State law requires districts to implement community service education or service learning programs, or encourages and offers student incentives for participation (e.g., recognition programs or course credit).
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-52-2. Purpose - Community Schools Framework.
2.3.c. College, Career and Citizenship: Partners and supports in community schools are carefully selected with the goal of developing students with the skills which will not only guide them through their post-secondary and professional career, but that will ultimately make them well-rounded and engaged citizens. Community schools partner with local career and technical, community colleges, higher education institutions, and others to prepare students; they provide students with engaging and meaningful instruction; and they create service-learning and other youth development opportunities that train students to be active citizens.
West Virginia Code 18-2E-8. Creating jobs through education.
(g) Guidelines for work-based learning. — Work-based learning is a structured activity that correlates with and is mutually supportive of school-based learning for the student, and includes specific objectives to be mastered by the student as a result of the activity. It is central to the education preparation process to develop within the student an awareness of the work environment and how the skills the student is acquiring will be applied in that environment. Broadly defined, work-based learning opportunities are activities that assist students to gain an awareness of the workplace, develop an appreciation of the relevancy of academic subject matter to workplace performance and gain valuable work experience and skills while exploring their occupational interests and abilities. Incorporating work-based learning as a central part of the education process and also as a final step in the formal education process includes, but is not limited to: (1) Providing students in the early grades with activities such as field trips, career-oriented speakers in the classroom, courses such as junior achievement which are taught by volunteers in the classroom, job shadowing and other such activities to increase student awareness of the workplace; and (2) Providing students in the later grades, including college and other post-secondary education, with activities such as structured community service, apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences, cooperative education and other work-site placements, school-based enterprises, workplace simulations and entrepreneurial development, that provide students with more specific work experience in an occupational area associated with their education major. To the extent possible, student work-based learning, and particularly workplace learning, should be jointly assessed by a school-based educator or advisor and a work-based mentor who possesses the skills set forth in the work-based learning objectives of the student, and who has been trained in mentoring and assessing student performance. (h) Special consideration for providing work-based learning in counties with few opportunities for employment. — Providing work-based learning opportunities for all students in counties with few employers will be particularly difficult. While the following additional examples of ways to increase opportunities for work-based learning are applicable for all counties, they are most important in counties with few employers. Additional examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Computer software that simulates workplace situations and problem solving; (2) Interactive and other technology to bring an exposure to the workplace into the classroom; (3) Community service; (4) Partnerships with city, state and county government for work-based placements; (5) Volunteer programs, such as junior achievement and other programs that utilize volunteers trained to deliver work-related instruction; (6) Assumption of recordkeeping and other measures by the schools, or through the use of community-based organizations or other intermediaries, that make it easier for small businesses to participate in accepting students for workplace learning; (7) Rural entrepreneurship through action learning programs; (8) School-based enterprises; (9) Projects through 4-H, scouts, junior ROTC and other school and nonschool student and civic organizations; (10) Multiple partnerships with existing employers, such as hospitals that have multiple departments; (11) Agricultural education, FFA projects and supervised work experience programs; and (12) Programs at vocational-technical education centers. The state board shall make recommendations to the Legislature by the first day of November, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, on any further actions that may be appropriate to assist counties with few employers in providing work-based learning opportunities for all students. (i) Electronic portfolio of student accomplishments and preparation. — For the purpose of better documenting the preparation of high school graduates for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment, the state board shall develop an electronic portfolio which will be a permanent record for every student. The electronic portfolio shall be issued by the appropriate county board and shall include the accomplishments of the student during his or her education preparation. Upon request, students shall receive the contents of the electronic portfolio in written or computer readable form. The electronic portfolio shall be subject to the same confidentiality and disclosure laws and rules as any other student records. The electronic portfolio shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Documentation of attendance, grades, accomplishments, education plans, education major interests, curriculum, special activities, honors and advanced education and other items appropriate for inclusion in the portfolio as determined by state board rule to present the accomplishments and achievements of the student; (2) A separate area for the student to enter presentations, examples and other information on his or her special areas of interest and advanced achievement; (3) Certification of student attainment of the minimum level of proficiency in the basic skills that lays the foundation for further learning and skill development for success in college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment; and (4) Certification of the skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or employment, as indicated by: (i) College entrance tests; (ii) specialized assessments that measure the attainment of necessary skills and competencies required in the workplace; (iii) the attainment of industry recognized credentials, licensure or certification; (iv) the completion of nationally accredited technical education programs; (v) performance in specialized learning experiences such as paid and unpaid structured work-based learning in the private or public sectors, including, but not limited to, registered youth apprenticeships, internships, cooperative education, community service, entrepreneurship development and school-based enterprises in partnership with the private sector; and (vi) other indicators relevant to the student's skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment. (j) Guidelines for certification on the electronic portfolio of student skills, competencies and readiness for employment. — The certification of student skills, competencies and readiness for a particular industry or occupation to be included on the electronic portfolio, including certification offered by an institution of higher education or other job training programs, shall require the approval of an appropriate entity designated by the jobs through education employer panel. Local education agencies, institutions of higher education and other job training programs desiring to issue such certification to meet local labor market or community needs and circumstances may apply to the panel for such approval. To the extent possible, such certification shall provide the student with a proficiency credential that is widely recognized and accepted within an industry or occupational area as a reliable indicator of the ability of the student. The jobs through education employer panel shall consult other established skill Standard for use in certifying proficiency in skills, competencies and readiness within specific industries and occupations. The intent of these provisions is to provide a formal mechanism for the ongoing alignment of the certification of student skills, competencies and readiness with current minimum requirements for success in the industry or occupational area for which the student is preparing, including requirements which will be met through additional education in college or other post-secondary education.