(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 begins with meaningful assistance for beginning teachers and leaders and also 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 of support and may include guidelines for the design and implementation of a teacher leader framework committed to improving the quality of instruction.
(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, 2020, and thereafter, appropriations for supporting county level implementation of the comprehensive systems of support for teacher and leader induction and professional growth pursuant to §18-9A-10 of this code 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, 2020, and thereafter, any employee service or employment as a mentor is not subject to the provisions of this code governing extra duty contracts. A county board may adopt a teacher leader framework designed to accomplish the purposes of this section related to teacher induction and professional growth and, if the county board adopts a county salary supplement pursuant to §18A-4-5a of this code to provide additional compensation to teachers who, in addition to teaching duties, are assigned other duties for new teacher induction, improving professional practice and furthering professional growth among teachers as set forth in the county’s comprehensive system of support, then appropriations made for supporting the purposes of this section may be applied to that salary supplement and other associated costs which may include a reduction in the teaching load of the teacher leader.
(e) The Department of Education shall assist county boards with the design and implementation of a teacher leader framework to accomplish the teacher induction and professional growth aspects of their comprehensive systems of support pursuant to this section. The goals of a teacher leader framework are to achieve:
(1) Increased student achievement and growth through the development of a shared leadership structure at the school level;
(2) Broader dissemination and use of effective teacher strategies through an increase in teacher collaboration; and
(3) Stronger and more positive school and district culture through the development and retention of highly effective teachers.
(f) The Department of Education may form networks among schools or school systems, or both, of comparable size and interests for the design and implementation of teacher leader frameworks that are:
(A) Driven by varying district and school needs;
(B) Related to existing state and district initiatives;
(C) Designed to improve student achievement and growth; and
(D) Designed to ﬁt district size, current culture for collaboration, and funding capacity.
(g) A teacher leader framework adopted by a county board must:
(1) Create speciﬁc roles and responsibilities, eligibility requirements, and compensation plans for each teacher leader position, and clearly communicate these to teacher leaders, administrators, and other stakeholders;
(2) Provide regular, targeted professional learning opportunities for teacher leaders, and encourage redelivery within their respective schools;
(3) Provide time and opportunities for teacher leaders to collaborate with administrators, curriculum staﬀ, other teacher leaders, and teachers;
(4) Monitor and evaluate the eﬀectiveness of the teacher leader program through surveys from school administrators and school faculty; and
(5) Include teacher leaders in the school improvement planning process.
(h) The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability shall review the progress of the implementation of the comprehensive systems of support for teacher and leader induction and professional growth and may make any recommendations it considers necessary to the Legislature during the next regular legislative session.