WEST virginia legislature
2017 regular session
Senate Bill 242
By Senators Mullins, Boso and Cline
[Originating in the Committee on Education; reported on February 17, 2017]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-45 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18-5A-5 of said code, all relating to school calendars; removing the word “separate” throughout the section as it relates to the number of instructional days in the school calendar; designating one noninstructional day for teachers as a preparation day for opening school and another for teachers as a preparation day for closing school; allowing teacher preparation days to be used for certain other purposes at teacher’s discretion; increasing number of two-hour blocks for faculty senate meetings from four to six; removing requirement that faculty senate meetings be held once every forty-five days; permitting certain accrued minutes to be used for lost instructional days; requiring that any reimagining student instructional days be exhausted prior to using accrued minutes for lost instructional days; and encouraging the use of reimagining student instructional days to achieve the one hundred eighty instructional day requirement.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-5-45 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §18-5A-5 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-5-45. School calendar.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Instructional day” means a day within the instructional term which meets the following criteria:
(A) Instruction is offered to students for at least the minimum amount of hours provided by a state board rule;
(B) Instructional time is used for instruction and cocurricular activities; and
(C) Other criteria as the state board determines appropriate.
(2) Cocurricular activities are activities that are closely related to identifiable academic programs or areas of study that serve to complement academic curricula as further defined by the state board.
(b) Findings. —
(1) The primary purpose of the school system is to provide instruction for students.
(2) The school calendar, as defined in this section, is designed to define the school term both for employees and for instruction.
(3) The school calendar
shall provide for one hundred eighty
separate instructional days.
(c) The county board shall provide a school term for its schools that contains the following:
(1) An employment term that excludes Saturdays and Sundays and consists of at least two hundred days, which need not be successive. The beginning and closing dates of the employment term may not exceed forty-eight weeks;
(2) Within the employment
term, an instructional term for students of no less than one hundred eighty
instructional days, which includes an inclement weather and emergencies plan
designed to guarantee an instructional term for students of no less than one
hundred eighty separate instructional days;
(3) Within the employment term, noninstructional days shall total twenty and shall be comprised of the following:
(A) Seven paid holidays;
(B) Election day as specified in section two, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code;
(C) Six days to be designated
by the county board to be used by the employees outside the school environment,
with at least four outside the school environment days scheduled to occur after
the one hundred thirtieth instructional day of the school calendar;
(D) One day to be designated by the county board to be used by the employees for preparation for opening school and one day to be designated by the county board to be used by the employees for preparation for closing school: Provided, That the school preparation days may be used for the purposes set forth in paragraph (E) of this subdivision at the teacher’s discretion; and
(D) (E) The remaining days to be designated by the
county board for purposes to include, but not be limited to:
(i) Curriculum development;
(ii) Preparation for
opening and closing school; (iii) (ii) Professional development; (iv) (iii) Teacher-pupil-parent conferences; (v) (iv) Professional meetings; (vi) (v) Making up days when instruction was
scheduled but not conducted; and (vii) (vi) At least four six two-hour blocks of time for faculty senate meetings with each a at least one two-hour block of time scheduled in the first month of
the employment term, at least one two-hour
block of time scheduled in the last month of the employment term and once at least every forty- five instructional days at least one two-hour block of time scheduled in each of the months of
October, December, February and April;
(4) Scheduled out-of-calendar days that are to be used for instructional days in the event school is canceled for any reason.
(d) A county board of education shall develop a policy that requires additional minutes of instruction in the school day or additional days of instruction to recover time lost due to late arrivals and early dismissals first. Any remaining minutes accrued may be used for instructional minutes or days lost due to inclement weather or emergencies: Provided, That any reimagining student instructional days that are awarded to the county by the state board must be exhausted prior to using accrued minutes to cover lost instructional days.
(e) If it is not possible
to complete one hundred eighty
separate instructional days with the
current school calendar, the county board shall schedule instruction on any
available noninstructional day, regardless of the purpose for which the day
originally was scheduled, or an out-of-calendar day and the day will be used for instruction
of students: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not
(B) Election day;
(C) Saturdays and Sundays.
(f) The instructional term shall commence and terminate on a date selected by the county board.
(g) The state board may not schedule the primary statewide assessment program more than thirty days prior to the end of the instructional year unless the state board determines that the nature of the test mandates an earlier testing date.
(h) The following applies to cocurricular activities:
(1) The state board shall determine what activities may be considered cocurricular;
(2) The state board shall determine the amount of instructional time that may be consumed by cocurricular activities; and
(3) Other requirements or restrictions the state board may provide in the rule required to be promulgated by this section.
(i) Extracurricular activities may not be used for instructional time.
(j) Noninstructional interruptions to the instructional day shall be minimized to allow the classroom teacher to teach.
(k) Prior to implementing the school calendar, the county board shall secure approval of its proposed calendar from the state board or, if so designated by the state board, from the state superintendent.
(l) In formulation of a school’s calendar, a county school board shall hold at least two public meetings that allow parents, teachers, teacher organizations, businesses and other interested parties within the county to discuss the school calendar. The public notice of the date, time and place of the public hearing must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation in the area as a Class II legal advertisement, in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code.
(m) The county board may contract with all or part of the personnel for a longer term of employment.
(n) The minimum instructional term may be decreased by order of the state superintendent in any county declared a federal disaster area and where the event causing the declaration is substantially related to a reduction of instructional days.
(o) Notwithstanding any
provision of this code to the contrary, the state board may grant a waiver to a
county board for its noncompliance with provisions of chapter eighteen,
eighteen-a, eighteen-b and eighteen-c
of this code to maintain compliance in reaching the mandatory one hundred
separate instructional days established in this section.
(p) The use of reimagining student instructional days to achieve the one hundred eighty instructional day requirement is strongly encouraged in order to minimize scheduling instructional days too early or late in the school year.
(p) (q) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this section.
(q) The amendments to this section during the 2013 regular session of the Legislature shall be effective for school years beginning on or after July 1, 2014, and the provisions of this section existing immediately prior to the 2013 regular session of the Legislature remain in effect for school years beginning prior to July 1, 2014.
ARTICLE 5A. LOCAL SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT.
§18-5A-5. Public school faculty senates established; election of officers; powers and duties.
(a) There is established at every public school in this state a faculty senate which is comprised of all permanent, full-time professional educators employed at the school who shall all be voting members. “Professional educators”, as used in this section, means “professional educators” as defined in chapter eighteen-a of this code. A quorum of more than one half of the voting members of the faculty shall be present at any meeting of the faculty senate at which official business is conducted. Prior to the beginning of the instructional term each year, but within the employment term, the principal shall convene a meeting of the faculty senate to elect a chair, vice chair and secretary and discuss matters relevant to the beginning of the school year. The vice chair shall preside at meetings when the chair is absent. Meetings of the faculty senate shall be held during the times provided in accordance with subdivision (12), subsection (b) of this section as determined by the faculty senate. Emergency meetings may be held during noninstructional time at the call of the chair or a majority of the voting members by petition submitted to the chair and vice chair. An agenda of matters to be considered at a scheduled meeting of the faculty senate shall be available to the members at least two employment days prior to the meeting. For emergency meetings the agenda shall be available as soon as possible prior to the meeting. The chair of the faculty senate may appoint such committees as may be desirable to study and submit recommendations to the full faculty senate, but the acts of the faculty senate shall be voted upon by the full body.
(b) In addition to any other powers and duties conferred by law, or authorized by policies adopted by the state or county board or bylaws which may be adopted by the faculty senate not inconsistent with law, the powers and duties listed in this subsection are specifically reserved for the faculty senate. The intent of these provisions is neither to restrict nor to require the activities of every faculty senate to the enumerated items except as otherwise stated. Each faculty senate shall organize its activities as it considers most effective and efficient based on school size, departmental structure and other relevant factors.
(1) Each faculty senate shall control funds allocated to the school from legislative appropriations pursuant to section nine, article nine-a of this chapter. From those funds, each classroom teacher and librarian shall be allotted $100 for expenditure during the instructional year for academic materials, supplies or equipment which, in the judgment of the teacher or librarian, will assist him or her in providing instruction in his or her assigned academic subjects or shall be returned to the faculty senate: Provided, That nothing contained herein prohibits the funds from being used for programs and materials that, in the opinion of the teacher, enhance student behavior, increase academic achievement, improve self-esteem and address the problems of students at risk. The remainder of funds shall be expended for academic materials, supplies or equipment in accordance with a budget approved by the faculty senate. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, funds not expended in one school year are available for expenditure in the next school year: Provided, however, That the amount of county funds budgeted in a fiscal year may not be reduced throughout the year as a result of the faculty appropriations in the same fiscal year for such materials, supplies and equipment. Accounts shall be maintained of the allocations and expenditures of such funds for the purpose of financial audit. Academic materials, supplies or equipment shall be interpreted broadly, but does not include materials, supplies or equipment which will be used in or connected with interscholastic athletic events.
(2) A faculty senate may establish a process for members to interview or otherwise obtain information regarding applicants for classroom teaching vacancies that will enable the faculty senate to submit recommendations regarding employment to the principal. To facilitate the establishment of a process that is timely, effective, consistent among schools and counties, and designed to avoid litigation or grievance, the state board shall promulgate a rule pursuant to article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this subdivision. The rule may include the following:
(A) A process or alternative processes that a faculty senate may adopt;
(B) If determined necessary, a requirement and procedure for training for principals and faculty senate members or their designees who may participate in interviews and provisions that may provide for the compensation based on the appropriate daily rate of a classroom teacher who directly participates in the training for periods beyond his or her individual contract;
(C) Time lines that will assure the timely completion of the recommendation or the forfeiture of the right to make a recommendation upon the failure to complete a recommendation within a reasonable time;
(D) The authorization of the faculty senate to delegate the process for making a recommendation to a committee of no less than three members of the faculty senate; and
(E) Such other provisions as the state board determines are necessary or beneficial for the process to be established by the faculty senate.
(3) A faculty senate may nominate teachers for recognition as outstanding teachers under state and local teacher recognition programs and other personnel at the school, including parents, for recognition under other appropriate recognition programs and may establish such programs for operation at the school.
(4) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the principal regarding the assignment scheduling of secretaries, clerks, aides and paraprofessionals at the school.
(5) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the principal regarding establishment of the master curriculum schedule for the next ensuing school year.
(6) A faculty senate may establish a process for the review and comment on sabbatical leave requests submitted by employees at the school pursuant to section eleven, article two of this chapter.
(7) Each faculty senate shall elect three faculty representatives to the local school improvement council established pursuant to section two of this article.
(8) Each faculty senate may nominate a member for election to the county staff development council pursuant to section eight, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code.
(9) Each faculty senate shall have an opportunity to make recommendations on the selection of faculty to serve as mentors for beginning teachers under beginning teacher internship programs at the school.
(10) A faculty senate may solicit, accept and expend any grants, gifts, bequests, donations and any other funds made available to the faculty senate: Provided, That the faculty senate shall select a member who has the duty of maintaining a record of all funds received and expended by the faculty senate, which record shall be kept in the school office and is subject to normal auditing procedures.
(11) Any faculty senate may review the evaluation procedure as conducted in their school to ascertain whether the evaluations were conducted in accordance with the written system required pursuant to section twelve, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code or pursuant to section two, article three-c, chapter eighteen-a of this code, as applicable, and the general intent of this Legislature regarding meaningful performance evaluations of school personnel. If a majority of members of the faculty senate determine that such evaluations were not so conducted, they shall submit a report in writing to the State Board of Education: Provided, That nothing herein creates any new right of access to or review of any individual’s evaluations.
(12) A local board shall provide to each faculty senate a at least six two-hour block blocks of time for a faculty senate meeting meetings 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, with each two-hour block of time scheduled once at least every forty-five instructional days with at least one two-hour block of time scheduled in the first month of the employment term, one two-hour block of time scheduled in the last month of the employment term and at least one two-hour block of time scheduled in each of the months of October, December, February and April. A faculty senate may meet for an unlimited block of time during noninstructional days to discuss and plan strategies to improve student instruction and to conduct other faculty senate business. A faculty senate meeting scheduled on a noninstructional day shall be considered as part of the purpose for which the noninstructional day is scheduled. This time may be used and determined at the local school level and includes, but is not limited to, faculty senate meetings.
(13) Each faculty senate shall develop a strategic plan to manage the integration of special needs students into the regular classroom at their respective schools and submit the strategic plan to the superintendent of the county board periodically pursuant to guidelines developed by the State Department of Education. Each faculty senate shall encourage the participation of local school improvement councils, parents and the community at large in developing the strategic plan for each school.
Each strategic plan developed by the faculty senate shall include at least: (A) A mission statement; (B) goals; (C) needs; (D) objectives and activities to implement plans relating to each goal; (E) work in progress to implement the strategic plan; (F) guidelines for placing additional staff into integrated classrooms to meet the needs of exceptional needs students without diminishing the services rendered to the other students in integrated classrooms; (G) guidelines for implementation of collaborative planning and instruction; and (H) training for all regular classroom teachers who serve students with exceptional needs in integrated classrooms.