Interpretation's Date: February 6, 2009
by superintendent Dr. Steven L. Paine
Section: IX. Other

TO: County Superintendents and School Principals

FROM: Steven L. Paine, State Superintendent of Schools

DATE: February 6, 2009

SUBJECT: West Virginia State Code 18-5A-2 "Countywide Council" and Local School Improvement Councils (LSIC) Report on Productive and Safe Schools

We have received several inquiries regarding the implementation of this part of state code. This interpretation serves to clarify those questions. As per West Virginia Code 18-5A-2, the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) must conduct an annual meeting to engage parents, students, school employees and other interested parties in a positive and interactive dialogue regarding effective discipline policies; develop and deliver a report to the countywide council on productive and safe schools and examine their school's discipline and report to the county superintendent on the following: disciplinary measures at the school; and, fairness and consistency of disciplinary actions at the school. If the LSIC believes that discipline is not enforced fairly or consistently, it shall report that to the superintendent in writing with supporting documentation. The county superintendent has ten days from receipt of this written report to respond to the LSIC.

1. Must a county establish a countywide council on productive and safe schools?

Based on discussions with legislative education leadership, the intent of the legislation was not to require an additional council be created. Since West Virginia Code already requires local boards of education to meet at least annually with each LSIC, it is interpreted that the local board of education shall be the countywide council and shall receive the report from each LSIC on productive and safe schools.

2. What information should the LSIC consider and include in the report on productive and safe schools?

The LSIC should examine overall discipline data and reports. The LSIC may also want to look at the data by grade level, gender or some other type of grouping. At no time should the LSIC be reviewing individual student disciplinary data. The attached template provides a suggested report format and provides guidance for the types of data and questions the LSIC should consider in preparing their report.

3. When should the report be presented to the local board of education?

The local board of education may choose to receive the report on productive and safe schools during the annual meeting it conducts with each LSIC. However, if the timing of the annual meeting is not congruent with the LSIC's review of discipline, the superintendent may request the report be submitted in writing by a specified date.

The West Virginia Department of Education is currently revising the LSIC manual, and I anticipate providing that resource to you in the near future.

I hope this has been of assistance to you.




School: _______________________________________ Date: __________________________

Pursuant to HB 4368 (2008) and WV Code 18-5A-2, each Local School Improvement Council annually shall develop and deliver a report to the county board of education on productive and safe schools.

Student disciplinary records are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Accordingly, no personally identifiable information regarding students may be disclosed to the LSIC as a whole in preparing the report described herein.

1. Describe how instruction is provided for students who have been:

a. excluded from class.

b. suspended from school.

c. expelled.

2. Describe the alternative settings available for students.

3. Describe how the in-school suspension program is used. If one is not present, are there future plans to implement one?

4. Describe any preventive discipline or student involvement programs, i.e., Peer Mediation, Natural Helpers, Responsible Student Program (RSP), that are in place.

5. Describe what the school has done to promote anti-bullying and prevent harassment.

6. In the event of a crisis, what procedures are in place to communicate and coordinate with local emergency service agencies?

7. Does the school have a discipline plan/code in place? In what manner has the plan/code been discussed with students, staff and parents?

8. Describe how the LSIC has analyzed school discipline data. What action steps have been taken to identify meaningful consequences and improve student behaviors and school culture?

9. When did the LSIC conduct its annual meeting to engage parents, students, school employees and other interested parties in a positive and interactive dialogue regarding effective discipline policies? Provide the agenda (if applicable) and describe the comments received.

10. How does the LSIC know the discipline code is enforced fairly and consistently? If the LSIC determines that student discipline is not enforced fairly and consistently, it shall transmit that determination in writing, along with supporting information, to the county superintendent of schools.

Principal: ______________________________________

LSIC Members:





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