• WV Education Policy 4373 - Be Prepared
  • January 6, 2012 | Author: Tyler Williams
  • Law Firms: Dinsmore & Shohl LLP - Morgantown Office ; Dinsmore & Shohl LLP - Columbus Office
  • The West Virginia Department of Education recently approved a new version of Policy 4373: Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools which will go into effect for county boards of education beginning on July 1, 2012. This updated, comprehensive policy provides school employees, students, and parents/guardians with a single policy that includes expectations in all aspects of student behavior and expectations for school systems to provide safe and supportive schools. Among other things, Policy 4373 requires county boards of education to design and implement procedures to create and support continuous school climate/culture improvement process within all schools that will insure an orderly and safe environment that is conducive to learning.

    The new version Policy 4373 drastically revises former Policy 4373 and encompasses four former policies in what will be a single policy:

    • Policy 2418 - Regulations for Alternative Education for Disruptive Students,
    • Policy 2421 - Racial, Sexual, Religious/Ethnic Harassment and Violence,
    • Policy 2422.5 - Substance Abuse and Tobacco Control, and
    • Policy 4372 - Student Rights and Responsibilities.

    Beginning on July 1, 2012, Policy 4373 will contain six broad-ranging chapters. They are:

    1. Expected Student Dispositions,
    2. Student Rights and Responsibilities,
    3. Planning for Policy Implementation,
    4. Inappropriate Behavior and Meaningful Interventions and Consequences,
    5. Procedures for Addressing Allegation of Inappropriate Behaviors, and
    6. Procedures for Taking Action on Substantiated Inappropriate Behavior.

    Some of the content is completely new to Policy 4373, and former content is altered. For example, among several other things, Chapter 1 is completely new, and Chapter 4 shifts certain behaviors among the four levels (Level 1-4) of inappropriate student behavior and adds new behaviors, along with disciplinary changes (obviously changes that building administrators will have to be aware of).

    Policy 4373 will have a significant impact and create new responsibilities on administrators, all personnel, county boards, students, and parents/guardians. As it relates to the responsibilities of county boards of education, prior to July 1, 2012, each county board of education shall have approved policies and procedures for implementing Policy 4373. And, approved county policies shall be submitted to the State Superintendent of Schools by July 1, 2012. In addition and among other requirements, to ensure understanding of the county policy for Expected Behaviors in Safe and Supportive Schools, each county board of education shall develop and implement an ongoing awareness campaign for all students, staff and parents/guardians.