CHARLESTON, W.Va. –West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday adopted revisions to state policies governing children with disabilities and universal preschool.
Revisions to Policy 2525: West Virginia Universal Access to a Quality Early Education System were made to better meet national standards. Changes include requiring new teachers hired for community collaborative pre-kindergarten programs to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, beginning in 2013. Those hired before Aug. 1, 2013, can continue working on a permanent authorization with an associate’s degree and 18 hours of early childhood coursework.
The changes also require each county collaborative that wants to make changes to its Pre-K plans beyond 2013 to seek approval from the state Board of Education and the Department of Health and Human Resources before doing so. Other significant updates include requiring two adults in all preschool classrooms at all times and requiring programs to provide children at least one meal, either breakfast or lunch, daily.
Changes to Policy 2419: Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities have been made to incorporate federal regulations adopted last year that allow parents to revoke consent for special education services. The policy also requires school districts to provide information to parents about the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind if their children are found in need of hearing and visual educational services.
Also during the December meeting, state board members approved revisions to Policy 5202: Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advanced Salary Classifications. The revisions added four new advanced credentials: Personal Finance Education Specialist, Teacher Leadership for School Culture, Teacher Leadership for Student Learning and Teacher Leadership for Professional Development. The changes also added an authorization for Technology Systems Specialist and aligned the definition of accredited institutions of higher education to include national faith-related accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.
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