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W.Va. Board Approves Policy Revisions, Seeks Public Comment on Other Changes

June 14, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday approved three policy updates and voted to place one other proposed policy change on public comment for 30 days.

In April, the board revised state policy as an emergency rule to allow counties under a declared state of emergency to become School System Collaborative Innovation Zones. Under Senate Bill 371, passed in March, county systems currently under state board control now can participate as Education Innovation Zones.  The board has intervened and taken over control in Gilmer, Lincoln, Preston, Grant, Fayette and Mingo counties and has provisional control in McDowell County. Although already adopted as an emergency rule, the update to Policy 3236 also was placed on 30-day public comment. The policy was approved Wednesday without additional changes.

Board members also approved revisions to state policy to strengthen English/language arts and math standards. State policy 2520 defines what courses should contain for all programs of study.

In March, the board put on public comment updates to Policy 2520.1, 21st Century Reading and English Language Arts Content Standards and Objectives. The changes resulted in the removal of first grade standards and objectives and allowed for the adoption of Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for English Language Arts in West Virginia Schools. Updates to Policy 2520.2, 21st Century Mathematics Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools also resulted in the removal of first grade standards and objectives.

The Next Generation Standards are a more concise and focused version of West Virginia’s current Content Standards and Objectives. Teachers from across the state developed the new standards for math and English/language arts.

Meanwhile, the board took steps to revise Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advance Salary Classifications. The revisions add five new endorsements for career and technical education teachers, create a teacher-in-residence permit, and change the validity period of the non-U.S. citizen permit from one year to three, among other changes. The proposed changes will be on public comment for 30 days.

Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposed changes and make suggestions. The policies can be viewed on the West Virginia Department of Education website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies. For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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