Outline of the state of West Virginia
State
West Virginia
Required

Category
Family Engagement in Local Governance

Category
Family Engagement in Local Governance

State law requires parent or family member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-1. General.

1.1. Scope. -- This rule provides guidelines for the development of Local School Improvement Councils (LSICs) that promote parent, family, student, business and community engagement. 1.2. Authority. -- W. Va. Constitution, Article XII, §2 and W. Va. Code §§18-2-5 and 18-5A-1 through 3. 1.3. Filing Date. -- December 16, 2011. 1.4. Effective Date. -- January 17, 2012. 1.5. Repeal of a Former Rule. -- This legislative rule repeals and replaces W. Va. 126CSR11A "Parent Involvement in Education" (2200) filed March 13, 2008 and effective July 1, 2008.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-2. Purpose.

2.1. Everyone in a community benefits from effective schools. The West Virginia Board of Education (hereinafter WVBE) believes that parent, family, business, and community engagement at early childhood, middle and adolescent levels is absolutely fundamental to a healthy system of public education. The WVBE further believes education is a shared responsibility. When parents, families, businesses, and members of the community are involved with schools, all children benefit. Adult participation sends the message that school is important and the work children do there is worthy of adult attention. Research on community and family involvement with schools has consistently shown that such involvement adds to the quality of the schools involved and makes a difference in children's behaviors and academic achievement. 2.2. The intent of this policy is to provide guidelines for establishing effective Local School Improvement Councils (hereinafter LSIC) that achieve their legislative purpose (W. Va. Code §18-5A-1). LSICs are the vehicle to promote the broader school community in efforts that support local initiatives to impact school effectiveness. LSICs shall assist the school and system in ensuring parental, family, business and community involvement is embedded in all aspects of the school and county strategic plan. LSICs help develop and promote the school and system vision for excellence by being a catalyst for innovation. 2.2.a. Parents, as used in this policy, means a parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence or a parent or a guardian. 2.2.b. Family includes family members (e.g. guardians, parents, aunts, brothers, grandparents) and significant others whose involvement may be important to the child. 2.2.c. Community refers to all of the individuals who reside in a common locality including: residents, businesses, social organizations and networks, faith-based organizations, and civic leaders.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-3. Organization of Local School Improvement Councils.

3.1. Local School Improvement Councils LSICs represent the voice of the community's education stakeholders. Thus members contribute diverse expertise and insight to address complex issues and propose solutions that ultimately benefit students. 3.1.a. W. Va. Code §18-5A-2 defines the members of LSICs. While these members are entitled to vote, nothing prohibits expanding the membership of LSICs to include non-voting members or to request other stakeholders to participate in meetings of the LSIC. 3.1.b. Principals are encouraged to elect new LSIC members in May or June so that LSIC members are in place by July 1 and can play an active role in summer activities, strategic plan development, orientations and transition activities, etc. However, the school principal shall arrange for LSIC election of members to be held prior to the fifteenth day of September of each school year (W. Va. Code §18-5A-2). 3.1.c. The school principal shall ensure that all LSIC members receive appropriate training regarding the roles and responsibilities of LSIC members to create a highly effective LSIC. The West Virginia Department of Education (hereinafter WVDE) has developed online materials that may be used for LSIC member training sessions. 3.2. As soon as possible after the election of LSIC members, school principals are encouraged to convene the first meeting of the LSIC (as soon as practicable after July 1 of the current school year). However, the principal shall convene an organizational meeting of the LSIC (W. Va. Code §18-5A-2) no later than the first day of October of each school year. At this first meeting, the LSIC elects from its membership a chair and two members to assist the chair in setting the agenda for each LSIC meeting. The principal of the school shall not serve as the LSIC chair. 3.2.a. The LSIC must meet at least once every nine weeks or equivalent grading period at the call of the chair or by three fourths of its members. 3.2.a.1. All meetings of the LSIC must be open to the public in compliance with the provisions of the Open Governmental Proceedings Act (W. Va. Code §6-9A-2(6)). 3.2.b. Each LSIC shall adopt a set of bylaws or meeting procedures. The WVDE provides resources and technical assistance for conducting effective LSIC meetings.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-4. Required Activities for All Local School Improvement Councils.

4.1. Each LSIC is vested with specific statutory and policy responsibilities and authorities that convey an expectation for high ethical behavior. 4.2. Each LSIC shall annually develop and deliver a report to the countywide council on productive and safe schools (W. Va. Code §18-5A-2 (l)). 4.3. Each LSIC may propose alternatives to the operation of the public school which will meet or exceed the high quality Standard established by the WVBE and will increase administrative efficiency, enhance the delivery of instructional programs, promote community involvement, or improve the educational performance of the school generally. 4.3.a. The alternatives proposed by the LSIC may include matters which require the waivers of policies or rules promulgated by the WVBE or county board or state superintendent interpretations (W. Va. Code §18-5A-3). The WVBE has established procedures to receive waiver requests and take appropriate action. 4.3.b. The LSIC may also submit a written statement, with supporting reasons, to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability (hereinafter LOCEA) recommending a waiver of Statuteor legislative rule. LOCEA shall review and determine whether a recommendation should be made to the Legislature to waive such Statuteor rule. 4.4. Every school must develop and implement a five year school strategic plan (WVBE Policy 2510, Section 12.2.1). The plan must be prepared and monitored by the LSIC and other stakeholders as appropriate under the leadership of the school principal and in cooperation with faculty senate, school technology team and school curriculum team. 4.4.a. The five-year school strategic plan specifies how the school intends to increase student achievement and positively impact other student outcomes. The plan must be developed and implemented using a continuous improvement process, be based on all available data regarding student achievement and align with the goals of the district Five-Year System Strategic Plan. 4.4.b. The LSIC shall assist the school in embedding parental, family, business and community involvement strategies in all aspects of the strategic plan. 4.5. Each LSIC shall meet at least annually with the county board of education (W. Va. Code §§18-5A- 2(I) and 18-5-14). The LSIC chair, or designee, shall be prepared to address any matters as may be requested by the county board and may provide any other information, comments or suggestions the LSIC wishes to bring to the county board's attention.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-5. Expectations for Local School Improvement Councils: Desired Outcomes and Results

5.1. When a community takes an interest in a school it shows and when a school truly is part of the community it shows. LSICs play a key role in establishing and maintaining that reciprocal relationship. By virtue of their position in the community, LSIC members have an established level of trust and respect; therefore, they can activate resources, rally support, effect change, and broadcast data and results. 5.2. Each LSIC shall operate from a concise and targeted action agenda that guides them in accomplishing and realizing their goals. The action agenda can be used to encourage collaboration with other school and community groups (e.g., PTA, PTO, boosters, faith-based community, civic groups) to achieve measurable outcomes. 5.2.a. The LSIC shall utilize data: student achievement, discipline, parent, student, staff and community surveys, the school's strategic plan, and other pertinent data to drive their action agenda. 5.2.b. The action agenda shall include high yield strategies that result in measureable school growth, improved student achievement, and innovation. These strategies shall foster the following guiding principles: 5.2.b.1. Providing a respectful, inclusive school community that welcomes all parents, families, community members and businesses to participate in all students' education. 5.2.b.2. Using many different modes of communication, including 21st century technology tools, to interact with parents and the broader community about education issues and ensuring parents, families, business and community members are encouraged to communicate with the school. 5.2.b.3. Developing more effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications with all families each year about school programs and their children's progress. 5.2.b.4. Working together to support families' parenting skills and activities that prepare young children for school and promote ongoing achievement. 5.2.b.5. Providing information and ideas to parents and families about how to establish home environments to support children as students such as reading with children, engaging them in educational activities, helping them with homework and other curricular-related activities, decisions and planning. 5.2.b.6. Providing educational opportunities for educators about current research, model programs and best practices for engaging parents, families, and community members in improving student achievement. 5.2.b.7. Developing student leadership and student voice and celebrating successes of students to encourage student achievement. 5.2.b.8. Having high expectations for parents, families and community members to become partners in education to support school improvement and student success. 5.2.b.9. Involving businesses to enhance educational opportunities, career development, and experiential learning. 5.2.b.10. Collaborating with the community to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation. Ultimately strengthening school programs, family practices, and student learning and development. 5.2.c. The LSIC shall monitor and evaluate the implementation and impact of their action agenda. Outcomes of the action agenda shall be shared with the community and with the local board of education during the annual meeting between the board and the LSIC.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-6. School Leadership and Local School Improvement Councils.

6.1. The school principal shall collaborate with the LSIC to establish, promote and maintain a safe and effective learning environment for all. It is the principal's responsibility to elevate the importance and voice of the LSIC. 6.1.a. The school's LSIC is a vital resource for connecting the school to families and the larger community. 6.1.b. The LSIC is a vehicle to activate or develop community partnerships and resources that support student learning and success.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-7. County Board of Education Responsibilities.

7.1. Each county board of education shall meet with each LSIC at least annually. The local board identifies the issues they wish the LSIC to address (W. Va. Code §18-5-14(a)(1)(D)). The LSIC may also provide other information, comments or suggestions the council wishes to bring to the county board's attention. All information presented during the meeting shall also be submitted to the county board in writing. 7.1.a. Each county board shall report details of their meetings with LSICs to the state board at the conclusion of the school year, but no later than the first day of September each year (W. Va. Code §18-5-14 D (2)). 7.2. Each county board of education shall adopt and implement a policy that provides for parent, family, business and community involvement in the schools. 7.2.a. Each county policy shall promote parents, families, community and business members, through a variety of means, to become involved in children's education. 7.2.b. Each county policy shall meet the criteria for compliance with federal programs. 7.2.c. Each county policy shall be developed by a committee consisting of, but not limited to, classroom teachers, parents/family members of school-age children, community members, business members, principals and other school personnel. The committee shall be representative of a variety of schools and shall include representation from early, middle and adolescent levels. 7.2.d. Each county shall provide training for teachers, parents and administrators, in cooperation with state and local agencies that would help realize the objectives set forth in the county policy. 7.3. Each county board of education's strategic plan shall be developed utilizing a collaborative strategic planning committee comprised of education personnel, parents, family, students, business, and community members. The collaborative approach assures involvement of all stakeholders in the planning for students' success. The county's strategic plan shall reflect the importance of stakeholder involvement and advocacy as critical elements of students' academic success, healthy living and emotional well-being. 7.3.a. The five-year school system strategic plan specifies how the county school system intends to strengthen the county education program in order to increase student achievement and positively impact other student outcomes. 7.3.b. Each county's strategic plan shall include an ongoing, two-way communication system that includes feedback mechanisms for parents, families, students, communities and school staff.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-11A-8. Severability.

8.1. If any provision of this rule or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this rule.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-42-7. County Board of Education Responsibilities.

7.10.f. The District Leadership Team shall have the following responsibilities: 7.10.f.3. Collaborate with parents, community stakeholders, school staff, county staff and School Leadership Teams in the formulation of the strategic plan, plan implementation, and continuous plan monitoring to address district-wide identified improvement needs, and specifically, student learning needs.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-42-8. School Based Responsibilities.

8.3.b. The School Leadership Team shall have the following responsibilities: 8.3.b.4. Collaborate with parents, community stakeholders, school staff, county staff and the District Leadership Team in the formulation of the strategic plan, plan implementation, and continuous plan monitoring to address identified school improvement needs, and specifically, student learning needs.

Policy Type
Regulation

West Virginia Code 18-5A-2. Local school improvement councils; election.

(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 nonex 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.

Policy Type
Statute

West Virginia Code 18-5A-2. Local school improvement councils; election.

(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)  One bus operator who transports students enrolled at the school and one school service person, each elected by the school service personnel employed 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;
  • (5)  Two at-large members appointed by the principal, one of whom resides in the school's attendance area and one of whom represents business or industry, neither of whom is eligible for membership under any of the other elected classes of members;
  • (6)  In the case of vocational-technical schools, the vocational director. If there is no vocational director, then the principal may appoint no more than two additional representatives, one of whom represents business and one of whom represents industry;
  • (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)  Under no circumstances may more than one parent member of the council be then employed at that school in any capacity.

Policy Type
Statute

West Virginia Code 18-5A-2a. Local school improvement council modification for certain jointly established and across county schools.

(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 [§  18-5-11], 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 [§  18-5A-2] 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...

Policy Type
Statute