Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 671. Regulations Governing the Operation of Private Schools for Students with Disabilities
12/7/2019

8VAC20-671-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"504 Plan" means a written plan required under § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC § 701 et seq.), as amended. A student's 504 Plan details modifications, accommodations, and services that are needed for the student with a disability to participate in and enjoy the benefits of school programs at the same level as his peers without disabilities.

"Applicant" means the person, partnership, corporation, or association that has completed and submitted an application to the department for approval for a license to operate a school for students with disabilities in Virginia.

"Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in this definition are satisfied.

"Aversive stimuli" means any action used to punish a student or to eliminate, reduce, or discourage the problem behavior by use of any of the following or any other actions that are painful, humiliating, degrading, or abusive:

1. Noxious odors and tastes.

2. Water and other mists or sprays.

3. Blasts of air.

4. Corporal punishment as defined in § 22.1-279.1 of the Code of Virginia.

5. Verbal and mental abuse.

6. Placement of a student alone in a room, where the door is locked or held shut and the student is prevented from leaving the room.

7. Forced exercise where:

a. The student's behavior is related to his disability;

b. The exercise would have a harmful effect on the student's health; or

c. The student's disability prevents participation in activities.

8. Deprivation of necessities, including:

a. Food or liquid at a time when it is customarily served;

b. Medication; or

c. Use of restroom.

"Behavioral intervention plan" means a plan that utilizes positive behavioral interventions and supports to address (i) behaviors that interfere with the learning of students with disabilities or with the learning of others or (ii) behaviors that require disciplinary action.

"Board" means the State Board of Education.

"Business day" means Monday through Friday, 12 months of the year, exclusive of federal and state holidays (unless holidays are specifically included in the designation of business days).

"Calendar days" means consecutive days, inclusive of Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever any period of time fixed by this chapter shall expire on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, the period of time for taking such action under this chapter shall be extended to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday.

"Complaint" means an accusation that a school has violated one or more of the requirements of this chapter or other applicable regulation.

"Consent" means:

1. The parent(s) or eligible student has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought in the parent's or eligible student's native language or other mode of communication;

2. The parent(s) or eligible student understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and

3. The parent(s) or eligible student understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent(s) or eligible student and may be revoked any time.

If a parent or eligible student revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked.) Revocation ceases to be relevant after the activity for which consent was obtained was completed.

The meaning of the term "consent" is not the same as the meaning of the term "agree" or "agreement." "Agree" or "agreement" refers to an understanding between the parent or eligible student and the school about a particular matter and as required in this chapter. There is no requirement that an agreement be in writing, unless stated in this chapter. The school should document its agreement.

"Controlled substance" means a drug or other substance identified under Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC § 812(c).

"Corrective action plan" means the school's plan of action to correct a finding of noncompliance applicable to this chapter or other applicable regulations. The plan must identify specific timelines and the person(s) responsible for implementation.

"Deaf-blindness" means simultaneous hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

"Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects the child's educational performance.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Education.

"Developmental delay" means a disability affecting a child age two by September 30 through six, inclusive:

1. Who (i) is experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development or (ii) has an established physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay;

2. The delay is not primarily a result of cultural factors, environmental or economic disadvantage, or limited English proficiency; and

3. The presence of one or more documented characteristics of the delay has an adverse effect on educational performance and makes it necessary for the student to have specially designed instruction to access and make progress in the general educational activities for this age group.

"Disability category" means a listing of special education eligibility classifications for students served including: autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotional disability, hearing impairment (including deafness), intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment (including blindness).

"Education records" means those records that are directly related to a student and maintained by the school or by a party acting for the school. Education records may be recorded in any manner including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audiotape, film, microfilm, or microfiche. Education records include discipline and medical records. Education records include electronic exchanges between school personnel and parent(s) regarding matters associated with the child's educational program.

"Eligible student" means a student who has reached 18 years of age.

"Emotional disability" or "emotional disturbance" means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:

1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;

2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;

3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;

4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or

5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

Emotional disability or emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance or emotional disability as defined in this section.

"Funding agency" means a community policy and management team under the Children's Services Act, Chapter 52 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia; local school division; or local department of social services.

"Guaranty instrument" means a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or certificate of deposit.

"Hearing impairment" means an impairment in hearing in one or both ears, with or without amplification, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (8VAC20-81).

"Illegal drug" means a controlled substance or a prescription drug not prescribed for the person but does not include a controlled substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC § 812(c), or under any other provision of federal law.

"Individualized Education Program" or "IEP" means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised at least annually in a team meeting in accordance with the Regulations Governing Special Education for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (8VAC20-81). The IEP specifies the individual educational needs of the child and what special education and related services are necessary to meet the child's educational needs.

"Individualized Instruction Plan" or "IIP" means a written statement for a child who is privately placed or for a child who has not been determined eligible for special education services that is developed, reviewed, and revised at least annually in a team meeting that includes the parent and student when appropriate. The IIP specifies the student's academic level, course of study, individual educational needs, and the educational services the child will receive.

"Intellectual disability" means the definition formerly known as "mental retardation" and means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

"Licensee," also known as the sponsor, means the person, partnership, corporation, or association to whom a license is issued and who is legally responsible for compliance with this chapter.

"License to operate" or "license" means a document issued by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction that authorizes approval to operate a school for students with disabilities.

"Mechanical restraint" means the use of any device or equipment to restrict a student's freedom of movement. This term does not include devices implemented by trained school personnel or utilized by a student that have been prescribed by an appropriate medical or related services professional and are used for the specific and approved purposes for which such devices were designed, such as:

1. Adaptive devices or mechanical supports used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without the use of such devices or mechanical supports;

2. Vehicle safety restraints when used as intended during the transport of a student in a moving vehicle;

3. Restraints for medical immobilization; or

4. Orthopedically prescribed devices that permit a student to participate in activities without risk of harm.

"Multiple disabilities" mean simultaneous impairments (such as intellectual disability with blindness or intellectual disability with orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

"Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

"Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome, and that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

"Paraprofessional," also known as paraeducator, means an appropriately trained employee who assists and is supervised by qualified professional staff in meeting the requirements of this chapter.

"Parent" means:

1. A person who is:

a. A biological or adoptive parent of a child;

b. A foster parent, even if the biological or adoptive parent's rights have not been terminated, but subject to subdivision 3 of this definition;

c. A guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent or make educational decisions for the child (but not the Commonwealth if the child is a ward of the Commonwealth);

d. An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or

e. If no party qualified under subdivisions 1 a through 1 d of this definition can be identified, or those parties are unwilling to act as parent, a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with 8VAC20-81-220.

2. The biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent pursuant to this section and when more than one party is qualified under subdivision 1 of this definition to act as a parent, must be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this section unless the biological or adoptive parent has had his residual parental rights and responsibilities terminated pursuant to § 16.1-277.01, 16.1-277.02, or 16.1-283 of the Code of Virginia or a comparable law in another state.

3. The local school division shall provide written notice to the biological or adoptive parents at their last known address that a foster parent is acting as the parent pursuant to this section, and the local school division is entitled to rely upon the actions of the foster parent pursuant to this section until such time that the biological or adoptive parent attempts to act as the parent.

4. If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person or persons among subdivisions 1 a through 1 e of this definition to act as the "parent" of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of a child, then such person or persons shall be determined to be the "parent" for purposes of the special education identification, evaluation, and placement of a child and the provision of a free appropriate public education to a child.

"Pat down" means a thorough external body search of a clothed student.

"Personally identifiable information" means information that includes, but is not limited to:

1. The student's name, the child's parent, or other family member;

2. The address of the child;

3. A personal identifier, such as the child's social security number or student number; or

4. A list of personal characteristics that would make the student's identity easily traceable.

"Pharmacological restraints" means a drug or medication used on a student to control behavior or restrict freedom of movement that is not (i) prescribed by a licensed physician or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority for the standard treatment of a student's medical or psychiatric condition and (ii) administered as prescribed by the licensed physician or other qualified health professional acting under the scope of the professional's authority.

"Physical restraint" means the use of approved physical interventions or "hands-on" holds by trained staff to prevent a student from moving his body to engage in a behavior that places him or others at risk of physical harm. Physical restraint does not include:

1. Briefly holding a student in order to calm or comfort the student; or

2. Holding a student's hand or arm to escort the student safely from one area to another.

"Placing agency" means the community policy and management team under the Children's Services Act, Chapter 52 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia; the local school division; or the local department of social services.

"Privately placed student" means a student placed in a private school for students with disabilities by the parent.

"Publicly placed student" means a student placed in a private school for students with disabilities by a local school division, family assessment and planning team under the Children's Services Act, or court order.

"Qualified personnel" or "qualified staff" means personnel who have met the state-approved or state-recognized certification, licensing, or other comparable requirement applicable to a specific discipline.

"Regular basis" means more than twice a month.

"Related services" means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services; interpreting services; psychological services; physical and occupational therapy; recreation, including therapeutic recreation; early identification and assessment of disabilities in children; counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling; orientation and mobility services and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services; social work services in schools; and parent counseling and training. Related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted including cochlear implants, the optimization of device functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of the device, or the replacement of that device. The list of related services is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services (such as artistic and cultural programs, and art, music and dance therapy, if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education).

"School" means a school for students with disabilities that has a license to operate issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

"School for students with disabilities " or "schools" means a privately owned and operated preschool, school or educational organization, no matter how titled, maintained, or conducting classes for the purpose of offering instruction, for a consideration, profit or tuition, to persons determined to have autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, a hearing impairment including deafness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, an emotional disturbance, a specific learning disability, a speech or language impairment, a traumatic brain injury, or a visual impairment including blindness.

"Seclusion" means the confinement of a student alone in a room from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.

"Serious incident" means:

1. Any accident or injury requiring medical attention by a licensed physician;

2. Any illness that requires hospitalization;

3. Any runaway; or

4. Any event that affects, or potentially may affect, the health, safety, or welfare of any student being served at the school or school-related activity.

"Serious injury" means any injury resulting in bodily hurt, damage, harm, or loss that requires medical attention by a licensed physician.

"Special education" means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

The term includes:

1. Speech-language pathology services or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under state standards;

2. Vocational education; and

3. Travel training.

"Specially designed instruction" means adapting, as appropriate, to the needs of an eligible child under this chapter, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to:

1. Address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and

2. Ensure access of the child to the general curriculum so that the child can meet the educational standards that apply to all children within the jurisdiction of the local educational agency.

"Specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of (i) visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; (ii) intellectual disabilities; (iii) emotional disabilities; or (iv) environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to its weakness occurring at the phonological level. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

"Speech or language impairment" means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, expressive or receptive language impairment, or voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

"Standard precautions" mean universal precautions designed to prevent transmission of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other bloodborne pathogens when providing first aid or health care. Standard precautions apply to blood; all body fluids, secretions, and excretions except sweat, regardless of whether or not they contain blood; nonintact skin; and mucous membranes. The precautions are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and unrecognized sources of infection when providing first aid or health care. Standard precautions include protective barriers such as gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, or protective eye wear that can reduce the risk of exposure with materials that may contain infectious microorganisms.

"Standards of Learning" or "SOL" means Virginia's rigorous academic standards established by the Board of Education.

"Strip search" means a visual inspection of the body of a student when that student's outer clothing or total clothing is removed, and there is an inspection of the removed clothing. Strip searches are conducted for the detection of contraband.

"Substantial compliance" means that while there may be noncompliance with one or more regulations that represent minimum risk, compliance clearly and obviously exists with most of the regulations as a whole.

"Superintendent" means the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

"Teacher of record" means the teacher who is responsible for the delivery of instruction. The teacher of record shall hold a license issued by the Virginia Board of Education.

"Time-out" means assisting a student to regain control by removing the student from his immediate environment to a different open location until the student is calm or the problem behavior has subsided.

"Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

"Visual impairment including blindness" means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

"Volunteer" means any individual who of his own free will and without compensation provides goods or services to the school.

"Virtual learning" means the delivery of instruction through emerging technologies such as satellite, streaming video, or the Internet.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-321 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 24, eff. August 26, 2015.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.