VII. Instructional Program


    7.1           Curriculum

    The Superintendent will coordinate the design and development of a comprehensive curriculum plan in accordance with state law and any requirements of the State Department of Education for approval by the Board.

    7.2           Textbooks

                Textbooks will be purchased and distributed in accordance with State Department of Education regulations. Only textbooks recommended by the local textbook committee will be approved by the Board, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent. The local textbook committee will be appointed by the Board and will consist of not less than 25 members, including teachers, administrators and, parents, who will serve a term of one year. Students are loaned textbooks for the duration of the course that requires the textbook and are responsible for the care of the textbook. The parent, guardian, or student must reimburse the Board for the cost of any textbook(s) that are lost or damaged beyond reasonable wear and tear.

                [Reference: Ala. Code §16-36-62 (1975)]

    7.3           Academic Standards

    Teachers will assign grades and confer academic credit for work and activities performed by students in accordance with objective and generally accepted instructional and grading standards, applicable laws and regulations, and criteria hereinafter specified.

    The grading system shall be a part of the Auburn City Schools Pupil Progression Plan that is approved by the Board.


    7.3.1      Special Education Grading Standards – Students who are receiving special educational services may be graded according to an individualized educational plan, and nothing in Board policy or procedure prohibits the extension of appropriate academic modifications or accommodations to students who may be eligible for such modifications or accommodations under provisions of state and federal law.

    7.3.2      Report Cards – Report cards reflecting student progress will be provided to the parents or legal guardians of students on a regularly scheduled basis.

    7.3.3      Promotion – Students are promoted from grade to grade on the basis of academic credit earned during the school year, in summer school programs, or in such other academic programs as may be approved or recognized by the Board. 

    7.3.4      Credit Recovery – The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for a program through which a student may recover credits in one or more failed courses, in compliance with regulations promulgated by the State Department of Education. The curriculum will align with the State Board of Education course of study and study content standards in which the student seeking credit recovery is deficient.

                            [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code 290-3-1-.02(12)]

    7.4           Testing

                The Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement a standardized testing program that will include, at a minimum, all testing required under state and federal law. All standardized tests are to be conducted in accordance with the appropriate test administration manual guidelines and any rules or regulations that are intended to ensure their security and validity. Teachers are authorized to conduct tests for their courses in order to determine their students’ abilities, knowledge and skills, and to use in calculating a student’s grade. Confidentiality of test results will be assured and information will be released only in compliance with the law.

    7.5           Summer School Operations

                A “summer school” program may be implemented in compliance with regulations promulgated by the State Department of Education. The summer session shall be provided as an extension of the schedule for the Auburn City Schools. The schedule for summer session shall provide for remedial instruction. The Superintendent is authorized to develop and maintain rules and regulations for the operation of summer school, including requirements for enrollment, attendance, transportation, and tuition.

                [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code 290-3-1-.02(6)]

    7.6           Dual Enrollment                                                                                         REV.  January 2016

    The Board authorizes establishment of dual enrollment programs allowing certain students to enroll in post-secondary institutions in order to dually earn non-academic credits for a high school diploma and /or a post-secondary degree at both  the high school and participating post-secondary levels. The dual enrollment program is open to all students in accordance with the following requirements:

    a.     Eligible Students – Students participating in a dual enrollment program shall pay normal tuition as required by the post-secondary institution and shall meet the following requirements:

    i.      Have a “B” average, as defined by Board policy, in completed high school courses.

    ii.    Have written approval of the student’s principal and Superintendent or his/her designee.

    iii.   Be in grade 10, 11 or 12 or have an exception granted by the participating post-secondary institution upon the recommendation of the student’s principal and Superintendent or his/her designee and in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Code regarding gifted and talented students.

    b.     Course Offerings – Courses shall be post-secondary/college level. Post-secondary/college level remedial courses shall not meet the requirements of this program. Students enrolled in courses offered during the normal high school day on or off the high school campus shall have prior permission of the student’s principal, Superintendent or his/her designee and the participating post-secondary institution president.

    c.     Credits – One (1) three semester hour post-secondary/college level course shall equal one (1) high school Carnegie credit in the same or related subject. Partial credit agreements may be developed between the local board of education and participating post-secondary institutions.

    d.     Parent Participation – Parents shall provide parental permission and transportation for students who wish to be in dual enrollment programs.

                            [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code 290-3-1-.02(11)]

    7.7           Correspondence or Online Courses

    Credit for correspondence and online courses may be recognized if the conditions  and criteria established by the Alabama Department of Education for such programs are met.

     [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code     290-3-1-.02(12, 13)]

    7.8           Career and Technical Education Programs    Rev. 12.2019

    7.8.1      Work-Based Learning Experience – A work-based learning experience provides students with educational opportunities in a work setting that typically cannot be obtained in a classroom and may include, but is not limited to, cooperative education, internships, clinical experiences, and other related opportunities. The Superintendent is authorized to develop guidelines and procedures in accordance with the regulations of the Alabama State Department of Education for work-based learning experiences to be conducted in the school system, including, but not limited to, guidelines for decision making and protocol for solving problems at the workplace and school. 

                            [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code 290-6-1-.04]

    7.8.2      Live Work – Live work consists of work conducted by students that relates to the knowledge and skills taught as part of a CTE program of study, but is presented from outside the classroom. The Superintendent is authorized to develop for Board approval guidelines and procedures in accordance with the regulations of the Alabama State Department of Education and any applicable Business/Industry Certification requirements for live work to be conducted in the school system,  including, but not limited to, a systematic method for managing live work, work requests and orders, and procedures for approval of where and for whom work may be conducted, school liability, and restrictions on live work. Any money collected for live work will be accounted for in accordance with the Board’s Finance Manual.

    7.8.3     Safety - To the extent practicable, reasonable safety procedures will be implemented in the program in accordance with Alabama State Department of Education regulations and any applicable Business/Industry Certification requirements.

                            [Reference: Ala. Admin. Code 290-6-1-.04]

    7.9           Foreign Exchange Programs                                                                                              

                          The Board does not accept for enrollment or observation students in Foreign Exchange Programs.

    7.10     Graduation, Requirements and Options                                                             REV. Dec. 2019

    In order to obtain an Alabama high school diploma, a student must earn the credits mandated by the applicable Alabama Administrative Code requirements and meet any other requirements mandated by state law or the Alabama State Department of Education.

    A student with a disability (as defined by the IDEA) who has met the applicable Alabama Administrative Code requirements and/or any other requirements provided by state or federal law will receive either a diploma or a graduation certificate as appropriate.

    A student who has satisfactorily completed one of the above requirements may be eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies as a member of the graduating class. Student participation in graduation-related ceremonies will be subject to the principal's approval and may be  prohibited by the principal if the student violates disciplinary standards, or if, in the judgment of the principal, the student's participation could lead or contribute to disorder or disruption of the ceremony or activity.

    Except in cases of bona fide change of residence or other circumstances equally valid for making an exception, a student is not to be graduated from Auburn High School unless he has been in continuous attendance therein during the four semesters immediately preceding the date of graduation. Students residing within the ACS attendance zone and transferring from a non-accredited school /school setting must attend Auburn High School for two (2) entire high school years immediately preceding the date of graduation.

    Reference: Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02(8)                                                                           

    7.11        School Wellness

    7.11.1   Nutrition Education – Nutrition education that teaches the knowledge, skills, and values needed to develop healthy eating behaviors will be integrated into the curriculum and offered throughout school campuses, including school dining areas and classrooms, by appropriately trained personnel.

    7.11.2   Nutrition Standards – The Board will ensure that reimbursable school meals meet the program requirements and nutritional standards established by applicable state and federal regulations. The Board will encourage students to make nutritious food choices and will monitor all food and beverages sold or served to students, including those available outside federally regulated child nutrition programs. The Board will consider nutrient density and portion size before permitting food and beverages to be sold or served to students.

    7.11.3   Physical Education and Physical Activity Opportunities – The Board will offer physical education opportunities that include the components of a sound physical education program. Physical education will equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to maintain healthful lifelong physical activity. Physical education instruction will be aligned with the curriculum. All students will be provided the opportunity to participate regularly in supervised physical activities that are intended to maintain physical fitness and to impart the benefits of maintaining a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

    7.11.4   Other School-Based Activities Designed to Promote Student Wellness – The Board may implement other programs that help create a school environment that conveys consistent wellness messages and that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

    7.11.5   Administrative Implementation – The Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement administrative rules and directives that are consistent with this policy and that are based on input from teachers (including specialists in health and physical education), school nurses, parents and guardians, students, representatives of the school food service program, school board members, school administrators, and the public. The Superintendent will report to the Board, as requested, on programs and efforts that are designed to meet the purpose and intent of this policy.

    7.12        Selection of Instructional Materials and Materials for the School Libraries

    The Board recognizes the right of parents to request that their children not read a given book or use a given audio-visual material or participate in special instructional programs provided a written request is made to the child’s school principal. (Special instructional programs represent defined units of instruction which either supplement or replace previously approved programs of study.)

    The Superintendent shall develop or cause to be developed adequate due process procedures whereby any parent or group of parents may request reconsideration of the use of any reading matter, audio-visual material or participation in a special instructional program. The appeal process shall include a review and final decision by the Board.

    Reference: Code of Alabama 16-1-30

    7.13       Parent and Family Engagement                                                             Nov. 2017

    In order to comply with the requirements of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) §1116, the Board will comply with the following requirements: 

    7.13.1   Joint development of required plans –The school system will involve parents and family members in jointly developing the Board’s Title I, Part A plan, and the development of school support and improvement plans as required by the ESSA.

    7.13.2   Coordination of activities within the school system –The school system will provide the coordination, technical assistance, and other support necessary to assist and build the capacity of all participating schools within the school system in planning and implementing effective parent and family involvement activities designed to improve student academic achievement and school performance. Such coordination may include meaningful consultation with employers, business leaders, and philanthropic organizations, or individuals with expertise in effectively engaging parents and family members in education.

    7.13.3   Coordination with other laws and programsThe school system will coordinate and integrate parent and family engagement strategies to  the extent feasible and appropriate, with other relevant Federal, State, and local laws and programs.

    7.13.4    Annual evaluation – The school system will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parent and family engagement policy in improving the academic quality of all schools served under this part, including identifying—

         a.    Barriers to greater participation by parents/families in activities authorized by this section (with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background);

          b.   The needs of parents and family members to assist with the learning of their children, including engaging with school personnel and  teachers; and

          c.    Strategies to support successful school and family interactions. The school system will use the findings of the annual evaluation to design evidence-based strategies for more effective parental and family engagement, and to revise, if necessary, the parent and family engagement policies described in this section.

    7.13.5    Involvement of parents/family members The school system will involve parents in the activities of the schools, which may include  establishing a parent advisory board comprised of a sufficient number and representative group of parents or family members served by the school system to adequately represent the needs of the population. This advisory board will help develop, revise, and review the parent and family engagement policy.

    [Reference:  20 U.S.C.A.§ 6318(a)(2)]                                               

    7.14        Virtual Education Option

    7.14.1   Scope and Delivery of Services – The Board provides a virtual education option for grades 9 – 12 that includes, at a minimum, all courses that are needed to obtain a high school diploma.

    Such courses will be delivered through the Alabama State Department of Education’s ACCESS program and/or a district approved Learning Management System.

    7.14.2   Student Eligibility Criteria – Students who meet the following requirements are eligible to participate in the virtual education program:

    a.     Enrolled in Auburn City Schools;

    b.     Compliance with the district’s student Acceptable Use Agreement;

    c.     Successfully complete a district-defined virtual education orientation;

    d.     Meet any eligibility requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education’s ACCESS program, if applicable;

    e.     And meet school system enrollment requirements for the course in question including, but not limited to, successful completion of any prerequisite courses.

    7.14.3   Monitoring Performance and Testing Requirements – Individual student performance will be monitored pursuant to the school system’s traditional academic credit requirements and grade scale. Students utilizing the virtual education option will be subject to all state testing and accountability requirements and will be subject to the same rules and regulations regarding the administration of such tests applicable to traditional public school students enrolled in the traditional public school.

    The Superintendent is hereby authorized to take whatever action may be necessary to facilitate the state testing and accountability requirements applicable to virtual education students. The school system reserves the right to require students utilizing the virtual education option to participate in state testing and accountability requirements on campus at a date and time selected by the school system.

    The Superintendent is also authorized to take whatever action may be necessary to facilitate the integrity of classroom assessments. The school system reserves the right to require students utilizing the virtual education option to complete specified assessment activities on campus at a date and time selected by the school system.

    7.14.4   Attendance – A student participating in the virtual education option will be considered as being in attendance if the student is successfully progressing in the virtual education coursework.

    The school system reserves the right to set specific student attendance requirements for each virtual course. The Superintendent or his designee is authorized to develop alternate attendance policies for virtual courses, provided that students in such programs are given notice of the attendance requirements. A student’s failure to comply with such requirements may result in administrative action including, but not limited to, probation or removal from the class or a charge of truancy, if appropriate.

    7.14.5   Removal – Students may be transitioned back to a traditional day program if:

    a.     the student’s participation in the virtual program is impeding the student’s academic progress;

    b.     the student fails to meet virtual course attendance requirements; or

    c.     the student violates school system policies, procedures, rules or regulations, including, but not limited to, the school system’s rules governing the use of its technology resources.

    7.14.6   Extracurricular Activities – Students must meet the same extracurricular activity eligibility requirements as students enrolled in the traditional day program, including, but not limited to, any applicable Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) requirements. Student residency for purposes of participating in extracurricular activities will be determined in accordance with applicable state law and AHSAA guidelines.

    7.14.7   Additional Procedures Authorized – The Superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to develop such procedures as he/she deems necessary to implement this policy including, but not limited to, eligibility criteria for courses, methods for informing students and parents of the virtual program’s requirements and rules, and a process for making determinations regarding a student’s continued eligibility.

     7.15   Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention

    Auburn City Schools will meet the policy, the instructional, the professional development and resource obligations of the Jason Flatt Act (ACT #2016-310) in order to equip our educational institutions and personnel to recognize and act on signs of suicide risk in order to provide prevention, intervention and postvention with students at risk, their families and the communities who may be affected. 

    The Superintendent or their designee shall develop and implement a program to prevent suicide among our students which includes programmatic elements stated in The Jason Flatt Act (Act #2016-310). The instructional program developed and approved to meet the policy requirements will be made available to students, parents, and legal guardians and employees by such means and methods as are customarily used for such purposes.  Any person involved in a cause of action or omission resulting from the implementation of this suicide prevention policy or resulting from any training, or lack thereof, required by this act shall be subject to state immunity law.