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Engrossed Version House Bill 2528 History

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ENGROSSED


H. B. 2528


(By Delegates Campbell, Williams, Perry and Beach)

[Introduced February 21, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on Education then Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-3-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to alternative programs for the education of teachers; providing for alternative program certificate, eligibility, issuance, scope and renewal limitation; changing activities, components and phases of training for alternative programs; providing for program coordination, training and approval; authorizing rule for separate program for special education teachers; and specifying certain employment status of alternative program teachers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18A-3-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

§18A-3-1a. Alternative programs for the education of teachers.

(a) By the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one two thousand five, the State Board, of Education, after consultation with the Secretary of Education and the Arts, shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the approval and operation of teacher education programs which are an alternative to the regular college or university programs for the education of teachers. To participate in an approved alternative teacher education program, the candidate must hold an alternative program teacher certificate issued by the Superintendent and endorsed for the instructional field in which the candidate seeks certification. An alternative program teacher certificate is a temporary certificate issued for one year to a candidate who does not meet the standard educational requirements for certification. The certificate may be renewed no more than two times. No individual may hold an alternative program teacher certificate for a period exceeding three years. The alternative program teacher certificate shall be considered a professional teaching certificate for the purpose of the issuance of a continuing contract. To be eligible for such a certificate, an applicant shall must:
(1) Possess at least a bachelor's degree from an a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a discipline taught in the public schools; except that the rules established by the board may exempt candidates in selected vocational and technical areas who have at least ten years experience in the subject field from this requirement;
(2) Pass an appropriate state board approved basic skills and subject matter test or complete three years of successful experience within the last seven years in the area for which licensure is being sought;
(3) Be a citizen of the United States, be of good moral character and physically, mentally and emotionally qualified to perform the duties of a teacher, and have attained the age of eighteen years on or before the first day of October of the year in which the alternative program teacher certificate is issued; and
(4) Have been offered employment in a school included in an alternative teacher education plan approved by the board to offer an alternative teacher education program. by a county board in an area of critical need and shortage; and
(5) Qualify following a criminal history check pursuant to section ten of this article.

Persons who pass the appropriate test as set forth in subdivision (2) above satisfy the requirements set forth in subdivisions (1) through (5) of this subsection shall be granted a formal document which will enable them to seek employment be employed as an alternative program teacher in a public school approved to offer an alternative teacher education program.
(b) The rules adopted by the board shall include provisions for the approval of alternative teacher education programs which may be offered by schools, school districts, consortia of schools or regional educational service agency and for the setting of tuition charges to offset the program costs. An approved alternative teacher education program shall be in effect for a school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency before an alternative program teacher may be employed in that school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency. Approximately two hundred hours of formal instruction shall be provided in all of the three following phases combined. An approved alternative program shall provide essential knowledge and skills to alternative program teachers through the following phases of training:
(1) A full-time seminar/practicum of no less than twenty and no more than thirty days duration which is accomplished before the alternative program teacher has full responsibility for a classroom. The seminar/practicum shall provide formal instruction in the essential areas for professional study which shall emphasize the topics of student assessment, development and learning, curriculum, classroom management, and the use of educational computers and other technology and shall introduce basic teaching skills through supervised teaching experiences with students. The seminar and practicum components shall be integrated and shall include an orientation to the policies, organization and curriculum of the employing district;
(2) A period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the first day on which the alternative program teacher assumes full responsibility for a classroom and continuing for a period of at least ten weeks. During this time, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued no less than one time per week by members of a professional support team and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of five weeks and at the end of ten weeks by the appropriately certified members of the team. During the same period, formal instruction shall be continued in the essential areas for professional study which shall emphasize the topics of teaching skills, student assessment, development and learning, curriculum, classroom management, and the use of educational computers and other technology. At the end of the ten-week period, the alternative program teacher shall receive a formal written progress report from the chairperson of the support team; and
(3) An additional period of continued supervision and evaluation of no less than twenty weeks duration. During this period, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued at least twice per month and shall be observed formally and evaluated at least twice. No more than two months shall pass without a formal evaluation. Formal instruction shall continue in the essential areas for professional study. Opportunities shall be provided for the alternative program teacher to observe the teaching of experienced colleagues.
(1) Instruction. -- The alternative preparation program must provide a minimum of eighteen semester hours of instruction in the areas of student assessment, development and learning, curriculum, classroom management, the use of educational computers and other technology, and special education/diversity. All programs must contain a minimum of three semester hours of instruction in special education/diversity out of the minimum eighteen required semester hours.
(2)
Phase I. -- Phase I shall consist of a period of intensive on-the-job supervision by an assigned mentor and the school administrator for a period of not less than two weeks and no more than four weeks. During this time, the teacher shall be observed daily. This phase shall include an orientation to the policies, organization and curriculum of the employing district. The alternative program teacher shall begin to receive formal instruction in those areas listed above under Instruction.
(3)
Phase II. -- Phase II shall consist of a period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the first day following the completion of Phase I and continuing for a period of at least ten weeks. During Phase II, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued no less than one time per week by members of a professional support team, defined in subsection (c) of this section, and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of five weeks and at the end of ten weeks by the appropriately certified members of the team. At the end of the ten-week period, the alternative program teacher shall receive a formal written progress report from the chairperson of the support team. The alternative program teacher shall continue to receive formal instruction in those areas listed above under subdivision (1) of this subsection, "Instruction."
(4)
Phase III. -- Phase III shall consist of an additional period of continued supervision and evaluation of no less than twenty weeks duration. The professional support team will determine the requirements of this phase with at least one formal evaluation being conducted at the completion of the phase. The alternative program teacher shall continue to receive formal instruction in those areas listed above under subdivision (1) of this subsection, "Instruction," and receive opportunities to observe the teaching of experienced colleagues.
(c) Training and supervision of alternative program teachers shall be provided by a professional support team comprised of a school principal, an experienced classroom teacher who satisfies the requirements for mentor for the Beginning Educator Internship as specified in section two-b of this article, a college or university education faculty member and a curriculum supervisor. Districts or schools which do not employ curriculum supervisors or have been unable to establish a relationship with a college or university shall provide for comparable expertise on the team. The school principal shall serve as chairperson of the team. In addition to other duties assigned to it under this section and section one-b of this article, the professional support team shall submit a written evaluation of the alternative program teacher
to the county superintendent in a form and upon a date prior to the first Monday of May specified by the county superintendent. The evaluation shall report the progress of the alternative program teacher toward meeting the academic and performance requirements of the program.
(d) The training efforts of the districts shall be coordinated by the center for professional development and the center shall provide an orientation and training program for professional support team members shall be coordinated and provided by the school district, consortium of schools, regional educational service agency, center for professional development, and institution of higher education, or any combination of these agencies as set forth in the plan approved by the State Board pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(e) A school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency seeking to employ an alternative program teacher must submit a plan to the State Board of Education and receive approval. in accordance with the same procedures used for approval of collegiate preparation programs. Each plan shall describe how the proposed training program will accomplish the key elements of an alternative program for the education of teachers as set forth in this section. Each school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency shall show evidence in its plan of having sought joint sponsorship of their training program with institutions of higher education.

(f) The State Board shall adopt a rule for the approval and operation of alternative education programs to prepare highly qualified special education teachers that are separate from the programs established under the other provisions of this section and are applicable only to teachers who have at least a Bachelor's degree in a program for the preparation of teachers from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. These programs are subject to the other provisions of this section only to the extent specifically provided for in the rule. These programs may be an alternative to the regular college and university programs for the education of special education teachers and may also address the content area preparation of certified special education teachers. The programs shall incorporate professional development to the maximum extent possible to help teachers who are currently certified in special education to obtain the required content area preparation. Participation in an alternative education program pursuant to this subsection shall not affect any rights
, privileges or benefits to which the participant would otherwise be entitled as a regular employee, nor does it alter any rights , privileges or benefits of participants on continuing contract status. The State Board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education accountability on the programs authorized under this subsection at its July, two thousand five, interim meetings or as soon thereafter as practical prior to implementation of the programs.
(g) The following conditions apply to all teachers employed under an alternative education program, except teachers who hold a valid West Virginia professional teaching certificate in special education and who are employed under a program operated pursuant to subsection (f) of this section:
(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, an alternative education program teacher has the same status as persons employed under a temporary or first class/full time permit pursuant to subsection (j), section seven-a, article four of this chapter for the purposes of reductions in professional personnel; and
(2) An alternative education program teacher is a probationary teacher and subject to the provisions of section eight-a, article two of this chapter with the following exceptions:
(i) The recommendation to rehire an alternative education program teacher is subject to the position being posted and no fully qualified applicant being employed;
(ii) The Superintendent shall consider the recommendations of the professional support team made pursuant to subsection (c) of this section in making the recommendation to the board to rehire the alternative education program teacher; and
(iii) If the recommendation of the professional support team is that the alternative education program teacher is not making satisfactory progress toward completion of the minimum semester hours of instruction required under the program, the Superintendent may not make a recommendation to the board to rehire the teacher.
(h) For the purposes of this section, "area of critical need and shortage" means an opening in an established, existing or newly created position which has been posted in accordance with the provisions of section seven-a, article four of this chapter, and for which no fully qualified applicant has been employed.

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