The Nelson County Schools operate according to policies established by the Nelson County School Board. The Board, which represents the state and local community, develops policies after careful deliberation, and the school administration implements these policies through specific regulations and procedures. The Board then evaluates the effects of its policies and makes revisions as necessary.
How Policy is Organized
Policy is organized according to the classification system developed by the Educational Policies Services of the National School Boards Association. The system provides an efficient means of coding, filing, and finding policies, regulations, and other documents.
There are 12 major classifications, each bearing an alphabetical code:
Sub-classification under each heading is based on logical sequence and alphabetical sub-coding.
About Board Policies
Generally, the role of a School 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 School Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is to be done and may also include 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. Policies are binding.
Regulations are the detailed directions developed to put policy into practice. They are the administrative procedures. Superintendents may promulgate regulations without prior School 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 shall be kept informed of all regulations issued by the administration. Regulations are binding.
Guidelines: set forth best practice and procedures for implementing policy.
The administration develops guidelines unless board action is required by law or unless the Board has specifically asked that certain types of guidelines be given prior Board approval. Guidelines are not binding, they are discretionary.
These distinctions are serviceable most of the time. They reflect sound theory of government and administration. But the real world does not always conform. 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 follows:
1. All edicts of the Virginia Board of Education are considered mandated Board policy;
2. When the School 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.
Is the manual complete?
No. The manual contains all the current written policies of the School Board. But there is a continual need to adopt new policies and revise old ones. Additionally, state and federal laws and agency regulations change. No matter how well conceived and well developed, a policy manual can never be 100% complete and 100% up‑to‑date. Policy development is a continuing process.
Order of Precedence
Board policies and regulations must be read and interpreted in the light of the federal and Virginia statutes and regulations. Wherever inconsistencies of interpretation arise, the federal and Virginia law and regulations prevail.
It is the hope of the School Board that this collection of policies will make a greater harmony and efficiency possible in all areas of school operations. This will enable the Board to devote more time to its primary duty - the development of long-range policies and planning for the future of the school system.
Please Note: All copies of this policy manual are the property of the Nelson County Schools.
Codification system is copyrighted by the National School Boards Association. Used with permission. No part of this manual may be reproduced, or transmitted, in any form, without the prior written permission of the Virginia School Boards Association.