State Board

September 21, 2012 - Volume 32 Issue 23

State Board / State Department of Education News


Lloyd Jackson, a long-time advocate of early childhood education in West Virginia and a member of the state board of education, has been named the first recipient of the West Virginia Champion of Pre-K Award.

The award was presented earlier this month at the West Virginia Department of Education’s Pre-K Leadership Summit in Charleston by the West Virginia Pre-K Steering Team. The interagency advisory team includes members from the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia Head Start Collaboration Office.

"I am honored to receive this award,” Jackson said. “Working together, our school system, DHHR, Head Start and private providers have crafted a pre-K system that is a model for the rest of the nation, and I am proud to have been associated with this effort.”

As former chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, Jackson spearheaded efforts that led to the passage of legislation creating the Universal Pre-K program in West Virginia. The progressive state law requires universal preschool be available to all of the state’s four-year-olds by the 2012-2013 school year. The law has boosted not only preschool enrollment but also kindergarten participation. In addition, West Virginia has repeatedly received national accolades for its preschool programs since its adoption.

“Early childhood education, through Universal Pre-K, is one area where West Virginia is overcoming societal obstacles to help children start their academic careers on a firm foundation,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “Research shows that high-quality pre-K can help improve the educational success of all children, decrease dropout rates, crime and delinquency, and improve economic productivity and health. That’s important in a state like West Virginia where more than 50 percent of public school students are needy.”

Across the state, about 16,000 children are enrolled in about 1,050 West Virginia Universal Pre-K classrooms. Most of the classrooms, about 72 percent, are collaborative with community partners, including Head Start and private childcare providers.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 


Michael Funkhouser, an English teacher at East Hardy High School in Hardy County, is West Virginia’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. He will represent West Virginia in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

State Supt. Jorea Marple made the announcement during a ceremony in Charleston that recognized county teachers of the year. The event also honored earlier-announced award winners, including the 2011 Milken Family Foundation Winner, the 2011 Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year, the 2012 West Virginia School Service Personnel Employee of the Year and 10 Schools of Excellence for 2012-2013.

“It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine group of educators in our state’s public school system,” Marple said. “Their dedication to their students and their schools has made them worthy of these awards.”

Hardy County Supt. Barbara Whitecotton describes Funkhouser as “a caring and committed teacher, who goes beyond the textbook to reach his students.”

“His students reach out to him for the advice they may not be getting from a parent, for the support they need in making decisions about their futures and for the knowledge he gives them about his favorite subject, English,” Whitecotton said. “Mr. Funkhouser is an honest man, who gives all that he has to ensure that his students get what they need.”

Funkhouser, who just began his 32nd year in the classroom, has a master’s degree from Shenandoah University and undergraduate degrees from Marshall University and West Virginia University. He is a past vice president and current member of the West Virginia Education Association.

“I believe that teaching is one of the noblest pursuits available to people in today’s world,” Funkhouser said. “My personal teaching style is one of energy and accountability. … Students in my class and their parents understand that we are working together to achieve a goal.”

As West Virginia’s 2013 Teacher of the Year, Funkhouser will receive an educational technology package valued at nearly $15,000, use of a Toyota car for a year and cash awards from Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance.

Funkhouser was selected by a committee appointed by the state superintendent of schools to evaluate six finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners. Teacher of the Year, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, is the longest-running awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country, granting its first national award in 1952. West Virginia has participated in the program since 1964.

Other finalists were Paul Roomsburg, Hampshire High School; Lissa Dulick, Weir High School, Hancock; Ann Meador Wells, Princeton Senior High School, Mercer; Angela Culicerto, Park Middle School, Raleigh; and Shane Eakle, Tucker County High School.

 


The Schools of Excellence are selected based on the following criteria: a rigorous and challenging curriculum, a safe and drug-free learning environment, participatory leadership, active teaching and learning, an environment that strengthens teacher skills, documented student achievement and implementing advanced and innovated programs.

This year’s winners are: Ashford-Rumble Elementary, Boone; Craigsville Elementary, Nicholas; Dingess Elementary, Mingo; Eastbrook Elementary, Putnam; Fayette (County) Institute of Technology; Liberty High, Raleigh; Princeton Primary, Mercer; Shoals Elementary, Kanawha; West Hamlin Elementary, Lincoln; and White Hall Elementary, Marion.

The Milken Award provides public recognition and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 to teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. This year’s winner is Lissa Dulick, who also was a Teacher of Year finalist, from Weir High School in Hancock County.

The Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year Award is named after former West Virginia Board of Education member Paul Morris, who received the first Character Educator of the Year Award in 2003. Morris, who died in 2005, served on the state board for about 25 years. This year’s recipient is Damon Hanshaw, assistant superintendent of Nicholas County Schools.

The 2012 West Virginia Board of Education School Service Personnel Employee of the Year Award honors one person, chosen from aides, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, maintenance workers, office workers and other school service personnel, for his or her contribution to the school and community. This year’s winner is Debra Martin of Buffalo High School, Putnam County.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 


Three West Virginia schools have been recognized as among America’s best. Bridgeport Middle School in Harrison County, Confidence Elementary School in Putnam County, and Kenna Elementary in Kanawha County are among 269 schools nationwide named by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels. The schools will be honored later this year in Washington, D.C, where they will receive an award certificate in recognition of the progress they have made.

“All three of these West Virginia schools have helped students succeed,” state Supt. of Schools Jorea Marple said. “Their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving teaching and learning can serve as models for others.”
 
To qualify, public schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state tests or have students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests. Private schools must achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation on national tests to qualify.

"Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential," Duncan said. "Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."

Nearly 7,000 public and private elementary, middle and high schools have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program’s inception in 1982. The U.S. Department of Education looks to honor schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699

 


Nearly 450 eighth graders from Boone, Lincoln and Kanawha counties celebrated Citizenship Day on Friday with activities focusing on civics education, volunteerism and patriotism.

Among the individuals and groups participating in the day-long event at the Culture Center were: Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s Office, Attorney General Darrell McGraw’s Office, state Treasurer John Perdue’s Office, state Auditor Glen Gainer’s Office, Hi-Y Leadership Center, League of Women Voters, the West Virginia Library Commission, the West Virginia Bar Foundation and Seven Stories Theatre, the West Virginia State Bar, Volunteer West Virginia, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Virginia Culture Center, Archives and History, the State Museum, the West Virginia History Bowl, the West Virginia Center for Civic Life, the state Department of Education and the Arts and the West Virginia Department of Education. Children also enjoyed tours of the Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion.

“Events like this are important because research tells us that students who study civics are more apt to follow government affairs, to vote, to contact public officials about concerns and are more tolerant of those with differing opinions from their own,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “It is our duty to teach our children about democracy and what it means to be a citizen because citizenship doesn’t work unless you know how to be a good citizen.”

Citizenship Day, organized by the West Virginia Civic Literacy Council, in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education and other civic organizations, recognized the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution and celebrated West Virginia’s sesquicentennial. In addition, participants also remembered the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
For more information visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/citizenship-day, or contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 

 

To protect students from contracting preventable disease, the West Virginia Board of Education resolved this month to back efforts to enforce recommended immunization practices issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In adopting the resolution, board members endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation that students entering seventh grade this fall receive the Tdap vaccine booster along with the meningococcal vaccine. Twelfth graders also must show proof of a single dose of Tdap and a booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine if the first dose was given before the age of 16.

The Tdap shot protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough. Whooping cough is a very contagious disease that can last for 10 weeks or more and is life-threatening in infants. The meningococcal vaccine prevents bacterial meningitis, a swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord that is caused by a very serious infection that can become deadly in 48 hours or less.

“Immunizations are a vital part of public health and help make sure our students are free from preventable communicable diseases,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “We must take every step we can to keep our children as safe and healthy as possible, and immunizations are essential. A healthy child is one who is in school and can learn.”

The board also expressed its support of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health’s Interpretive Rule on Immunization Requirements and Recommendations for New School Enterers. Earlier this year, the board updated its policies to include the new immunization guidelines for seventh and 12th graders. The policy incorporates the CDC recommendations as well as the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources requirements.

The state board also shared its support by filing a friend of the court brief in pending litigation that challenges the legality of the new adolescent immunization requirements. Further, the state board recommended all county school systems continue parent and student support while being diligent stewards of the new adolescent immunization rule to prevent further spread of vaccine preventable diseases.

In addition to the board’s resolution, Marple issued a memorandum to county superintendents reminding them West Virginia law allows for medical exemptions only when it comes to immunization requirements. Religious and philosophical exemptions are not recognized. Still, a one-time, two-week grace period has been allowed this school year for parents and guardians to provide immunization records of the newly required adolescent vaccinations. The resolution is part of the state board’s efforts to place a priority on improving student health and wellness.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.

 


High performance and proficiency are being checked off of the back-to-school list. West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WESTEST2) scores show that an increasing number of students reached or exceeded proficiency in 2011 - 2012.
 
All West Virginia students in grades three through 11 are required to take the WESTEST2, an assessment that measures student achievement.

According to the most recent WESTEST2 data, the number of West Virginia students reaching the “at or above” proficiency level has increased in both math and reading across most grade levels. Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), proficiency is defined as the number of students meeting or exceeding grade level expectations in each subject.

Last year, nearly 47 percent of students showed improvement in mathematics, a 4 percent increase from 2010-2011 scores. In reading/language arts, more than 48 percent of students showed improvement in content proficiency compared to 47 percent the previous year.
 
Under NCLB, schools also must meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). A total of 370 schools (57 percent) met AYP this past school year. That is a 7 percent increase from the 2010- 2011 school year.

“What we value in West Virginia is constant improvement and student academic growth,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “Meeting Adequate Yearly Progress under NCLB is a tough task for schools across the nation. Nonetheless, more West Virginia students are making the grade.”

NCLB requires that all students in the United States are proficient by 2014.

“Our goal is that students are ready to be successful whether they go to college or enter the workforce,” Marple said. “Even the schools that were not able to jump over the AYP bar still showed individual student improvement and that should be commended.”

The West Virginia Department of Education has launched a new website, which will go deeper into student achievement data. The website features individual student growth. As opposed to student proficiency, student academic growth is defined as the change in an individual student’s performance from one year to the next, regardless of proficiency level.

The student growth data will allow teachers to personalize learning based on individual student needs.
“Focusing on student growth allows school systems to transition from a system that must teach all students to teaching each student,” Marple added.

The WVDE has developed a parent website to provide resources that can be used at home to help with more rigorous schoolwork. The website can be found at: http://wvde.state.wv.us/parents21. Additional WESTEST2 data can be found by visiting: http://wveis.k12.wv.us/nclb/public12/nclbmenu.cfm or by contacting the Education Department Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.

Overall: Reading/Language Arts - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
All Students 47.70 48.44 Improved
Low SES 36.62 37.40 Improved
Disabilities 16.29 16.74 Improved
Africian American 37.80 37.52 Decreased


All Students by Grade Level: Reading/Language Arts - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 46.8 48.3 Improved
6-8 50.1 49.5 Decreased
9-11 46 47.2 Improved


Students with Disabilities: Reading/Language Arts - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 21.63 22.3 Improved
6-8 16 15.7 Decreased
9-11 9.1 9.6 Improved


Low SES: Reading/Language Arts - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 36.8 37.9 Improved
6-8 39.1 38.6 Decreased
9-11 33.2 35.1 Improved


African American Students: Reading/Language Arts - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 39.5 37.6 Decreased
6-8 40.5 39.2 Decreased
9-11 33.2 35.5 Improved


Overall: Mathematics - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
All Students 43.09 46.55 Improved
Low SES 32.36 35.99 Improved
Disabilities 17.91 19.95 Improved
African American 30.44 33.80 Improved


All Students by Grade Level: Mathematics - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 44.1 48.7 Improved
6-8 43.3 47 Improved
9-11 41.6 43.6 Improved


Students with Disabilities: Mathematics - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 25.2 28 Improved
6-8 15.7 17.1 Improved
9-11 10.2 11.3 Improved


Low SES: Mathematics - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 34.3 39 Improved
6-8 32.5 36.4 Improved
9-11 29.5 31.4 Improved


African American Students: Mathematics - % At or Above Proficient

Grade 2010-2011 2011-2012  
3-5 32.2 35.6 Improved
6-8 31.5 34.4 Improved
9-11 27.4 31.1 Improved


Statewide AYP Results

Statewide AYP 2010-2011 2011-2012
Total Schools Accountable 663 651
Schools Meeting AYP 329 (50%) 370 (57%)

 

 

West Virginia natives Homer Hickam and Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. are teaming up with the West Virginia Department of Education to promote reading in the Mountain State.

Hickam, whose book "Rocket Boys" inspired the movie “October Sky,” and Murphy, winner of “America’s Got Talent” Season 6, are appearing in public service announcements that ask, “What are you reading West Virginia?” They join Jennifer Garner, John Corbett, Sam Trammell and others in promoting reading as part of Read WV, a long-term collaborative project of the West Virginia Department of Education, Read Aloud West Virginia, the West Virginia Library Commission and the Imagination Library.

Murphy, who grew up in Logan, tells viewers he’s always been a dreamer. “Reading with our kids is one way we all can nurture their dreams,” he said. “When we read with our kids, we help them explore new worlds so they want to ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’” (a reference to one of his favorite Frank Sinatra tunes).

Read WV is designed to encourage children and their parents and grandparents to make reading a priority early in life and to involve all West Virginians in the critical task of ensuring that children read every day. The project includes a web page of resources on the state Department of Education website at www.readwv.com. The PSAs also are posted on the Read WV website.

Hickam, who hails from Coalwood, says his parents “passed on their love of reading not only to me but to the other rocket boys.” He encourages viewers to read his favorite author, John Steinbeck.

In recent years, the state board of education recognized that too many West Virginia children come to school from homes where reading is not commonplace. The board refined its education goals by reaffirming the importance of “teaching all children to read.” While progress has been made, Read WV acknowledges more can be done. By encouraging parents to read with their children, Read WV strives to increase the literacy of all West Virginians.

“It sounds so simple yet too many people don’t read at home with their children even when research tells us doing so makes a big difference,” Marple said. “Read WV reminds us how important it is for all of us – children and adults – to read every day.”

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.

 

 

The West Virginia Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Flexibility Request has been signed, sealed and delivered. Under the leadership of the West Virginia Board of Education, and after consultation with a broad group of stakeholders, including educators, legislative leaders and the governor, the department submitted a flexibility request of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

“The NCLB Flexibility Request has taken months of tireless work by countless education experts,” state Superintendent Jorea Marple said. “Today is the payoff. We believe we have developed a system which will improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction.”

If approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the request will provide West Virginia with the flexibility needed as it continues to implement the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, expand the Teacher Evaluation Pilot and establish a high-quality accountability system that values individual student academic growth and supports schools.

“This is an exciting time for education in our state,” West Virginia Associate Superintendent Robert Hull said. “We are transitioning from educating all students to educating each student. The Flexibility Request proposes an accountability system that weighs multiply items such as individual student growth, gaps between student sub groups, and the quality of instruction.”

The NCLB Flexibility Request focuses on three principals:

Principle 1: College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students
Principle 2: State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support
Principle 3: Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership

The request still holds schools accountable for student achievement results but shifts from a large number of schools not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress to a smaller number of schools flagged for targeted support. The request also has a stronger focus on local education agency responsibility for school improvement and a shift in the teacher evaluation system from “teacher meets standard” to promoting continuous professional growth.

As part of the new West Virginia Accountability Index (WVAI) proposed in the flexibility request, schools will fall into four rankings: highly effective; effective; need improvement; and targeted for support. Schools identified for targeted support will receive resources and support from various entities, districts, RESAs, the Education Department and others as appropriate.

To view the full NCLB flexibilityrRequest, visit” https://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/esea.html or contact the department’s Communication Office at (304) 558-2699.

 

 

Now that students across West Virginia are back in school, they’re JAMmin’ for health. The Just-a-Minute (JAM) national campaign is designed to encourage students spend at least one minute a day moving.

West Virginia schools are leading the nation in the number of students who have signed up to participate in an effort to set a world record at 10 a.m. on Sept. 27. That’s when nearly 5,000 West Virginia students will join others across the nation and simultaneously perform a JAMmin’ Minute routine. The one-minute fitness routines include five, very simple exercises that kids and staff can do while either standing at their desks or sitting in a chair. The student-led videos also include a simple health tip.

“Research consistently shows that children who are healthy and well nourished, perform better on standardized tests, have higher math scores and lower rates of absenteeism and tardiness,” state Superintendent Jorea Marple said. “Children are beginning to get the message about good health but we can and must do better. We have to make sure that we have intentional physical activity like the JAMmin’ Minute within the instructional day every day for every student.”

The JAMmin’ Minute effort is part of the Let’s Move West Virginia Active Schools campaign and first lady Michelle Obama’s national Let’s Move campaign. The goal of Let’s Move is to help families and communities make healthier decisions for their kids so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. It also provides support to schools to increase the amount of daily physical activity time within each school day to hit the national recommendation of 60 minutes.

Schools participating in the world record event are encouraged to personalize efforts. Burnsville Elementary in Braxton County, for example, has invited the football team and cheerleaders from neighboring Glenville State College to JAM with them. Schools that want to participate can sign up at www.jamworldrecord.org.

West Virginia has established itself as a pioneer in promoting good nutrition and physical activity, becoming an early adopter of many requirements now included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The new federal law calls both fruits and vegetables to be offered every day; increases whole grain-rich foods; limits milk offerings to fat-free or low-fat; restricts calories and portions based on childrens’ ages; and reduces saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

Since 1994, West Virginia has included health and wellness in its goals and priorities and strengthened its nutrition standards. More fruits and vegetables were added to school meals and schools are encouraged to cook more with fresh ingredients.

Strong student health programs are especially important in West Virginia, where one in three children born today will likely develop diabetes by the time they grow up. West Virginia is consistently among the top three states for obesity with about a third of residents and about 15 percent of schoolchildren considered obese. Even more are considered overweight.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 

 

West Virginia is among 19 states and territories chosen to share a $5.2 million federal nutrition grant for progressive efforts encouraging healthy eating and physical activity in its schools.

West Virginia will receive $346,515 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the next two years to support Team Nutrition goals. Those goals include providing training and technical assistance to child nutrition foodservice professionals to provide nutritious meals that appeal to children; offering fun and interactive nutrition education for children, teachers, parents and others; and building school and community support for creating healthy school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

“Experience and research consistently shows that children who are healthy and well nourished, perform better on standardized tests, have higher math scores and lower rates of absenteeism and tardiness,” state Supt. Jorea Marple said. “Children are beginning to get the message about good health but we can and must do better. This grant will allow us to continue the good work we are doing in West Virginia to improve student health and wellness.”

Healthier school meals are a key component of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which was championed by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let's Move! campaign and signed into law by President Obama. The Team Nutrition grant are funded to assist schools in meeting the new school meal requirements under the act and to promote healthier school environments.

West Virginia is ahead of many other states in its efforts to provide healthy meals and improve physical activity in its schools as an early adopter of many requirements in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The new federal law calls both fruits and vegetables to be offered every day; increases whole grain-rich foods; limits milk offerings to fat-free or low-fat; restricts calories and portions based on children’s ages; and reduces saturated fat, trans fats and sodium. West Virginia has taken steps to incorporate those guidelines and other health and wellness standards since 1994.

"When we serve our children healthy school meals, we're making a critical investment in their academic performance, their physical health and their future," U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. "Providing nutrition education resources, extending training and technical assistance to foodservice professionals, and building community support helps ensure that every child in America has a chance to succeed."

Others receiving Team Nutrition awards are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 

 

As summer fades and the seasonal flu season begins, West Virginia Supt. Jorea Marple is urging schools to focus on good hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes while encouraging annual flu vaccinations for students, families and staff. This year, the flu season includes not only the usual influenza with the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu, but a variant H3N2 virus.

Marple’s guidance is based on recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control when it comes to addressing concerns about H3N2. The H3N2 flu is usually not spread from human to human but only from swine to human. Only three cases of H3N2 have been reported in West Virginia this year.

“Concern about swine flu is understandable,” Marple said. “Parents and educators alike are worried about the effect of the seasonal flu and H3N2 flu on our families and our communities. Our concern is that we keep our children and families safe while disrupting their educations as little as possible.”

Many of the recommendations for preventing the spread of H3N2 are similar to preventing the spread of seasonal flu. Precautionary steps include

  • Asking students with flu-like symptoms whether they have recently touched or been near a pig, or had close contact with a sick person who has been near pigs.
  • Notifying the local health department of any student with flu-like illness and who reports that they have recently been near pigs or had close contact with a person who has been near pigs.
  • Early treatment of at-risk students and staff.
  • Staying home when sick and remaining there until 24 hours after any fever is gone.
  • Separating ill students and staff.
  • Washing hands and observing appropriate cough/sneeze etiquette.
  • Routine cleaning.

Closing schools because of flu is seldom necessary. CDC guidelines leave such decisions up to local communities, but urge communities to weigh the very real harm of school closings against the potential harms of increased flu spread. In West Virginia, schools and communities are encouraged to work closely with their local health officer and health departments when making decisions related to public health. Things to consider include excessive absenteeism among students or staff, if a large number of kids are visiting the school health office or being sent home during the day with flu-like symptoms, or for other reasons that affect the school’s ability to function.

 

 

The West Virginia Board of Education has updated several policies and approved two proposals, including one that establishes a teacher-in-residence program at West Virginia State University.

Legislation passed earlier this year allows for teacher-in-residence programs for certain prospective teachers in lieu of student teaching. Such programs allow prospective teachers during their senior year of college to gain teaching experience while being intensively supervised and mentored, not unlike physician residents. In August, the board updated Policy 5100, Approval of Educational Personnel Preparation, to incorporate the program requirements. West Virginia State is the first university to propose a program under the new rules.

The board also approved updates to Policy 1471, Education in West Virginia’s Correctional Institutions: Mission and Goals. The policy revisions were made to assure individualized programming for all students and to provide guidelines for schools to follow when receiving a student returning to a public school from an institutional facility. Similar revisions were approved for Policy 2800, Regulations for the Education of Juveniles Placed in Secure Predispositional Juvenile Centers.

Board members also approved Performance Targets for Student Outcomes, based on recommendations of the board’s strategic planning committee. The changes incorporate state board goals and strategic plan data for evaluation of effectiveness in annual accountability measures of public school progress.

In addition, the board approved a resolution on behalf of the Gilmer County Board of Education authorizing a lease purchase agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc. The resolution allows Gilmer County to finance the purchase of Motorola school bus communications equipment in the amount of $114,539 with financing at 4.59 percent interest, payable over five years.
For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.

 

Open for Public Comment

NOTICE: Comments, as submitted, shall be filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office and open for public inspection and copying for a period of not less than five years.

POLICY Suicide Prevention PD Guidelines - Suicide Prevention Professional Development Guidelines Pending Board Action

POLICY Improving Professional Practice Implementation Guidelines - Comprehensive System of Support for Improving Professional Practice Implementation Guidelines Pending Board Action