Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) gave special attention to its military partners during its April meeting in Charleston today. The WVBE issued a resolution recognizing April as the Month of the Military Child and reaffirmed its continued support of Common Ground, a partnership of military and community-based organizations focusing on the success of all students and promoting assistance for military-connected families in schools.
During the meeting, the WVBE heard a presentation spotlighting some of the activities and initiatives taking place to recognize the important collaborative relationships between the military and West Virginia schools. These include:
- The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has launched the Veterans in the Classroom webpage as an online resource to provide military veterans with a pathway to earn a teaching license and become a classroom educator.
- Participating schools across the state will host ceremonies recognizing students who have committed to serving in the U. S. Armed Forces during the state’s inaugural Military Signing Week, April 25 – 29.
- The Common Ground Partnership will announce the second class of Purple Star Award schools in West Virginia. The Purple Star Award is a designation assigned to schools that display a special commitment to supporting military children and their families.
“Recognizing our military-connected families in our schools provides us with even greater insight in serving each student individually to ensure their success,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “The Common Ground Partnership will remain steadfast in our efforts to support students as they graduate from high school and become college and career ready.”
“The Common Ground resources available to our students profoundly support their academic and social-emotional well-being,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Our students have the opportunity to prepare themselves for future achievement and commit to civically active lives.”
In other WVBE business, members approved the Special Circumstance Review report of Short Line School (Pre-K – 8) in Wetzel County. The review was conducted by the WVDE Office of Support and Accountability at the request of the local board of education and resulted in several findings and areas of noncompliance. These include the need to focus on instructional leadership to provide a clear and focused mission and set high expectations for success. Additionally, the Review reports the need for improvement of special education file management and to provide students with Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans (special education services) with the same opportunities to participate in career exploration as other students.
The WVDE will continue to work with the Wetzel County in a supportive role to assist in addressing the areas of concern. The complete report is available at wvde.us.
Finally, several WVBE policy revisions were discussed and recommended for public review.
Policy 2340 is recommended for repeal and replacement to add new definitions and other testing regulations required by W. Va. Code and state policies, update terminology and add and revise language for clarity. The impact of these policy revisions will be to provide district and school personnel with clearer directions for test administration and test security. Specifically, the additions to policy will provide specific regulations for charter public schools, including virtual charter public schools. The inclusion of test requirements for students participating in virtual learning codifies the requirements previously provided to virtual learning students. Revision to language regarding the use of electronic devices will allow for more flexibility for students who require the use of personal health management devices and for examiners who need to contact the principal/school test coordinator if issues arise during testing.
Policy 2419 is West Virginia’s implementation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and was last revised in 2017. Since that time, legislation, guidance from technical assistance centers, and internal practices dictate that updates are necessary to address current state and federal language. While no monumental substantive changes are proposed, there are some procedural changes and reformatting of the existing document.
Policy 5500 is being repealed and replaced to incorporate W.Va. Code §18A-3C-3 related to the implementation of a teacher leader framework, teacher induction and professional growth. Additional revisions include reorganizing the policy to define responsibilities at the state, county and school level.
These policies will be placed on public comment for 30 days and may be reviewed at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.
Documents presented to the Board during the April meeting are available at wvde.us. The next regularly scheduled WVBE meeting is Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Building 6, Suite 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.