State Education Board Encourages Public Comment on Updated School Calendar Policy

Posted: October 15, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) during its monthly meeting placed Policy 3234 - School Calendar on comment for 30 days.

The policy was developed to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 359 (SB359), which made substantial changes to numerous laws affecting public education, including those related to the school calendar.

The changes were made to provide county boards of education more flexibility in adopting a school calendar each year that meets their individual needs, while at the same time requiring the county boards to actually provide students with 180 separate days of instruction. All of the changes go into effect for the 2014-15 school year. They include:

Public Hearings
County boards will be required to hold at least two (2) public hearings before adopting a school calendar each year to allow all interested parties to discuss the proposed calendar.
Instructional Term
County boards will be required to not only schedule but actually provide no less than 180 separate days of instruction. If it is not possible to complete 180 days with the current school calendar, the board is required to either schedule instruction on any available non-instructional day or use out-of-calendar days.
Length of Employment Term
The beginning and closing dates of the minimum 200-day employment term has been extended from 43 to 48 weeks.
Instructional Support and Enhancement Days (IS Days)
The five Instructional Support and Enhancement (IS) days have been eliminated.
Recovery of Lost Instructional Time
County boards are required to adopt a policy that requires additional minutes of instruction be added to each instructional day, or additional instructional days added, to recover all time lost due to late arrivals and early dismissals.
Faculty Senate Meetings
County boards are required to provide a two hour block of time for a faculty senate meeting on a day scheduled for the opening of school prior to the beginning of the instructional term and at least four additional two-hour blocks of time during noninstructional days scheduled at least once every 45 instructional days.

Another policy placed on public comment includes Policy 2422.8 - Medication Administration. In 2004, standards for the administration of medications in the West Virginia public school system were established. The current revisions allow county boards of education the option to develop policy allowing stock epinephrine under the prescription and standing order of a licensed prescriber for students and staff who have not been previously diagnosed by a medical provider as having a severe allergic reaction to any allergen. The policy was placed on public comment for 30 days.

Also during the October meeting, the board postponed the approval of a West Virginia Secondary Schools Activity Commission Series 2 Rule. The rule addresses concussions and head injuries in interscholastic athletes.

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 (WVDE) website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies.

For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699.

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