Interpretation's Date: March 9, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: B. Principals, Supervisors, and Central Office Administrators
March 9, 2001
Dear Mr. Facello:
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent's Interpretation regarding required attendance at the Principal's Academy. In that request, you state that you are currently employed as an assistant principal at Iaeger High School in McDowell County and that you were appointed to the position in October 2000. You have a permanent principal's certificate which was acquired in the 1970's when you worked as an assistant principal for five years. You have said that you have no plans to become a principal and plan to retire in approximately three years.
Specifically, you stated:
"I need to know if I am required to attend the Principal's Academy since I am an assistant principal and not a principal."
West Virginia Code 18A-3-2c and West Virginia Department of Education Policy 5500.03 require that all principals hired after the first day of January 1997 attend the Principal's academy at least once every four years. Individuals assigned as principals for the first time after the first day of March 1996, principals of schools that are designated probationary status or seriously impaired, principals who are on an improvement plan, and all principals who transfer to a school with a significantly different grade configuration are required to attend the next regularly scheduled Principal's Academy according to the specific guidelines set forth in 18A-3-2c and Policy 5500.03. This policy defines a principal as "any individual employed as a principal, an assistant principal, or a director or assistant director of a vocational/technical school." Accordingly, as an assistant principal, you are required to attend the Principal's Academy.
Policy 5500.03, in section 6.3, does contain a provision by which a principal can apply for an attendance waiver from the West Virginia Board of Education. The application must be signed by the county superintendent. Relief can be granted upon a
showing of reasonable cause and will allow the applicant to postpone attendance for a period of one year. However, relief under this section is not mandatory.
Finally, both West Virginia Code 18A-3-2c and Policy 5500.03 provide that any person who fails or refuses to complete the Principal's Academy as required and who fails to obtain a waiver, shall be ineligible to be employed as, or serve in the capacity of, a principal, an assistant principal, or a director or assistant director of a vocational/technical school.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am