from admittance into any public kindergarten or elementary school without furnishing a report from a qualified licensed medical professional of a comprehensive physical examination.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 1/1/2013

Staff Administration: Code 22.1-274 (1990) requires a school board to provide pupil personnel and support services, including student health services. The Manual for the Training of Public Employees in the Administration of Medication states that schools and districts are required to develop their own policies concerning the administration of medications by non-licensed personnel.

Code 54.1-3408 (2012) allows for training programs for those designated to administer medication to students in accordance with school board regulations relating to training, security and record keeping. School nurses are responsible for conducting the training. The Code specifies staff administration only for those drugs normally self-administered by a student.

Code 54.1-3408 (2012) allows a person employed in a school for students with disabilities to administer prescription medication to a student if he or she has satisfactorily completed a training program and has obtained written authorization from a parent or guardian.

Staff-Administration of Diabetes Medication: Code 22.1-274 (1999) requires each school board to ensure that in school buildings with 10 or more administrative and instructional staff, at least two employees have been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon if there is one or more students diagnosed with diabetes. The code allows for immunity from liability for employees when assisting with administration, and allows employees to refuse to obtain training without penalty. The Department of Education has also produced Manual for Training of Public School Employees in Glucagon and Insulin Administration.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Code 22.1-274.2 (2005) requires local school boards to develop and implement policies allowing students to possess and self-administer inhaler medications  during the school day, at school-sponsored events, or on a school bus or property provided that written consent of the parent and written notification by a primary care physician with instructions are given, approval to self-administer, and an individualized health care plan is developed. Code 8.01-226.5:1 (2000) releases any school employee from liability as a result of supervising the students self-administer asthma medication.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Code 22.1-274.2 (2005) requires local school boards to develop and implement policies allowing students to possess and self-administer self-injectable epinephrine during the school day, at school-sponsored events, or on a school bus or property provided that written consent of the parent and written notification by a primary care physician with instructions are given, approval to self-administer, and an individualized health care plan is developed. Code 8.01-226.5:1 (2000) releases any school employee from liability as a result of supervising the students self-administer self-injectable epinephrine.  Code  54.1-3408 (2012) allows school board employees, authorized and trained in the administration of epinephrine, to possess and administer epinephrine to any student believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction in accordance with the Code 22.1-274.2 (2005).

Self-Administration of General Medication: The General Guidelines for Administering Medication in School states that school divisions are responsible for making policy concerning self-administration of medications.

Psychotropic Medications: Code 22.1-274.3 (2002) requires the Board of Education to develop and implement policies prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic medications for any student.

Storage and Record-Keeping: The General Guidelines for Administering Medication in School recommends nurses properly store and keep records of medications. The Manual for the Training of Public Employees in the Administration of Medication requires staff members who will administer medications to be able to properly store them and keep records of the administration.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Requirement to Provide Services: 8VAC20-620-10 (2005) requires schools to reasonably provide personal and social counseling with available resources.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Virginia has no specific policy for identifying or counseling students with mental or emotional disorders. However, 8VAC20-620-10 (1996) does require local school boards to prohibit the use of counseling techniques that are normally employed in a clinical setting and focus on mental illness.

Substance Abuse: No specific policy; however, 8VAC20-310-10 (1980) does require public schools to create an environment whereby students may seek and receive counseling about substance abuse and related problems without fear of reprisal".

Suicide Prevention: Code 22.1-272.1 (2003) requires school employees who believe a student is in imminent risk of suicide to contact that student's parents to inquire about their knowledge of the student's mental state and whether the parents have or wish to obtain counseling for the student. If suspected parental abuse or neglect is indicated as the reason for imminent risk for suicide, then social services is to be contacted instead of the parents, emphasizing the need for immediate action. The Board of Education is required to develop guidelines for implementing this policy.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: No state policy.

Immunity of Liability: Code 8.01-581.13 (2001) states that school psychologists and licensed professional counselors are immune from civil liability unless they acted in bad faith or with malicious intent when performing their duties.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 5/18/2011

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry."

Not included in the NNII database is Code 32.1.46 (2007) requiring three doses of properly spaced human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines for females. The first dose must be administered before the student enters sixth grade. Code 32.1.46 (2007) allows a parent or guardian, at the parent's or guardian's sole discretion, to elect for the parent's or guardian's child not to receive the HPV vaccine, after having reviewed materials describing the link between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer approved for such use by the Board.

Exemptions: 12VAC5-110-80 (1992) allows for medical exemption from immunization requirements.  The school has written certification on any of the documents specified under "documentary proof'' in 12VAC5-110-10 (1995) from a physician or a local health department that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the student's health. Such certification of medical exemption must specify the nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization. 12VAC5-110-80 (1992) allows for religious exemption from immunization requirements if the student or his parent or guardian submits a Certificate of Religious Exemption to the admitting official of the school to which the student is seeking admission. The Certificate of Religious Exemption is an affidavit stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student's religious tenets or practices.

Code 32.1.46 (2007) allows a parent or guardian, at the parent's or guardian's sole discretion, to elect for the parent's or guardian's child not to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine, after having reviewed materials describing the link between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer approved for such use by the Board.

If the pupil is a homeless child or youth and for that reason cannot furnish the immunization report or records required for enrollment, and the person seeking to enroll the pupil furnishes to the school division an affidavit so stating and also indicating that, to the best of his knowledge, such pupil is in good health and free from any communicable or contagious disease, the school division shall immediately refer the student to the local school division liaison, as described in the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001. The liasion is required to then assist the student in obtaining the necessary physical examination by the county or city health department or other clinic or physician's office and the student shall immediately be admitted to school.

Code 22.1-360 (2009) mandates that compacting states give children of military families 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain any immunization(s) required by the receiving state. For a series of immunizations, initial vaccinations must be obtained within 30 days or within such time as is reasonable determined under the rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission.
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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

Code §32.1-45.1 I (2003) mandates that, "Whenever any person is directly exposed to the body fluids of a school board employee in a manner that may, according to the then current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, transmit human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses, the school board employee whose body fluids were involved in the exposure shall be deemed to have consented to testing for infection with human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses. The school board employee shall also be deemed to have consented to the release of such test results to the person."

Code §32.1-45.1 H also mandates that, "Whenever any school board employee is directly exposed to bodily fluids of any person in a manner which may, according to the then current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, transmit human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses, the person whose body fluids were involved in the exposure shall be deemed to have consented to testing for infection with human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses. Such person shall be deemed to have consented to the release of such test results to the school board employee who was exposed. In other than emergency situations, it shall be the responsibility of the school board employee to inform the person of this provision prior to the contact that creates a risk of such exposure."

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 11/16/2010

8VAC20-350-420 (1994) states that students diagnosed with a contagious or infectious disease [undefined] shall be excluded from school unless a physician approves attendance.

Code 22.1-271.3 (2003) requires the State Board of Education to work with the State Board of Health to develop and revise model guidelines for school attendance for students infected with HIV, and each local school board must adopt guidelines that are consistent with the state's Model Guidelines for School Attendance for Children with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Virginia Department of Health Guidelines for Preventing Bloodborne Infections in Schools. This law also contains an unusual provision apparently designed to allay school employees' fears: Upon notification by a school employee who believes he has been involved in a possible exposure-prone incident which may have exposed the employee to the blood or body fluids of a student, the division superintendent shall contact the local health director who, upon immediate investigation of the incident, shall determine if a potentially harmful exposure has occurred and make recommendations, based upon all information available to him, regarding how the employee can reduce any risks from such exposure. The division superintendent shall share these recommendations with the school employee. Except as permitted by Code 32.1-45.1, the division superintendent and the school employee shall not divulge any information provided by the local health director regarding such student. The information provided by the local health director shall be subject to any applicable confidentiality requirements set forth in Chapter 2 (Code 32.1-35 et seq.) of Title 32.1."

Code 32.1-45.1 mandates that, Whenever any school board employee is directly exposed to body fluids of any person in a manner which may, according to the then current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, transmit human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses, the person whose body fluids were involved in the exposure shall be deemed to have consented to testing for infection with human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis B or C viruses. Such person shall also be deemed to have consented to the release of such test results to the school board employee who was exposedIf the person to be tested is a minor, consent for such testing shall be obtained from the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis of such minor prior to initiating such testing. If the parent or guardian or person standing in loco parentis withholds such consent, the school board may petition the juvenile and domestic relations district court in the county or city where the minor resides for an order requiring such testing."

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

Code §22.1-274.2 requires local school boards to develop and implement policies allowing students with asthma to possess and self-administer inhaler medications during the school day, at school-sponsored events, or on a school bus or property to include the development of an individualized health care plan.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 8/18/2008

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: Code 22.1-275.1 (1999) requires each local school board to establish a school health advisory board consisting of parents, students, health professionals, educators, and others to assist with the development and evaluation of health policies in the school division.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 8/18/2008

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: No state policy.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 7/31/2009

Student Health-Related Records: 8VAC20-620-10 (1996) requires local school boards to have a policy which makes personal/social counseling information and records confidential and separate from a student's educational records. These records are also not to be disclosed to third parties without prior parental consent or unless otherwise provided by law.

Per the Guidelines for Management of Student's Scholastic Records, student health records are protected by FERPA but not by HIPPA.

Student Health-Related Services: No state policy.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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