WV Board of Education considers changing graduation requirements

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) voted today to place two policies on public comment that will provide additional flexibility to counties in scheduling, allow for innovative practices in the personalization of students’ graduation requirements while also ensuring consistent measures for school and district accountability.

The WVBE unanimously voted to place Policy 2510, Assuring the Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs on a public comment period during its monthly meeting in Charleston. Often thought of as the WVBE’s flagship policy, Policy 2510 still requires 22 credits for high school graduation but divides those credits between prescribed and personalized.

Ten credits are prescribed including two each in math, English language arts (ELA), social studies and science, as well as one physical education and one health credit. The remaining 12 credits are personalized credits individualized to each student based on their personalized education plan. Those credits include two each in math and ELA, one each in social studies, science and arts, four personalized credits based on students’ post-secondary plans and a new flex credit. The flex credit allows students to choose either a career technical education (CTE) course, computer science course and an additional social studies or science course.

“When revising Policy 2510, our goal was to provide counties with as much flexibility as possible to personalize education for each student based on their goals,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine. “This added flexibility will empower counties to be innovative in scheduling and allow students to take course work that is most relevant to their future plans.”

The proposed policy also requires all schools to implement a comprehensive career exploration middle school experience beginning in July 2021. This experience may include but is not limited to CTE foundational courses, stand-alone career exploration courses, mini-courses, field trips, guest speakers and career mentors.

“Exposing students to CTE late in high school will no longer fill the pipeline with the level of skilled workers needed in our state,” said West Virginia Board of Education President David Perry.

Under the new policy, all public high schools and middle schools must offer a full-time virtual school option for grades 6-12 either through the West Virginia Virtual School program at the state level or through a county virtual school offering.

“Policy 2510 is the flagship State Board policy. The revisions represent our beliefs in providing more flexibility to counties and personalization of learning for students,” Perry said. “I applaud the work that has gone into the suggested revisions, which are consistent with feedback and recommendations from a variety of stakeholders including educators, parents, principals, county chief instructional leaders, superintendents and educator associations.”

The WVBE also unanimously voted to place Policy 2322, West Virginia System of Support and Accountability on public comment. The proposed policy revises the accountability system for public schools and districts and presents an aligned set of expectations to transform schools into outcome-focused and accountable learning organizations. The revised policy also outlines responsibilities for county board of education members as they relate to accountability for student outcomes in their districts. Finally, Policy 2322 now incorporates Policy 2200, Local School Improvement Councils (LSICs), which provides guidance to engage parents, families and communities in continuous improvement.

All stakeholders are encouraged to review each policy and provide comments by visiting http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com