(a) The intent of the Legislature is to allow for a multistep statewide implementation of a comprehensive system of support for building professional practice of beginning teachers, specifically those on the initial and intermediate progressions, consistent with sound educational practices and resources available. In this regard, it is the intent of the Legislature that the transition of schools and school systems to a comprehensive system of support that includes support for improved professional performance targeted on deficiencies identified through the evaluation process will be implemented concurrent with the first year that a school or system receives final evaluation results from the performance evaluation process pursuant to section two of this article. Further, because of significant variability among the counties, not only in the size of their teaching force, distribution of facilities and available resources, but also because of their varying needs, the Legislature intends for the implementation of this section to be accomplished in a manner that provides adequate flexibility to the counties to design and implement a comprehensive system of support for improving professional performance that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. Finally, because of the critical importance of ensuring that all teachers perform at the accomplished level or higher in the delivery of instruction that at least meets the West Virginia professional teaching standards and because achieving this objective at a minimum entails providing assistance to address the needs as indicated by the data informed results of annual performance evaluations, including the self-assessed needs of the teachers themselves, the Legislature expects the highest priority for county, regional and state professional development will be on meeting these needs and that the transition to a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice will reflect substantial redirection of existing professional development resources toward this highest priority.
(b) On or before July 1, 2012, the state board shall publish guidelines on the design and implementation of a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist the county board with the design and implementation of a system that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. The guidelines may include examples of best practices and resources available to county boards to assist them with the design and implementation of a comprehensive system.
(c) For schools and school systems subject to the provisions of this article, the provisions of this article govern when they are in conflict with section two-b, article three of this chapter relating to beginning teacher internships, or in conflict with other provisions of this chapter and chapter eighteen of this code.
(d) Effective for the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, a county board is not eligible to receive state funding appropriated for the purposes of this section or any other provision of law related to beginning teacher internships and mentor teachers unless it has adopted a plan for implementation of a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice, the plan has been verified by the state board as meeting the requirements of this section and the county is implementing the plan. The plan shall address the following:
(1) The manner in which the county will provide the strong school-based support and supervision that will assist beginning teachers in developing instructional and management strategies, procedural and policy expertise, and other professional practices they need to be successful in the classroom and perform at the accomplished level. Nothing in this subdivision prohibits a school or school system that was granted an exception or waiver from section two-c, article three of this chapter prior to the effective date of this section from continuing implementation of the program in accordance with the exception or waiver;
(2) The manner in which the county in cooperation with the teacher preparation programs in this state will provide strong school-based support and assistance necessary to make student teaching a productive learning experience;
(3) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for providing professional development specifically targeted on the area or areas identified through the evaluation process as needing improvement. If possible, this targeted professional development should be delivered at the school-site using collaborative processes, mentoring or coaching or other approaches that maximize use of the instructional setting;
(4) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for establishing priorities for the provision of county-level professional development when aggregate evaluation data from the county's schools indicates an area or areas of needed improvement;
(5) If a county uses master teachers, mentors, academic coaches or any other approaches using individual employees to provide support, supervision or other professional development or training to other employees for the purpose of improving their professional practice, the manner in which the county will select each of these individual employees based on demonstrated superior performance and competence as well as the manner in which the county will coordinate support for these employees: Provided, That the employment of persons for these positions shall adhere to the posting and other provisions of section seven-a, article four of this chapter utilizing subsection (c) of said section seven-a to judge the qualifications of the applicants. If the duties of the position are to provide mentoring to an individual teacher at only one school, then priority shall being given to applicants employed at the school at which those duties will be performed;
(6) The manner in which the county will use local resources available including, but not limited to, funds for professional development and academic coaches, to focus on the priority professional development goals of this section;
(7) The manner in which the county will adjust its scheduling, use of substitutes, collaborative planning time, calendar or other measures as may be necessary to provide sufficient time for professional personnel to accomplish the goals of this section as set forth in the county's plan; and
(8) The manner in which the county will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation and outcomes of the county system of support for improving professional practice.
(e) Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, appropriations for beginning teacher mentors and any new appropriation which may be made for the purposes of this section shall be expended by county boards only to accomplish the activities as set forth in their county plan pursuant to this section. Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2013, and thereafter, no specific level of compensation is guaranteed for any employee service or employment as a mentor and such service or employment is not subject to the provisions of this code governing extra duty contracts except as provided in subdivision (5), subsection (c) of this section.
(f) The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability shall review the progress of the implementation of this article and may make any recommendations it considers necessary to the Legislature during the 2013 regular legislative session.