State law requires districts to operate alternative school programs or to provide educational services to expelled students in an alternative setting.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)
Chapter 6: PROCEDURES FOR TAKING ACTION ON SUBSTANTIATED INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS
Section 2. Guidelines for Specific Responses to Inappropriate Behavior
Suspension: The purpose of suspension is to protect the student body, school personnel and property, the educational environment, and the orderly process of the school. Suspension is considered a temporary solution to inappropriate behavior until the problem that caused the suspension is corrected. The length of a suspension should be short, usually one to three school days, but may extend to ten school days.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)
Chapter 5 ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS W. Va. Code § 18-5-19 provides for the creation of alternative education programs to allow for the provision of a free and appropriate education to students whose disruptive behavior has caused them to be removed from the regular classroom/school setting. Nothing in this manual precludes county boards of education from operating alternative education programs for non-disruptive students. The guidelines in this manual apply solely to alternative education programs for disruptive students. The State Superintendent of School's approval of the county alternative education policies and procedures is required for authorization to operate an alternative education program under these regulations. Alternative education program is a temporarily authorized departure from the regular school program designed to provide educational and social development for students whose disruptive behavior places them at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structures and in adult life without positive interventions. These programs provide a safe and orderly learning environment for the education of all students in West Virginia public schools and meet the educational needs of disruptive students. Alternative education programs for disruptive students encompass a range of program options such as: • in-school suspension; • a separate part-time or full-time alternative education classroom; • a school-within-a-school; • a school at an alternative site; • an afterschool class/night school program; or • a combination academic/work-based program. County boards of education shall have flexibility in developing the type or types of alternative education program options needed to meet the needs of disruptive students in the county. County boards of education may request a waiver of State Board of Education policies and regulations in the development and operation of alternative education programs. Such a waiver request does not have to be submitted in accordance with the procedures for requesting waivers stipulated under W. Va. Code § 18-5A-3, but may be submitted directly to the State Superintendent of Schools. Program flexibility does not extend to modifying the provisions of Policy 2419 in providing alternative education programs for students with exceptionalities or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 1. Policies and Procedure County boards of education policies and procedures shall include, but are not limited to the: • goals of the program; • eligibility criteria and process for placement of students in the program as determined by Student Assistance Team as defined by W. Va. 126CSR42, WVBE Policy 2510, Assuring the Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs (Policy 2510); • involvement of parent or guardian and community agencies; • length and time of day the after-hours/night school program operates, if applicable; • plan for awarding of grades and/or credits; • behavioral management plan as an alternative to the county's discipline policy, if applicable; • staffing plan, personnel qualifications, and class size limits; • criteria for completion of the alternative education program or re-entry into general education; and • performance measures and process for program evaluation. Section 2. Eligibility and Placement A student may be placed in alternative education programs for: • violations of the W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a; • repeated violations of the county's discipline policy following documented multiple behavioral interventions by the Student Assistance Team at the referring school; or • continuation of educational services during periods of suspension. A student who has been expelled must be placed in an alternative education program unless found to be a “dangerous student” under the procedures set forth in W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a. A student who has been suspended or expelled from a public or private school in West Virginia or another state, currently residing within the county, may not be denied enrollment unless determined to be a “dangerous student” under the procedures set forth in W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a. Upon placement, the Student Assistant Team shall develop a student's written plan which includes academic courses and behavioral components, criteria for re-entry to the regular school program, and provisions for periodic review of the student's progress at least on an annual basis. The team for all students with disabilities shall be the IEP team and the written plan shall be the IEP. Section 3. County Alternative Education Requirements Curriculum. The curriculum will be based upon state-approved Standard and include a component for teaching responsible behavior in a climate/culture conducive to teaching and learning. Instruction. The instruction shall be personalized in a developmentally and age appropriate delivery. Units of Credit. Units of credit are granted based upon proficiency of state-approved content Standard. Program Completion. A student may complete an alternative education program in one of the following manners: • fulfillment of the criteria for re-entry into the referral school; • completion of high school graduation requirements and awarding of a high school diploma from the referral school; or • completion of a high school equivalency exam in accordance with W. Va. 126CSR32, WVBE Policy 2444.4, Issuance of the State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma and Option Pathway. State Assessment. A student shall participate in the appropriate assessment according to W. Va. 126CSR14, WVBE Policy 2340, West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress Program. The test scores for these students shall be counted in the results of the referral school. Support Services. A student shall receive counseling and/or other support services as indicated in the student's written plan. Special Education. A student's IEP shall comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Licensure. A teacher assigned to deliver the state-approved content Standard within an alternative education program must possess a West Virginia professional teaching certificate in any area. A Temporary Authorization valid for one year shall be granted to the successful candidate for the alternative education program position. The employing county superintendent must verify that the applicant possesses the required competencies. The Temporary Authorization may be renewed each year based on the applicant's continued employment in an alternative education program. Personnel Selection Criteria. A certified classroom teacher shall be selected on the basis of the teacher's demonstration of competence in meeting the following Standard: • ability to effect positive behavior in disruptive students; • effective leadership and/or mentoring skills in working with youth; • successful experience in providing education to troubled or disruptive youth; • specialized training or experience in non-traditional programs; and • specialized training in behavior management skills. Section 4. Optional Alternative Education Settings Day-School Programs. Absent expulsion, a student attending an alternative education day school program shall have the opportunity to receive a full-time instructional program and full instructional day. After-Hours/Night School Classes. County boards of education are authorized to provide alternative education programs after regular school hours for expelled students and for students who have repeated serious violations of the county's discipline policy following documented multiple behavioral interventions and out-of-school suspensions. After-hour/night school programs shall include the provision of academic coursework and development of social skills/and appropriate behavior. Unless otherwise required by law, regulation, or court order, transportation services for such programs are at the discretion of the county board of education. Home-Based Programs for Disruptive Students. County boards of education may provide home-based programs solely for students expelled under the Productive and Safe Schools Act (W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a) or for disruptive students who meet the eligibility criteria for home/hospital instruction under Policy 2510. Program Evaluation. County boards of education shall conduct an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs. The evaluation shall focus upon the impact on student performance and results using indicators such as: • academic gains; • reduction in dropout rates; • reduction in incidences requiring disciplinary action; • improvement in attendance rates; • rates of successful program completion and return to the regular school program; • rates of successful completion of career and technical training programs; • rates of successful completion of high school graduation or attainment of a high school equivalency diploma; and • rates of successful job placement and job retention. The WVDE shall review compliance with alternative education requirements and the effectiveness of alternative education programs through monitoring and review of the application received annually. The alternative education program shall be evaluated on the basis of its stated goals and the provisions of this policy.
West Virginia Code 18A-5-1. Authority of teachers and other school personnel; exclusion of students having infectious diseases; suspension or expulsion of disorderly students; corporal punishment abolished.
(c) The teacher may exclude from his or her classroom or school bus any student who is guilty of disorderly conduct; who in any manner interferes with an orderly educational process; who threatens, abuses or otherwise intimidates or attempts to intimidate a school employee or a student; who willfully disobeys a school employee; or who uses abusive or profane language directed at a school employee. Any student excluded shall be placed under the control of the principal of the school or a designee. The excluded student may be admitted to the classroom or school bus only when the principal, or a designee, provides written certification to the teacher that the student may be readmitted and specifies the specific type of disciplinary action, if any, that was taken. If the principal finds that disciplinary action is warranted, he or she shall provide written and, if possible, telephonic notice of the action to the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s). When a student is excluded from a classroom or a school bus two times in one semester, and after exhausting all reasonable methods of classroom discipline provided in the school discipline plan, the student may be readmitted to the classroom or the school bus only after the principal, teacher and, if possible, the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of the student have held a conference to discuss the student's disruptive behavior patterns, and the teacher and the principal agree on a course of discipline for the student and inform the parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) of the course of action. Thereafter, if the student's disruptive behavior persists, upon the teacher's request, the principal may, to the extent feasible, transfer the student to another setting. The Legislature finds that isolating students or placing them in alternative learning centers may be the best setting for chronically disruptive students. The county board shall create more alternative learning centers or expand its capacity for alternative placements, subject to funding, to correct these students' behaviors so they can return to a regular classroom without engaging in further disruptive behavior.
West Virginia Code 18A-5-1a. Possessing deadly weapons on premises of educational facilities; possessing a controlled substance on premises of educational facilities; assaults and batteries committed by students upon teachers or other school personnel; temporary suspension, hearing; procedure, notice and formal hearing; extended suspension; sale of narcotic; expulsion; exception; alternative education.
A county board that expels a student, and finds that the student is a dangerous student, may refuse to provide alternative education. However, after a hearing conducted pursuant to this section for determining whether a student is a dangerous student, when the student is found to be a dangerous student, is expelled and is denied alternative education, a hearing shall be conducted within three months after the refusal by the board to provide alternative education to reexamine whether or not the student remains a dangerous student and whether the student shall be provided alternative education. Thereafter, a hearing for the purpose of reexamining whether or not the student remains a dangerous student and whether the student shall be provided alternative education shall be conducted every three months for so long as the student remains a dangerous student and is denied alternative education. During the initial hearing, or in any subsequent hearing, the board may consider the history of the student’s conduct as well as any improvements made subsequent to the expulsion. If it is determined during any of the hearings that the student is no longer a dangerous student or should be provided alternative education, the student shall be provided alternative education during the remainder of the expulsion period.