SUPERINTENDENT INTERPRETATION
 
Interpretation's Date: June 2, 2003
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: C. Service Personnel

 

Interpretation

June 2, 2003

David R. Perine, Superintendent
Pleasants County Schools
202 Fairview Drive
St. Marys, WV 26170

Dear Superintendent Perine:

I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent?s Interpretation, dated May 12, 2003, regarding service personnel extracurricular assignments.

You correctly note that West Virginia Code ?18A-4-16 states, in part:

?An employee who was employed in any service personnel extracurricular assignment during the previous school year shall have the option of retaining the assignment if it continues to exist in any succeeding school year.?

You also note that West Virginia Code ?18A-3-2a(4) states, in part:

? . . . the state superintendent may issue certificates for persons to serve in the public schools as athletic coaches or other extracurricular activities coaches . . . subject to the following limitations: . . . (B) a currently employed certified professional educator has not applied for the position . . .?

Your questions regarding the interplay of these two code sections are as follows:

Question 1. Should we annually post all coaching positions held by WVSSAC certified personnel in order to make these coaching positions available to personnel holding teacher licensure?

Yes, coaching positions held by individuals who are not currently employed certified professional educators should be posted every year. In implementing the provisions of West Virginia Code ? 18A-3-2a(4), West Virginia Board of Education Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advanced Salary Classifications, in section 23.1.3(c)(B)(b), provides that a coaching authorization cannot be renewed unless the applicant for the authorization receives the recommendation of the county superintendent verifying that no currently employed certified professional educator has applied for the position. If the position were not posted on an annual basis, the coaching authorizations of individuals who do not hold teacher licensure could not be renewed because these renewal requirements set forth in Policy 5202 could not be met.

Question 2. We have an existing posting for an assistant volleyball coach at St. Marys High School. Two applicants have applied for this position. Applicant A is a service employee who is WVSSAC certified as a coach and held the position last year. Applicant B is a licensed teacher currently employed as a substitute teacher in Pleasants County. Given the requirement of ?18A-3- 2a(4), and the amendment of ?18A-4-16(6), which employee has priority status relative to filling this coaching position?
If applicant B holds a professional teaching certificate, he or she will have priority status as a currently employed professional educator. West Virginia Code ?18A-4-16(6) applies only to service personnel extracurricular assignments. Coaching positions, though they are extracurricular positions, are not service personnel positions. Again, these individuals are granted coaching authorizations pursuant to West Virginia Code ? 18A-3-2a, which provides that such certificates shall not be given permanent status and that the persons holding them must meet renewal requirements provided by law and regulation.

This interpretation was previously set forth in a memorandum I issued to county superintendents on May 1, 2002, which I have enclosed herein.

The interpretation is further bolstered by subsequent language found in Code ?18A- 4-16(6), which states:

?. . . If an extracurricular contract has been terminated and is reestablished in any succeeding school year, it shall be offered to the employee who held the assignment at the time of its termination. If the employee declines the assignment, the extracurricular assignment shall be posted and filled pursuant to section eight-b of this article.?

West Virginia Code ?18A-4-8b applies solely to service personnel positions. Coaching positions are not filled based on the criteria set forth therein. Thus, the logical conclusion is that service personnel extracurricular assignments are only those extracurricular assignments that relate to the employment classifications set forth in West Virginia Code ?18A-4-8.

Question 3. Does an out-of-county licensed teacher who is not an employee of our school district have priority due to their professional licensure over an employee of the school district holding WVSSAC certification and currently serving in a coaching position?

Yes. West Virginia Code ?18A-3-2a does not provide that the ?currently employed professional educator? has to be an employee of the county in which the job is posted in order to have hiring priority. However, the out-of-county teacher must be able to meet the scheduling demands of the coaching position in order to be hired for it.

Question 4. Does the amendment of ?18A-4-16(6) allowing service personnel to retain their extracurricular assignment only apply to service personnel extracurricular assignments outside of WVSSAC coaching positions due to the licensure requirements of ?18A-3-2a(4)?

West Virginia Code ?18A-4-16(6) applies only to service personnel extracurricular assignments. Coaching positions, though they are extracurricular positions, are not service personnel positions. Service personnel extracurricular assignments are only those extracurricular assignments that relate to the employment classifications set forth in West Virginia Code ?18A-4-8.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am
Sincerely,

/s/

David Stewart
State Superintendent of Schools

DS/hld

Enclosure