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Introduced Version House Bill 3349 History

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hb3349 intr
H. B. 3349


(By Delegate Spencer)
[Introduced March 25, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-5 and §18-5-40 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to changing the cut-off date for attaining the age of five prior to being eligible to attend kindergarten.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-5-5 and §18-5-40
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-5-5. Kindergarten programs.
(a) County boards shall provide kindergarten programs for all children who have attained the age of five prior to the first day of September June of the school year in which the pupil enters the kindergarten program and may, pursuant to the provisions of section forty-four, article five, chapter eighteen of this code, establish kindergarten programs designed for children below the age of five. The programs for children who shall have attained the age of five shall be full-day everyday programs.
(b) Persons employed as kindergarten teachers, as distinguished from paraprofessional personnel, shall be required to hold a certificate valid for teaching at the assigned level as prescribed by regulations established by the State Board. The State Board shall establish and prescribe guidelines and criteria setting forth the minimum requirements for all paraprofessional personnel employed in kindergarten programs established pursuant to the provisions of this section and no such paraprofessional personnel shall be employed in any kindergarten program unless he or she meets such minimum requirements.
(c) The State Board with the advice of the State Superintendent shall establish and prescribe guidelines and criteria relating to the establishment, operation and successful completion of kindergarten programs in accordance with the other provisions of this section. Guidelines and criteria so established and prescribed also are intended to serve for the establishment and operation of nonpublic kindergarten programs and shall be used for the evaluation and approval of such programs by the State Superintendent, provided application for such evaluation and approval is made in writing by proper authorities in control of such programs. The State Superintendent, annually, shall publish a list of nonpublic kindergarten programs, including Montessori kindergartens that have been approved in accordance with the provisions of this section. Montessori kindergartens established and operated in accordance with usual and customary practices for the use of the Montessori method which have teachers who have training or experience, regardless of additional certification, in the use of the Montessori method of instruction for kindergartens shall be considered to be approved.
(d) Pursuant to such guidelines and criteria, and only pursuant to such guidelines and criteria, the county boards may establish programs taking kindergarten to the homes of the children involved, using educational television, paraprofessional personnel in addition to and to supplement regularly certified teachers, mobile or permanent classrooms and other means developed to best carry kindergarten to the child in its home and enlist the aid and involvement of its parent or parents in presenting the program to the child; or may develop programs of a more formal kindergarten type, in existing school buildings, or both, as such county board may determine, taking into consideration the cost, the terrain, the existing available facilities, the distances each child may be required to travel, the time each child may be required to be away from home, the child's health, the involvement of parents and such other factors as each county board may find pertinent. Such determinations by any county board shall be final and conclusive.
§18-5-40. School entry age; operation of schools on semester basis.

(a) The State Board shall establish guidelines prior to the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, for the operation of public kindergarten and elementary schools on a semester basis within the applicable provisions of this article and chapter relating to the school term. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary relating to compulsory school attendance, any child required or allowed by proximity to attend a school operated on a semester basis shall be deemed to have reached compulsory school age and shall enroll as follows: (1) For the fall semester, in such year when the sixth birthday is reached on or between by the first day of July June and the last day of December, and; (2) for the spring semester, when the sixth birthday is reached on or between the first day of January and the last day of June of that year: Provided, That the state board shall establish guidelines for enrollment prior to a child's reaching compulsory school age. Student progress within and between the various grade levels shall be determined on a semester by semester basis, and promotion or assignment to the middle or junior high school grade levels is conditioned upon completion of either of the last two semesters offered at the elementary school.
(b) By the school year one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine--ninety, the State Board shall select at least four elementary schools with kindergarten programs which may be operated on a semester basis upon applications submitted, with preference being given in such selection to schools in different regional educational service agency areas to the extent reasonable and practical based on the applications. The operation of these schools on a semester basis shall be phased in by grade level beginning with kindergarten and progressing by one additional grade level in each successive school year until all of the grade levels offered at that school are operated on a semester basis.
Any regulations adopted under this section shall utilize the flexibility contained herein so as to provide the students of West Virginia a more successful educational experience.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
change the cut-off date for attaining the age of five prior to being eligible to attend kindergarten.

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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