CHARLESTON – The West Virginia State Board of Education met August 11 covering a wide variety of topics. The next State Board of Education meeting will be September 8, 2021.
State Superintendent Clayton Burch discussed the 2021 West Virginia Assessment Results and shared that, as expected, during the pandemic year, scores decline. Burch stressed that this was a single snapshot in time and does not clearly reflect the amazing work educators did this past year. WVEA President Dale Lee urged the board to join WVEA in focusing on the “whole child” and not a single test score. Burch also reported on the change in leadership and updates on the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Credit Recovery options, and School Recovery and Guidance.
In other action, the Board passed:
- Policy 2436.10, Participation in Extracurricular Activities. This waiver allows middle school and high school students who do not have the required 2.0 GPA to practice with the fall sports teams. Their eligibility will be determined at the end of six weeks. If the student has a 2.0 average for the six weeks, they can participate in games. If not, they will be re-evaluated at the end of the 9-week grading period. This affects approximately 111 middle school students and 348 high school students.
- Policy 2520.3C, adopting new West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards for Science,which will go into effect July 1, 2022. The Standards are the roadmap for students’ journey toward college and the competitive workforce. The goals include students being to read and think critically, process information, draw logical conclusions, and become effective communicators, both verbally and in writing. These standards are consistent goals held for all West Virginia students and include what students should know and understand at each grade level.
In other business, the Board adopted the SREB SMART as an Alternative Certification Program in the content areas of Science and Mathematics. This will be a pilot program similar to the SREB CTE program that is currently in place.
SREB SMART (Science and Math Alternative Route to Teaching) is a new professional learning program for math and science teachers who are entering or have entered education through an alternative route. Such teachers may have strong math and science content knowledge but lack a degree in education, classroom experience or confidence in their teaching abilities. SREB SMART emphasizes essential teaching skills in four areas: instructional planning, engagement strategies, assessment and feedback, and classroom management.
Finally, the Board authorized the state Department of Education to provide a Teacher Certification Program (WV Code 18A-3-1j) to address the shortage of teachers most every county is experiencing.