Pittsylvania County Public Schools
Chatham, Virginia

 School Board Policy Manual


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What if you cannot find the policy that you are seeking?

If the policy that you are seeking is not included, look for a synonymous, more general, or more specific policy appropriate to the topic.

What if you cannot find the policy and there is no such policy?

This probably means that the school system has no written policy in the particular area.  However, if you are still interested in the particular area, please contact the Superintendent who will explain the administration’s interpretation of that particular area.


Wherever possible the original date of adoption/approval appears immediately following the policy.

Legal reference

Pertinent legal references are given to advise the reader where in Virginia law he/she may find certain statutes that relate to a policy.  References direct the reader to Title 22.1 of the Code of Virginia, the bylaws and regulations of the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia (referred to in this manual as “Regulations of the Virginia Board of Education”}, and to some other federal laws and regulations.

About Board Policies

Generally, the role of a board is to set policy and the role of the administration is to execute it.  The basic distinction as set forth by the National School Boards Association is as follows:

Policies are principles adopted by a board to chart a course of action.  They tell what is wanted and may include also why and how much.  They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in dealing with day to day activities.  They are narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.

Regulations are the detailed directions developed by the administration to put policy into practice.  They tell how, by whom, where and when things are to be done.

These distinctions are serviceable most of the time.  They reflect sound theory of government and administration.  But the real world does not always confirm.  For example, often the State and federal governments require school boards to make detailed rules; and many regulations are established by law or by the Virginia Board of Education. 

Additionally, the public may demand that a school board itself, not the administration, establish the specific rules and procedures in certain sensitive areas.  Thus, the separation of policies and administrative regulations in this manual follows several rules of thumb in addition to “basic theory” as flows:

  1. All edicts of the Virginia Board of Education (even though such edicts are regulations) are considered mandated Board policy;
  2. When the Board has written regulations required by law or in particularly sensitive areas and has incorporated them in policy, the entire statement is to be considered Board policy; and
  3. When the Board has adopted rules (bylaws) concerning its own operations (for example, how to conduct meetings), these statements concerning operations of the Board appear as Board policy.

As long as the administration operates within the guidelines of policy adopted by a board, it may issue regulations without prior Board approval unless Board action is required by law or unless the Board has specifically asked that certain types of regulations be given prior Board approval.  The Board, of course, is kept informed of all school system regulations issued by the administration, and all are subject to Board review.  Also, in the absence of policy thought necessary, it is the Superintendent’s responsibility to recommend policy to the Board.