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Introduced Version Senate Bill 221 History

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SB221 INTR


Senate Bill No. 221

(By Senators Hunter, Boley, Mitchell,

Rowe, Caldwell and Minard)


____________

[Introduced January 16, 2002; referred to the Committee

on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article two-e, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; to amend and reenact section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of said code; and to amend and reenact sections one and one-a, article five of said chapter, all relating to requiring school safety plans; incorporating the time guidance counselors spend in a direct counseling relationship with pupils in the accreditation process; allowing disciplinary measures for certain acts outside of the school; requiring pupils to undergo psychiatric evaluations; setting forth procedures for expelling a dangerous student without providing alternative education; authorizing county superintendents to request authority from a circuit judge or magistrate to subpoena witnesses and documents for expulsion hearings; and setting forth guidelines a superintendent may use in determining whether or not to reduce a mandatory twelve- month suspension.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article two-e, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a be amended and reenacted; and that sections one and one-a, article five of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2E. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.

§18-2E-5. Process for improving education; office of education performance audits; education standards; school accreditation and school system approval; intervention to correct impairments.

(a) Legislative intent. -- The purpose of this section is to establish a process for improving education that includes standards, assessment, accountability and capacity building to provide assurances that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided for all West Virginia public school students on an equal education opportunity basis and that the high quality standards are, at a minimum, being met.
(b) State board rules. -- The state board shall promulgate rules in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing a unified county improvement plan for each county board and a unified school improvement plan for each public school in this state. The state board is not required to promulgate new rules if legislative rules meeting the requirements of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code have been filed with the office of the secretary of state before the effective date of this section. In addition to the other requirements, the rules shall require that each school include a school safety plan within its unified school improvement plan. Furthermore, the rules shall specify that the individual school plans shall include strategies for crisis prevention, intervention and response.
(c) High quality education standards and efficiency standards. -- The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, adopt and periodically review and update high quality education standards for student, school and school system performance and processes in the following areas:
(1) Curriculum;
(2) Workplace readiness skills;
(3) Finance;
(4) Transportation;
(5) Special education;
(6) Facilities;
(7) Administrative practices;
(8) Training of county board members and administrators;
(9) Personnel qualifications;
(10) Professional development and evaluation;
(11) Student and school performance;
(12) A code of conduct for students and employees;

(13) Indicators of efficiency; and
(14) Any other areas determined by the state board.
(d) Performance measures. -- The standards shall assure that all graduates are prepared for gainful employment or for continuing postsecondary education and training and that schools and school districts are making progress in achieving the education goals of the state.
The standards shall include measures of student performance to indicate when a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided and of school and school system performance and processes that enable student performance. The measures of student performance and school and school system performance and processes shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The acquisition of student proficiencies as indicated by student performance by grade level measured, where possible, by a uniform statewide assessment program;
(2) School attendance rates;
(3) Student dropout rate;
(4) Percent of students promoted to the next grade;
(5) Graduation rate;
(6) Average class size;
(7) Pupil-teacher ratio and number of exceptions to ratio requested by county boards and the number granted;
(8) Number of split-grade classrooms;
(9) Percentage of graduates who enrolled in college; the percentage of graduates who enrolled in other postsecondary education; and the percentage of graduates who become fully employed within one year of high school graduation all as reported by the graduates on the assessment form attached to their individualized student transition plan, pursuant to section eight of this article and the percentage of graduates reporting;
(10) Pupil-administrator ratio;
(11) Parent involvement;
(12) Parent, teacher and student satisfaction;
(13) Operating expenditures per pupil;
(14) Percentage of graduates who attain the minimum level of performance in the basic skills recognized by the state board as laying the foundation for further learning and skill development for success in college, other postsecondary education and gainful employment and the grade level distribution in which the minimum level of performance was met;
(15) Percentage of graduates who received additional certification of their skills, competence and readiness for college, other postsecondary education or employment above the minimum foundation level of basic skills; and
(16) Percentage of students in secondary and middle schools who are enrolled in advanced placement or honors classes, respectively; and
(17) A requirement that school counselors spend at least seventy-five percent of their time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils as required in section eighteen-b, article five of this chapter; and
(e) Indicators of efficiency. -- The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, adopt and periodically review and update indicators of efficiency for student and school system performance and processes in the following areas:
(A) Curriculum delivery including, but not limited to, the use of distance learning;
(B) Transportation;
(C) Facilities;
(D) Administrative practices;
(E) Personnel;
(F) Utilization of regional educational service agency programs and services, including programs and services that may be established by their assigned regional educational service agency, or other regional services that may be initiated between and among participating county boards; and
(G) Any other indicators as determined by the state board.
(f) Assessment and accountability of school and school system performance and processes. -- The state board shall establish by rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, a system of education performance audits which measures the quality of education and the preparation of students based on the standards and measures of student, school and school system performance and processes, including, but not limited to, the standards and measures set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The system of education performance audits shall assist the state board in ensuring that the standards and measures established pursuant to this section are, at a minimum, being met and that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided. The system of education performance audits shall include: (1) The assessment of student, school and school system performance and the processes in place in schools and school systems which enable student performance; (2) the review of school and school system unified improvement plans; and (3) the periodic, random unannounced on-site review of school and school system performance and compliance with the standards.
(g) Uses of school and school system assessment information. -- The state board shall use information from the system of education performance audits to assist it in ensuring that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided and to improve student, school and school system performance, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Determining school accreditation and school system approval status; (2) holding schools and school systems accountable for the efficient use of existing resources to meet or exceed the standards; and (3) targeting additional resources when necessary to improve performance. Primary emphasis in determining school accreditation and school system approval status shall be based on student, school and school system performance on measures selected by the state board. The state board shall make accreditation information available to the Legislature; the governor; and to the general public and any individuals who request the information, subject to the provisions of any act or rule restricting the release of information. Based on the assessment of student, school and school system performance, the state board shall establish early detection and intervention programs to assist underachieving schools and school systems in improving performance before conditions become so grave as to warrant more substantive state intervention, including, but not limited to, making additional technical assistance, programmatic, monetary and staffing resources available where appropriate.
(h) Office of education performance audits. -- To assist the state board in the operation of the system of education performance audits and in making determinations regarding the accreditation status of schools and the approval status of school systems, the state board shall establish an office of education performance audits which shall be operated under the direction of the state board independently of the functions and supervision of the state department of education and state superintendent. The office of education performance audits shall report directly to and be responsible to the state board in carrying out its duties under the provisions of this section. The office shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the state board and shall serve at the will and pleasure of the state board. The salary of the director shall not exceed the salary of the state superintendent of schools. The state board shall organize and sufficiently staff the office to fulfill the duties assigned to it by this section and the state board. Employees of the state department of education who are transferred to the office of education performance audits shall retain their benefit and seniority status with the department of education. Under the direction of the state board, the office of education performance audits shall receive from the West Virginia education information system staff research and analysis data on the performance of students, schools and school systems, and shall receive assistance from staff at the state department of education and the state school building authority to carry out the duties assigned to the office. In addition to other duties which may be assigned to it by the state board or by statute, the office of education performance audits also shall:
(1) Assure that all statewide assessments of student performance are secure as required in section one-a of this article;
(2) Administer all accountability measures as assigned by the state board, including, but not limited to, processes for the accreditation of schools and the approval of school systems, and recommend to the state board appropriate action, including, but not limited to, accreditation and approval action;
(3) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, what capacity may be needed by schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the Legislature and the state board, and recommend to the school, school system and state board, plans to establish those needed capacities;
(4) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, whether statewide system deficiencies exist in the capacity to establish and maintain a thorough and efficient system of schools, including the identification of trends and the need for continuing improvements in education, and report those deficiencies and trends to the state board;
(5) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, staff development needs of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the Legislature and the state board, and make recommendations to the state board, the center for professional development, regional educational service agencies, higher education governing boards and county boards; and
(6) Identify, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, exemplary schools and school systems and best practices that improve student, school and school system performance, and make recommendations to the state board for recognizing and rewarding exemplary schools and school systems and promoting the use of best practices. The state board shall provide information on best practices to county school systems and shall use information identified through the assessment and accountability processes to select schools of excellence.
(i) On-site reviews. -- At the direction of the state board or by weighted, random selection by the office of education performance audits, an unannounced on-site review shall be conducted by the office of education performance audits of any school or school system for purposes, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Verifying data reported by the school or county board; (2) documenting compliance with policies and laws; (3) evaluating the effectiveness and implementation status of school and school system unified improvement plans; (4) investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege serious impairments in the quality of education in schools or school systems; and (5) investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege that a school or county board is in violation of policies or laws under which schools and county boards operate. The random selection of schools and school systems for an on-site review shall use a weighted random sample so that those with lower performance indicators and those that have not had a recent on-site review have a greater likelihood of being selected. Under the direction of the state board, the office of education performance audits shall appoint an education standards compliance review team to assist it in conducting on-site reviews. The teams shall be composed of an adequate number of persons who possess the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to make an accurate assessment of education programs and who are drawn from a trained cadre established by the office of education performance audits. The state board shall have discretion in determining may determine the number of persons to serve on a standards compliance review team based on the size of the school or school system as applicable. The teams shall be led by a member of the office of education performance audits. The state board shall reimburse a county board for the costs of substitutes required to replace county board employees while they are serving on an education standards compliance review team. The office of education performance audits shall report the findings of the on-site reviews to the state board for inclusion in the evaluation and determination of a school's or county board's accreditation or approval status as applicable.
(j) School accreditation. -- The state board annually shall review the information from the system of education performance audits submitted for each school and shall issue to every school: Exemplary accreditation status, full accreditation status, temporary accreditation status, conditional accreditation status, or shall declare the education programs at the school to be seriously impaired.
(1) Full accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance on the standards adopted by the state board pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section is at a level which would be expected when all of the high quality education standards are being met.
(2) Temporary accreditation status shall be given to a school when the measure of the school's performance is below the level required for full accreditation status. Whenever a school is given temporary accreditation status, the county board shall ensure that the school's unified improvement plan is revised to increase the performance of the school to a full accreditation status level. The revised unified school improvement plan shall include objectives, a time line, a plan for evaluation of the success of the improvements, cost estimates, and a date certain for achieving full accreditation. The revised plan shall be submitted to the state board for approval.
(3) Conditional accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance on the standards adopted by the state board is below the level required for full accreditation, but the school's unified improvement plan has been revised to achieve full accreditation status by a date certain, the plan has been approved by the state board and the school is meeting the objectives and time line specified in the revised plan.
(4) Exemplary accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance on the standards adopted by the state board pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section substantially exceeds the minimal level which would be expected when all of the high quality education standards are being met. The state board shall propose legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, designated to establish standards of performance to identify exemplary schools.
(5) The state board shall establish and adopt standards of performance to identify seriously impaired schools and the state board may declare a school seriously impaired whenever extraordinary circumstances exist as defined by the state board.
(A) These circumstances shall include, but are not limited to: (i) The failure of a school on temporary accreditation status to obtain approval of its revised unified school improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board; (ii) the failure of a school on conditional accreditation status to meet the objectives and time line of its revised unified school improvement plan; or (iii) the failure to achieve full accreditation by the date specified in the revised plan.
(B) Whenever the state board determines that the quality of education in a school is seriously impaired, the state board shall appoint a team of improvement consultants to make recommendations within sixty days of appointment for correction of the impairment. Upon approval of the recommendations by the state board, the recommendations shall be made to the county board. If progress in correcting the impairment as determined by the state board is not made within six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the state board shall place the county board on temporary approval status and provide consultation and assistance to the county board to: (i) Improve personnel management; (ii) establish more efficient financial management practices; (iii) improve instructional programs and rules; or (iv) make any other improvements that are necessary to correct the impairment.
(C) If the impairment is not corrected by a date certain set by the state board the state board shall appoint a monitor who shall be paid at county expense to cause improvements to be made at the school to bring it to full accreditation status within a reasonable time period as determined by the state board. The monitor's work location shall be at the school and the monitor shall work collaboratively with the principal. The monitor shall, at a minimum, report monthly to the state board on the measures being taken to improve the school's performance and the progress being made. The reports may include requests for additional assistance and recommendations required in the judgment of the monitor to improve the school's performance, including, but not limited to, the need for targeting resources strategically to eliminate deficiencies. If the state board determines that the improvements necessary to provide a thorough and efficient education to the students at the school cannot be made without additional targeted resources, it shall establish a plan in consultation with the county board that includes targeted resources from sources under the control of the state board and the county board to accomplish the needed improvements. Nothing in this section shall may be construed to allow a change in personnel at the school to improve school performance, except as provided by law.
(k) Transfers from seriously impaired schools. -- Whenever a school is determined to be seriously impaired and fails to improve its status within one year, any student attending the school may transfer once to the nearest fully accredited school, subject to approval of the fully accredited school and at the expense of the school from which the student transferred.
(l) School system approval. -- The state board annually shall review the information submitted for each school system from the system of education performance audits and issue one of the following approval levels to each county board: Full approval, temporary approval, conditional approval, or nonapproval.
(1) Full approval shall be given to a county board whose education system meets or exceeds all of the high quality standards for student, school and school system performance and processes adopted by the state board and whose schools have all been given full, temporary or conditional accreditation status.
(2) Temporary approval shall be given to a county board whose education system is below the level required for full approval. Whenever a county board is given temporary approval status, the county board shall revise its unified county improvement plan to increase the performance of the school system to a full approval status level. The revised plan shall include objectives, a time line, a plan for evaluation of the success of the improvements, a cost estimate, and a date certain for achieving full approval. The revised plan shall be submitted to the state board for approval.
(3) Conditional approval shall be given to a county board whose education system is below the level required for full approval, but whose unified county improvement plan meets the following criteria: (i) The plan has been revised to achieve full approval status by a date certain; (ii) the plan has been approved by the state board; and (iii) the county board is meeting the objectives and time line specified in the revised plan.
(4) Nonapproval status shall be given to a county board which fails to submit and gain approval for its unified county improvement plan or revised unified county improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board or fails to meet the objectives and time line of its revised unified county improvement plan or fails to achieve full approval by the date specified in the revised plan. The state board shall establish and adopt additional standards to identify school systems in which the program may be nonapproved and the state board may issue nonapproval status whenever extraordinary circumstances exist as defined by the state board. Furthermore, whenever a county board has more than a casual deficit, as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, the county board shall submit a plan to the state board specifying the county board's strategy for eliminating the casual deficit. The state board either shall approve or reject the plan. If the plan is rejected, the state board shall communicate to the county board the reason or reasons for the rejection of the plan. The county board may resubmit the plan any number of times. However, any county board that fails to submit a plan and gain approval for the plan from the state board before the end of the fiscal year after a deficit greater than a casual deficit occurred or any county board which, in the opinion of the state board, fails to comply with an approved plan may be designated as having nonapproval status. Whenever nonapproval status is given to a school system, the state board shall declare a state of emergency in the school system and shall appoint a team of improvement consultants to make recommendations within sixty days of appointment for correcting the emergency. Upon approval of the recommendations by the state board, the recommendations shall be made to the county board. If progress in correcting the emergency, as determined by the state board, is not made within six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the state board shall intervene in the operation of the school system to cause improvements to be made that will provide assurances that a thorough and efficient system of schools will be provided. This intervention may include, but is not limited to, the following: (i) Limiting the authority of the county superintendent and county board as to the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional programs and rules and any other areas designated by the state board by rule; (ii) taking any direct action  necessary to correct the emergency; and (iii) declaring that the office of the county superintendent is vacant.
(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the state board may intervene immediately in the operation of the county school system with all the powers, duties and responsibilities contained in subsection (l) of this section, if the state board finds the following:
(1) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section; and
(2) That delaying intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interests of the students of the county school system.
(n) Capacity. -- The process for improving education includes a process for targeting resources strategically to improve the teaching and learning process. Development of unified school and school system improvement plans, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, is intended, in part, to provide mechanisms to target resources strategically to the teaching and learning process to improve student, school and school system performance. When deficiencies are detected through the assessment and accountability processes, the revision and approval of school and school system unified improvement plans shall ensure that schools and school systems are efficiently using existing resources to correct the deficiencies. When the state board determines that schools and school systems do not have the capacity to correct deficiencies, the state board shall work with the county board to develop or secure the resources necessary to increase the capacity of schools and school systems to meet the standards and, when necessary, seek additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the governor.
The state board shall recommend to the appropriate body including, but not limited to, the Legislature, county boards, schools and communities, methods for targeting resources strategically to eliminate deficiencies identified in the assessment and accountability processes by:
(1) Examining reports and unified improvement plans regarding the performance of students, schools and school systems relative to the standards and identifying the areas in which improvement is needed;
(2) Determining the areas of weakness and of ineffectiveness that appear to have contributed to the substandard performance of students or the deficiencies of the school or school system;
(3) Determining the areas of strength that appear to have contributed to exceptional student, school and school system performance and promoting their emulation throughout the system;
(4) Requesting technical assistance from the school building authority in assessing or designing comprehensive educational facilities plans;
(5) Recommending priority funding from the school building authority based on identified needs;
(6) Requesting special staff development programs from the center for professional development, higher education, regional educational service agencies and county boards based on identified needs;
(7) Submitting requests to the Legislature for appropriations to meet the identified needs for improving education;
(8) Directing county boards to target their funds strategically toward alleviating deficiencies;
(9) Ensuring that the need for facilities in counties with increased enrollment are appropriately reflected and recommended for funding;
(10) Ensuring that the appropriate person or entity is held accountable for eliminating deficiencies; and
(11) Ensuring that the needed capacity is available from the state and local level to assist the school or school system in achieving the standards and alleviating the deficiencies.
CHAPTER 18A. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

§18A-1-1. Definitions.
The definitions contained in section one, article one, chapter eighteen of this code apply to this chapter. In addition, the following words used in this chapter and in any proceedings pursuant thereto to this chapter shall, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, be construed as follows:
(a) "School personnel" means all personnel employed by a county board of education whether employed on a regular full- time basis, an hourly basis or otherwise. School personnel shall be comprised of two categories: Professional personnel and service personnel.
(b) "Professional personnel" means persons who meet the certification and/or licensing requirements of the state, and includes the professional educator and other professional employees.
(c) "Professional educator" is synonymous with and has the same meaning as "teacher" as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen of this code. Professional educators shall be classified as:
(1) "Classroom teacher". -- The professional educator who has direct instructional or counseling relationship with pupils, spending the majority of his or her time in this capacity.
(2) "Principal". -- The professional educator who as agent of the board has responsibility for the supervision, management and control of a school or schools within the guidelines established by said board. The major area of such responsibility shall be is the general supervision of all the schools and all school activities involving pupils, teachers and other school personnel.
(3) "Supervisor". -- The professional educator who, whether by this or other appropriate title, is responsible for working primarily in the field with professional and/or other personnel in instructional and other school improvement.
(4) "Central office administrator". -- The superintendent, associate superintendent, assistant superintendent and other professional educators, whether by these or other appropriate titles, who are charged with the administering and supervising of the whole or some assigned part of the total program of the county-wide school system.
(d) "Other professional employee" means that person from another profession who is properly licensed and is employed to serve the public schools and includes a registered professional nurse, licensed by the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses and employed by a county board of education, who has completed either a two-year (sixty-four semester hours) or a three-year (ninety-six semester hours) nursing program.
(e) "Service personnel" means those who serve the school or schools as a whole, in a nonprofessional capacity, including such areas as secretarial, custodial, maintenance, transportation, school lunch and as aides.
(f) "Principals academy" or "academy" means the academy created pursuant to section two-b, article three-a of this chapter.
(g) "Center for professional development" means the center created pursuant to section one, article three-a of this chapter.
(h) "Job-sharing arrangement" means a formal, written agreement voluntarily entered into by a county board with two or more of its professional employees who wish to divide between them the duties and responsibilities of one authorized full-time position.
(i) "Prospective employable professional personnel" means certified professional educators who:
(1) Have been recruited on a reserve list of a county board;
(2) Have been recruited at a job fair or as a result of contact made at a job fair;
(3) Have not obtained regular employee status through the job posting process provided for in section seven-a, article four of this chapter; and
(4) Have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education within the past year.
(j) "Dangerous student" means a pupil whose history of misconduct shows there is a substantial likelihood that he or she would cause serious bodily injury to another individual. A dangerous student may include, but is not limited to:
(1) A student in violation of sections nine-b, fifteen and fifteen-a, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code;
(2) A student in violation of sections one and nine, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code;
(3) A student in violation of sections three, four, five, seven, eight and nine, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code; and
(4) A student who repeatedly engages in dangerous misconduct.
(k) "Alternative education" means an authorized departure from the regular school program designed to provide educational and social development for students whose disruptive behavior places them at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structures and in adult life without positive interventions.
ARTICLE 5. AUTHORITY; RIGHTS; RESPONSIBILITY.
§18A-5-1. Authority of teachers and other school personnel; exclusion of pupils having infectious diseases; suspension or expulsion of disorderly pupils; corporal punishment abolished.

(a) The teacher shall stand stands in the place of the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) in exercising authority over the school and shall have has control of all pupils enrolled in the school from the time they reach the school until they have returned to their respective homes, except that where transportation of pupils is provided, the driver in charge of the school bus or other mode of transportation shall exercise such authority and control over the children while they are in transit to and from the school. Additionally, disciplinary or other appropriate measures may be taken by a teacher for violence or a threat of violence that occurs off school property if the violence or threat of violence is an extension of a threat made or an extension of an occurrence on school property.
(b) Subject to the rules of the state board of education, the teacher shall exclude from the school any pupil or pupils known to have or suspected of having any infectious disease, or any pupil or pupils who have been exposed to such disease, and shall immediately notify the proper health officer or medical inspector of such that exclusion. Any pupil so excluded shall may not be readmitted to the school until such the pupil has complied with all the requirements of the rules governing such these cases or has presented a certificate of health signed by the medical inspector or other proper health officer.
(c) The teacher shall have authority to may exclude from his or her classroom or school bus any pupil who is guilty of disorderly conduct; who in any manner interferes with an orderly educational process; who threatens, abuses or otherwise intimidates or attempts to intimidate a school employee or a pupil; or who willfully disobeys a school employee; or who uses abusive or profane language directed at a school employee. Any pupil excluded shall be placed under the control of the principal of the school or a designee. The excluded pupil may be admitted to the classroom or school bus only when the principal, or a designee, provides written certification to the teacher that the pupil may be readmitted and specifies the specific type of disciplinary action, if any, which was taken. If the principal finds that disciplinary action is warranted, he or she shall provide written and, if possible, telephonic notice of such that action to the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s). When a teacher excludes the same pupil from his or her classroom or from a school bus three times in one school year, and after exhausting all reasonable methods of classroom discipline provided in the school discipline plan, the pupil may be readmitted to the teacher's classroom only after the principal, teacher and, if possible, the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of the pupil have held a conference to discuss the pupil's disruptive behavior patterns, and the teacher and the principal agree on a course of discipline for the pupil and inform the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of the course of action. Thereafter, if the pupil's disruptive behavior persists, upon the teacher's request, the principal may, to the extent feasible, transfer the pupil to another setting.
(d) The Legislature finds that suspension from school is not appropriate solely for a pupil's failure to attend class. Therefore, no pupil may be suspended from school solely for not attending class. Other methods of discipline may be used for the pupil which may include, but are not limited to, detention, extra class time or alternative class settings.
(e) Corporal punishment of any pupil by a school employee is prohibited.
(f) The West Virginia board of education and county boards of education shall adopt policies consistent with the provisions of this section encouraging the use of alternatives to corporal punishment, providing for the training of school personnel in alternatives to corporal punishment and for the involvement of parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) in the maintenance of school discipline. The county boards of education shall provide for the immediate incorporation and implementation in the schools of a preventive discipline program which may include the responsible student program and a student involvement program which may include the peer mediation program, devised by the West Virginia board of education. Each board may modify such these programs to meet the particular needs of the county. The county boards shall provide in-service training for teachers and principals relating to assertive discipline procedures and conflict resolution. The county boards of education may also establish cooperatives with private entities to provide middle educational programs which may include programs focusing on developing individual coping skills, conflict resolution, anger control, self-esteem issues, stress management and decisionmaking for students and any other program related to preventive discipline.
(g) For the purpose of this section: (1) "Pupil or student" shall include includes any child, youth or adult who is enrolled in any instructional program or activity conducted under board authorization and within the facilities of or in connection with any program under public school direction: Provided, That, in the case of adults, the pupil-teacher relationship shall terminate when the pupil leaves the school or other place of instruction or activity; and (2) "teacher" shall mean means all professional educators as defined in section one, article one of this chapter and shall include includes the driver of a school bus or other mode of transportation.
(h) Teachers shall exercise such other authority and perform such other duties as may be prescribed for them by law or by the rules of the state board of education not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter and chapter eighteen of this code.
(i) Any county superintendent may petition a circuit judge to require that a pupil undergo a psychological evaluation if the pupil has:
(1) Committed a violent act against another person;
(2) Attempted to commit a violent act against another person;
(3) Plans to commit a violent act against another person;
(4) Vandalized property on school property; or
(5) Vandalized property within reasonable proximity of school property.
§18A-5-1a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational facilities; possessing a controlled substance on premises of educational facilities; assaults and batteries committed by pupils upon teachers or other

school personnel; temporary suspension, hearing; procedure, notice and formal hearing; extended suspension; sale of narcotic; expulsion; exception.

(a) A principal shall suspend a pupil from school or from transportation to or from the school on any school bus if the pupil, in the determination of the principal, after an informal hearing pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, has: (i) Violated the provisions of subsection (b), section fifteen, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code; (ii) violated the provisions of subsection (b), section eleven-a, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code; or (iii) sold a narcotic drug, as defined in section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code, on the premises of an educational facility, at a school-sponsored function or on a school bus. If a student has been suspended pursuant to this subsection, the principal shall, within twenty-four hours, request that the county superintendent recommend to the county board that the student be expelled. Upon such a that request by a principal, the county superintendent shall recommend to the county board that the student be expelled. Upon such that recommendation, the county board shall conduct a hearing in accordance with subsections (e) and (f) of this section to determine if the student committed the alleged violation. If the county board of education finds that the student did commit the alleged violation, the county board of education shall expel the student.
(b) A principal shall suspend a pupil from school, or from transportation to or from the school on any school bus, if the pupil, in the determination of the principal after an informal hearing pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, has: (i) Committed an act or engaged in conduct that would constitute a felony under the laws of this state if committed by an adult; or (ii) unlawfully possessed on the premises of an educational facility or at a school-sponsored function a controlled substance governed by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act as described in chapter sixty-a of this code. If a student has been suspended pursuant to this subsection, the principal may request that the superintendent recommend to the county board that the student be expelled. Upon such that recommendation by the county superintendent, the county board may hold a hearing in accordance with the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section to determine if the student committed the alleged violation. If the county board finds that the student did commit the alleged violation, the county board may expel the student.
(c) A principal may suspend a pupil from school, or transportation to or from the school on any school bus, if the pupil, in the determination of the principal after an informal hearing pursuant to subsection (d) of this section: (i) Threatened to injure, or in any manner injured, a pupil, teacher, administrator or other school personnel; (ii) willfully disobeyed a teacher; (iii) possessed alcohol in an educational facility, on school grounds, a school bus or at any school- sponsored function; (iv) used profane language directed at a school employee or pupil; (v) intentionally defaced any school property; (vi) participated in any physical altercation with another person while under the authority of school personnel; or (vii) habitually violated school rules or policies. If a student has been suspended pursuant to this subsection, the principal may request that the superintendent recommend to the county board that the student be expelled. Upon such that recommendation by the county superintendent, the county board may hold a hearing in accordance with the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section to determine if the student committed the alleged violation. If the county board finds that the student did commit the alleged violation, the county board may expel the student.
(d) The actions of any pupil which may be grounds for his or her suspension or expulsion under the provisions of this section shall be reported immediately to the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled. If the principal determines that the alleged actions of the pupil would be grounds for suspension, he or she shall conduct an informal hearing for the pupil immediately after the alleged actions have occurred. The hearing shall be held before the pupil is suspended unless the principal believes that the continued presence of the pupil in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process, in which case the pupil shall be suspended immediately and a hearing held as soon as practicable after the suspension.
The pupil and his or her parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s), as the case may be, shall be given telephonic notice, if possible, of this informal hearing, which notice shall briefly state the grounds for suspension.
At the commencement of the informal hearing, the principal shall inquire of the pupil as to whether he or she admits or denies the charges. If the pupil does not admit the charges, he or she shall be given an explanation of the evidence possessed by the principal and an opportunity to present his or her version of the occurrence. At the conclusion of the hearing or upon the failure of the noticed student to appear, the principal may suspend the pupil for a maximum of ten school days, including the time prior to the hearing, if any, for which the pupil has been excluded from school.
The principal shall report any suspension the same day it has been decided upon, in writing, to the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of the pupil by certified mail, return receipt requested: Provided, That certified mail is not required if one or both of the parents, guardians, or custodians of the pupil are present at the time the suspension is decided upon, or if any one of them acknowledges receipt of the report by signing and dating a copy of the report. The suspension also shall be reported to the county superintendent and to the faculty senate of the school at the next meeting after the suspension.
(e) Prior to a hearing before the county board, the county board shall cause a written notice, which states the charges and the recommended disposition, to be served upon the pupil and his or her parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s), as the case may be. Such The notice shall set forth a date and time at which such the hearing shall be held, which date shall be within the ten-day period of suspension imposed by the principal.
(f) The county board shall hold the scheduled hearing to determine if the pupil should be reinstated or should, or under the provisions of this section, must be expelled from school. If the county board determines that the student should or must be expelled from school, it may also determine whether the student is a dangerous student pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. At this hearing The pupil may be represented by counsel at this hearing, may call his or her own witnesses to verify his or her version of the incident and may confront and cross-examine witnesses supporting the charge against him or her. The hearing shall be recorded by mechanical means, unless recorded by a certified court reporter. The hearing may be postponed for good cause shown by the pupil but he or she shall remain under suspension until after the hearing. The state board may adopt other supplementary rules of procedure to be followed in these hearings. At the conclusion of the hearing the county board either shall order the pupil reinstated immediately or at the end of his or her initial suspension or shall suspend the pupil for a further designated number of days or shall expel the pupil from the public schools of such the county.
(g) If the county board expels the student, it may determine whether the student is a dangerous student as defined in section one, article one of this chapter. If the county board finds that the student is a dangerous student, the county board may refuse to provide alternative education. However, when a student is found to be a dangerous student, is expelled and is denied alternative education, a hearing shall be conducted within two months after the refusal by the board to provide alternative education to reexamine whether or not the student is a dangerous student and whether the student shall be provided alternative education. The student may be represented by counsel at any hearing to reexamine the dangerousness of a student, may call witnesses and may present psychiatric or psychological evidence. If it is determined during any of the hearings that the student is no longer a dangerous student or should be provided alternative education, the student may be provided alternative education during the remainder of the period of time that the student is expelled.
(h) Any student denied alternative education by a school board may petition the appropriate circuit court for review of the county board's finding that the student is a dangerous student.
(i) The superintendent may apply to a circuit judge or magistrate for authority to subpoena witnesses and documents, upon his or her own initiative, in a proceeding related to a recommended student expulsion before a county board, conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section. Upon the written request of any other party, the superintendent shall apply to a circuit judge or magistrate for the authority to subpoena witnesses, documents or both on behalf of the other party, in a proceeding related to a recommended student expulsion before a county board. If the authority to subpoena is granted, the superintendent shall subpoena the witnesses, documents or both requested by the other party. Furthermore, if the authority to subpoena is granted, it shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of section one, article five, chapter twenty- nine-a of this code.
(g) (j) Pupils may be expelled pursuant to the provisions of this section for a period not to exceed one school year, except that if a pupil is determined to have violated the provisions of subsection (a) of this section the pupil shall be expelled for a period of not less than twelve consecutive months: Provided, That the county superintendent may lessen the mandatory period of twelve consecutive months for the expulsion of the pupil if the circumstances of the pupil's case demonstrably warrant. Upon the reduction of the period of expulsion, the county superintendent shall prepare a written statement setting forth the circumstances of the pupil's case which warrant the reduction of the period of expulsion. The county superintendent shall submit the statement to the county board, the principal, the faculty senate and the local school improvement council for the school from which the pupil was expelled. The county superintendent may use the following factors as guidelines in determining whether or not to reduce a mandatory twelve-month expulsion:
(1) The extent of the pupil's malicious intent;
(2) The outcome of the pupil's misconduct;
(3) The pupil's past behavior history; and
(4) The likelihood of the pupil's repeated misconduct.

(h) (k) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, if a pupil has been classified as a student with a disability, prior to performing the actions giving rise to this section, special consideration shall be given to such pupil as hereinafter provided:
(1) Regardless of whether or not the misconduct is the proximate result of the disability of a student, a student with a disability may be suspended immediately for up to ten consecutive days for each occurrence of misconduct or when it is necessary for the protection of the student, the protection of school personnel, or the protection of other students;
(2) If the misconduct is found to be the proximate result of the disability of the student, then, subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the student may not be suspended or expelled for more than ten consecutive days for each occurrence of misconduct or for each occurrence when it is necessary for the protection of the student, the protection of school personnel, or the protection of other students;
(3) A student with a disability who has committed a violation involving the possession of a firearm, as defined in section two, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, on the school premises or at a school-sponsored function may be placed in an alternative educational setting by the individualized education program committee, as described in section one, article twenty, chapter eighteen of this code, for a period of not more than forty-five calendar days. During this time, if a parent, guardian, or custodian requests a due process hearing to contest placement of the student, the student shall remain in the alternative education setting during the pendency of any proceeding, unless the parents and the county board agree otherwise. At the conclusion of the proceeding, if it is determined that the student with a disability committed a violation involving the possession of a firearm and the violation is not the proximate result of the disability of the student, the student with a disability shall be expelled from school for the period set forth in the applicable provisions of this section: Provided, That special education and related services must be provided during this additional period of expulsion;
(4) If the behavior giving rise to the violation or activity is not the proximate result of the disability of the student, a student with a disability who has committed a violation involving the possession of a deadly weapon, as defined in section two, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, other than a firearm, or who has committed a violation or has engaged in any other activity for which suspension or expulsion is a punishment under the provisions of this article, shall be suspended or expelled from school in the manner described in this section. In addition, special education and related services must be provided during the period of a suspension or expulsion exceeding ten days; and
(5) If the student with a disability has been suspended, and it is determined that the misconduct is the proximate result of the disability of the student, it is recommended that school officials determine whether the student is receiving appropriate instructional and related services in the current placement. In addition, the violations may be addressed through strategies, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) Conflict management and behavior management strategies which are not inconsistent with the individualized education program of the student; (ii) student and teacher training initiatives which are not inconsistent with the individualized education program of the student; (iii) an initiation by professional educators, at any time, of a change in the placement of the student through an individualized education program meeting to be held within twenty-one days, subject to the applicable procedural safeguards; and (iv) an initiation of a court order to remove the student from school, if there is belief that maintaining the student in the current educational placement is substantially likely to cause injury to the student or others.
(i) (l) In all hearings under this section, facts shall be found by a preponderance of the evidence.
(j) (m) For purposes of this section, nothing herein shall may be construed to be in conflict with the federal provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (PL 101-476).
(k) (n) If a pupil transfers to another school in West Virginia, the principal of the school from which the pupil transfers shall provide a written record of any disciplinary action taken against the pupil to the principal of the school to which the pupil transfers.
(l) (o) Principals may exercise any other authority and perform any other duties to discipline pupils consistent with state and federal law, including policies of the state board of education.



NOTE:
The purpose of this bill is to require school safety plans to be included within a school's unified school improvement plan. It requires that guidance counselors spend at least 75% of their time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils in the accreditation process. It allows disciplinary measures for certain acts outside of the school. It requires pupils to undergo psychiatric evaluations and sets forth procedures for expelling a dangerous student without providing alternative education. The bill authorizes county superintendents to request authority from a circuit judge or magistrate to subpoena witnesses and documents for expulsion hearings. And, it sets forth guidelines a superintendent may use in determining whether or not to reduce a mandatory twelve-month suspension.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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