West Virginia Code
The intent of this article is to facilitate and encourage the involvement of the school community in the operation of the local schools to improve educational quality. This article is intended to establish processes at each school which provide opportunities for involvement of the school community in the operation of the local schools and to support local initiatives to improve school performance. It is not the intent of this article to restrict the ability of the county board of education in its efforts to effect county-wide school improvements.
(a) A local school improvement council shall be established at every school consisting of the following:
(1) The principal, who serves as an ex officio member of the council and is entitled to vote;
(2) Three teachers elected by the faculty senate of the school;
(3) Two service persons elected by the service personnel employed at the school, one of whom shall be a bus operator who transports students enrolled at the school;
(4) Three parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of students enrolled at the school elected by the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) members of the school’s parent teacher organization. If there is no parent teacher organization, the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) members shall be elected by the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of students enrolled at the school in such manner as may be determined by the principal. Under no circumstances may a parent member of the council be then employed at that school in any capacity;
(5) Three at-large members appointed by the principal, at least one of whom resides in the school’s attendance area, and at least one of whom represents business or industry, neither of whom are eligible for any local school improvement council membership under any of the other elected classes of members;
(6) In the case of vocational-technical schools, comprehensive middle schools and comprehensive high schools, the vocational director or principal, as applicable, shall appoint up to four additional members from any one or more of the following categories: Employer; employer sponsored training program; apprenticeship program; and post-secondary education; and
(7) In the case of a school with students in grade seven or higher, the student body president or other student in grade seven or higher elected by the student body in those grades.
(b) The principal shall arrange for the election of members to the local school improvement council to be held prior to September 15, of each school year to elect a council and shall give notice of the elections at least one week prior to the elections being held. To the extent practicable, all elections to select council members shall be held within the same week.
(c) Parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s), teachers and service personnel elected to the council shall serve a two-year term and elections shall be arranged in such a manner that no more than two teachers, no more than two parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) and no more than one service person are elected in a given year. All other non-ex officio members shall serve one-year terms.
(d) Council members may only be replaced upon death, resignation, failure to appear at three consecutive meetings of the council for which notice was given, or a change in personal circumstances so that the person is no longer representative of the class of members from which appointed. In the case of a vacancy in an elected position, the chair of the council shall appoint another qualified person to serve the unexpired term of the person being replaced or, in the case of an appointed member of the council, the principal shall appoint a replacement as soon as practicable.
(e) As soon as practicable after the election of council members, and no later than October 1, of each school year, the principal shall convene an organizational meeting of the school improvement council. The principal shall notify each member by written or electronic means at least five employment days in advance of the organizational meeting. At this meeting, the principal shall provide each member with the following:
(1) A copy of the current applicable sections of this code;
(2) Any state board rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the operation of these councils; and
(3) Any information as may be developed by the Department of Education on the operation and powers of local school improvement councils and their important role in improving student and school performance and progress.
(f) The council shall elect from its membership a chair and two members to assist the chair in setting the agenda for each council meeting. The chair shall serve a term of one year. If the chair’s position becomes vacant for any reason, the principal shall call a meeting of the council to elect another qualified person to serve the unexpired term. Once elected, the chair is responsible for notifying each member of the school improvement council in writing five employment days in advance of any council meeting.
(g) School improvement councils shall meet at least once every nine weeks or equivalent grading period at the call of the chair or by the petition of three fourths of its members. The principal shall notify each member by written or electronic means at least five employment days in advance of the organizational meeting.
(h) The school improvement council annually shall conduct at least one meeting to engage parents, students, school employees, business partners and other interested parties in a positive and interactive dialogue regarding the school’s academic performance and standing as determined by measures adopted by the state board. The dialogue shall include an opportunity for the parents, students, school employees, business partners and other interested parties to make specific suggestions on how to address issues which are seen to affect the school’s academic performance which may include, but not limited to, parent and community involvement, the learning environment, student engagement, attendance, supports for at-risk students, curricular offerings, resources and the capacity for school improvement. The council shall announce any such meeting ten employment days in advance.
(i) The local school improvement council of each school deemed to be low performing under the accountability system established by the state board shall meet at least annually with the county board. At any such meeting, the principal and local school improvement council chair, or another member designated by the chair, shall be prepared to address the dialogue at its meeting or meetings to give the parents, students, school employees, business partners and other interested parties an opportunity to make specific suggestions on how to address issues which are seen to affect the school’s academic performance and any other matters as may be requested by the county board as specified in the meeting agenda provided to the council and may further provide any other information, comments or suggestions the local school improvement council wishes to bring to the county board’s attention. Anything presented under this subsection shall be submitted to the county board in writing.
(j) Local school improvement councils shall be considered for the receipt of school of excellence awards and competitive grant awards and may receive and expend such grants for the purposes provided. Local school improvement councils may propose alternatives to the operation of the school in accordance with §18-5A-3 of this code and may include in the proposal a request for a waiver of rules and policies of the county board and state board, state superintendent interpretations, and state statutes if necessary to implement the proposal.
(k) In any and all matters which may fall within the scope of both the school improvement councils and the school curriculum teams authorized in section five of this article, the school curriculum teams have jurisdiction.
(l) In order to promote innovations and improvements in the environment for teaching and learning at the school, a school improvement council shall receive cooperation from the school in implementing policies and programs it may adopt to:
(1) Encourage the involvement of parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) in their child’s educational process and in the school;
(2) Encourage businesses to provide time for their employees who are parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) to meet with teachers concerning their child’s education;
(3) Encourage advice and suggestions from the business community;
(4) Encourage school volunteer programs and mentorship programs;
(5) Foster utilization of the school facilities and grounds for public community activities;
(6) Encourage students to adopt safe and healthy lifestyles; and
(7) Communicate to students the common skills and attributes sought by employers in prospective employees.
(m) Councils may adopt their own guidelines established under this section. In addition, the councils may adopt all or any part of the guidelines proposed by other local school improvement councils, as developed under this section, which are not inconsistent with the laws of this state, the policies of the West Virginia Board of Education or the policies of the county board.
(n) The State Board of Education shall provide assistance to a local school improvement council upon receipt of a reasonable request for that assistance. The state board also may solicit proposals from other parties or entities to provide orientation training for local school improvement council members and may enter into contracts or agreements for that purpose. Any training for members shall meet the guidelines established by the state board.
(a) For the purposes of this section, "parent" or "parents" means the person or persons who have legal responsibility for a student, including parents, guardians or custodians.
(b) Jointly established schools --
(1) In the case of a school that is jointly established by two or more adjoining counties as provided in section eleven, article five of this chapter, the school's local school improvement council shall be modified to include a composition of parents and at-large members in its membership as follows, notwithstanding subdivisions (4) and (5), subsection (a), section two of this article:
(A) Five parents of students enrolled at the school elected by the parent members of the school's parent teacher organization. If there is no parent teacher organization, the parent members shall be elected by the parents of students enrolled at the school in such manner as may be determined by the principal. No more than three parents may be residents of the same county; and
(B) Four at-large members appointed by the principal:
(i) Two shall reside in the school's attendance area, but may not be from the same county; and
(ii) Two shall represent business or industry and may not be from the same county.
(C) None of the at-large members is eligible for membership under any of the other elected classes of members.
(2) The local school improvement council shall meet at least once each year with the advisory council as established in the memorandum of understanding or with the joint governing partnership board for the jointly established school as applicable.
(3) Prior to commencing an authorized action under section three of this article for the purpose of proposing alternatives to the operation of the school and for the purpose of requesting a waiver of policy, interpretation or statute if needed to implement the alternative, the local school improvement council shall seek advice from the jointly established school's advisory council or joint governing partnership board.
(c) In the case of a school that is not a jointly established school as provided in section eleven, article five of this chapter, but whose net enrollment includes at least one hundred fifty students whose parents are residents of an adjoining county, upon a petition signed by a majority of the parents of the students who are enrolled at the school, but who reside in an adjoining county, the local school improvement council of the school shall be modified as provided in subdivisions (1) and (2), subsection (a) of this section.
(d) For local school improvement councils under this section who are proposing alternatives to the operation of the school which require the request of a waiver of policy, interpretation or statute under the authority and procedures as set forth in section three of this article, the terms "appropriate board" and "affected board" as used in section three, mean the board or the multiple boards from whom a waiver is necessary for the proposal to be implemented.
(a) The intent of this section is to encourage and facilitate the design and implementation of innovative initiatives by local schools, working through their local school improvement councils, that meet the school’s needs and circumstances. A school level initiative may propose alternatives to the operation of the public school that will enable the school to better meet or exceed the high quality standards established by the state board, increase administrative efficiency, enhance the delivery of instructional programs, promote student engagement in the learning process, promote business partnerships, promote parent and community involvement at the school, or improve the educational performance of the school generally. In accordance with this intent, a local school improvement council established under the provisions of §18-5A-2 of this code may submit to its county board proposed alternatives to the operation of the public school in accordance with this section. If the county board approves the proposal in accordance with this section, it may designate the school as an innovation school and may provide funding to support implementation of the proposal, if necessary.
(b) An alternative proposed by a local school improvement council shall set forth:
(1) The objective or objectives to be accomplished under the proposal;
(2) How the accomplishment of such objective or objectives will meet or exceed the standards established by the state board;
(3) The indicators upon which the meeting of such standards should be judged;
(4) A projection of any funds to be saved by the proposal and how such funds will be reallocated within the school, or any costs associated with the proposal and proposed funding sources; and
(5) Any policies or rules promulgated by the state or county board, any state superintendent interpretations and any state statutes for which a waiver will be required for the proposed alternative to be implemented; and
(c) For an alternative to be proposed, at least two thirds of the members of the local school improvement council must vote in favor of the proposal. If the alternative to be proposed includes the request for a waiver of policies or rules promulgated by the state or county board, state superintendent interpretations or state statutes affecting employees, then prior to the proposal of the alternative, a majority of the local affected employee group must agree.
(d) A local school improvement council shall submit its proposed alternative to the county board. The county board shall acknowledge receipt of the proposal and promptly review the proposed alternative. The county board may request additional information and clarifications from the local school improvement council regarding the proposed alternative. The county board shall approve or disapprove the proposal and return it to the council with a statement of the reasons for the action taken, subject to the following:
(1) If an alternative proposed by the local school improvement council requires the waiver of any policies or rules promulgated by the county board, approval of the proposal by the county board constitutes a grant of the waiver;
(2) If an alternative proposed by the local school improvement council requires the waiver of any policies or rules promulgated by the state board and the county board approves the proposal except that a waiver by the state board is required, the county board shall forward the approved proposal to the state board for final determination. The state board shall acknowledge receipt of the proposal and promptly review the proposed alternative in consultation with the county board or their agents and, in its discretion, approve implementation of the alternative or reply to the county board and council within a reasonable time as to its reasons for not approving the proposed alternative. Approval of the proposal by the state board constitutes a grant of the waiver;
(3) If an alternative proposed by the local school improvement council requires the waiver of a state superintendent’s interpretation and the county board approves the proposal except that a waiver by the state superintendent is required, the county board shall forward the approved proposal to the state superintendent for final determination. The state superintendent shall acknowledge receipt of the proposal and promptly review the proposed alternative in consultation with the county board or their agents and, in his or her discretion, approve implementation of the alternative or reply to the county board and council within a reasonable time as to its reasons for not approving the proposed alternative. Approval of the proposal by the state superintendent constitutes a grant of the waiver;
(4) If an alternative proposed by the local school improvement council requires the waiver of a state statute and the county board approves the proposal except that a waiver of the statute is required, the county board shall forward the approved proposal to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. The commission shall acknowledge receipt of the proposal and promptly review the proposed alternative in consultation with the county board or their agents and determine whether a recommendation should be made for an Act of the Legislature to waive the statute to permit implementation of the proposed alternative;
(5) If an alternative that requires a waiver is proposed by more than one local school improvement council in the county and the county board approves, the county board may forward a consolidated proposal requesting the waiver to the appropriate bodies as provided in this subsection; and
(6) When an alternative to the operation of a school is approved, the county board shall establish a process for evaluation of the operation of the alternative. Approval for the operation of the alternative may be continued or revoked at any time based on the results and findings of the evaluation.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, a local school improvement council is not prohibited from permitting off-site classrooms to be developed in conjunction with local businesses if those sites meet the requirements established by the county board for sites that are located off campus.
(f) The state board shall submit a report to the Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability and the Governor on September 1, of each year summarizing the proposed alternatives received, approved or rejected, continued or revoked during the preceding school year and the results and findings of the evaluations. The report shall specifically identify all policy, rule, and interpretation waiver requests including those requests made to county boards by local school improvement councils received during the preceding year and the disposition of each.
(a) The Legislature hereby grants a waiver from the statute or statutes indicated for the following school or schools pursuant to and for the purposes enumerated in the written statement recommending the waiver, with supporting reasons, approved by the local school improvement council of the respective schools and recommended by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article. The grant of a waiver to a statute means that the school or schools granted the waiver may implement the actions as specifically described in their written statement notwithstanding the provisions of this code from which they are specifically waived. These waivers are limited to the purposes as specifically described in the statement upon which the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability made its recommendation for a waiver to the Legislature and are expressly repealed for any modification or implementation of the described actions which changes those purposes. However, nothing in this section prohibits a local school improvement council school that has been granted a waiver from submitting a request to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability for modifications, subject to approval in accordance with section three of this article.
(b) The following waivers are granted:
(1) Section two-b, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code is waived for the schools of Cabell County for the purpose of implementing a comprehensive new teacher induction program, which purposes are as more specifically described in the schools written statement approved by the county board and submitted to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on February 24, 2011.
(2) Section one-a, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code is waived for the schools of Marshall County for the purpose of increasing the compulsory school attendance age in Marshall County from seventeen to eighteen years of age as a part of its countywide dropout prevention initiative as requested by letter dated January 4, 2016, and recommended by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on January 18, 2016.
(3) Section one-a, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code is waived for the schools of Wyoming County for the purpose of increasing the compulsory school attendance age in Wyoming County from seventeen to eighteen years of age as a part of its countywide dropout prevention initiative as requested by letter dated February 25, 2016 and recommended by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on February 25, 2016.
The state Board of Education shall promulgate rules, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, outlining criteria for the identification of schools of excellence. Such criteria shall include, but not be limited to, improvement in student achievement in comparison to state and national norms, improvement in reducing drop-out rates, improvement in standardized test scores, implementation of advanced or innovative programs, implementation of the goals and purposes of jobs through education as provided in section eight, article two-e of this chapter, improvement in parent and community involvement, improvement in parent, teacher and student satisfaction, improvement in student attendance and other factors which promote excellence in education. Such rules shall be promulgated by January 1, 1991. Such rules may not prohibit any school from applying for consideration as a school of excellence.
Each year, the state board shall select one high school, one middle or junior high school and one elementary school within each regional educational service agency district, and one vocational school selected on a statewide basis to be awarded school of excellence status.
The rules promulgated by the state board shall outline appropriate methods of recognizing and honoring the students, teachers and other employees and parents or members of the school community who have contributed to excellence in education at the school.
(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 $300 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) Timelines 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 at least six two-hour blocks of time for faculty senate meetings 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.
(a) There shall be established at each school in the state a school curriculum team composed of the school principal, the counselor designated to serve that school and no fewer than three teachers representative of the grades taught at the school and chosen by the faculty senate: In instances where the counselor is assigned to an elementary school or a combination elementary and middle school on less than a one-half time basis, a school curriculum team established at that school may meet on days when the counselor is not at the school and the principal shall consult with the counselor on the issues relevant to the meeting agenda.
(b) The purposes of this section are to implement the following goals:
(1) Provide professional opportunities for teachers, administrators and other school personnel that allow them to have a direct voice in the operation of their schools and to create a culture of shared decision-making focused on the ultimate goal of raising student achievement;
(2) Encourage the use of different, high-quality models of teaching, scheduling and other aspects of educational delivery that meet a variety of student needs;
(3) Increase high-quality educational opportunities for all students that close achievement gaps between high-performing and low-performing groups of public school students; and
(4) Provide public schools with increased school-level freedom and flexibility to achieve these purposes when they have achieved exceptional levels of results-driven accountability.
(c) Powers and duties of the school curriculum team. --
(1) Establish for use at the school the programs and methods to be used to implement a curriculum based on state-approved content standards that meet the needs of students at the individual school.
(A) The curriculum shall focus on reading, composition, mathematics, science and technology.
(B) The curriculum thus established shall be submitted to the county board which may approve for implementation at the school or may return to the curriculum team for reconsideration.
(2) Review the list of other, non-required testing and assessment instruments provided by the state board through the statewide assessment program as provided in section five, article two-e of this chapter. The curriculum team may select one or more tests or assessment instruments that are applicable to the grade levels at the school for use at the school to improve student learning.
(3) Establish for use at the school the assessments, instructional strategies and programs that it determines are best suited to promote student achievement and to achieve content standards for courses required by the state board. The curriculum team shall submit the established assessments, instructional strategies and programs to the county board which shall approve the recommendations for implementation at the school or shall return them to the curriculum team for reconsideration.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, the school curriculum team established at a school that has achieved adequate yearly progress or has achieved an accreditation status of distinction or exemplary in accordance with section five, article two-e of this chapter, may use the assessments and implement the instructional strategies and programs consistent with the approved curriculum that it determines are best suited to promote student achievement at the school.
(1) The school may not be required to assess students using any specific assessment except the state summative assessment known as the WESTEST2 or any successor tests, the Alternative Performance Task Assessment, the Online Writing Assessment, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); and
(2) The school may not be required to employ any specific instructional strategy or program to achieve content standards for courses required by the state board, except as approved by the school curriculum team.
(e) If a school fails to achieve adequate yearly progress or if it receives any school approval level other than distinction or exemplary as set forth in section five, article two-e of this chapter, the curriculum team may not exercise the options provided in subsections (d) and (i) of this article until the school has regained one or more of these credentials.
(f) Nothing in this section exempts a school from assessments required by statute or state board policy including, but not limited to, the state summative assessment known as the WESTEST2 or any successor tests, the Alternative Performance Task Assessment, the Online Writing Assessment, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
(g) The school curriculum team may apply for a waiver for instructional resources approved and adopted pursuant to article two-a of this chapter if, in the judgment of the team, the instructional resources necessary for the implementation of the instructional strategies and programs best suited to teach the school's curriculum are not available through the normal adoption process.
(h) The school curriculum team may apply for a grant from the state board to develop and/or implement remedial and accelerated programs to meet the needs of the students at the individual school.
(i) Process for teacher collaboration. --
(1) Notwithstanding the application and approval process established by article five-c of this chapter, at a school that has achieved adequate yearly progress or has achieved a school accreditation status of distinction or exemplary in accordance with section five, article two-e of this chapter, the faculty senate, with approval of the principal, may establish a process for teacher collaboration to improve instruction and learning.
(A) The collaborative process may be established in addition to, or as an alternative to, the school curriculum team provided for in subsection (a) of this section.
(B) The mission of the collaboration process is to review student academic performance based on multiple measures, to identify strategies to improve student performance and make recommendations for improvement to be implemented subject to approval of the principal.
(C) The teacher collaborative includes members the faculty senate determines are necessary to address the needed improvements in the academic performance of students at the school. If applicable, the collaborative may consist of multiple subject area subcommittees which may meet independently.
(2) If a collaborative process is established as an alternative to the school curriculum team, the teacher collaborative has all the powers and duties assigned to school curriculum teams.
(A) The collaborative process also may incorporate the functions of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Technology Team, and/or the School Support Team.
(B) When the functions of any or all of these committees are incorporated into the collaborative process, the school is not required to establish a separate committee for any one whose functions have been assumed by the collaborative.