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§18-2E-7. Providing for instruction and learning in all public schools.

(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) The knowledge and skills children need to succeed are changing dramatically and that West Virginia students must develop proficiency in the subject matter content, technology tools and learning skills to succeed and prosper in life, in school and on the job;

(2) Students must be equipped to live in a multitasking, multifaceted, technology-driven world;

(3) The provision technologies and software resources in grades prekindergarten through twelve is necessary to meet the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;

(4) This goal reflects a fundamental belief that the youth of the state exit the system equipped with the skills, competencies and attributes necessary to succeed, to continue learning throughout their lifetimes and to attain self-sufficiency;

(5) To promote learning, teachers must be competent in content and learning skills and must be equipped to fully integrate technology to transform instructional practice and to support skills acquisition;

(6) For students to learn technology skills, students and teachers must have equitable access to high quality, technology tools and resources;

(7) When aligned with standards and curriculum, technology-based assessments can be a powerful tool for teachers; and

(8) Teachers must understand how to use technology to create classroom assessments for accurate, timely measurements of student proficiency in attainment of academic content.

(b) The state board shall ensure that the resources to be used to provide technology services to students in grades prekindergarten through twelve are included in a West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan to be developed by the Department of Education as an integral component of the county electronic strategic improvement plan required in section five of this article. The provision of technologies and services to students and teachers shall be based on a county technology plan developed by a team that includes school building-level professional educators and is aligned with the goals and objectives of the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan. This plan shall be an integral component of the county electronic strategic improvement plan as required in section five of this article. Funds shall be allocated equitably to county school systems following peer review of the plans that includes providing necessary technical assistance prior to submission and allows timely review and approval by the West Virginia Department of Education. Equitable allocation shall be defined by the state board and may include per school-site equity for technologies requiring a site license or other per school application. Technology tools purchased from appropriations for this section shall adhere to state contract prices: Provided, That contingent upon approval of the county technology plan, counties that identify, within that plan, specific software or peripheral equipment not listed on the state contract, but necessary to support implementation, may request the West Virginia Department of Education to secure state purchasing prices for those identified items. Total expenditure to purchase these additional items may not exceed ten percent of the annual county allocation. To the extent practicable, the technology shall be used:

(1) To maximize student access to learning tools and resources at all times including during regular school hours, before and after school or class, in the evenings, on weekends and holidays and for public education, noninstructional days and during vacations; and

(2) For student use for homework, remedial work, personalized learning, independent learning, career planning and adult basic education.

(c) The implementation of this section should provide a technology infrastructure capable of supporting multiple technology-based learning strategies designed to enable students to achieve at higher academic levels. The technology infrastructure should facilitate student development by addressing the following areas:

(1) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades prekindergarten through eight by providing software, other technology resources or both aligned with state standards in reading, mathematics, writing, science, social studies and learning tools;

(2) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades nine through twelve by providing appropriate technology tools aligned with state standards for learning skills and technology tools;

(3) Attainment of skill outcomes for all students in the use of technology tools and learning skills;

(4) Proficiency in new, emerging content;

(5) Participation in relevant, contextual instruction that uses dynamic, real-world contexts that are engaging and meaningful for students, making learning relevant to life outside of school and bridging the gap between how students live and how they learn in school;

(6) Ability to use digital and emerging technologies to manage information, communicate effectively, think critically, solve problems, work productively as an individual and collaboratively as part of a team and demonstrate personal accountability and other self-directional skills;

(7) Providing students with information on post-secondary educational opportunities, financial aid and the skills and credentials required in various occupations that will help them better prepare for a successful transition following high school;

(8) Providing greater access to advanced and other curricular offerings than could be provided efficiently through traditional on-site delivery formats, including increasing student access to quality distance learning curricula and online distance education tools;

(9) Providing resources for teachers in differentiated instructional strategies, technology integration, sample lesson plans, curriculum resources and online staff development that enhance student achievement; and

(10) Providing resources to support basic skills acquisition and improvement at the above mastery and distinguished levels.

(d) Developed with input from appropriate stakeholder groups, the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be an integral component of the electronic strategic county improvement plan as required in section five of this article. The West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be comprehensive and shall address, but not necessarily be limited to, the following provisions:

(1) Allocation of adequate resources to provide students with equitable access to technology tools, including instructional offerings and appropriate curriculum, assessment and technology integration resources aligned to both the content and rigor of state content standards as well as to learning skills and technology tools;

(2) Providing students and staff with equitable access to a technology infrastructure that supports the acquisition of skills in the use of technology, including the ability to access information, solve problems, communicate clearly, make informed decisions, acquire new knowledge, construct products, reports and systems and access online assessment systems;

(3) Inclusion of various technologies that enable and enhance the attainment of the skills outcomes for all students;

(4) Collaboration with various partners, including parents, community organization, higher education, schools of education in colleges and universities, employers and content providers;

(5) Seeking of applicable federal government funds, philanthropic funds, other partnership funds or any combination of those types of funds to augment state appropriations and encouraging the pursuit of funding through grants, gifts, donations or any other sources for uses related to education technology;

(6) Sufficient bandwidth to support teaching and learning and to provide satisfactorily for instructional management needs;

(7) Protection of the integrity and security of the network, as well as student and administrative workstations;

(8) Flexibility to adjust the plan based on developing technology, federal and state requirements and changing local school and county needs;

(9) Incorporation of findings based upon validation from research-based evaluation findings from previous West Virginia-based evaluation projects;

(10) Continuing study of emerging technologies for application in a learning environment and inclusion in the technology plan, as appropriate;

(11) An evaluation component to determine the effectiveness of the program and make recommendations for ongoing implementation;

(12) A program of embedded, sustained professional development for teachers that is strategically developed to support a thorough and efficient education for all students and that aligns with state standards for technology, integrates technology skills into educational practice and supports the implementation of software, technology and assessment resources in the classroom;

(13) Providing for uniformity in technological hardware and software standards and procedures;

(14) The strategy for ensuring that the capabilities and capacities of the technology infrastructure is adequate for acceptable performance of the technology being implemented in the public schools;

(15) Providing for a comprehensive, statewide uniform, integrated education management and information system for data collection and reporting to the Department of Education and the public;

(16) Providing for an effective model for the distance delivery, virtual delivery or both types of delivery of instruction in subjects where there exists low student enrollment or a shortage of certified teachers or where the delivery method substantially improves the quality of an instructional program such as the West Virginia Virtual School;

(17) Providing a strategy to implement, support and maintain technology in the public schools;

(18) Providing a strategy to provide ongoing support and assistance to teachers in integrating technology into instruction such as with technology integration specialists and technology system specialists;

(19) A method of allowing public education to take advantage of appropriate bulk purchasing abilities and to purchase from competitively bid contracts initiated through the southern regional education board educational technology cooperative and the America TelEdCommunications Alliance;

(20) Compliance with United States Department of Education regulations and Federal Communications Commission requirements for federal E-rate discounts; and

(21) Other provisions as considered appropriate, necessary or both to align with applicable guidelines, policies, rules, regulations and requirements of the West Virginia Legislature, the Board of Education and the Department of Education.

(e) Any state code and budget references to the Basic Skills/Computer Education Program and the SUCCESS Initiative will be understood to refer to the statewide technology initiative referenced in this section, commonly referred to as the 21st Century Tools for 21st Century Schools Technology Initiative.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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