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Chapter 18 A     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

ARTICLE 2. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 3. TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

ARTICLE 3A. CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

ARTICLE 3B. EDUCATORS\' PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS BOARD.

ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.

ARTICLE 5. AUTHORITY; RIGHTS; RESPONSIBILITY.

ARTICLE 6. COUNTY RETIREMENT FUND.

ARTICLE 7. SEVERABILITY.

ARTICLE 3C. IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING.

§18A-3C-1. Findings; purposes and definition.

(a) The Legislature makes the following findings:

(1) Processes set forth in this article for the performance evaluation of professional personnel and the induction and professional growth of teachers and leaders are not intended to make up for substandard initial preparation, but instead are intended to build on a solid foundation created by the teacher and principal preparation programs. Therefore, the Legislature expects the teacher preparation programs to graduate teachers and leaders who can perform at a level that increases student achievement. The Legislature expects that the processes set forth in this article will allow a teacher and principal to excel beyond that level in the classroom and in school leadership positions;

(2) The comprehensive system of support provided in this article should be implemented in a way that effectively provides for the professional growth of teachers and principals;

(3) In order for the comprehensive system of support to much more effectively provide for the professional growth of teachers and principals, professional development resources must be focused in the most cost effective manner on the unique needs of individual schools, including their professional personnel evaluation data, to increase the school’s capacity to improve student performance and progress; and

(4) Although the quality of the teacher is extremely important to the academic achievement of students, students cannot learn if they are not present to receive the instruction. Therefore, attending school on a regular basis is of utmost importance to the academic success of students.

(b) The purpose of this article is to create a comprehensive infrastructure that routinely supports a continuous process for improving teaching and learning. Its focus is on developing strong teaching and school leadership, without which effective learning does not occur. The general components of this infrastructure include the following:

(1) High-quality teacher and principal preparation, induction, and evaluation;

(2) Universal support for emerging teachers and principals including comprehensive induction and support for (A) Beginning teachers, student teachers, teachers teaching in assignments for which they have less than a full professional credential, and teacher candidates pursuing certification through an alternative route; and (B) beginning principals, assistant principals, and vocational administrators, and those of them beginning a new assignment at a school with a significantly different grade level configuration;

(3) Evaluation of the performance of teachers and leaders in demonstrating high quality professional practice, leadership, and collaboration and the resulting growth in student learning;

(4) Focused improvement in teaching and learning through the use of evaluation data to inform the delivery of professional development and additional supports to improve teaching based on the evaluation results and to inform the need for improvements in teacher preparation programs; and

(5) The creation of a leadership culture that seeks and builds powerful alliances among all stakeholders focused on continuous growth in student learning.

(c) For purposes of this article “professional personnel” includes classroom teachers, assistant principals, and principals as defined in §18A-1-1 of this code.

§18A-3C-2. Performance evaluations of professional personnel.

 (a) The provisions of this section govern the performance evaluation of classroom teachers, principals and assistant principals employed in public schools and school systems. To the extent that this section conflicts with the provisions of §18A-2-12 of this code relating to professional personnel performance evaluations, this section shall govern.

(b) Before July 1, 2018, the state board shall adopt a legislative rule in accordance with §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code, for annually evaluating the performance of each professional person. The rule shall provide for performance evaluations of professional personnel to be conducted in accordance with this section in each school and school system.

(c) (1) The process adopted by the state board for evaluating the performance of classroom teachers shall incorporate at least the following:

(A) Alignment with the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards adopted by the state board that establish the foundation for educator preparation, teacher assessment, and professional development throughout the state;

(B) Employment of the professional teaching standards to provide explicit and extensive measures of the work of teaching and what teachers must know and be able to do and provide evaluative measures of educator performance; and

(C) The use of two pieces of evidence at two points in time over the instructional term to demonstrate student learning as an indicator of educator performance.

(2) Eighty percent of the evaluation shall be based on an appraisal of the educator’s ability to perform the critical standard elements of the professional teaching standards. The appraisal shall include conferences with the evaluator reinforced through observation. Twenty percent of the evaluation shall be based on evidence of the learning of the students assigned to the educator in accordance with paragraph (C), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(d) (1) The process adopted by the state board for evaluating the performance of principals and assistant principals shall include at least the following:

(A) Alignment with the West Virginia Professional Leadership Standards adopted by the state board establishing the responsibility of principals for the collective success of their school including the learning, growth, and achievement of students, staff, and self;

(B) Employment of the professional leadership standards to provide explicit and extensive measures of the work of school leadership focused on the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. The process shall include conferences and goal setting with the superintendent or his or her designee and the use of a survey of stakeholders to assist in identifying the needs and establishing the goals for the school and the principal. The survey shall be distributed to at least the following stakeholders: Students, parents, teachers, and service personnel. The evaluative measures shall include the use of data, evidence, and artifacts to confirm the principal’s performance on achieving the goals established by the principal and superintendent; and

(C) The use of two pieces of evidence at two points in time over the instructional term to demonstrate the growth in student learning at the school.

(2) Eighty percent of the evaluation shall be based on an appraisal of the principal’s or the assistant principal’s ability to perform the critical standard elements of the professional leadership standards and achieve the goals established for the principal and the school. Twenty percent of the evaluation shall be based on evidence of the learning of the students assigned to the school in accordance with paragraph (C), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(e) Evaluations of the performance of professional personnel shall serve the following purposes:

(1) Serve as a basis for the improvement of the performance of the professional personnel in their assigned duties;

(2) Serve as the basis for providing professional development specifically targeted on the area or areas identified through the evaluation process as needing improvement. If possible, this targeted professional development should be delivered at the school site using collaborative processes, mentoring or coaching or other approaches that maximize use of the instructional setting;

(3) Serve as the basis for establishing priorities for the provision of county-level professional development when aggregate evaluation data from the county’s schools indicates an area or areas of needed improvement;

(4) Serve as a basis for informing the teacher preparation programs in this state of an area or areas of needed improvement in the programs, or informing a specific program of needed improvement, when state-level aggregate evaluation data indicates that beginning teachers who have graduated from the program have specific weaknesses;

(5) Provide an indicator of level of performance of the professional personnel;

(6) Serve as a basis for programs to increase the professional growth and development of professional personnel; and

(7) Serve as documentation for a dismissal on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance.

(f) The rule adopted by the state board shall include standards for the performance of professional personnel and the criteria to be used to determine whether their performance meets the standards. The rule also shall include guidance on best practices for providing time within the school day for teachers and leaders subject to performance evaluations under this section to participate in the collaborative mentoring or coaching and planning processes necessary for execution of the performance evaluation process and achieving advanced levels of performance.

(g) The rule adopted by the state board shall include provisions for written improvement plans when necessary to improve the performance of the professional personnel. The written improvement plan shall be specific as to what improvements are needed in the performance of the professional personnel and shall clearly set forth recommendations for improvements including recommendations for additional education and training of professionals subject to recertification. Professional personnel whose performance evaluation includes a written improvement plan shall be given an opportunity to improve his or her performance through the implementation of the plan.

(h) A professional person whose performance is considered to be unsatisfactory shall be given written notice of his or her deficiencies. A written improvement plan to correct these deficiencies shall be developed by the employing county board and the employee. The professional person shall be given a reasonable period of time, not exceeding twelve months, to accomplish the requirements of the improvement plan and shall receive a written statement of the resources and assistance available for the purposes of correcting the deficiencies. If the next performance evaluation shows that the professional is now performing satisfactorily, no further action may be taken concerning the original performance evaluation. If the evaluation shows that the professional is still not performing satisfactorily, the evaluator either shall make additional written recommendations for improvement or may recommend the dismissal of the professional personnel in accordance with the provisions of §18A-2-8 of this code.

(i) No person may evaluate professional personnel for the purposes of this section unless the person has an administrative certificate issued by the state superintendent and has successfully completed education and training in evaluation skills approved by the state board which will enable the person to make fair, professional, and credible evaluations of the personnel whom the person is responsible for evaluating.

(j) Prior to implementation of the evaluation process pursuant to this section at a school, each affected employee shall be given training to ensure that the employees have a full understanding of the purposes, instruments, and procedures used in evaluating their performance. Thereafter, this training shall be held annually at the beginning of the employment term.

§18A-3C-3. Comprehensive system for teacher and leader induction and professional growth.

(a) The intent of the Legislature is to allow for local-level implementation of comprehensive systems of support for building professional practice consistent with sound educational practices and resources available. In this regard, it is the intent of the Legislature that the comprehensive systems of support shall incorporate support for improved professional performance that is targeted on deficiencies identified through the educator personnel evaluation process and other professional development needs identified in the strategic plans for continuous improvement of schools and school systems. Further, because of significant variability among the counties, not only in the size of their teaching force, distribution of facilities and available resources, but also because of their varying needs, the Legislature intends for the implementation of this section to be accomplished in a manner that provides adequate flexibility to the counties to design and implement a comprehensive system of support for improving professional performance that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. Finally, because of the critical importance of ensuring that all teachers perform at the accomplished level or higher in the delivery of instruction that at least meets the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards and because achieving this objective at a minimum entails providing assistance to address the needs as indicated by the data informed results of annual performance evaluations, including the self-assessed needs of the teachers themselves, the Legislature expects the highest priority for county and state professional development will be on meeting these needs and that the comprehensive systems of support for improving professional practice will reflect substantial redirection of existing professional development resources toward this highest priority.

(b) On or before July 1, 2018, the state board shall publish guidelines on the design and implementation of a county-level comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist the county board with the design and implementation of a system that best achieves the goals of this section within the county. The guidelines may include examples of best practices and resources available to county boards to assist them with the design and implementation of a comprehensive system.

(c) Effective for the school year beginning July 1, 2018, and thereafter, a county board is not eligible to receive state funding appropriated for the purposes of this section or any other provision of law related to beginning teacher and principal internships and mentor teachers and principals unless it has adopted a plan for implementation of a comprehensive system of support for improving professional practice, the plan has been verified by the state board as meeting the requirements of this section and the county is implementing the plan. The plan shall address the following:

(1) The manner in which the county will provide the strong school-based support and supervision that will assist beginning teachers in developing instructional and management strategies, procedural and policy expertise, and other professional practices they need to be successful in the classroom and perform at the accomplished level. Nothing in this subdivision prohibits a school or school system that was granted an exception or waiver from §18A-3-2c of this code prior to the effective date of this section from continuing implementation of the program in accordance with the exception or waiver;

(2) The manner in which the county will provide the strong support and supervision that will assist beginning principals in developing instructional leadership, supervisory and management strategies, procedural and policy expertise, and other professional practices they need to be successful in leading continuous school improvement and performing at the accomplished level or above;

 (3) The manner in which the county in cooperation with the teacher preparation programs in this state will provide strong school-based support and assistance necessary to make student teaching a productive learning experience;

(4) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for providing professional development specifically targeted on the area or areas identified through the evaluation process as needing improvement. If possible, this targeted professional development should be delivered at the school site using collaborative processes, mentoring or coaching or other approaches that maximize use of the instructional setting;

 (5) The manner in which the county will use the data from the educator performance evaluation system to serve as the basis for establishing priorities for the provision of county-level professional development when aggregate evaluation data from the county’s schools indicates an area or areas of needed improvement;

 (6) If a county uses master teachers, mentors, academic coaches, or any other approaches using individual employees to provide support, supervision, or other professional development or training to other employees for the purpose of improving their professional practice, the manner in which the county will select each of these individual employees based upon demonstrated superior performance and competence as well as the manner in which the county will coordinate support for these employees. If the duties of the position are to provide mentoring to an individual teacher at only one school, then priority shall be given to applicants employed at the school at which those duties will be performed;

(7) The manner in which the county will use local resources available, including, but not limited to, funds for professional development and academic coaches, to focus on the priority professional development goals of this section;

(8) The manner in which the county will adjust its scheduling, use of substitutes, collaborative planning time, calendar, or other measures as may be necessary to provide sufficient time for professional personnel to accomplish the goals of this section as set forth in the county’s plan; and

(9) The manner in which the county will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation and outcomes of the county system of support for improving professional practice.

(d) Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2018, and thereafter, appropriations for beginning teacher and principal mentors and internships and any new appropriation which may be made for the purposes of this section shall be expended by county boards only to accomplish the activities as set forth in their county plan pursuant to this section. Effective the school year beginning July 1, 2018, and thereafter, no specific level of compensation is guaranteed for any employee service or employment as a mentor and such service or employment is not subject to the provisions of this code governing extra duty contracts.

(e) The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability shall review the progress of the implementation of this article and may make any recommendations it considers necessary to the Legislature during the 2019 regular legislative session.

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