The West Virginia Board of Education has placed on public comment a new Student Code of Conduct policy aimed at fostering a “nurturing, orderly, safe and stimulating educational environment.”
Policy 4373: Student Code of Conduct encourages public school officials to respond immediately and consistently to incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation, substance abuse and/or violence in a manner that “effectively deters future incidents and affirms respect for individuals.”
Although the West Virginia Department of Education provided counties with a model anti-bullying policy, the State Board intends to expand the current Student Code of Conduct to include the anti-bullying elements, and a system to allow differing levels of consequences for inappropriate behavior. The policy will be on comment through May 27.
The State Board has also requested revisions to the Teacher Code of Conduct. A draft of that policy, which will be renamed the Employee Code of Conduct, will be discussed at a special meeting scheduled for May 3.
The Board also voted to place Policy 2510: Assuring the Quality of Education, Regulations for Education Programs on public comment through May 25. Policy 2510 defines how schools and school systems are to provide the education programs for students in public schools.
Major changes to the new version of Policy 2510 include the reinsertion of “bank time,” or the time added beyond the required instructional day that may be accumulated and used in larger blocks of time during the school year for either instructional or non-instructional activities. It provides that bank time may not be used, however, to avoid 180 separate days of instruction nor may it be used to convert a complete day of instruction into a day used for other purposes. It may be used for certain extracurricular activities as long as it does not account for more than one percent of the total instructional time during the course of a school year.
The current graduation requirement of 24 credits was reinstated in the new version, but with the addition of a required credit in civics for all students. The new policy deletes the provision that a student’s score on an end-of-course exam be included on the student’s transcript.
Both policies can be found on the West Virginia Department of Education’s web site at http://wvde.state.wv.us under “Board Policies.”