Members, At yesterday’s meeting Sarah Stewart shared information and has asked that I provide with the listserv. Thanks, Susan
At this time sufficient funding has not yet been appropriated to place cameras each one of the over 2,700 self-contained special education classrooms statewide. The legislature appropriated $3.5 million dollars into the Safe Schools Fund established pursuant to W.Va. Code §18-5-48. The language is specific in how appropriations to this fund are to be distributed, as well as what this money may be spent on:
…the funds appropriated annually to the School Safety Fund shall be distributed to the county boards of education and multi-county vocational centers, with the funding amount per school determined by dividing the total annual appropriation by the total number of public schools throughout the state. All moneys distributed from this fund shall be used to support the purpose and intent of this section [increasing safety and security measures of school facilities] and all moneys must be spent to support the school for which the funding was derived: Provided, however, That moneys distributed from this fund also may be used for the purposes of §18-20-11 of this code, relating to video cameras in certain special education classrooms.
During the legislative session and within the time constraints for submitting fiscal notes, the WVDE put together an estimate of $2,600 for purchasing, installing, and operating a camera system meeting the requirements of §18-20-11. The WVDE is reviewing that estimate in conjunction with the specific statutory requirements of the cameras and associated recordings to determine if this estimate should be updated. Of particular concern is the software necessary to conceal a student’s identity as required by the statute. This type of software is expensive and we are looking for a solution to bring down that cost.
Last year there were 691 school facilities in West Virginia, and thus pursuant to the statutory language and that figure, each school facility would receive approximately $5,065 from the Safe Schools Fund. While the stated statutory purpose of this funding is for increasing the safety and security of school facilities, there is language that allows, but does not necessarily require, these funds to be spent on cameras to be placed in self-contained special education classrooms. Please note that not all school facilities have the same number of self-contained special education classrooms, and those schools will be able to spend the funds for safety and security measures. Other schools may have several self-contained classrooms and the amount of funds received for that school may not be sufficient to cover the full cost of the cameras. The WVDE has encouraged schools with self-contained classrooms to not spend the money that was appropriated on school safety and security measures, but rather to retain such funds until sufficient funding is available for purchase, installation, and operation of the camera systems for all self-contained classrooms within their school facility. Additional guidance will be forthcoming once funding is distributed to districts (further explanation on that below).
It is also important to note that schools must be careful to adhere to the privacy protections and disclosure restrictions outlined in state law, as well as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) when operating and disclosing any recordings from cameras placed in self-contained special education classrooms. Importantly:
The WVDE is presently working on guidance to assist districts and schools in appropriately protecting the privacy of students while simultaneously complying with state law in the operation of cameras in self-contained special education classrooms.
As indicated above, the Legislature appropriated $3.5 million dollars for the Safe Schools Fund during the 2019 regular legislative session. Those funds were appropriated via a supplemental appropriation bill at the very end of FY19 (end of June) and there was originally no re-appropriation language associated with the funds. At that time, WVDE believed we would have to distribute the funds to districts by the end of July 2019 so that the funds did not expire and revert back to the state’s general revenue fund. Fortunately re-appropriation language was added to the supplemental appropriation bill right before its passage, which gave the WVDE more time to accurately distribute the funds to county boards of education. SB632 requires that the funds appropriated for the School Safety Fund be distributed to county boards of education and multi-county vocational centers, “with the funding amount per school determined by dividing the total annual appropriation by the total number of public schools throughout the state.” The bill further requires all of the funds “to be used to support the purpose and intent” of the bill and requires “all moneys must be spent to support the school for which the funding was derived.”
We are aware that some county boards of education have closed schools, reconfigured schools, or opened new schools at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Once we are certain that all counties have updated their Master List of Schools in WVEIS, we will be able to determine the new count of schools within the State to determine the appropriate amount of funding per school from the amounts appropriated to the Safe Schools Fund. Once we have that information, we will be able to create grant awards to each county board of education for this purpose. We hope to send out the grant awards within the next month if possible, understanding that the need to receive these funds is urgent for some county boards of education.
Government Affairs Counsel
Members, Sarah Stewart attended our WVASA meeting and shared the following information on Temporary Door Locking Devices.
In the unfortunate reality we are faced with today, districts and schools are exploring various methods to increase the physical security of school facilities. One of those methods are temporary door locking devices that aim to prevent ingress/egress to a classroom in the event of an active shooter. Generally speaking, these types of devices do not conform to current Fire Marshal regulations. Notwithstanding, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal has recently released guidance on the process that districts can follow to obtain a variance from the prohibitive regulations and utilize temporary door locking devices in school facilities. It is important that a variance is applied for and received prior to purchasing, installing, or operating a temporary door locking device in a school facility.
The WV State Fire Marshall has released guidance as well as a variance application form to assist districts in obtaining a variance. Importantly, for the school facility in which the temporary door locking devices are to be located it must be shown:
Specific guidance on the characteristics of acceptable temporary door locking devices is also contained in the documents released by the WV State Fire Marshal. Please note that not all temporary door locking devices satisfy the requirements to obtain a variance. This information may be accessed via the WV State Fire Marshal’s website (https://firemarshal.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx) on the landing page under “Popular Forms”, or by viewing the attached documents.
Government Affairs Counsel
October 24 Leadership at WVU Parkersburg
October 25 WVASA Meeting Blennerhassett Hotel
Blennerhassett Hotel, Parkersburg 304-420-4800
October 23 – 24 (Reservation)
Reservation Under WVASA (Cutoff date for block is September 24)
November APL Training
November 21 – 22 Edison Center, South Charleston
Fairfield Marriott, South Charleston 304-744-4444
November 20 -21 (Reservation)
Reservation Under WVDE (Cutoff date for block is October 30)
December 5 Leadership Oglebay Resort
December 6 Meeting Oglebay Resort
Oglebay Resort, Wheeling 877-436-1797
Reservation Under WVASA (Cutoff date for block is November 4)
ATTENTION: IMPORTANT INFORMATION REQUIRING A RESPONSE
The process of planning for our Winter Legal and Current Issues Conference is underway. The conference will be held on January 30-31, 2020 at the Bridgeport Conference Center. Please mark those dates on your calendar and plan to attend. In order to provide training sessions that best meet your needs, please complete the survey included with this email. The ranking of the topics by our membership will determine the presentations that are scheduled. For topics that don’t rank high enough for inclusion in the conference, every effort will be made to address some of those topics in future meetings.
Thanks for the assistance,
Steve Wotring, Vice President WVASA
Our first meeting of 2019-2020 school year is scheduled for Friday, September 13, 2019 at the Charleston Marriott with breakfast at 8:00 a.m., if you haven’t notified me with your RSVP please do so to allow for an accurate number.
At 9:00 a.m., we will begin our membership meeting and are excited to have AASA Executive Director, Dan Domenech, as our guest speaker. Following our membership meeting, Howard Seufer will provide a session on HB206. While we have all become familiar with the legislation, Howard will provide some valuable insight into provisions of the new law. Our morning session will conclude prior to the beginning of the WV School Boards Association Fall Conference.
One of the goals of the WVASA is to provide our members with outstanding leaning and networking opportunities while advocating for the children served by West Virginia’s public education system.
Agenda information is attached for your review.
Be safe traveling to Charleston and if you have any questions or needs please feel free to contact me.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DISTRICT LEADERSHIP IN CREATING EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS AND WVBE DISTRICT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM
September 12, 2019
Edison Center, South Charleston
9:00 – 4:00
Please register here to attend
Members, Please share this information with your High School Counselors
College Board Fall Counselor Workshops:
September 11: Beckley, WV
September 12: Charleston, WV
September 16: Morgantown, WV
September 17: Martinsburg, WV
Space is limited
Please register soon for one of the West Virginia Counselor Workshops for high school counselors. Topics will include:
Please register at:
Joel Gulko Senior Director
The College Board
8700 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste. 900N, Chicago, IL 60631
T 847.636.9806 | F 216.916.4374
The WVASA Summer Conference will be held at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, WV, from Wednesday, June 19 to Friday, June 21, 2019. Our summer conference provides outstanding professional development and great opportunities for networking. The conference registration fee provides a complimentary membership to WVASA for the coming year, so this is an excellent opportunity for superintendents and county office staff to continue their membership in WVASA.
Plans for an exciting conference are well underway. Dr. Bill Daggett, Founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education, will present the opening keynote address of the conference. Other excellent sessions, featuring Dr. Steve Paine, State Superintendent of Schools and Noelle Ellerson Ng, Associate Executive Director for Policy & Advocacy for AASA are scheduled. A Showcase of Excellence, featuring exemplary practices and programs within West Virginia is also planned.
Please complete the attached registration form and return it to Susan Collins as soon as possible, but no later than June 1, 2019.
The Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. More information regarding the golf tournament will be provided at a later date.
Lodging information for Glade Springs Resort is included in an attachment. Glade Springs offers a variety of lodging options ranging from The Inn, which is connected to the conference center to manor houses, villas and lodges. Glade Springs offers a wide range of activities should you wish to bring your family to the conference. You are encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible in order to get your preferred lodging arrangement in place. The phone number for making your reservations is 877-814-7316.
I look forward to seeing you at the Summer Conference in June!
I hope that you have registered for our upcoming WVASA Legal & Current Issues Seminar which will be held at the Bridgeport Conference Center on January 24-25, 2019. If you have not registered please do so as soon as possible. The deadline for registration is January 4, and those that register by the deadline will be provided with the latest WVASA shirt. The proceeds from our Winter and Summer Conferences fund the expenses of our association so it is important that we have a great turnout for these events.
I need your help with one of our seminar sessions. The session, Personnel Potpourri: Questions from the Field is designed to allow you to pose questions regarding personnel situations to the presenter, Jason Long, of Dinsmore Law Offices. Because personnel questions can require some research, I am asking that your questions be emailed to me no later than Wednesday, December 19. This will allow me the opportunity to organize them and get the to Jason prior to Christmas Break. Jason will answer as many questions as possible within the time constraints of his session.
Please email me your specific questions for the session at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your help in making this seminar a success.
Additional lodging is available at the Marriott, just across the interstate from the Wingate Inn. The link below will take you directly to their online reservation site:
If there are other administrators in your county office that are not yet WVASA members, but would benefit from our conference topics, this is a great time for them to attend a WVASA Conference and become members. A complimentary membership is included in the non-member registration fee.
See you in Bridgeport!
Below are the recommendations of the WVBE Finance and Funding Committee that will be presented to the West Virginia Board of Education for consideration at the Board’s December 12 meeting.
Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor.