Interpretation's Date: April 2, 1999
by superintendent Henry Marockie
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: A. Professional Personnel



April 2, 1999

William C. White
WVEA Regional IX Uniserv Consultant Post Office Box 57
Anmoore, West Virginia 26323-0057

Dear Mr. White:

You have asked for a Superintendent's Interpretation concerning West Virginia Code 18A-4-14 concerning the loss of planning periods for teachers with planning periods in the afternoon when there is a faculty senate meeting.

As you have suggested, this situation may be handled in a variety of ways. The manner in which this should be handled is left to the discretion of the county school board.

However, for those teachers who are concerned that they are losing their planning period as a result of faculty senate meetings in the afternoon, they may begin the work day one half hour earlier in order that they may have a planning period.

This result is suggested in the 1999 West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision in Lincoln County Board of Education v. Adkins, et al. 188 W.Va. 430, 424 S.E.2d 775(1992).

In the Lincoln County case, the Court noted that "based upon the definition in the West Virginia Code of State Rules and Usage and other provisions of the code, we find that a ‘regular school day' is a work day on which both teachers and students report to school and instructional activities take place. ‘Instructional day,' during which actual teaching occurs, is merely a component of the larger ‘work day' or ‘regular school day.' "In light of these interpretations, we conclude that W.Va. Code Section 18A-4-14(2) does not require that schedules be arranged so that a teacher's planning periods occur during the instructional portion of the work day."

William C. White
March 31, 1999
Page 2

The case goes on the say that this conclusion is consistent with an April 28, 1983 Superintendent's Interpretation which noted that a teacher's planning period can be scheduled for all personnel prior to the beginning of classes or after students have left for the day so long as it does not extend the length of the teacher's work day.

As you can see, this question may be addressed in a variety of ways including the teacher's arriving one half hour earlier in order to complete their planning period.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am



Henry Marockie
State Superintendent of Schools


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