Supporting and Improving School Building Leadership and Classroom Teaching: Mandate 180 Days of Instructional Time

Mandate 180 days of instructional time (six specific recommendations).

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
W.Va. Code §18-5-45.
State Board Policy 2510, 126-42-7.2.4c.
Revise W.Va. Code §18A-4-8(a) to abolish 43-week limit.

Cabell and Jefferson counties are studying the balanced calendar and looking at possible implementation.
Actions already underway
Convened a work group of districts interested in year-around school to study implications of 180 days of instruction and related personnel issues. The WVDE Game Changer brief includes virtual-learning resources, such as West Virginia Virtual School, onTarget, and Learn21, that present opportunities for 24/7 learning.

The WVDE is exploring the balanced calendar approach, which spreads the required days throughout the year to avoid student regression of learning.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE recognizes that a minimum of instructional time is critical, but stresses that the definition of instructional time needs to be expanded to include the capabilities of technology, 24/7 learning, authentic real world experiences, and learning outside the school walls and beyond the time constraints of the current school day.

Quality of instruction is not about time spent in seats, but engagement of students, resulting in increased academic achievement.

The Board recommends an alternative calendar, a balanced calendar, which takes a more innovative approach by reorganizing instructional time to provide more continuous learning.

Require all instructional days to contain at least the minimum number of hours in state Board policy.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
No policy change required as Policy 2510 (section 7.2.d.3) defines the minimum length of instructional hour/minutes per day.
Actions already underway
The WVDE has drafted a proposal for transformed system of accountability and accreditation. The OEPA held stakeholder meetings around the state.
WVBOE response
The Board emphasizes that quality of instruction is not about time spent in seats, but engagement of students resulting in increased academic achievement. The WVBOE also recommends expanding the definition of instructional time to include technological environments, projects outside the standard time and place for school, and students working different paths toward competency demonstrations.

Revise Code to abolish 43-week limit.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18A-4-8(a)
Actions already underway
Marshall County's Cameron attendance area, K-8 and high school, are currently implementing a balanced calendar through Innovation Zones.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with this recommendation and encourages districts and schools to review customized strategies within the context of the balanced calendar.

Reduce the number of staff support days to reflect the number of instructional days and an appropriate number of training days.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18-5-45.
Actions already underway
Currently, districts are already able to schedule 15 out-of-calendar days, non-paid, within the 200- and 180-day instructional term.
WVBOE response
The WVBOE agrees with the recommendation. Suggested strategies include the elimination of five Instructional Support and Enhancement (ISE) days with additional pay for teachers to meet on their own time for faculty senate meetings. This would enable county boards to provide five additional instructional days.

Revise Code to provide consequences to districts for not meeting 180 minimum days and hours per day threshold.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18-5-45.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE does not agree with this recommendation for the reasons stated previously regarding quality of instruction vs. seat time.

Require districts to make up days that exceed the unscheduled closing (UC) days estimated for the year, including adding days to the end of the school year if necessary.

Estimated cost savings
N/A
Policy change(s) required
§18-5-45.
Actions already underway
N/A
WVBOE response
The WVBOE does not agree with this recommendation for the reasons stated previously.