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W.Va. Board Approves Policy Revisions

July 11, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education has approved revisions to several state policies, including ones governing extracurricular school activities, and is seeking public comment on another.

The board on Wednesday approved revisions to West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) Series 2 regulations governing athletic and band eligibility and Series 3 rules governing contests. The updates, which were earlier approved by members of the WVSSAC, reflect current changes, trends and issues. Specifically, the changes address eligibility when a student is classified as homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento Act. Other updates allow spouses of deceased principals, assistant principals, and others permanent WVSSAC courtesy and identification card privileges and extends the privilege to band directors and spouses of deceased band directors. The changes also provide for allowances for teams with fewer numbers of players the capability to field a junior varsity team.

Also during their July meeting, board members voted to adopt changes to Policy 5100: The Approval of Educational Personnel Preparation Programs. The revisions address Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's challenge to ensure all children are reading on grade level at third grade by incorporating a requirement for a reading assessment for elementary education teacher candidates and requiring the Praxis for admission into teacher education programs. Changes also were made to clarify field and clinical practicum requirements; to revise the requirements for gifted and special education program admission; to update terminology, among other updates.

Board members also adopted updates to Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advanced Salary Classification. This update reflects similar changes made to Policy 5100 to address Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's challenge to ensure all children are reading on grade level at third grade by incorporating a requirement for a reading assessment for elementary education teacher candidates and requiring the Praxis for admission into teacher education programs.

In addition, the board approved Teacher in Residence programs, an alternative to student teaching, for Bluefield State College and Fairmont State University. In addition, the board approved educator preparation programs for up to seven years at several institutions of higher education, including Fairmont State University, Marshall University, Shepherd University, West Liberty University, West Virginia University, and West Virginia University-Parkersburg.

The board also approved Policy 5500, Professional Development for West Virginia Educators in response to the passage of Senate Bill 359 during the 2013 legislative session. State code required the board to establish an emergency rule on or before June 1 to comply. The rule ensures the coordination, development and evaluation of high quality professional development programs for the 2013-2014 school year. The WVBE approved the emergency rule on May 10.

Board members also adopted the West Virginia Board of Education Master Plan for Statewide Professional Staff Development 2013-2014. The document establishes an annual master plan for professional development in public schools.

Meanwhile, the board placed Policy 2520.35, 21st Century Science 9-12 Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools on a 30-day public comment period. The policy requires a third science credit above biology for graduation. The update defines the content, standards and the objectives for a forensic science course that students may use as the third credit.

Educators, parents, community members and others 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 Liza Cordeiro the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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