Virginia Code

§ 22.1-26. Joint and regional schools; regional public charter schools.

A. Two or more school boards may, with the consent of the State Board, establish joint or regional schools, including regional public charter schools as defined in § 22.1-212.5, comprehensive schools offering all-day academic programs and career and technical education, and regional residential charter schools for at-risk pupils, for the use of their respective school divisions and may jointly purchase, take, hold, lease, convey and condemn both real and personal property for such joint, regional, or regional public charter schools. The school boards, acting jointly, shall have the same power of condemnation as other school boards except that land so condemned shall not be in excess of 30 acres for the use of any one joint or regional school. The title to all property acquired for such purposes shall vest jointly in the school boards in such respective proportions as the school boards may determine, and the schools shall be managed and controlled by the school boards jointly, in accordance with such regulations as are promulgated by the State Board. With the approval of the participating school boards and the respective local governing bodies, title to property acquired for a joint school shall be vested in the governing body of such school. The school boards operating a regional public charter school shall determine the school division to which any regional public charter school is assigned for the purposes of any restrictions on the number of public charter schools imposed by § 22.1- 212.11.

B. Effective July 1, 2008, joint, regional, or regional charter schools in operation prior to the promulgation of new regulations may request a waiver of the new regulation requirements. This waiver request shall be submitted to the Board of Education on a form and in a manner prescribed by the Board. If the Board of Education grants the waiver request, the approved school shall continue to operate under the previous regulations.

C. Consistent with the provisions of this section, two or more school boards may, with the consent of the State Board, establish joint or regional schools, including regional public charter schools, to serve as high schools offering (i) in addition to a comprehensive high school curriculum, specialized training to students desiring to pursue careers in law enforcement, fire-fighting, emergency and rescue services, and other occupations addressing public safety and welfare; or (ii) a specialized curriculum leading to a high school diploma and a postsecondary credential, such as industry certification, career certificate, or degree; or (iii) both.

Such schools described in clause (i) may be designed to incorporate the instructional services of retired or disabled emergency, fire, rescue, and law-enforcement personnel and internships with local agencies and organizations providing such emergency, fire, rescue, and law-enforcement services.

The relevant school boards operating schools described in clause (ii) may, by agreement, establish alternative schedules for the delivery of instruction that may include alternatives to standard school day and year requirements, subject to the issuance of any necessary waivers by the Board of Education pursuant to § 22.1-79.1 and relevant Board regulations. Such school boards may contract with an accredited institution of higher education or other postsecondary school licensed or certified by the Board of Education or the State Council of Higher Education, as the case may be, pursuant to Chapter 16 (§ 22.1-319 et seq.) of this title or Chapter 21.1 (§ 23- 276.1 et seq.) of Title 23, to deliver such instruction, which may include specialized instruction and training for students who are eligible to enroll in public high schools, consistent with §§ 22.1-3, 22.1-5, and 22.1-213.

D. Joint or regional schools, such as academic year Governor’s Schools, may set the school calendar so that the first day students are required to attend school shall comport with the calendar of any of the participating school divisions, including those granted a waiver, as prescribed in § 22.1-79.1. Such calendar must be approved by the governing board of the joint or regional school. (Code 1950, § 22-7; 1954, c. 638; 1980, c. 559; 1999, c. 449; 2000, cc. 631, 712, 1028; 2002, c. 366; 2003, c. 165; 2004, c. 256; 2007, c. 45; 2008, c. 49.)