(a) The state board shall establish guidelines prior to the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, for the operation of public kindergarten and elementary schools on a semester basis within the applicable provisions of this article and chapter relating to the school term. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary relating to compulsory school attendance, any child required or allowed by proximity to attend a school operated on a semester basis shall be deemed to have reached compulsory school age and shall enroll as follows: (1) For the fall semester, in such year when the sixth birthday is reached on or between the first day of July and the last day of December, and (2) for the spring semester, when the sixth birthday is reached on or between the first day of January and the last day of June of that year: Provided, That the state board shall establish guidelines for enrollment prior to a child's reaching compulsory school age. Student progress within and between the various grade levels shall be determined on a semester by semester basis, and promotion or assignment to the middle or junior high school grade levels is conditioned upon completion of either of the last two semesters offered at the elementary school.
(b) By the school year one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine--ninety, the state board shall select at least four elementary schools with kindergarten programs which may be operated on a semester basis upon applications submitted, with preference being given in such selection to schools in different regional educational service agency areas to the extent reasonable and practical based on the applications. The operation of these schools on a semester basis shall be phased in by grade level beginning with kindergarten and progressing by one additional grade level in each successive school year until all of the grade levels offered at that school are operated on a semester basis.
Any regulations adopted under this section shall utilize the flexibility contained herein so as to provide the students of West Virginia a more successful educational experience.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session