July State Board Meeting Information for Administrators

The Virginia Board of Education met on July 26, 2012 in the James Monroe Building to take action on several items. I have posted one in this blog report that I feel will be of interest to building administrators . You may review all of the items on the agenda with more detail than will be provided in this report by going to www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/index.shtml.

Building administrators deal with a variety of student issues, both academic and non-academic.  One non-academic issue that does relate to academics is absenteeism from school. If you have been or are an assistant principal, one of your responsibilities most likely has been or is student attendance/absenteeism. Based my own experience, it is one of the more frustrating and time consuming issues that administrators face on a year long basis.  Administrators deal with students having occasional issues related to absences to students with chronic absentee issues and parents who never seem to be able to take control of their student’s attendance. Sound familiar?

During the 2012 General Assembly session, HB886 (Alexander) was enacted to require the Board of Education to make public regulations concerning truancy. Representative Alexander listed three points in his bill that have been standard procedures in most school divisions for several years.  This bill was vetoed by the Governor as he knew the Board of Education was in the final stages of the process of releasing the proposed Regulations Governing Unexcused Absences and Truancy.  You may read the entire  proposal as Agenda Item F on the DOE website, but among the issues listed are:

  • Definition of “attendance plan” amended to specify participating school representatives, to include resolution of a studemt’s nonattendance, and to include participation by the student
  • Definition of “excused absence”
  • Definition of “court referral”
  • Definition of “parent” amended to align with Code, “legal custodian(s) added
  • Definition of “unexcused absence” amended to delete references to missing “part of the scheduled instructional day without permission from an administrator” as an excused absence.

The action taken today on this proposed regulation was a recommendation by Dr. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction, to accept for second review the proposed Regulations Governing the Collection and Reporting of Truancy Related Data and Student Attendance Policies along with an additional 30 day public comment period. I will keep you posted in late September.