The purpose of this article is to provide for the establishment of high quality educational standards, to provide for the evaluation of student progress in attaining the knowledge and skills essential for them to become productive members of society, and to provide assurances to the public that a thorough and efficient system of education is being provided for all public school children in West Virginia.
(b) As part of their on-going responsibility for developing and implementing a program of assessments and a program of accountability, the state board shall perform the following functions:
(1) Review assessment tools, including tests of student performance and measures of school and school system performance, and determine when any improvements or additions are necessary;
(2) Consider multiple assessments, including, but not limited to, a state testing program developed in conjunction with the state's professional educators with assistance from such knowledgeable consultants as may be necessary, which may include criterion referenced tests;
(3) Review all accountability measures, such as the accreditation and personnel evaluation systems and consider any improvements or additions deemed necessary; and
(4) Ensure that all statewide assessments of student performance are secure.
Beginning in the school year one thousand nine hundred ninety--ninety-one, and continuing thereafter, national assessment of educational progress program tests shall be administered in academic areas at the various grades designated by the national assessment of educational progress officials to provide comparisons of West Virginia students to a national sample.
Acts, 1996 Reg. Sess., Ch. 114.
(a) The purpose of this section is to provide honors and advanced placement programs to meet the needs of students who have the potential and desire to complete curriculum more demanding than that offered in the regular classroom for their current grade level. Honors programs are those programs offering courses to expand the academic content in a given program of study and may include but shall not be limited to research and in-depth studies, mentorships, content-focused seminars, and extended learning outcomes instruction in the content area. Advanced placement programs are those programs offering classes which are advanced in terms of content and performance expectations of those normally available for the age/grade level of the student and providing credit toward graduation and possible college credit. Advanced placement classes also include those recognized or offered by the college board, postsecondary institutions and other recognized foundations, corporations or institutions.
Curriculum approved under this section shall be designed to advance the achievement of students in the subject area or areas in which the student has achieved at least two of the following three criteria: (a) Demonstrated exceptional ability and interest through past performance, (b) obtained the prerequisite knowledge and skills to perform honors or advanced placement work, and (c) recommended by the student's former or present teachers. Honors and advanced placement curriculum may include advanced placement courses offered through the college board or other public or private foundations, corporations, institutions, or businesses whose courses are generally accepted as leading to advanced placement or standing in a postsecondary institution, accelerated instructional courses offered via satellite and other courses and arrangements, approved by the state board, which provide students an opportunity to advance their learning above that offered through the regular curriculum. To the maximum extent possible, honors and advanced placement courses shall be taught by a regular classroom teacher. Such classroom teacher shall have adequate knowledge in the subject area for the instruction of such course. If a teacher, licensed by the state board, with adequate knowledge in the advanced subject area is not available, an adjunct teacher or other qualified person may be employed, contracted for, or shared between schools to instruct such course: Provided, That the position shall be posted annually prior to the beginning of the school year immediately following the school year in which the adjunct teacher or other qualified person is employed. The state board may grant waivers to existing certification requirements for an adjunct teacher or other qualified person who has an earned bachelors degree and has demonstrated competence in the subject to be taught.
(b) The honors and advanced placement curriculum shall be phased-in in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) Prior to the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, the state board shall establish a program coordinated through the colleges and universities or some other entity, to provide training to teachers in the instruction of honors and advanced placement courses: Provided, That the state board shall not establish an additional certification area for the teaching of honors or advanced placement courses.
(2) To assist in the implementation of teacher training for honors and advanced placement instruction, there shall be an appropriation to the state board;
(3) On or before the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, and each year thereafter, teachers shall be selected to teach honors and advanced placement courses based upon the teacher's qualifications and academic interests and the needs of the students. The county boards of education shall, if necessary, make arrangements for the teachers to attend a training program;
(4) Beginning in the school year one thousand nine hundred ninety--ninety-one, each county board shall provide in grades nine through twelve honors and advanced placement courses as provided under subsection (a) of this section.
(c) The state board shall designate one employee who is an expert in the area of higher education financial aid, including, but not limited to, loans, grants and work studies, to work on a full-time continuous basis with high school counselors to ensure that all high school students are informed of the availability of financial assistance to attend college.
Gifted students in grades nine through twelve may be served in honors and advanced placement programs as described in section three of this article, pursuant to the student's individualized education program and set forth in the student's four year education plan. Prior to the end of grade eight, a placement advisory committee shall convene for the purpose of determining whether a student should be placed in an honors or advanced placement program pursuant to the placement criteria set forth in section three-a of this article. Upon a determination that placement in one of the programs would be appropriate, the placement advisory committee shall write a four year education plan which will designate honors or advanced placement courses and/or offerings appropriate and agreed to by the school, parent and student.
The four year education plan must be reviewed annually and approved by the parent, student and school. Schools shall be required to deliver the individualized education program as stated in the four year education plan.
Acts, 2005 Reg. Sess., Ch. 91.
(1) Children entering early childhood education programs have significant differences in their cognitive development, mastery of the early basic skills and readiness for instruction in a formal setting;
(2) Mastery of the basic skills of reading, mathematics and English language arts is the foundation for all further learning and, therefore, providing the instruction necessary for each child to attain mastery in these basic skills must be the priority for early childhood education programs;
(3) Deficiencies in the basic skills of reading, mathematics and English language arts that persist in children beyond the early childhood years become more difficult to overcome as they retard further progress in building the basics and lead to significant gaps in the basic knowledge needed to comprehend more advanced content in other subject areas; and
(4) Intensive instruction, early detection and intervention to correct student deficiencies in the basic skills of reading, mathematics and English language arts during early childhood education are more effective strategies for improving student performance than the alternatives such as grade level retention, social promotion and referral for special services and can lessen the prevalence of low basic skills as a contributing factor in student truancy, delinquency and dropout rates.
(b) Intent and purpose. -- The intent and purpose of this section is to establish the priority for early childhood education to provide intensive instruction in the basic skills of reading, mathematics and English language arts, along with early detection and intervention strategies to correct student deficiencies, to address the findings of this section.
(c) State board rule. -- On or before the first day of July, two thousand four, the state board shall adopt rules to effectuate the intent and purpose of this section, including, but not limited to, provisions that address the following:
(1) Reading, mathematics and English language arts are the only subjects that are required to be taught daily in kindergarten through grade two early childhood education programs;
(2) Instruction in other subject matter in kindergarten through grade two shall be oriented to reinforce instruction in reading, mathematics and English language arts;
(3) Strategies for the early detection and intervention to correct student deficiencies in reading, mathematics and English language arts shall be employed throughout the instructional term in each of the early childhood grades to help students achieve mastery in these subjects, including allowing flexibility in student schedules to provide additional time and instruction for students who are below mastery in these subjects in grades three and four;
(4) Accountability for student performance on the statewide assessment of student performance in the early childhood grades shall only include the basic skills of reading, mathematics and English language arts; and
(5) Any other provisions considered necessary by the state board to achieve the intent and purpose of this section.
(1) Well-educated children and families are essential for maintaining safe and economically sound communities;
(2) Low student achievement is associated with increased delinquent behavior, higher drug use and pregnancy rates, and higher unemployment and adult incarceration rates;
(3) Each year, more students enter school with circumstances in their lives that schools are ill-prepared to accommodate;
(4) Ensuring access for all students to the rigorous curriculum they deserve requires effective teaching strategies that include, but are not limited to, using a variety of instructional approaches, using varied curriculum materials, engaging parent and community involvement and support in the educational process, and providing the professional development, support and leadership necessary for an effective school; and
(5) The achievement of all students can be dramatically improved when schools focus on factors within their control, such as the instructional day, curriculum and teaching practices.
(b) The purpose of this section is to provide for the establishment of a special five-year demonstration professional development school project to improve the academic achievement of all children. The program shall be under the direction of the state superintendent and shall be for a period of five years beginning with the two thousand four - two thousand five school year. The intent of this section is to provide a special demonstration environment wherein the public schools included in the demonstration project may work in collaboration with higher education, community organizations and the state board to develop and implement strategies that may be replicated in other public schools with significant enrollments of disadvantaged, minority and under-achieving students to improve academic achievement. For this purpose, the state superintendent has the following powers and duties with respect to the demonstration project:
(1) To select for participation in the demonstration project three public elementary or middle schools with significant enrollments of disadvantaged, minority and under-achieving students in each county in which the number of the African American students is five percent or more of the total second month enrollment;
(2) To require cooperation from the county board of the county wherein a demonstration project school is located to facilitate program implementation and avoid any reallocation of resources for the schools that are disproportionate with those for other schools of the county of similar classification, accreditation status and federal Title I identification;
(3) To require specialized training and knowledge of the needs, learning styles and strategies that will most effectively improve the performance of disadvantaged, minority and under-achieving students in demonstration project schools. These powers include, but not limited to, the authority to craft job descriptions with requirements regarding training and experience and the right to specify job duties which are related to job performance that reflect the mission of the demonstration project school;
(4) To provide specifications and direct the county board to post the positions for school personnel employed at the demonstration project school that encompass the special qualifications and any additional duties that will be required of the personnel as established in the job descriptions authorized pursuant to subdivision (3) of this section. The assertion that the job descriptions and postings are narrowly defined may not be used as the basis for the grievance of an employment decision for positions at a demonstration project school;
(5) To direct the department of education, the center for professional development and the regional educational service agency to provide any technical assistance and professional development necessary for successful implementation of the demonstration school programs, including, but not limited to, any early intervention or other programs of the department to assist low performing schools;
(6) To collaborate and enter into agreements with colleges and universities willing to assist with efforts at a demonstration school to improve student achievement, including, but not limited to, the operation of a professional development school program model: Provided, That the expenditure of any funds appropriated for the state board or department for this purpose shall be subject to approval of the state board;
(7) To require collaboration with local community organizations to improve student achievement and increase the involvement of parents and guardians in improving student achievement;
(8) To provide for an independent evaluation of the demonstration school project, its various programs and their effectiveness on improving student academic achievement; and
(9) To recommend to the state board and the county board the waiver of any of their respective policies that impede the implementation of demonstration school programs.
(c) The state superintendent shall make status reports to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability and to the state board annually and may include in those reports any recommendations based on the progress of the demonstration project that he or she considers either necessary for improving the operations of the demonstration project or prudent for improving student achievement in other public schools through replication of successful demonstration school programs. The state superintendent shall make a recommendation to the Legislature not later than its regular session, two thousand ten, for continuation or termination of the program, which recommendation shall be accompanied by the findings and recommendations of the independent evaluation and these findings and recommendations shall be a major factor considered by the superintendent in making his or her recommendation.
(d) Nothing in this section shall require any specific level of appropriation by the Legislature.
and statewide school report cards.
(a) For the purpose of providing information to the parents of public school children and the general public on the quality of education in the public schools which is uniform and comparable between schools within and among the various school districts, the state board shall prepare forms for school, school district and statewide school report cards and shall promulgate rules concerning the collection and reporting of data and the preparation, printing and distribution of report cards under this section. The forms shall provide for brief, concise reporting in nontechnical language of required information. Any technical or explanatory material a county board wishes to include shall be contained in a separate appendix available to the general public upon request.
(b) The school report cards shall include information as prescribed by lawfully promulgated rule by the state board to give the parents of students at the school and the general public an indication of the quality of education at the school and other programs supportive of community needs, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Indicators of student performance at the school in comparison with the county, state, regional and national student performance, as applicable, including student performance by grade level in the various subjects measured pursuant to a uniform statewide assessment program adopted by the state board; school attendance rates; the percent of students not promoted to next grade; and the graduation rate;
(2) Indicators of school performance in comparison with the aggregate of all other schools in the county and the state, as applicable, including average class size; percent of enrollments in courses in high school mathematics, science, English and social science; amount of time per day devoted to mathematics, science, English and social science at middle, junior high and high school grade levels; percentage distribution of students by career cluster as indicated on the individualized student transition plan; pupil-teacher ratio; number of exceptions to pupil-teacher ratio requested by the county board and the number of exceptions granted; the number of split-grade classrooms; pupil-administrator ratio; operating expenditure per pupil; county expenditure by fund in graphic display; and the average degree classification and years of experience of the administrators and teachers at the school;
(3) The names of the members of the local school improvement council, created pursuant to section two, article five-a of this chapter; and
(4) The name or names of the business partner or partners of the school.
In addition, every county board annually shall determine the number of administrators, classroom teachers and service personnel employed that exceeds the number allowed by the public school support plan and determine the amount of salary supplements that would be available per state authorized employee if all expenditures for the excess employees were converted to annual salaries for state authorized administrators, classroom teachers and service personnel within their county. The information shall be published annually in each school report card of each such county.
(c) The school district report card shall include the data for each school for each separately listed applicable indicator and the aggregate of the data for all schools, as applicable, in the county for each indicator. The statewide school report card shall include the data for each county for each separately listed indicator and the aggregate for all counties for each indicator.
(d) The report cards shall be prepared using actual local school, county, state, regional and national data indicating the present performance of the school and also shall include the state norms and the upcoming year's targets for the school and the county board.
The state board shall provide technical assistance to each county board in preparing the school and school district report cards.
Each county board shall prepare report cards in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this section. The school district report cards shall be presented at a regular school board meeting subject to applicable notice requirements and shall be made available to a newspaper of general circulation serving the district. The school report cards shall be mailed directly to the parent or parents of each child enrolled in that school. In addition, each county board shall submit the completed report cards to the state board which shall make copies available to any person requesting them.
The report cards shall be completed and disseminated prior to January 1, 1989, and in each year thereafter, and shall be based upon information for the current school year, or for the most recent school year for which the information is available, in which case the year shall be clearly footnoted.
(e) In addition to the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the school district report card shall list the following information:
(1) The names of the members of the county board, the dates upon which their terms expire and whether they have attended an orientation program for new members approved by the state board and conducted by the West Virginia School Board Association or other approved organizations;
(2) The number of hours of training that meets state board standards that county board members have received during the school term reported; and
(3) The names of the county school superintendent and every assistant and associate superintendent and any training programs related to their area of school administration which they have attended.
The information also shall be reported by district in the statewide school report card.
(f) The state board shall develop and implement a separate report card for nontraditional public schools pursuant to the appropriate provisions of this section to the extent practicable.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section four of this article requiring school report cards to be mailed directly to the parent or parents of each child enrolled in the school, such report cards may, at the option of the county board of education, be mailed as provided in said section four or be given to each child for delivery to his or her parent, parents, custodian or legal guardian: Provided, That if the school report card is delivered by the child, written verification must be received by the school indicating the parent, parents, custodian or legal guardian has received the school report card.
(a) Legislative findings, purpose and intent. -- The Legislature makes the following findings with respect to the process for improving education and its purpose and intent in the enactment of this section:
(1) The process for improving education includes four primary elements, these being:
(A) Standards which set forth the knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to perform as the result of a thorough and efficient education that prepares them for the twenty-first century, including measurable criteria to evaluate student performance and progress;
(B) Assessments of student performance and progress toward meeting the standards;
(C) A system of accountability for continuous improvement defined by high-quality standards for schools and school systems articulated by a rule promulgated by the state board and outlined in subsection (c) of this section that will build capacity in schools and districts to meet rigorous outcomes that assure student performance and progress toward obtaining the knowledge and skills intrinsic to a high-quality education rather than monitoring for compliance with specific laws and regulations; and
(D) A method for building the capacity and improving the efficiency of schools and school systems to improve student performance and progress;
(2) As the constitutional body charged with the general supervision of schools as provided by general law, the state board has the authority and the responsibility to establish the standards, assess the performance and progress of students against the standards, hold schools and school systems accountable and assist schools and school systems to build capacity and improve efficiency so that the standards are met, including, when necessary, seeking additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the Governor;
(3) As the constitutional body charged with providing for a thorough and efficient system of schools, the Legislature has the authority and the responsibility to establish and be engaged constructively in the determination of the knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education. This determination is made by using the process for improving education to determine when school improvement is needed, by evaluating the results and the efficiency of the system of schools, by ensuring accountability and by providing for the necessary capacity and its efficient use;
(4) In consideration of these findings, the purpose of this section is to establish a process for improving education that includes the four primary elements as set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection to provide assurances that the high-quality standards are, at a minimum, being met and 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
(5) The intent of the Legislature in enacting this section and section five-c of this article is to establish a process through which the Legislature, the Governor and the state board can work in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration intended in the process for improving education to consult and examine the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems and, when necessary, to consider alternative measures to ensure that all students continue to receive the thorough and efficient education to which they are entitled. However, nothing in this section requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.
(b) Electronic county and school strategic improvement plans. -- The state board shall promulgate a rule consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing an electronic county strategic improvement plan for each county board and an electronic school strategic improvement plan for each public school in this state. Each respective plan shall be for a period of no more than five years and shall include the mission and goals of the school or school system to improve student, school or school system performance and progress, as applicable. The strategic plan shall be revised annually in each area in which the school or system is below the standard on the annual performance measures. The plan shall be revised when required pursuant to this section to include each annual performance measure upon which the school or school system fails to meet the standard for performance and progress, the action to be taken to meet each measure, a separate time line and a date certain for meeting each measure, a cost estimate and, when applicable, the assistance to be provided by the department and other education agencies to improve student, school or school system performance and progress to meet the annual performance measure.
The department shall make available to all public schools through its website or the West Virginia Education Information System an electronic school strategic improvement plan boilerplate designed for use by all schools to develop an electronic school strategic improvement plan which incorporates all required aspects and satisfies all improvement plan requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
(c) High-quality education standards and efficiency standards. -- In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall adopt and periodically review and update high-quality education standards for student, school and school system performance and processes in the following areas:
(2) Workplace readiness skills;
(5) Special education;
(7) Administrative practices;
(8) Training of county board members and administrators;
(9) Personnel qualifications;
(10) Professional development and evaluation;
(11) Student performance, progress and attendance;
(12) Professional personnel, including principals and central office administrators, and service personnel attendance;
(13) School and school system performance and progress;
(14) A code of conduct for students and employees;
(15) Indicators of efficiency; and
(16) Any other areas determined by the state board.
(d) Comprehensive statewide student assessment program. -- The state board shall establish a comprehensive statewide student assessment program to assess student performance and progress in grades three through twelve. The assessment program is subject to the following:
(1) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing the comprehensive statewide student assessment program;
(2) Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, the state board shall align the comprehensive statewide student assessment for all grade levels in which the test is given with the college-readiness standards adopted pursuant to section thirty-nine, article two of this chapter or develop other aligned tests to be required at each grade level so that progress toward college readiness in English/language arts and math can be measured;
(3) The state board may require that student proficiencies be measured through the ACT EXPLORE and the ACT PLAN assessments or other comparable assessments, which are approved by the state board and provided by future vendors;
(4) The state board may require that student proficiencies be measured through the West Virginia writing assessment at any grade levels determined by the state board to be appropriate; and
(5) The state board may provide through the statewide assessment program other optional testing or assessment instruments applicable to grade levels kindergarten through grade twelve which may be used by each school to promote student achievement. The state board annually shall publish and make available, electronically or otherwise, to school curriculum teams and teacher collaborative processes the optional testing and assessment instruments.
(e) State annual performance measures for school and school system accreditation. --
The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that establishes a system to assess and weigh annual performance measures for state accreditation of schools and school systems. The state board also may establish performance incentives for schools and school systems as part of the state accreditation system. On or before December 1, 2013, the state board shall report to the Governor and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability the proposed rule for establishing the measures and incentives of accreditation and the estimated cost therefore, if any. Thereafter, the state board shall provide an annual report to the Governor and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on the impact and effectiveness of the accreditation system. The rule for school and school system accreditation proposed by the board may include, but is not limited to, the following measures:
(1) Student proficiency in English and language arts, math, science and other subjects determined by the board;
(2) Graduation and attendance rate;
(3) Students taking and passing AP tests;
(4) Students completing a career and technical education class;
(5) Closing achievement gaps within subgroups of a school's student population; and
(6) Students scoring at or above average attainment on SAT or ACT tests.
(f) Indicators of efficiency. -- In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall adopt by rule and periodically review and update indicators of efficiency for use by the appropriate divisions within the department to ensure efficient management and use of resources in the public schools in the following areas:
(1) Curriculum delivery including, but not limited to, the use of distance learning;
(4) Administrative practices;
(6) Use 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
(7) Any other indicators as determined by the state board.
(g) Assessment and accountability of school and school system performance and processes. -- In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall establish by rule a system of education performance audits which measures the quality of education and the preparation of students based on the annual measures of student, school and school system performance and progress. The system of education performance audits shall provide information to the state board, the Legislature and the Governor, upon which they may determine whether 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 progress based on the annual measures established pursuant to subsection (e) of this section;
(2) The evaluation of records, reports and other information collected by the Office of Education Performance Audits upon which the quality of education and compliance with statutes, policies and standards may be determined;
(3) The review of school and school system electronic strategic improvement plans; and
(4) The on-site review of the processes in place in schools and school systems to enable school and school system performance and progress and compliance with the standards.
(h) 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 and progress. Information from the system of education performance audits further shall be used by the state board for these purposes, 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 and progress.
The state board shall make accreditation information available to the Legislature, the Governor, the general public and to any individual who requests the information, subject to the provisions of any act or rule restricting the release of information.
(i) Early detection and intervention programs. -- Based on the assessment of student, school and school system performance and progress, the state board shall establish early detection and intervention programs using the available resources of the Department of Education, the regional educational service agencies, the Center for Professional Development and the Principals Academy, or other resources as appropriate, to assist underachieving schools and school systems to improve performance before conditions become so grave as to warrant more substantive state intervention. Assistance shall include, but is not limited to, providing additional technical assistance and programmatic, professional staff development, providing monetary, staffing and other resources where appropriate.
(j) Office of Education Performance Audits. --
(1) To assist the state board in the operation of a system of education performance audits, the state board shall establish an Office of Education Performance Audits consistent with the provisions of this section. The Office of Education Performance Audits 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.
(2) The office shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the state board and who serves at the will and pleasure of the state board. The annual salary of the director shall be set by the state board and may not exceed eighty percent of the salary of the State Superintendent of Schools.
(3) The state board shall organize and sufficiently staff the office to fulfill the duties assigned to it by law and by the state board. Employees of the State Department of Education who are transferred to the Office of Education Performance Audits shall retain their benefits and seniority status with the Department of Education.
(4) 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 and progress of students, schools and school systems, and shall receive assistance, as determined by the state board, from staff at the State Department of Education, the regional education service agencies, the Center for Professional Development, the Principals Academy and the School Building Authority to carry out the duties assigned to the office.
(5) 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:
(A) Assure that all statewide assessments of student performance used as annual performance measures are secure as required in section one-a of this article;
(B) Administer all accountability measures as assigned by the state board, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) Processes for the accreditation of schools and the approval of school systems; and
(ii) Recommendations to the state board on appropriate action, including, but not limited to, accreditation and approval action;
(C) 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 state board and recommend to the state board plans to establish those needed capacities;
(D) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, whether statewide system deficiencies exist in the capacity of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the state board, including the identification of trends and the need for continuing improvements in education, and report those deficiencies and trends to the state board;
(E) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, staff development needs of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the state board and make recommendations to the state board, the Center for Professional Development, the regional educational service agencies, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the county boards;
(F) Identify, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, school systems and best practices that improve student, school and school system performance and communicate those to the state board for promoting the use of best practices. The state board shall provide information on best practices to county school systems; and
(G) Develop reporting formats, such as check lists, which shall be used by the appropriate administrative personnel in schools and school systems to document compliance with applicable laws, policies and process standards as considered appropriate and approved by the state board, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(i) The use of a policy for the evaluation of all school personnel that meets the requirements of sections twelve and twelve-a, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code;
(ii) The participation of students in appropriate physical assessments as determined by the state board, which assessment may not be used as a part of the assessment and accountability system;
(iii) The appropriate licensure of school personnel; and
(iv) The appropriate provision of multicultural activities.
Information contained in the reporting formats is subject to examination during an on-site review to determine compliance with laws, policies and standards. Intentional and grossly negligent reporting of false information are grounds for dismissal of any employee.
(k) On-site reviews. --
(1) The system of education performance audits shall include on-site reviews of schools and school systems which shall be conducted only at the specific direction of the state board upon its determination that circumstances exist that warrant an on-site review. Any discussion by the state board of schools to be subject to an on-site review or dates for which on-site reviews will be conducted may be held in executive session and is not subject to the provisions of article nine-a, chapter six of this code relating to open governmental proceedings. An on-site review shall be conducted by the Office of Education Performance Audits of a school or school system for the purpose of making recommendations to the school and school system, as appropriate, and to the state board on such measures as it considers necessary. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Verifying data reported by the school or county board;
(B) Examining compliance with the laws and policies affecting student, school and school system performance and progress;
(C) Evaluating the effectiveness and implementation status of school and school system electronic strategic improvement plans;
(D) Investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege serious impairments in the quality of education in schools or school systems;
(E) 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; and
(F) Determining and reporting whether required reviews and inspections have been conducted by the appropriate agencies, including, but not limited to, the State Fire Marshal, the Health Department, the School Building Authority and the responsible divisions within the Department of Education, and whether noted deficiencies have been or are in the process of being corrected.
(2) The Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits shall notify the county superintendent of schools five school days prior to commencing an on-site review of the county school system and shall notify both the county superintendent and the principal five school days before commencing an on-site review of an individual school: Provided, That the state board may direct the Office of Education Performance Audits to conduct an unannounced on-site review of a school or school system if the state board believes circumstances warrant an unannounced on-site review.
(3) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall conduct on-site reviews which are limited in scope to specific areas in which performance and progress are persistently below standard as determined by the state board unless specifically directed by the state board to conduct a review which covers additional areas.
(4) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall reimburse a county board for the costs of substitutes required to replace county board employees who serve on a review team.
(5) At the conclusion of an on-site review of a school system, the director and team leaders shall hold an exit conference with the superintendent and shall provide an opportunity for principals to be present for at least the portion of the conference pertaining to their respective schools. In the case of an on-site review of a school, the exit conference shall be held with the principal and curriculum team of the school and the superintendent shall be provided the opportunity to be present. The purpose of the exit conference is to review the initial findings of the on-site review, clarify and correct any inaccuracies and allow the opportunity for dialogue between the reviewers and the school or school system to promote a better understanding of the findings.
(6) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall report the findings of an on-site review to the county superintendent and the principals whose schools were reviewed within thirty days following the conclusion of the on-site review. The Office of Education Performance Audits shall report the findings of the on-site review to the state board within forty-five days after the conclusion of the on-site review. A school or county that believes one or more findings of a review are clearly inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, misrepresent or fail to reflect the true quality of education in the school or county or address issues unrelated to the health, safety and welfare of students and the quality of education, may appeal to the state board for removal of the findings. The state board shall establish a process for it to receive, review and act upon the appeals. The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability during its July interim meetings, or as soon thereafter as practical, on each appeal during the preceding school year.
(7) The Legislature finds that the accountability and oversight of some activities and programmatic areas in the public schools are controlled through other mechanisms and agencies and that additional accountability and oversight may be unnecessary, counterproductive and impair necessary resources for teaching and learning. Therefore, the Office of Education Performance Audits may rely on other agencies and mechanisms in its review of schools and school systems.
(l) School accreditation. --
(1) The state board shall establish levels of accreditation to be assigned to schools. The establishment of levels of accreditation and the levels shall be subject to the following:
(A) The levels will be designed to demonstrate school performance in all the areas outlined in this section and also those established by the state board;
(B) The state board shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish the performance and standards required for a school to be assigned a particular level of accreditation; and
(C) The state board will establish the levels of accreditation in such a manner as to minimize the number of systems of school recognition, both state and federal, that are employed to recognize and accredit schools.
(2) 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 a level of accreditation as designated and determined by the state board.
(3) The state board, in its exercise of general supervision of the schools and school systems of West Virginia, may exercise any or all of the following powers and actions:
(A) To require a school to revise its electronic strategic plan;
(B) To define extraordinary circumstances under which the state board may intervene directly or indirectly in the operation of a school;
(C) To appoint monitors to work with the principal and staff of a school where extraordinary circumstances are found to exist, and to appoint monitors to assist the school principal after intervention in the operation of a school is completed;
(D) To direct a county board to target resources to assist a school where extraordinary circumstances are found to exist;
(E) To intervene directly in the operation of a school and declare the position of principal vacant and assign a principal for the school who will serve at the will and pleasure of the state board. If the principal who was removed elects not to remain an employee of the county board, then the principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the county board. If the principal who was removed elects to remain an employee of the county board, then the following procedure applies:
(i) The principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the state board until the next school term, at which time the principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the county board;
(ii) The principal who was removed is eligible for all positions in the county, including teaching positions, for which the principal is certified, by either being placed on the transfer list in accordance with section seven, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code, or by being placed on the preferred recall list in accordance with section seven-a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code; and
(iii) The principal who was removed shall be paid by the county board and may be assigned to administrative duties, without the county board being required to post that position until the end of the school term; and
(F) Other powers and actions the state board determines necessary to fulfill its duties of general supervision of the schools and school systems of West Virginia.
(4) The county board may take no action nor refuse any action if the effect would be to impair further the school in which the state board has intervened.
(m) 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 schools have all been given full, temporary or conditional accreditation status and which does not have any deficiencies which would endanger student health or safety or other extraordinary circumstances as defined by the state board. A fully approved school system in which other deficiencies are discovered shall remain on full accreditation status for the remainder of the approval period and shall have an opportunity to correct those deficiencies, notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection.
(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 electronic county strategic improvement plan in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to increase the performance and progress of the school system to a full approval status level. 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 electronic county strategic improvement plan meets the following criteria:
(A) The plan has been revised in accordance with subsection (b) of this section;
(B) The plan has been approved by the state board; and
(C) 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 electronic county strategic improvement plan or revised electronic county strategic improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board or which fails to meet the objectives and time line of its revised electronic county strategic improvement plan or fails to achieve full approval by the date specified in the revised plan.
(A) 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.
(B) 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.
(C) 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. When the state board approves the recommendations, they shall be communicated 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, which may include delegating decision-making authority regarding these matters to the state superintendent;
(ii) Declaring that the office of the county superintendent is vacant;
(iii) Declaring that the positions of personnel who serve at the will and pleasure of the county superintendent as provided in section one, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code, are vacant, subject to application and reemployment;
(iv) Delegating to the state superintendent both the authority to conduct hearings on personnel matters and school closure or consolidation matters and, subsequently, to render the resulting decisions and the authority to appoint a designee for the limited purpose of conducting hearings while reserving to the state superintendent the authority to render the resulting decisions;
(v) Functioning in lieu of the county board of education in a transfer, sale, purchase or other transaction regarding real property; and
(vi) Taking any direct action necessary to correct the emergency including, but not limited to, the following:
(I) Delegating to the state superintendent the authority to replace administrators and principals in low performing schools and to transfer them into alternate professional positions within the county at his or her discretion; and
(II) Delegating to the state superintendent the authority to fill positions of administrators and principals with individuals determined by the state superintendent to be the most qualified for the positions. Any authority related to intervention in the operation of a county board granted under this paragraph is not subject to the provisions of article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code.
(n) 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 (m) of this section, if the state board finds the following:
(1) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section; and that delaying intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interests of the students of the county school system; or
(2) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section and that the state board had previously intervened in the operation of the same school system and had concluded that intervention within the preceding five years.
(o) Capacity. -- The process for improving education includes a process for targeting resources strategically to improve the teaching and learning process. Development of electronic school and school system strategic 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 electronic strategic 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, When the state board determines that schools and school systems do not have the capacity to correct deficiencies, the state board shall take one or more of the following actions:
(1) 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;
(2) 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. When making determinations on recommendations, the state board shall include, but is not limited to, the following methods:
(A) Examining reports and electronic strategic improvement plans regarding the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems relative to the standards and identifying the areas in which improvement is needed;
(B) Determining the areas of weakness and of ineffectiveness that appear to have contributed to the substandard performance and progress of students or the deficiencies of the school or school system and requiring the school or school system to work collaboratively with the West Virginia Department of Education State System of Support to correct the deficiencies;
(C) Determining the areas of strength that appear to have contributed to exceptional student, school and school system performance and progress and promoting their emulation throughout the system;
(D) Requesting technical assistance from the School Building Authority in assessing or designing comprehensive educational facilities plans;
(E) Recommending priority funding from the School Building Authority based on identified needs;
(F) Requesting special staff development programs from the Center for Professional Development, the Principals Academy, higher education, regional educational service agencies and county boards based on identified needs;
(G) Submitting requests to the Legislature for appropriations to meet the identified needs for improving education;
(H) Directing county boards to target their funds strategically toward alleviating deficiencies;
(I) Ensuring that the need for facilities in counties with increased enrollment are appropriately reflected and recommended for funding;
(J) Ensuring that the appropriate person or entity is held accountable for eliminating deficiencies; and
(K) 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.
(p) Building leadership capacity - To help build the governance and leadership capacity of a county board during an intervention in the operation of its school system by the state board, and to help assure sustained success following return of control to the county board, the state board shall require the county board to establish goals and action plans, subject to approval of the state board, to improve performance sufficiently to end the intervention within a period of not more than five years. The state superintendent shall maintain oversight and provide assistance and feedback to the county board on development and implementation of the goals and action plans. At a minimum, the goals and action plans shall include:
(A) An analysis of the training and development activities needed by the county board and leadership of the school system and schools for effective governance and school improvement;
(B) Support for the training and development activities identified which may include those made available through the state superintendent, regional education service agencies, Center for Professional Development, West Virginia School Board Association, Office of Education Performance Audits, West Virginia Education Information System and other sources identified in the goals and action plans. Attendance at these activities included in the goals and action plans is mandatory as specified in the goals and action plans; and
(C) Active involvement by the county board in the improvement process, working in tandem with the county superintendent to gather, analyze and interpret data, write time-specific goals to correct deficiencies, prepare and implement action plans and allocate or request from the state board of education the resources, including board development training and coaching, necessary to achieve approved goals and action plans and sustain system and school improvement.
At least once each year during the period of intervention, the Office of Education Performance Audits shall assess the readiness of the county board to accept the return of control of the system or school from the state board and sustain the improvements, and shall make a report and recommendations to the state board supported by documented evidence of the progress made on the goals and action plans. The state board may end the intervention or return any portion of control of the operations of the school system or school that was previously removed at its sole determination. If the state board determines at the fifth annual assessment that the county board is still not ready to accept return of control by the state board and sustain the improvements, the state board shall hold a public hearing in the affected county at which the attendance by all members of the county board is requested so that the reasons for continued intervention and the concerns of the citizens of the county may be heard. The state board may continue the intervention only after it holds the public hearing and may require revision of the goals and action plans.
Following the termination of an intervention in the operation of a school system and return of full control by the state board, the support for governance education and development shall continue as needed for up to three years. If at any time within this three years, the state board determines that intervention in the operation of the school system is again necessary, the state board shall again hold a public hearing in the affected county so that the reasons for the intervention and the concerns of the citizens of the county may be heard.
(b) Whenever the state board intervenes in the operation of a school system and the office of the county superintendent is declared vacant pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter, the state board may, for any intervention which is instituted after the effective date of this section, void any existing employment contract between the county board and the county superintendent.
(c) Whenever a county board elects a county superintendent and enters into a written contract of employment with the superintendent, the county board shall include within the contract a conspicuous clause that informs the superintendent that if the state board intervenes in the operation of the county school system pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter, the state board may vacate the office and void the employment contract.
(1) For elementary school students, thirty minutes;
(2) For middle school, intermediate school and junior high school students, forty-five minutes; and
(3) For high school students, sixty minutes.
(b) A county board may not create a new bus route for the transportation of students in any of the grade levels prekindergarten through grade five to and from any school included in a school closure, consolidation or new construction project approved after the first day of July, two thousand eight, which exceeds by more than fifteen minutes the recommended duration of the one-way school bus transportation time for elementary students adopted by the state board in accordance with subsection (a) of this section unless:
(1) The county board adopts a separate motion to approve creation of the route and request written permission of the state board to create the route; and
(2) Receives the written permission of the state board to create the route.
(c) A county board may not create, nor may the state board permit, the creation of a new bus route for the transportation of students in any of the grade levels prekindergarten through grade five to and from any school included in a school closure, consolidation or new construction project approved after the first day of July, two thousand eight, which exceeds by more than thirty minutes the recommended duration of the one-way school bus transportation time for elementary students adopted by the state board in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.
(d) The state board shall provide technical assistance to county boards with the objective of achieving school bus transportation routes for students which are within the recommended time durations established by the state board.
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly and intentionally to falsely report any information required under this article.
Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one year, or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) The knowledge and skills children need to succeed are changing dramatically and that West Virginia students must develop proficiency in the subject matter content, technology tools and learning skills to succeed and prosper in life, in school and on the job;
(2) Students must be equipped to live in a multitasking, multifaceted, technology-driven world;
(3) The provision technologies and software resources in grades prekindergarten through twelve is necessary to meet the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(4) This goal reflects a fundamental belief that the youth of the state exit the system equipped with the skills, competencies and attributes necessary to succeed, to continue learning throughout their lifetimes and to attain self-sufficiency;
(5) To promote learning, teachers must be competent in content and learning skills and must be equipped to fully integrate technology to transform instructional practice and to support skills acquisition;
(6) For students to learn technology skills, students and teachers must have equitable access to high quality, technology tools and resources;
(7) When aligned with standards and curriculum, technology-based assessments can be a powerful tool for teachers; and
(8) Teachers must understand how to use technology to create classroom assessments for accurate, timely measurements of student proficiency in attainment of academic content.
(b) The state board shall ensure that the resources to be used to provide technology services to students in grades prekindergarten through twelve are included in a West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan to be developed by the Department of Education as an integral component of the county electronic strategic improvement plan required in section five of this article. The provision of technologies and services to students and teachers shall be based on a county technology plan developed by a team that includes school building-level professional educators and is aligned with the goals and objectives of the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan. This plan shall be an integral component of the county electronic strategic improvement plan as required in section five of this article. Funds shall be allocated equitably to county school systems following peer review of the plans that includes providing necessary technical assistance prior to submission and allows timely review and approval by the West Virginia Department of Education. Equitable allocation shall be defined by the state board and may include per school-site equity for technologies requiring a site license or other per school application. Technology tools purchased from appropriations for this section shall adhere to state contract prices: Provided, That contingent upon approval of the county technology plan, counties that identify, within that plan, specific software or peripheral equipment not listed on the state contract, but necessary to support implementation, may request the West Virginia Department of Education to secure state purchasing prices for those identified items. Total expenditure to purchase these additional items may not exceed ten percent of the annual county allocation. To the extent practicable, the technology shall be used:
(1) To maximize student access to learning tools and resources at all times including during regular school hours, before and after school or class, in the evenings, on weekends and holidays and for public education, noninstructional days and during vacations; and
(2) For student use for homework, remedial work, personalized learning, independent learning, career planning and adult basic education.
(c) The implementation of this section should provide a technology infrastructure capable of supporting multiple technology-based learning strategies designed to enable students to achieve at higher academic levels. The technology infrastructure should facilitate student development by addressing the following areas:
(1) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades prekindergarten through eight by providing software, other technology resources or both aligned with state standards in reading, mathematics, writing, science, social studies and learning tools;
(2) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades nine through twelve by providing appropriate technology tools aligned with state standards for learning skills and technology tools;
(3) Attainment of skill outcomes for all students in the use of technology tools and learning skills;
(4) Proficiency in new, emerging content;
(5) Participation in relevant, contextual instruction that uses dynamic, real-world contexts that are engaging and meaningful for students, making learning relevant to life outside of school and bridging the gap between how students live and how they learn in school;
(6) Ability to use digital and emerging technologies to manage information, communicate effectively, think critically, solve problems, work productively as an individual and collaboratively as part of a team and demonstrate personal accountability and other self-directional skills;
(7) Providing students with information on post-secondary educational opportunities, financial aid and the skills and credentials required in various occupations that will help them better prepare for a successful transition following high school;
(8) Providing greater access to advanced and other curricular offerings than could be provided efficiently through traditional on-site delivery formats, including increasing student access to quality distance learning curricula and online distance education tools;
(9) Providing resources for teachers in differentiated instructional strategies, technology integration, sample lesson plans, curriculum resources and online staff development that enhance student achievement; and
(10) Providing resources to support basic skills acquisition and improvement at the above mastery and distinguished levels.
(d) Developed with input from appropriate stakeholder groups, the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be an integral component of the electronic strategic county improvement plan as required in section five of this article. The West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be comprehensive and shall address, but not necessarily be limited to, the following provisions:
(1) Allocation of adequate resources to provide students with equitable access to technology tools, including instructional offerings and appropriate curriculum, assessment and technology integration resources aligned to both the content and rigor of state content standards as well as to learning skills and technology tools;
(2) Providing students and staff with equitable access to a technology infrastructure that supports the acquisition of skills in the use of technology, including the ability to access information, solve problems, communicate clearly, make informed decisions, acquire new knowledge, construct products, reports and systems and access online assessment systems;
(3) Inclusion of various technologies that enable and enhance the attainment of the skills outcomes for all students;
(4) Collaboration with various partners, including parents, community organization, higher education, schools of education in colleges and universities, employers and content providers;
(5) Seeking of applicable federal government funds, philanthropic funds, other partnership funds or any combination of those types of funds to augment state appropriations and encouraging the pursuit of funding through grants, gifts, donations or any other sources for uses related to education technology;
(6) Sufficient bandwidth to support teaching and learning and to provide satisfactorily for instructional management needs;
(7) Protection of the integrity and security of the network, as well as student and administrative workstations;
(8) Flexibility to adjust the plan based on developing technology, federal and state requirements and changing local school and county needs;
(9) Incorporation of findings based upon validation from research-based evaluation findings from previous West Virginia-based evaluation projects;
(10) Continuing study of emerging technologies for application in a learning environment and inclusion in the technology plan, as appropriate;
(11) An evaluation component to determine the effectiveness of the program and make recommendations for ongoing implementation;
(12) A program of embedded, sustained professional development for teachers that is strategically developed to support a thorough and efficient education for all students and that aligns with state standards for technology, integrates technology skills into educational practice and supports the implementation of software, technology and assessment resources in the classroom;
(13) Providing for uniformity in technological hardware and software standards and procedures;
(14) The strategy for ensuring that the capabilities and capacities of the technology infrastructure is adequate for acceptable performance of the technology being implemented in the public schools;
(15) Providing for a comprehensive, statewide uniform, integrated education management and information system for data collection and reporting to the Department of Education and the public;
(16) Providing for an effective model for the distance delivery, virtual delivery or both types of delivery of instruction in subjects where there exists low student enrollment or a shortage of certified teachers or where the delivery method substantially improves the quality of an instructional program such as the West Virginia Virtual School;
(17) Providing a strategy to implement, support and maintain technology in the public schools;
(18) Providing a strategy to provide ongoing support and assistance to teachers in integrating technology into instruction such as with technology integration specialists and technology system specialists;
(19) A method of allowing public education to take advantage of appropriate bulk purchasing abilities and to purchase from competitively bid contracts initiated through the southern regional education board educational technology cooperative and the America TelEdCommunications Alliance;
(20) Compliance with United States Department of Education regulations and Federal Communications Commission requirements for federal E-rate discounts; and
(21) Other provisions as considered appropriate, necessary or both to align with applicable guidelines, policies, rules, regulations and requirements of the West Virginia Legislature, the Board of Education and the Department of Education.
(e) Any state code and budget references to the Basic Skills/Computer Education Program and the SUCCESS Initiative will be understood to refer to the statewide technology initiative referenced in this section, commonly referred to as the 21st Century Tools for 21st Century Schools Technology Initiative.
The Legislature further finds that the full preparation of youth as indicated in these findings cannot be accomplished by the school system alone, but requires the full and active partnership with parents and people from business, labor, higher education, economic development and other organizations and entities in thecommunity that have an interest in providing quality education. Therefore, the intent of this section is to establish a policy framework and strategy for the state board in fulfilling its responsibility for the general supervision of free schools in order to encourage and utilize actively involved partnerships in the formulation of rules and practices to achieve the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment, particularly in the delivery of programs that provide work-based learning opportunities for students within the school or at the workplace. The Legislature recognizes that many skilled jobs require education beyond the high school level, that the goals of West Virginia include increased post-secondary attendance and that the goals for post-secondary education as set forth in section one-a, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code include an increased focus within higher education on relevancy, responsiveness to business, industry, labor and community needs, and on the current and future work force needs of the state. Therefore, it is further the intent of this section to enhance the linkages between secondary and post-secondary education.
(b) Comprehensive goals for jobs through education. -- The Legislature hereby establishes the following goals to be accomplished by the year two thousand one for all students in allschools:
(1) The elimination of student grouping or tracking systems that result in high school students completing a general curriculum that does not prepare them fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(2) The replacement of the general curriculum, as stated in subdivision (1) of this subsection, with a system of career clusters and education majors that increases the academic expectations for all students, includes a system of career information and guidance and incorporates structured work-based learning;
(3) The requirement that every student, in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, establish an individualized student transition plan covering grades nine through twelve and the first year beyond graduation from high school;
(4) The active involvement of partners at the state, regional and local levels in assuring the full preparation of graduates for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(5) The creation of a process through which qualified graduates will receive a portable credential that is recognized and valued by employers as an indicator of the skills, competence and readiness for employment of the graduates; and
(6) The implementation of continuous program assessment,program improvement and staff development.
(c) Increased academic expectations and career development for all students. -- The Legislature finds that there is a need to establish higher academic expectations and a system of career development for all students that contains the following elements:
(1) Assessment. -- The implementation of an assessment program that measures student performance by grade level and assesses student attainment of the basic academic foundation skills;
(2) Focus on basic skills in kindergarten through fourth grade. -- The strengthening and refocusing of kindergarten through fourth grade in order to assure that all students perform at grade level at the completion of the fourth grade by concentrating on teaching the basics of reading, writing, mathematics and computer skills;
(3) Development of rigorous curriculum. -- The development and implementation of a rigorous and relevant curriculum of basic academic requirements that lays a foundation for further learning and skill development. The proficiencies of the students shall be assessed at the end of the eighth grade and all students should attain the basic academic requirement levels by no later than the end of the tenth grade;
(4) Career exploration in grades five through eight. -- The exploration by students in the fifth through eighth grades of theirinterests and abilities in career clusters through accessing information about occupational skills and labor markets;
(5) Creation and initial implementation of individual student transition plan for grades nine and ten. -- The creation, by the end of the eighth grade, of the first two years of an individualized student transition plan that builds upon career awareness and exploration activities in the earlier grades and enables the student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor to select a broad career cluster for further exploration in grades nine and ten;
(6) Choosing career majors for grades eleven through post-secondary. -- The creation of the second part of the individualized student transition plan by the end of the tenth grade. The second part of the individualized student transition plan shall establish a career major for the final years of high school and the first year after high school that will prepare the student for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(7) Implementation of career majors. -- The fulfillment of the secondary education component of the career major in grades eleven and twelve, including the successful completion of the necessary curriculum and participation in work-based learning experiences; and
(8) Completion of individualized student transition plan and assessment. -- The completion of the individualized student transition plan in the first year following graduation from high school by attending college, other post-secondary education or securing gainful employment. The state board shall provide an assessment form to be completed by the student and returned to the high school upon the completion of the individualized student transition plan. The form shall provide for the student to report his or her success in completing the plan and the strengths and weaknesses of his or her education preparation.
(d) Report of recommendations on comprehensive career development . -- To assist in the establishment of a comprehensive career development system, the state school-to-work steering committee shall report to the state board and the legislative oversight commission on education accountability by the first day of November, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, the recommendations of the career guidance committee established pursuant to the state school-to-work implementation plan.
(e) Guidelines for increasing the ability of all students to meet higher academic expectations and become self-motivated learners. -- Practices that increase the academic expectations for all students and help them to succeed in achieving those higher expectations include, but are not limited to:
(1) Utilizing instructional methods that require the student to be a worker who is actively engaged in the learning process;
(2) Utilizing methodologies that require students to apply academic knowledge in practical situations and problem solving;
(3) Utilizing computers and other technologies to provide opportunities for creative instruction, both individually and in groups in all subjects;
(4) Providing structured opportunities for students to participate in credit and noncredit learning activities outside the school that are integrated with and are an extension of the school-based program of study for the student through such activities as field trips, job shadowing, community service, entrepreneurship development, mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, school-based enterprises in partnership with the private sector and other cooperative learning experiences connected to student education majors and school-based instructional programs;
(5) Integrating and interrelating academic and technical content throughout the curriculum and ensuring numerous opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning to emphasize the importance of reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing; and
(6) Encouraging teachers to plan and work together andexercise their professional judgment in the classroom.
(f) Establishing partnerships. -- As soon as practicable following the effective date of this section, the governor shall appoint or designate a "Jobs Through Education Employer Panel", to assure the high quality preparation of our youth for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment. The jobs through education employer panel shall advise and assist the state board, the higher education governing boards and institutions, other post-secondary education training programs and agencies and employers in assuring that graduates are prepared fully for further education and training or gainful employment and shall perform other functions as set forth in this section. In providing such advice and assistance and in the performance of such other functions, the jobs through employer panel shall solicit input from the county steering committees.
As soon as practicable, following the effective date of this section, county boards shall appoint a county steering committee that includes parents and people from business, labor, higher education, economic development, local school improvement councils, faculty senates and other organizations and entities in the community as valuable partners in developing and implementing a system within the county that meets the intent of this section and adheres to the rules of the state board. The membership of thecounty steering committee and participation in the community and technical college district consortia committee, as created by section three-a, article three, chapter eighteen-b of this code, shall be coordinated to the extent that it is practical.
(g) Guidelines for work-based learning. -- Work-based learning is a structured activity that correlates with and is mutually supportive of school-based learning for the student, and includes specific objectives to be mastered by the student as a result of the activity. It is central to the education preparation process to develop within the student an awareness of the work environment and how the skills the student is acquiring will be applied in that environment. Broadly defined, work-based learning opportunities are activities that assist students to gain an awareness of the workplace, develop an appreciation of the relevancy of academic subject matter to workplace performance and gain valuable work experience and skills while exploring their occupational interests and abilities. Incorporating work-based learning as a central part of the education process and also as a final step in the formal education process includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Providing students in the early grades with activities such as field trips, career-oriented speakers in the classroom, courses such as junior achievement which are taught by volunteers in the classroom, job shadowing and other such activities toincrease student awareness of the workplace; and
(2) Providing students in the later grades, including college and other post-secondary education, with activities such as structured community service, apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences, cooperative education and other work-site placements, school-based enterprises, workplace simulations and entrepreneurial development, that provide students with more specific work experience in an occupational area associated with their education major.
To the extent possible, student work-based learning, and particularly workplace learning, should be jointly assessed by a school-based educator or advisor and a work-based mentor who possesses the skills set forth in the work-based learning objectives of the student, and who has been trained in mentoring and assessing student performance.
(h) Special consideration for providing work-based learning in counties with few opportunities for employment. -- Providing work-based learning opportunities for all students in counties with few employers will be particularly difficult. While the following additional examples of ways to increase opportunities for work-based learning are applicable for all counties, they are most important in counties with few employers. Additional examples include, but are not limited to:
(1) Computer software that simulates workplace situations and problem solving;
(2) Interactive and other technology to bring an exposure to the workplace into the classroom;
(3) Community service;
(4) Partnerships with city, state and county government for work-based placements;
(5) Volunteer programs, such as junior achievement and other programs that utilize volunteers trained to deliver work-related instruction;
(6) Assumption of recordkeeping and other measures by the schools, or through the use of community-based organizations or other intermediaries, that make it easier for small businesses to participate in accepting students for workplace learning;
(7) Rural entrepreneurship through action learning programs;
(8) School-based enterprises;
(9) Projects through 4-H, scouts, junior ROTC and other school and nonschool student and civic organizations;
(10) Multiple partnerships with existing employers, such as hospitals that have multiple departments;
(11)Agricultural education, FFA projects and supervised work experience programs; and
(12)Programs at vocational-technical education centers.
The state board shall make recommendations to the Legislature by the first day of November, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, on any further actions that may be appropriate to assist counties with few employers in providing work-based learning opportunities for all students.
(i) Electronic portfolio of student accomplishments and preparation. -- For the purpose of better documenting the preparation of high school graduates for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment, the state board shall develop an electronic portfolio which will be a permanent record for every student. The electronic portfolio shall be issued by the appropriate county board and shall include the accomplishments of the student during his or her education preparation. Upon request, students shall receive the contents of the electronic portfolio in written or computer readable form. The electronic portfolio shall be subject to the same confidentiality and disclosure laws and rules as any other student records. The electronic portfolio shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Documentation of attendance, grades, accomplishments, education plans, education major interests, curriculum, special activities, honors and advanced education and other items appropriate for inclusion in the portfolio as determined by state board rule to present the accomplishments and achievements of thestudent;
(2) A separate area for the student to enter presentations, examples and other information on his or her special areas of interest and advanced achievement;
(3) Certification of student attainment of the minimum level of proficiency in the basic skills that lays the foundation for further learning and skill development for success in college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment; and
(4) Certification of the skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or employment, as indicated by: (i) College entrance tests; (ii) specialized assessments that measure the attainment of necessary skills and competencies required in the workplace; (iii) the attainment of industry recognized credentials, licensure or certification; (iv) the completion of nationally accredited technical education programs; (v) performance in specialized learning experiences such as paid and unpaid structured work-based learning in the private or public sectors, including, but not limited to, registered youth apprenticeships, internships, cooperative education, community service, entrepreneurship development and school-based enterprises in partnership with the private sector; and (vi) other indicators relevant to the student's skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment.
(j) Guidelines for certification on the electronic portfolio of student skills, competencies and readiness for employment. -- The certification of student skills, competencies and readiness for a particular industry or occupation to be included on the electronic portfolio, including certification offered by an institution of higher education or other job training programs, shall require the approval of an appropriate entity designated by the jobs through education employer panel. Local education agencies, institutions of higher education and other job training programs desiring to issue such certification to meet local labor market or community needs and circumstances may apply to the panel for such approval. To the extent possible, such certification shall provide the student with a proficiency credential that is widely recognized and accepted within an industry or occupational area as a reliable indicator of the ability of the student. The jobs through education employer panel shall consult other established skill standards for use in certifying proficiency in skills, competencies and readiness within specific industries and occupations. The intent of these provisions is to provide a formal mechanism for the ongoing alignment of the certification of student skills, competencies and readiness with current minimum requirements for success in the industry or occupational area for which the student is preparing, including requirements which willbe met through additional education in college or other post-secondary education.
(k) Staff development. -- Meeting the intent and objectives of this section will require a continued focus on staff development to increase the ability of teachers and administrators to employ various methodologies for strengthening the rigor, content and relevance of the learning process and help all students achieve at higher levels. Teachers and administrators must know about workplace requirements to help students internalize the relationship between learning in school and success in the careers they envision for themselves in adult life. The use of student assessment and program evaluation information continually to check and improve the curriculum, instruction, school climate and school organization and management, is critical to maintaining high quality instruction that is relevant to changing workplace requirements. Staff development opportunities shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Designation by the state board of exemplary counties and schools that have implemented comprehensive school-to-work systems as model demonstration sites to be visited and observed;
(2) Collaboration and utilization of the resources of the state department of education, institutions of higher education, the center for professional development and county staffdevelopment councils for both in-service and preservice preparation programs;
(3) Teacher and business exchange programs that enable teachers to gain exposure and experience in the workplace and business persons to gain exposure and experience in the schools; (4) Structured programs or institutes that take educators into the workplace to observe the work environment and skills necessary to perform work tasks; and
(5) Staff development activities which include joint participation by public school, college and other post-secondary faculty where appropriate.
(l) Study committee for staff development credits. -- There is hereby created a study committee to make recommendations on the feasibility of, and the possible process for, crediting staff development activities toward fulfilling the requirement for renewal of certificates, pursuant to section three, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code, and the progression through the state minimum salary schedule, pursuant to section two, article four of said chapter. The committee shall consist of the chancellor of the university of West Virginia board of trustees, or a designee; the state superintendent, or a designee, who shall serve as chair of the committee; a member of the state board, to be selected by the state board; a representative of West Virginiauniversity to be selected by the president of the university; a representative of Marshall university, to be selected by the president of the university; a representative of the West Virginia graduate college, to be selected by the president of the college; four classroom teachers to be appointed by the governor within thirty days of the effective date of this section; and the director of the center for professional development or a designee. Such committee shall report its recommendations to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability by the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven.
(m) State board rule. -- On or before the first day of November, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, the state board, with advice from the jobs through education employer panel, and in consultation with the higher education governing boards, shall adopt a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the implementation of this section. The rule shall allow flexibility for local variation to meet local circumstances and shall establish a five-year plan for phased implementation. The proposed rule developed pursuant to this section shall contain a financial impact statement as well as a job impact statement.
(n)Any study groups or committees created by the state board to assist in development of policies or rules for theimplementation of this section shall contain significant representation by classroom teachers as defined by section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code. Further, the state board shall include in its annual budget request sufficient funds to implement programs, policies or rules adapted to meet the goals set out in this section: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to require any specific level of funding by the Legislature.
(b) Students completing two successful semesters in vocational agriculture classes, as defined by state board policy on the first day October, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, shall receive no more than one of the three required units towards high school graduation for science.
(b) The intent of the Legislature is to provide in an economical manner for a thorough and efficient education that:
(1) Provides information to parents and students which clearly identifies the courses a student should take to prepare fully for continuing their education in college, other post-secondary education or employment so they can intelligently choose among the many options available to them;
(2) Encourages the involvement of parents in their child's education by providing parents and students with information and opportunities to help students explore their interests and plan a program of study while they are still in high school and have greater options and flexibility;
(3) Ensures that the quality, content, and alignment of the curriculum is sufficient to prepare students fully for the transition to college, other post-secondary education or employment in areas in which they have an interest following graduation from high school; and
(4) Improves student learning by increasing the rigor of the curriculum, making it more relevant to students, and reinforcing academic instruction through applications to real life problem solving so that whatever options a student pursues following graduation from high school, the student has acquired a foundation of knowledge, skills and abilities that prepares him or her fully for success.
(c) Notwithstanding the courses specified as required major courses within a high school program of study, a student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, and with the written consent of his or her parents, may take a higher level course, advanced placement course, college course or other more rigorous substitute. The parental consent form shall include a certification signed by the school advisor that the parents were advised of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and that the student's certificate of proficiency will not indicate that the student completed a program of study major unless such substitute courses are related to the major field of study selected by the student.
(d) Notwithstanding the courses specified as recommended electives within a high school program of study, a student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, and with the written consent of his or her parents, may substitute other elective courses in place of those recommended to prepare the student fully for continuing his or her education in college, other post-secondary education or employment. The parental consent form shall include a certification signed by the school advisor that the parents were advised of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and that the student's certificate of proficiency will not indicate that the student completed a program of study major unless such substitute courses are related to the major field of study selected by the student.
(e) On or before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the state board shall establish a uniform parental consent form to be maintained in the students permanent record for the purposes of subsections (c) and (d) of this section which shall contain:
(1) A statement to be signed and dated by the parents to consent to their child's substitution of another course for a required major course as provided in subsection (c) of this section and the course titles of the required major course and the substitute course;
(2) A statement to be signed and dated by the parents to consent to their child's substitution of another course for a recommended elective course as provided in subsection (d) of this section and the course titles of the recommended elective course and the substitute course; and
(3) A statement to be signed and dated by the school advisor certifying that the school advisor advised the parents of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and the student's certificate of proficiency.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county board from establishing high school graduation requirements which exceed the minimum high school graduation requirements established by the state board.
(1) Serving in the armed services in defense of the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness enjoyed in our democratic society involves a tremendous sacrifice on the behalf of those who serve, often at the cost of their own lives;
(2) It is a fitting tribute to those who have served in the armed forces and the families who have shared in their sacrifice to honor that service and that sacrifice in the most respectful manner;
(3) It is often difficult for the families of deceased veterans who wish to lay their loved ones finally to rest in a military honors funeral to find a bugler to sound their final Taps; and
(4) Organizations within the state and nationally, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Bugles Across America and many others, have recognized the difficulty of finding buglers to sound Taps at military honors funerals and may be able to assist.
(b) Purpose. -- The purpose of this section is to facilitate collaboration that will encourage capable young people to assist with the sounding of Taps at military funerals honoring our veterans and, thereby, help them to develop a better understanding of the sacrifices, a respect for the commitment and an appreciation of the privileges that the men and women of the armed services have protected through their service.
(c) State board guidelines. -- The state board shall, in collaboration with organizations and supporters of veterans, establish general guidelines for the establishment of school level programs that encourage capable students in grades six through twelve, inclusive, to sound Taps on a standard or valved bugle, trumpet, cornet or flugelhorn during military honors funerals held in this state. The general guidelines shall address the issues to be set forth in the county board policies required under this section and shall include contact information for technical assistance from the department of education and organizations and supporters of veterans assisting in these programs. The state board shall distribute the guidelines to every county board. The state board shall also distribute an appropriate program summary and contact information to the colleges and universities in the state so that they may establish similar programs for their students.
(d) County board policies. -- Each county board shall establish a policy for the implementation of a veteran's honors funeral assistant community service program that addresses at least the following:
(1) The distribution of information to music and band teachers for their use in notifying capable students and obtaining the consent of their parents or guardians for voluntary registry as a candidate able to sound Taps during military honors funerals held within a reasonable distance from their residence;
(2) The credit toward community service or work based learning requirements of the county or other recognition that will be awarded to a student for the registry and sounding of Taps during military honors funerals; and
(3) The limits on the amount of regular classroom instruction that a student may miss for the sounding of Taps during military honors funerals to fulfill a community service or work based learning requirement or, if none, on the excused absences that the student may accrue for this activity.
County boards are not responsible for any costs associated with the program, may not be required to provide or pay for student transportation to funerals and are not liable for student supervision while absent to participate in funerals. However, county boards are encouraged to collaborate with organizations of veterans and supporters of veterans to assist with the veteran's honors funeral assistant community service program.
(1) The program is not a part of the required curriculum;
(2) Presentation of the program in any classroom is the option of the classroom teacher; and
(3) A process is established for soliciting speakers from veterans groups and identifying available speakers.
(1) West Virginia schools have improved and expanded internet access which enables schools to offer courses through the internet and other new and developing technologies;
(2) Current technology is available to provide students with more resources for learning and new and developing technologies offer even more promise for expanded learning opportunities;
(3) A number of states and other jurisdictions have developed internet-based instruction which is available currently and which is being used by schools in this state;
(4) To educate better the students of West Virginia, more course and class offerings can be made available through technology, especially to students who are geographically disadvantaged;
(5) Virtual learning enables students to learn from remote sites, learn at times other than the normal school day and learn at a different pace and gives students access to courses that would not be available in their area;
(6) There is a need to assure that internet-based courses and courses offered through new and developing technologies are of high quality; and
(7) The state and county school systems can benefit from the purchasing power the state can offer.
(b) The Legislature hereby creates the West Virginia virtual school. The West Virginia virtual school shall be located within the office of technology and information systems within the West Virginia department of education.
(c) The state superintendent of schools shall appoint the director of the West Virginia virtual school with the approval of the state board.
(d) The director of the West Virginia virtual school has the following powers and duties:
(1) To contract with providers for courses and other services;
(2) To review courses and courseware and make determinations and recommendations relative to the cost and quality of the courses and the alignment with the instructional goals and objectives of the state board;
(3) To develop policy recommendations for consideration by the state board, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) Hardware and software considerations for the offering of courses on the internet or other developing technologies;
(B) Standards of teachers and other school employees who are engaged in the activities surrounding the offering of courses on the internet or other developing technologies;
(C) Sharing of resources with other agencies of government, both within and outside West Virginia, to facilitate the offering of courses on the internet or other developing technologies;
(D) Methods for including courses offered on the internet or through other developing technologies in alternative education programs;
(E) Methods for making courses offered on the internet or through other developing technologies available for students receiving home instruction;
(F) Methods for brokering the courses offered on the internet or through other developing technologies;
(G) Methods for applying for grants;
(H) Methods for employing persons who are the most familiar with the instructional goals and objectives to develop the courses to be offered on the internet and through other developing technologies; and
(I) Proper funding models that address all areas of funding including, but not limited to, which county, if any, may include a student receiving courses on the internet or through other developing technologies in enrollment and who, if anyone, is required to pay for the courses offered on the internet or through other developing technologies; and
(4) Any other powers and duties necessary to address the findings of the Legislature in subsection (a) of this section.
(e) Subject to the process outlined in this section, the West Virginia virtual school's approved virtual and distance learning courses are exempt from the mandatory use of primary source instructional materials listed on the state multiple list.
(f) The West Virginia department of education shall report the progress of the West Virginia virtual school to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability on or before the first day of September, two thousand.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) In the early learning years, ensuring that each student masters the content and skills needed for mastery at the next grade level is critically important for student success;
(2) Students who do not demonstrate grade-level proficiency in reading by the end of third grade become increasingly less likely to succeed at each successive grade level and often drop out of school prior to graduation;
(3) State board policy requires every school to establish a process for ensuring the developmental and academic progress of all students. This process is to be coordinated by a school student assistance team that reviews student developmental and academic needs that have persisted despite being addressed through instruction, intervention, and as applicable, supports for personalized learning. Ensuring the developmental and academic success of all students requires every school to implement, in an equitable manner, programs during and after the instructional day at the appropriate instructional levels that contribute to the success of students; and
(4) To ensure that all students read proficiently by the end of third grade, a statewide comprehensive approach to early literacy is required. This approach shall focus on supports during the early learning years which include schools and engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children.
(b) The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, promulgate legislative rules as necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section. The rules shall provide for at least the following:
(1) Development of a comprehensive, systemic approach to close the reading achievement gap by third grade, which targets school readiness, the attendance gap, summer learning loss and a transformative intervention framework for student and learning supports;
(2) Ensuring all West Virginia children have access to high quality early learning experiences that focus on healthy learners as part of the school readiness model, resulting in increased populations of children on target for healthy development prior to entering first grade;
(3) Closing the attendance gap to certify West Virginia children attend school regularly and limit chronic absenteeism in the early grades;
(4) Assisting county boards in establishing and operating targeted, sustained extended day and extended year reading programs to ensure grade level proficiency and battle summer learning loss;
(5) Maximizing family engagement to result in the development of a culture of literacy from birth through third grade;
(6) Supporting high quality schools and a workforce prepared to address early literacy, identification of interventions, and implementation of a system of intervention for children not reaching grade level proficiency;
(7) Ensuring the employment of qualified teachers and service personnel in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-nine, article five of this chapter and section seven-c, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code to provide instruction to students enrolled in early literacy support programs;
(8) Creating a formula or grant-based program for the distribution of funds appropriated specifically for the purposes of this section or otherwise available for the support of a targeted, comprehensive system of support for early literacy;
(9) Providing support for transportation and healthy foods for students required to attend after-school and extended year early literacy instructional support programs and supervision at the school that accommodates the typical work schedules of parents; and
(10) Receiving from county boards any applications and annual reports required by rule of the state board.
(c) A student in grades kindergarten through three who is recommended by the student assistance team or the student's classroom teacher for additional assistance in one or more of the key standards of English Language Arts, including reading, speaking and listening, writing or language may be required to attend an extended year early literacy instructional support program as a condition for promotion if:
(1) The student has been provided additional academic help through an in-school or after-school early literacy instructional support program and, prior to the end of the school year, the student assistance team or the student's classroom teacher recommends that further additional academic help is needed for the student to be successful at the next grade level; and
(2) The county board has established an early literacy instructional support program during the extended year for the student's grade level.
(d) County boards shall provide high-quality educational facilities, equipment and services to support early literacy instructional support programs established pursuant to this section. Extended year programs may be provided at a central location for kindergarten through third graders who qualify for the program.
(e) This section may not be construed to prohibit a classroom teacher from recommending the grade level retention of a student based upon the student's lack of mastery of the subject matter and preparation for the subject matter at the next grade level.
(f) This section may not be construed to affect the individualized education plans of exceptional students.
(g) This section may not be construed to limit the authority of the county board to establish an extended year program in accordance with section thirty-nine, article five of this chapter. County boards may not charge tuition for enrollment in early literacy instructional support programs established pursuant to this section.
(h) Each county board shall prepare to implement the provisions of this section and the provisions of the state board rule required by subsection (b) of this section. The preparations shall at least include planning, ensuring a process for ensuring the developmental and academic progress of all students through the auspices of student assistance teams as currently required by state board policy and performing a needs assessment to determine the potential capacity requirements for the system of support for early learners.
(i) The state board shall provide a report describing the proposed implementation of the transformative system of support for early literacy to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on or before July 1, 2014.
(j) The state board shall provide a comprehensive report regarding the status of the transformative system of support for early literacy to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, and the Governor on November 1, 2014, and annually on November 1 on each year thereafter. The report shall address, at a minimum, the progress of the program throughout the state, its effect on student achievement and the sources of the funding both available to and used by the program.
(k) The provisions of this section are subject to the
availability of funds from legislative appropriation or other
sources specifically designated for the purposes of this section.
If a county board determines that adequate funds are not available
for full implementation of a transformative system of support for
early literacy in the county, the county board may implement its
program in phases by first establishing early literacy
instructional support programs in the early readiness grades
(Kindergarten), then the primary grades (Grades 1-2), and then
establishing an early literacy instructional support program for
the third grade once the county board determines that adequate
funds are available.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.