The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 16: Education

Chapter 23: COURSES OF STUDY

 

Sub-Chapter 1: Public Schools Generally

§§ 901-905. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§ 906. Course of study

(a) In public schools, approved and recognized independent schools and in home study programs, learning experiences shall be provided for pupils in the minimum course of study.

(b) For purposes of this title, the minimum course of study means learning experiences adapted to a pupil's age and ability in the fields of:

(1) Basic communication skills, including reading, writing, and the use of numbers;

(2) Citizenship, history, and government in Vermont and the United States;

(3) Physical education and comprehensive health education including the effects of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and drugs on the human system and on society;

(4) English, American and other literature;

(5) The natural sciences; and

(6) The fine arts. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 65; amended 1981, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1987, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 270 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; 1989, No. 44, § 4, eff. June 1, 1990.)

§ 907. Lincoln's birthday

Exercises in commemoration of the birth, life, and services of Abraham Lincoln shall be conducted in all public and independent schools on the last school day before February 12, annually. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 67; amended 1991, No. 24, § 11.)

§ 908. Pre-Memorial Day exercises

The last half-day's session of the public schools before Memorial Day shall be devoted to exercises commemorative of the history of the nation during its wars and to patriotic instruction in the principles of liberty and the equal rights of man. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 68.)

§ 909. Tobacco use, alcohol and drug abuse prevention education curriculum

(a) The department of education, in conjunction with the alcohol and drug abuse council, and where appropriate, with the division of health promotion, is hereby authorized and directed to develop a sequential alcohol and drug abuse prevention education curriculum for elementary and secondary schools. The curriculum shall include teaching about the effects and legal consequences of the possession and use of tobacco products.

(b) The department of education shall:

(1) provide for pre-service and in-service training programs for school personnel on alcohol and drug abuse prevention and on the effects and legal consequences of the possession and use of tobacco products. At least one training program shall be made available in electronic format. Each superintendent shall determine the content, duration, and frequency of training on issues concerning alcohol and drug abuse for the districts in his or her supervisory union;

(2) provide teaching materials which are appropriate to the age and learning ability of the students;

(3) provide technical assistance to the local school districts for implementation of the curriculum;

(4) encourage coordination of effort with existing community resources.

(c) [Repealed.]  (Added 1983, No. 51, § 3, eff. April 22, 1983; amended 1987, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1995, No. 52, § 2; 1997, No. 58, § 11; 2007, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

§ 910. Coordination of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance

Each town, city, interstate, incorporated, unified, or union school district shall cooperate with the department of mental health, the department for children and families, the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living, and the department of education in coordinating educational services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance pursuant to the provisions of 33 V.S.A. chapter 43. (Added 1987, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2011, No. 58, § 9, eff. May 31, 2011.)

§ 911. American sign language; foreign language credit

(a) American Sign Language is a visual-gestural system of communication used by many in the Deaf community living in the United States and Canada. It is a complete and complex language that has its own syntax, rhetoric and grammar which is used to convey information and meaning through signs made with the hands, arms, facial markers and other body movements.

(b) Any public or independent school may offer American Sign Language for foreign language credit. (Added 2001, No. 16, § 2.)

§ 912. Pupil's right of refusal; animal dissection

(a) A student in a public elementary or secondary school or an approved independent school shall have the right to be excused from participating in any lesson, exercise, or assessment requiring the student to dissect, vivisect, or otherwise harm or destroy an animal or any part of an animal, or to observe any of these activities, as part of a course of instruction.

(b) Each school district and approved independent school shall adopt and implement policies regarding a student's right to be excused under this section, which shall include:

(1) Procedures by which the school shall provide:

(A) Timely notification to each student enrolled in the course and to the student's parent or guardian of the student's right to be excused from participating in or observing the lesson; and

(B) The process by which a student may exercise this right.

(2) Alternative education methods through which a student excused under this section can learn and be assessed on material required by the course.

(3) A statement that no student shall be discriminated against based on his or her decision to exercise the right to be excused afforded by this section.

(c) As used in this section, the word "animal" means any organism of the kingdom animalia and includes an animal's cadaver or the severed parts of an animal's cadaver. (Added 2007, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

§ 913. Repealed. 2013, No. 77, § 3, effective June 6, 2013.

 

Sub-Chapter 2: Flexible Pathways To Secondary School Completion

§ 941. Flexible pathways initiative

(a) There is created within the Agency a Flexible Pathways Initiative:

(1) to encourage and support the creativity of school districts as they develop and expand high-quality educational experiences that are an integral part of secondary education in the evolving 21st Century classroom;

(2) to promote opportunities for Vermont students to achieve postsecondary readiness through high-quality educational experiences that acknowledge individual goals, learning styles, and abilities; and

(3) to increase the rates of secondary school completion and postsecondary continuation in Vermont.

(b) The Secretary shall develop, publish, and regularly update guidance, in the form of technical assistance, sharing of best practices and model documents, legal interpretations, and other support designed to assist school districts:

(1) to identify and support secondary students who require additional assistance to succeed in school and to identify ways in which individual students would benefit from flexible pathways to graduation;

(2) to work with every student in grade 7 through grade 12 in an ongoing personalized learning planning process that:

(A) identifies the student's emerging abilities, aptitude, and disposition;

(B) includes participation by families and other engaged adults;

(C) guides decisions regarding course offerings and other high-quality educational experiences; and

(D) is documented by a personalized learning plan;

(3) to create opportunities for secondary students to pursue flexible pathways to graduation that:

(A) increase aspiration and encourage postsecondary continuation of training and education;

(B) are an integral component of a student's personalized learning plan; and

(C) include:

(i) applied or work-based learning opportunities, including career and technical education and internships;

(ii) virtual learning and blended learning;

(iii) dual enrollment opportunities as set forth in section 944 of this title:

(iv) early college programs as set forth in subsection 4011(e) of this title;

(v) the High School Completion Program as set forth in section 943 of this title; and

(vi) the Adult Diploma Program and General Educational Development Program as set forth in section 946 of this title; and

(4) to provide students, beginning no later than in grade 7, with career development and postsecondary planning resources to ensure that they are able to take full advantage of the opportunities available within the flexible pathways to graduation and to achieve their career and postsecondary education and training goals.

(c) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as discouraging or limiting the authority of any school district to develop or continue to provide educational opportunities for its students that are otherwise permitted, including the provision of Advanced Placement courses.

(d) An individual entitlement or private right of action shall not arise from creation of a personalized learning plan. (Added 2013, No. 77, § 1.)

§ 942. Definitions

As used in this title:

(1) "Accredited postsecondary institution" means a postsecondary institution that has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or another regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

(2) "Approved provider" means an entity approved by the Secretary to provide educational services that may be awarded credits or used to determine proficiency necessary for a high school diploma.

(3) "Blended learning" means a formal education program in which content and instruction are delivered both in a traditional classroom setting and through virtual learning.

(4) "Career development" means the identification of student interests and aptitudes and the ability to link these to potential career paths and the training and education necessary to succeed on these paths.

(5) "Carnegie unit" means 125 hours of class or contact time with a teacher over the course of one year at the secondary level.

(6) "Contracting agency" means an entity that enters into a contract with the Agency to provide "flexible pathways to graduation" services itself or in conjunction with one or more approved providers in Vermont.

(7) "Dual enrollment" means enrollment by a secondary student in a course offered by an accredited postsecondary institution and for which, upon successful completion of the course, the student will receive:

(A) secondary credit toward graduation from the secondary school in which the student is enrolled; and

(B) postsecondary credit from the institution that offered the course if the course is a credit-bearing course at that institution.

(8) "Early college" means full-time enrollment, pursuant to subsection 4011(e) of this title, by a 12th grade Vermont student for one academic year in a program offered by a postsecondary institution in which the credits earned apply to secondary school graduation requirements.

(9) "Flexible pathways to graduation" means any combination of high-quality academic and experiential components leading to secondary school completion and postsecondary readiness, which may include assessments that allow the student to apply his or her knowledge and skills to tasks that are of interest to that student.

(10) "Personalized learning plan" and "PLP" mean documentation of an evolving plan developed on behalf of a student in an ongoing process involving a secondary student, a representative of the school, and, if the student is a minor, the student's parents or legal guardian and updated at least annually by November 30; provided, however, that a home study student and the student's parent or guardian shall be solely responsible for developing a plan. The plan shall be developmentally appropriate and shall reflect the student's emerging abilities, aptitude, and disposition. The plan shall define the scope and rigor of academic and experiential opportunities necessary for a secondary student to complete secondary school successfully, attain postsecondary readiness, and be prepared to engage actively in civic life. While often less formalized, personalized learning and personalized instructional approaches are critical to students in kindergarten through grade 6 as well.

(11) "Postsecondary planning" means the identification of education and training programs after high school that meet a student's academic, vocational, financial, and social needs and the identification of financial assistance available for those programs.

(12) "Postsecondary readiness" means the ability to enter the workforce or to pursue postsecondary education or training without the need for remediation.

(13) "Virtual learning" means learning in which the teacher and student communicate concurrently through real-time telecommunication. "Virtual learning" also means online learning in which communication between the teacher and student does not occur concurrently and the student works according to his or her own schedule. (Added 2013, No. 77, § 1.)

§ 943. High school completion program

(a) There is created a High School Completion Program to be a potential component of a flexible pathway for any Vermont student who is at least 16 years old, who has not received a high school diploma, and who may or may not be enrolled in a public or approved independent school.

(b) If a person who wishes to work on a personalized learning plan leading to graduation through the High School Completion Program is not enrolled in a public or approved independent school, then the Secretary shall assign the prospective student to a high school district, which shall be the district of residence whenever possible. The school district in which a student is enrolled or to which a non-enrolled student is assigned shall work with the contracting agency and the student to develop a personalized learning plan. The school district shall award a high school diploma upon successful completion of the plan.

(c) The Secretary shall reimburse, and net cash payments where possible, a school district that has agreed to a personalized learning plan developed under this section in an amount:

(1) established by the Secretary for the development and ongoing evaluation and revision of the personalized learning plan and for other educational services typically provided by the assigned district or an approved independent school pursuant to the plan, such as counseling, health services, participation in cocurricular activities, and participation in academic or other courses; provided, however, that this amount shall not be available to a school district that provides services under this section to an enrolled student; and

(2) negotiated by the Secretary and the contracting agency, with the approved provider, for services and outcomes purchased from the approved provider on behalf of the student pursuant to the personalized learning plan. (Added 2013, No. 77, § 1; 2013, No. 77, §§ 4, 5.)

§ 944. Dual enrollment program

(a) Program creation. There is created a statewide Dual Enrollment Program to be a potential component of a student's flexible pathway. The Program shall include college courses offered on the campus of an accredited postsecondary institution and college courses offered by an accredited postsecondary institution on the campus of a secondary school. The Program may include online college courses or components.

(b) Students.

(1) A Vermont resident who has completed grade 10 but has not received a high school diploma is eligible to participate in the Program if:

(A) the student:

(i) is enrolled in:

(I) a Vermont public school, including a Vermont career technical center;

(II) a public school in another state or an approved independent school that is designated as the public secondary school for the student's district of residence; or

(III) an approved independent school in Vermont to which the student's district of residence pays publicly funded tuition on behalf of the student;

(ii) is assigned to a public school through the High School Completion Program; or

(iii) is a home study student;

(B) dual enrollment is an element included within the student's personalized learning plan; and

(C) the secondary school and the postsecondary institution have determined that the student is sufficiently prepared to succeed in a dual enrollment course, which can be determined in part by the assessment tool or tools identified by the participating postsecondary institution.

(2) An eligible student may enroll in up to two dual enrollment courses prior to completion of secondary school for which neither the student nor the student's parent or guardian shall be required to pay tuition. A student may enroll in courses offered while secondary school is in session and during the summer.

(c) Public postsecondary institutions. The Vermont State Colleges and the University of Vermont shall work together to provide dual enrollment opportunities throughout the State.

(1) When a dual enrollment course is offered on a secondary school campus, the public postsecondary institution shall:

(A) retain authority to determine course content; and

(B) work with the secondary school to select, monitor, support, and evaluate instructors.

(2) The public postsecondary institution shall maintain the postsecondary academic record of each participating student and provide transcripts on request.

(3) To the extent permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the public postsecondary institution shall collect and send data related to student participation and success to the student's secondary school and the Secretary and shall send data to the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation necessary for the Corporation's federal reporting requirements.

(4) The public postsecondary institution shall accept as full payment the tuition set forth in subsection (f) of this section.

(d) Secondary schools. Each school identified in subdivision (b)(1) of this section that is located in Vermont shall:

(1) provide access for eligible students to participate in any dual enrollment courses that may be offered on the campus of the secondary school;

(2) accept postsecondary credit awarded for dual enrollment courses offered by a Vermont public postsecondary institution under this section as meeting secondary school graduation requirements;

(3) collect enrollment data as prescribed by the Secretary for longitudinal review and evaluation;

(4) identify and provide necessary support for participating students and continue to provide services for students with disabilities; and

(5) provide support for a seamless transition to postsecondary enrollment upon graduation.

(e) Program management. The Agency shall manage or may contract for the management of the Dual Enrollment Program in Vermont by:

(1) marketing the Dual Enrollment Program to Vermont students and their families;

(2) assisting secondary and postsecondary partners to develop memoranda of understanding, when requested;

(3) coordinating with secondary and postsecondary partners to understand and define student academic readiness;

(4) convening regular meetings of interested parties to explore and develop improved student support services;

(5) coordinating the use of technology to ensure access and coordination of the Program;

(6) reviewing program costs;

(7) evaluating all aspects of the Dual Enrollment Program and ensuring overall quality and accountability; and

(8) performing other necessary or related duties.

(f) Tuition and funding.

(1) Tuition shall be paid to public postsecondary institutions in Vermont as follows:

(A) For any course for which the postsecondary institution pays the instructor, the student's school district of residence shall pay tuition to the postsecondary institution in an amount equal to the tuition rate charged by the Community College of Vermont (CCV) at the time the dual enrollment course is offered; provided however, that tuition paid to CCV under this subdivision (A) shall be in an amount equal to 90 percent of the CCV rate.

(B) For any course that is taught by an instructor who is paid as part of employment by a secondary school, the student's school district of residence shall pay tuition to the postsecondary institution in an amount equal to 20 percent of the tuition rate charged by the Community College of Vermont at the time the dual enrollment course is offered.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection requiring the district of residence to pay tuition, the State shall pay 50 percent of the tuition owed to public postsecondary institutions under subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection from the Next Generation Initiative Fund created in section 2887 of this title; provided, however, that the total amount paid by the State in any fiscal year shall not exceed the total amount of General Fund dollars the General Assembly appropriated from the Fund in that year for dual enrollment purposes plus any balance carried forward from the previous fiscal year; and further provided that, notwithstanding subdivision (b)(2) of this section, the cumulative amount to be paid by school districts under subdivision (1)(A) in any fiscal year shall not exceed the amount available to be paid by General Fund dollars in that year.

(3) If it agrees to the terms of subsection (c) of this section, an accredited private postsecondary institution in Vermont approved pursuant to section 176 of this title shall receive tuition pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection (f) for each eligible student it enrolls in a college-level course under this section.

(g) Private and out-of-state postsecondary institutions. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a school district's authority to enter into a contract for dual enrollment courses with an accredited private or public postsecondary institution not identified in subsection (c) of this section located in or outside Vermont. The school district may negotiate terms different from those set forth in this section, including the amount of tuition to be paid. The school district may determine whether enrollment by an eligible student in a course offered under this subsection shall constitute one of the two courses authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this section.

(h) Number of courses. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a school district's authority to pay for more than the two courses per eligible student authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this section; provided, however, that payment under subdivision (f)(2) of this section shall not be made for more than two courses per eligible student.

(i) Other postsecondary courses. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a school district's authority to award credit toward graduation requirements to a student who receives prior approval from the school and successfully completes a course offered by an accredited postsecondary institution that was not paid for by the district pursuant to this section. The school district shall determine the number and nature of credits it will award to the student for successful completion of the course, including whether the course will satisfy one or more graduation requirements, and shall inform the student prior to enrollment. Credits awarded shall be based on performance and not solely on Carnegie units; provided, however, that unless the school district determines otherwise, a three-credit postsecondary course shall be presumed to equal one-half of a Carnegie unit. A school district shall not withhold approval or credit without reasonable justification. A student may request that the superintendent review the district's determination regarding course approval or credits. The superintendent's decision shall be final.

(j) Reports. Notwithstanding 2 V.S.A. § 20(d), the Secretary shall report to the House and Senate Committees on Education annually in January regarding the Dual Enrollment Program, including data relating to student demographics, levels of participation, marketing, and program success. (Added 2013, No. 77, § 1.)

§ 945. Adult diploma program; general educational development program

(a) The Secretary shall maintain an Adult Diploma Program (ADP), which shall be an assessment process administered by the Agency through which an individual who is at least 20 years old can receive a local high school diploma granted by one of the Program's participating high schools.

(b) The Secretary shall maintain a General Educational Development (GED) Program, which it shall administer jointly with the GED testing service, and approved local testing centers and through which an adult individual who is at least 16 years old and who is not enrolled in secondary school can receive a secondary school equivalency certificate based on successful completion of the GED tests.

(c) The Secretary may provide additional programs designed to address the individual needs and circumstances of adult students, particularly students with the lowest levels of literacy skills. (Added 2013, No. 77, § 1; 2013, No. 77, §§ 6, 7.)

 

Sub-Chapter 3: Secondary Schools

§§ 971Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§ 972. Repealed. 1975, No. 48, § 14, eff. April 15, 1975.

§ 973. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§§ 974, 975. Repealed. 1975, No. 48, § 14, eff. April 15, 1975.

§ 976. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

 

Sub-Chapter 4: Vocational Training

§§ 1021Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§§ 1022-1025. Repealed. 1963, No. 7, § 2.

§ 1026. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§ 1027. Repealed. 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(4)

§ 1028. Repealed. 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(5).

 

Sub-Chapter 5: Student Driver Education And Training Program

§§ 1041-1044. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

§ 1045. Driver training course

(a) A driver education and training course, approved by the department of education and the department of motor vehicles shall be made available to pupils whose parent or guardian is a resident of Vermont and who have reached their fifteenth birthday and who are regularly enrolled in a public or independent high school approved by the state board.

(b) After June 30, 1984, all driver education courses shall include a course of instruction, approved by the state board and the council on the effects of alcohol and drugs on driving.

(c) All driver education courses shall include instruction on motor vehicle liability insurance and the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws of the state.

(d) All driver education courses shall include instruction on the adverse environmental, health, economic, and other effects of unnecessary idling of motor vehicles and on the law governing prohibited idling of motor vehicles. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 69; amended 1975, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § 10, eff. Oct. 22, 1975; 1983, No. 51, § 5, eff. April 22, 1983; 1985, No. 77, § 6; 1991, No. 24, § 11; 2013, No. 57, § 29.)

§ 1046. Arrangement

Subject to the approval of the commissioner each superintendent of schools shall arrange for establishment of a driver education and training course for all public and approved independent schools located within his or her supervisory jurisdiction that so request. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 70; amended 1991, No. 24, § 5.)

§ 1047. State to pay costs

The state shall pay to each school providing an approved driver education and training course an amount per pupil instructed in driver education to be determined annually by the legislature. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 71; amended 1975, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § 11, eff. Oct. 22, 1975.)

§ 1047a. Driver's education grants

(a) The purpose of the driver's education grant program is to provide increased availability and quality of driver's education programs for Vermont students to prepare them for the responsibilities and requirements of safely operating a motor vehicle.

(b) The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of education shall cooperatively establish and implement a driver's education grant program that improves the availability and quality of driver's education programs. Eligible applicants shall include Vermont public secondary and vocational schools and supervisory unions on behalf of a school or schools. Grant awards shall be up to $12,500.00. Eligible activities shall include one or more of the following:

(1) proposals and activities which result in increased parental involvement;

(2) increased availability of driver's education including reducing waiting lists;

(3) increased exposure to nighttime driving;

(4) increased exposure to diverse weather conditions;

(5) costs associated with the purchase and use of simulators;

(6) increased practice with the operation of standard transmissions;

(7) creative proposals designed to reduce alcohol abuse among enrolled students including peer counseling;

(8) training opportunities for educators; and

(9) purchase of materials and equipment designed to enhance curricula. (Added 1999, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)

§ 1048. Administration

The administration of this subchapter, including the training and qualification of instructors, selection of instructional material and visual aids, shall be in the department of education. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 72.)

 

Sub-Chapter 6: Adult Education And Literacy

§ 1049. Redesignated. 2013, No. 77, § 6.

§ 1049a. Redesignated. 2013, No. 77, § 4.