(1) Establishing and maintaining safe and secure schools is critical to fostering a healthy learning environment and maximizing student achievement;
(2) All school facilities in the state should be designed, constructed, furnished and maintained in a manner that enhances a healthy learning environment and provides necessary safeguards for the health, safety and security of persons who enter and use the facilities;
(3) Adequate safeguards for the ingress to and egress from school facilities of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel are critical to the overall safety of the public schools in this state;
(4) Safety upgrades to the means of ingress to and egress from school facilities for pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel must be part of a comprehensive analysis of overall school safety issues that takes into consideration the input of local law-enforcement agencies, local emergency services agencies, community leaders, parents, pupils, teachers, administrators and other school employees interested in the prevention of school crime and violence;
(5) In order to help ensure safety in all schools within the state and to be prepared to adequately respond to potential crises, including any traumatic event or emergency condition that creates distress, hardship, fear or grief, each school must have an up-to- date comprehensive crisis response plan as detailed in section nine of this article.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to empower the School Building Authority to facilitate and provide state funds for the design, construction, renovation, repair and upgrading of facilities so as to enhance school access safety and provide secure ingress to and egress from school facilities to pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel.
(1) "Authority" means the School Building Authority of West Virginia;
(2) "Department of Education" means the West Virginia Department of Education;
(3) "New school building" means any public school in the state for educating students in any of grades kindergarten through twelve, for which design and construction begin after the first day of July, two thousand seven;
(4) "Project cost" means the cost of:
(A) Evaluating a school facility to ascertain its safety needs;
(B) Determining appropriate measures to address safety needs;
(C) Developing a safety plan;
(D) Administering a safety project;
(E) The design, construction, renovation, repair and safety upgrading of a school's means of ingress and egress;
(F) Equipment, machinery, installation of utilities and other similar items necessary to making the project operational;
(G) Effectively maintaining structural and equipment investments made pursuant to this article, including, but not limited to, such provisions as maintenance contracts on security equipment and video surveillance services; and
(H) All other charges necessary, appurtenant or incidental to the provisions of this subdivision, including the cost of administering this article;
(5) "School Access Safety Fund" means the special account established in section five of this article;
(6) "School access safety plan" or "safety plan" means the comprehensive countywide school access safety plan that:
(A) Is prepared by each county board seeking funding under this article and incorporated into its comprehensive educational facilities plan in accordance with guidelines established by the authority;
(B) Addresses the access safety needs for all school facilities in the county;
(C) Includes a projected school access safety repair and renovation schedule for all school facilities of the county; and
(D) Is required prior to the disbursement of state funds for a school access safety project pursuant to this article; and
(7) "School access safety project" or "safety project" means a project administered in furtherance of a school access safety plan pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(b) The safety plan shall include at least the following:
(1) A countywide inventory of each school facility's means of ingress to and egress from the school for students, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel including, but not limited to:
(A) The number of controlled points of ingress to the school facility;
(B) The number and placement of exterior doors;
(C) The use of monitoring systems on exterior doors;
(D) The use of timed, magnetic or other locks on exterior doors;
(E) The use of two-way communication systems between points of ingress and school personnel;
(F) The use of functional panic or other alarm hardware on exterior doors; and
(G) The use of remote visitor access systems on points of ingress;
(2) The recommendations and guidelines developed by the Countywide Council on Productive and Safe Schools pursuant to section forty-two, article five of this chapter, together with the county board's assessment of the recommendations and guidelines;
(3) Recommendations for effective communication and coordination between school facilities, local law-enforcement agencies and local emergency services agencies in the county;
(4) An assessment of the current status of crime committed on school campuses and at school-related functions;
(5) A projected school access safety repair and renovation schedule for all school facilities in the county;
(6) A prioritized list of all projects contained in the plan, including the projected cost of each project;
(7) A description of how:
(A) The plan addresses the goals of this article and guidelines established by the authority;
(B) Each project furthers the county board's safety plan, facilities plan and school major improvement plan;
(8) Notation of the funds available for allocation and disbursement to the county board pursuant to section six of this article;
(9) A description of any source of local funds that the county board intends to contribute to the safety projects, or an approved financial hardship waiver, to satisfy the local contribution requirements of section six of this article; and
(10) Any other element considered appropriate by the authority or required by the guidelines established pursuant to section three of this article, including any project and maintenance specification.
(1) All of the necessary elements of the school access safety plan required in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article;
(2) The manner, time line and process for submission to the authority of each safety plan and annual plan update, including guidelines for modification of an approved safety plan;
(3) Any project and maintenance specifications considered appropriate by the authority;
(4) Procedures for a county board to submit a preliminary plan, plan outline or plan proposal to the authority prior to submitting the safety plan. The preliminary plan, plan outline or plan proposal shall be the basis for a consultation meeting between representatives of the county board and the authority. The meeting shall be held as soon as practicable following submission in order to:
(A) Ensure understanding of the goals of this article;
(B) Discuss ways the plan may be structured to meet the goals of this article; and
(C) Ensure efficiency and productivity in the approval process; and
(5) Procedures for notifying county boards of the funds available for allocation and disbursement during each fiscal year pursuant to section six of this article.
(b) By the first day of June, two thousand seven, the authority shall establish and distribute to each county board guidelines and procedures for evaluating safety plans and safety projects that address at least the following:
(1) Whether the proposed safety project furthers the safety plan and complies with the guidelines established by the authority;
(2) How the safety plan and safety project will ensure the prudent and resourceful expenditure of state funds and achieve the purposes of this article;
(3) Whether the safety plan and safety project advance student health and safety needs, including, but not limited to, critical health and safety needs;
(4) Whether the safety plan and safety project include regularly scheduled preventive maintenance; and
(5) Consideration of the prioritized list of projects required by section three of this article.
(c) The authority shall establish guidelines and procedures for allocating and disbursing funds in accordance with section six of this article, subject to the availability of funds.
(d) Each county board receiving funds pursuant to this article annually shall conduct an on-site inspection and submit an audit review to the state board. The inspection shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Education's Handbook on Planning School Facilities.
(b) All funds accruing to the authority pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be deposited into the fund and expended in accordance with provisions of this article.
(c) Any funds remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year, including accrued interest, do not revert to the General Revenue Fund, but remain in the account.
(d) The authority may transfer moneys from the fund to custodial accounts maintained by the authority with a state financial institution, as necessary to the performance of any contracts executed by the authority in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(b) The authority shall divide the amount of funds available pursuant to subsection (a) of this section by the total net enrollment in public schools for the state as a whole. That quotient is the per pupil amount. The authority shall allocate to each county board the per pupil amount of funds for each student in net enrollment of that county, as defined in section two, article nine-a of this chapter.
(c) The authority shall notify in writing each county board of education the amount of funds available to that board as soon as practicable upon determining that amount pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, to be eligible to receive a disbursement of funds pursuant to this article, a county board shall contribute local funds derived from bonding, special levy or other identified sources to the school access safety projects contained in the county board's school access safety plan.
(1) The amount of a county board's contribution shall equal at least fifteen percent of the funds available to the county board pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(2) A county board may submit a financial hardship waiver request to the state board for consideration regarding the county board's inability to provide the contribution required by this subsection. Upon review and approval of the request by the state board, the authority shall waive the contribution requirement for that county board and allocate and disburse funds pursuant to this article.
(e) The authority may disburse funds pursuant to this section only to a county board that:
(1) Has a safety plan that has been approved by the authority; and
(2) Is prepared to commence expending the funds during the fiscal year in which the funds are disbursed.
(f) The authority may disburse funds to a county board in a lump sum or according to a schedule of payments adopted by the authority that is consistent with its guidelines.
(g) To encourage county boards to proceed promptly with school access safety planning and to prepare for the expenditure of funds derived pursuant to this article, a county board forfeits any funds that it fails to expend within one year of disbursement by the authority. The county board is ineligible for any additional allocation or disbursement pursuant to this article until it is prepared to expend funds according to an approved school access safety plan.
(1) The authority may authorize an extension beyond the one-year forfeiture period not to exceed an additional six months.
(2) Any forfeited funds shall be returned to the School Access Safety Fund and made available for future allocation and disbursement.
(b) The authority shall propose a rule for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that establishes standards for school access safety in public school buildings. The rule shall require for any project that will receive funding pursuant to this article that the county board shall submit any new school design to the authority for review and approval for compliance with this section prior to preparing final bid documents.
(a) The state board in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall promulgate by December 31, 2011, a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, and if necessary may promulgate an emergency rule in accordance with said article, for the establishment of an up-to-date, school specific crisis response plan at every school in the state. In developing the rule, the state board shall consider plans currently being developed as part of the safe schools initiative currently underway by the School Building Authority and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In addition, those portions of a school's access safety plan created pursuant to section three of this article may be used as a portion of the school's school specific crisis response plan if there are any overlapping requirements. The rule shall provide for at least the following:
(1) A model school crisis response plan for use by each school in the state, including a uniform template which shall be used by each school to file the plan, including at least the following information, in a secure electronic system identified by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:
(A) The school employee in charge during a crisis and a designated substitute;
(B) A communication plan to be used during a crisis;
(C) Protocols for responding to immediate physical harm of students, faculty or staff and to traumatic events, including the period after the events have concluded;
(D) Disaster and emergency procedures to respond to earthquakes, fire, flood, other natural disasters, explosions or other events or conditions in which death or serious injury is likely;
(E) Crisis procedures for safe entrance to and exit from the school by students, parents, and employees, including an evacuation and lock down plan; and
(F) Policies and procedures for enforcing school discipline and maintaining a safe and orderly environment during the crisis.
(2) A requirement that each school's school specific crisis response plan shall be in place and filed with that school's county board, and included in a secure electronic system identified by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, no later than August 1, 2013, or soon after completion by the school, whichever occurs first;
(3) The necessary safeguards to protect information contained in each school specific crisis response plan that may be considered protected critical infrastructure information, law enforcement sensitive information or for official use only. These safeguards must have the approval the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. County boards shall provide the same necessary safeguards for the information in the plan;
(4) The annual review and necessary update of the model plan and uniform template by state board in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by December 31 of each year after 2011;
(5) The development by each school of a school specific crisis response plan by using the state board's model plan as an example and with consultation from local social services agencies, local first response agencies including police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency management and any other local entities that the school's crisis response planning team determines should be consulted;
(6) Procedures for the annual review and update if necessary by each school of its school specific crisis response planning plan. Each school shall file either an updated crisis response plan or a memorandum stating that no update to the crisis response plan was necessary with its county board and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management no later than August 1 of each year after 2013.
(7) Procedures for each school within the state to form a crisis response planning team, which team may consist of the school's Local School Improvement Council or a separate team consisting of the principal, two teachers, one service person and two parents of children attending the school. In addition the school may include on the team one member of the county board, a school counselor, a member from local law-enforcement authorities, the local county emergency services director and one student in grade ten or higher if the school has those grades;
(8) Procedures for informing and training school personnel on any actions required of them to effectuate the school's school specific crisis response plan;
(9) A model template for redacted copies of the school crisis response plan for the public inspection and for the release and notice to parents of information related to the plan; and
(10) Procedures for non public schools to establish, file and update school crisis response plans consistent with subdivision (1) subsection (a) of this section.
(b) The county board shall keep the current crisis response
plan of each school in the county on file and, unless otherwise
provided for, provide a copy of each school's crisis response plan
to each local emergency response agency that has a role in the
plan. Local emergency response agencies that maintain a copy of
the plan shall provide the necessary safeguards for the information
in the plan established pursuant to the state board rule
promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Upon
request, a redacted copy of a school crisis response plan shall be
made available for inspection by the public with any information
removed that is necessary for compliance with the necessary
safeguards. Following the filing of its school specific crisis
response plan with the county board pursuant to subdivision (2),
subsection (a) of this section, each school shall annually send
notice home to all parents and guardians of students at the school
alerting the parents and guardians to the existence of the plan and
the ability to review a redacted copy at the offices of the county
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia 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.