Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 10/1/2010
Contact us with corrections or additions West Virginia Last Updated: 8/5/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy 2510 (2008) requires instruction in health education for students by level, K-2, 3-4, and 5-8, but does not specify amounts of instruction. The policy also requires students to complete 1 unit in health education in order to graduate from high school.

Curriculum Content:  State Board of Education Policy 2520.5 (2012), Health Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, addresses health education content standards for grades 5-12 for topics of nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, injury, and sexual activity. State Board Policy 2520.55 created wellness content standards for grades pre-K through 4, combining health education and physical education content standards into one package that are to be delivered collaboratively by the physical education specialist and classroom teacher.

State Assessment Requirement: In accordance with West Virginia Code §18-2-9, the West Virginia Department of Education shall provide a standardized health education assessment to be administered in sixth, eighth, and high school health education classes in order to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness. §18-2-9 is reinforced through State Board of Education Policy 2520.5 (2012).

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 2/23/2013

Mandate: Code 18-2-7a (2005) requires students in elementary school to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical education at least three days a week, at least one full period of physical education in middle scohol, and at least one full course credit of physical education for students in high school, although the amount of instruction is not specified.

Physical education is also required for Pre-K-12 under State Board Policy 2510 (2008).

Exemptions: Code 18-2-7a (2005) allows the state to grant waivers to school districts regarding physical education time requirements.  The waiver allows districts to develop alternative programs if schools do not have the required number of certified physical education instructors or adequate physical setting to meet the state requirements.

Curriculum Content: State Board Policy 2520.6 (2003) provides content standards and objectives for physical education, but does not mandate any specific curriculum. State Board Policy 2520.55 created wellness content standards for grades pre-K through 4, combining health education and physical education content standards into one package that are to be delivered collaboratively by the physical education specialist and classroom teacher.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Code 18-2-7a requires the State Board to prescribe a program within the existing health and physical education program which incorporates fitness testing, reporting, recognition, and fitness events and incentive programs which requires the participation in grades 4-8 and the required high school course." Each school is also required to participate in National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May of each year.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 2/19/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Board Policy 2510 (2008) requires that the Health Content Standards be taught, as defined in Board Policy 2520.5, (2012) in grades Pre-K-12. Standard 1 requires student to learn emotional and social wellness in grades 5 and 9-12. Standard 5 requires students to learn respect for self and others in grades K-1 and 7-8 and healthy expression and recognition of feelings in grades K-12. Standard 3 and 7 require students learn how to manage stress in grades 1, 3-5 and 7-12. Standard 3 also requires students to learn how to recognize, reduce, and report depression and anxiety in grades 7-8 and self-esteem improvement in grades 9-12.

Board Policy 2315 (2002) recommends curriculum for school guidance and counseling programs to impart personal/social development skills such as the emotional dangers of substance abuse, coping with peer pressure, and stress management.

Character Education: Code 18-2-13 (2001) requires character education be taught in grades preschool-12. Board Policy 2520.5 requires students to receive instruction in good character development in high school.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Mandate: Board Policy 2422.4 (1989) requires students in grades 6-12 to receive instruction in the prevention of AIDS, either by integrating it into health education or into other programs. Code §18-2-9  requires the State Board to require instruction in health education in all public schools, including instruction in any of the grades six through twelve as considered appropriate by the county board, on (1) the prevention, transmission and spread of  AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction shall be adopted by the State Board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources. A parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in instruction by giving notice in writing to the school principal. WV SBOE Policy 2423 also requires instruction on the principle modes by which communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS are prevented, spread and transmitted shall be taught to students as outlined in Board of Education Policy 2520.5, Health Content Standards and Objectives. 

Curriculum Content: The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction of health education, including the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, shall be adopted by the State Board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Parental Approval: Code §18-2-9 allows a parent to request in writing to the school's principal that a student be exempted from participation in AIDS education (an "opt-out" policy).

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Board Policy 2520.5 (2012) requires students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in identifying characteristics of healthy and unhealthy foods, describing and understanding the value of the food pyramid, analyzing menus from fast food restaurants and culturally different restaurants for nutritional value, and developing decision making processes to set goals for making healthy food choices. Board Policy 4320 (2001) also recommends, as grant funds are available, that nutrition education programs be provided for students.

The Next Generation Health Education 5-12 Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools (2520.5) includes various content standards/instructional goals for nutrition education.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Alcohol: Board Policy 2422.5 (2008) requires students to receive instruction on alcohol and potential health hazards from alcohol-use in grades K-12. Alcohol use prevention education is thoroughly integrated within the suggested curriculum framework of Board Policy 2520.5 (2012). Code 18-2-7b (1995) requires health education to include resistance and life skills to counteract societal and peer pressure to use alcohol.

Tobacco: Board Policy 2422.5 (2008) requires students to receive instruction on tobacco and potential health hazards from tobacco-use in grades K-12. Tobacco use prevention education is thoroughly integrated within the suggested curriculum framework of Board Policy 2520.5 (2012). Code 18-2-7b (1995) requires health education to include resistance and life skills to counteract societal and peer pressure to use tobacco.

Drugs: Board Policy 2422.5 (2008) requires students to receive instruction on drugs and potential health hazards from drug abuse in grades K-12. Drug abuse prevention education is thoroughly integrated within the suggested curriculum framework of Board Policy 2520.5 (2012). Code 18-2-7b requires health education to include resistance and life skills to counteract societal and peer pressure to use drugs.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 3/13/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Standard 3 of Board Policy 2520.5 requires students to receive instruction in potentially dangerous situations, such as bullying and how to obtain help appropriately in grades 5-6 and 9-12. Standard 3 of Board Policy 2520.5 also requires students to receive instruction in protective behaviors used to avoid and reduce threatening situations, such as harassment, in grades 4-6 and 9-12. Standard 4 requires students to learn the types of harassment and their impact on health in grades 7-8. Standard 7 requires students to learn the ramifications of bullying and how to identify resources advocating against bullying and harassment in grade 8.

Code 18-2C-5 (no date available) requires each district to develop a process for educating student on the harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy to the extent fund are appropriated.

Fighting/Gangs: Standard 5 in Board Policy 2520.5 requires students to receive instruction in conflict management and resolution in grades 3, 5-6, and 8. Standard 3 requires students learn anger management and protective behaviors in grades 5-6 and 9-12 and recognize and report self-destructive behaviors, such as gang membership, in grade 8. Standard 7 requires students learn how to identify resources advocating against violence in grade 8.

Code 18-2-7b (no date available) requires the State Board prescribe programs for training students in conflict resolution skills

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Standard 3 of Board Policy 2520.5 requires students to receive instruction in recognizing and reporting self-destructive behaviors, such as suicide, in grades 8-12.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Professional Development: State Board Policy 4373 (2003) requires the department of education to provide training and technical assistance for violence prevention education, substance abuse education, and other education programs, including character education to identify students who are at risk and develop interventions to assure school success for these students. Code 18-2C-5 (no date available) requires each district to provide training on the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy to school employees and volunteers to the extent funds are appropriated. Code 18-2-7b (no date available) requires the State Board prescribe programs for training teachers in conflict resolution skills. State Board Policy 2423 (2007) requires training for all educators every two years in the prevention of communicable diseases including but not limited to HIV/STDs.

Board Policy 4320 (2001) recommends, when grant funds are available, that training programs in nutrition be provided for teachers. Board Policy 2422.5 (2005) requires county boards of education to have a policy for staff development on substance abuse and tobacco control.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 9/18/2012

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree, with no additional coursework in health. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Board Policy 5202 (2004).

Professional Development: Board Policy 5202 requires health education teachers in West Virginia to complete six semester hours of coursework covering topics related to the public school program" for license renewal. The coursework could include health education topics, but could also focus on other areas, such as technology in education. Board Policy 5500 (1997) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year. Code §18-2-9 requires an educational in-service on the prevention, transmission and treatment of current communicable diseases shall include, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), shall be provided to all school personnel every two years by the county boards of education.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Per Board Policy 5202 (2004), the minimum requirement for prospective physical education teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure is physical educators is a bachelor's degree.

Professional Development: Board Policy 5202 requires six semester hours of coursework covering topics related to the public school program" for license renewal. Board Policy 5500 (1997) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 12/20/2010

Pre-service Requirement: State Board of Education Policy 5202 (2006) requires a school nurse to hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), state certification in school nursing (CSN) and valid RN license issued by the West Virginia Board of Examiners to be fully certified.   School nurses with masters of science of nursing (MSN) and national school nurse certification from NBCSN may receive WV department of education certification. A full-time permit may be issued to associate degree in nursing or Diploma nurse for an emergency situation within an area of shortage, as long as proof in the form of an educational agreement, with current enrollment in a BSN program between the RN candidate for employment and higher education.  The RN on a Permit must complete a BSN with CSN within 5 years to continue employment within school nursing while renewing with at least 6 hours of college credit every year, as defined in educational agreement.

Professional Development: Board Policy 5500 (1997) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: Code 18-5-22 (2006) requires counties to employ one School Nurse per 1,500 students for grades K-7 and and provides additional funding to support school health service needs that exceed the capacity of staff as mandated in this section. The additional funding is set for students with high acuity  and direct nursing service needs in with diagnoses of asthma, seizures, insulin-dependent diabetes and airway management. State Board of Education Policy 2422.5 (2010) provides guidance for the utilization of licensed practical nurses within the delegation structure. LPNs however do not count toward the school nurse ratio.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Pre-service Requirement: Board Policy 2422.7 (2004) minimally requires training in handling and disposal of body fluids, basic first aid, CPR, and confidentiality for those school employees who provide basic and/or specialized health care by a certified school nurse. Further specialized training is required as applicable to an employee's duties, including the administration, storage, documentation, and reporting of medications as allowed by Board Policy 2422.8 (2004).

Professional Development: Non-certified personnel are required to be retrained every two years, per Board Policy 2422.7.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Pre-service Requirement: State Board of Education Policy 5202 (2004) requires at least a master's degree in counseling from an accredited institution of higher education and the successful completion of an accredited School Counseling Program. Board Policy 2315 (2002) and Code 18-5-18b (no date available) also require a candidate to possess a school counselor certificate.

State Board of Education Policy 5500 (2010) also establishes school counselor performance standards in five broad areas. Every school counselor must demonstrate expertise in these five areas of (1) program planning, design and management, (2) program delivery, (3) data driven accountablity and program evaluation, (4) leadership and advocacy, and (5) professional growth and responsibilities.

Professional Development: State Board of Education Policy 5500 (2010) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year.  Code 18-2-7b (no date available) requires the State Board prescribe programs for training counselors in conflict resolution skills

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 9/4/2008

Pre-service Requirement: If a school employs a psychologist, Board Policy 5202 (2004) requires at least a master's degree in psychology from an accredited institution of higher education.

Professional Development: Board Policy 5500 (1997) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 9/4/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: Board Policy 5500 (1997) establishes the general implementation of staff development activities for the 18 hours of job-related training required for all school personnel each school year.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 1/17/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Board Policy 4320 (2001) requires food service personnel to minimally have a high school diploma or a GED, or be enrolled in a GED program at the time of employment. Furthermore, county boards must provide approved competency tests for all new service personnel applicants. Statute 126-86-11 (2008) requires School Nutrition Service Directors to have an authorization endorsed by the West Virginia Department of Education. Candidates for an authorization must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA, at least 6 semester hours of course work in nutrition and/or food service management, and the recommendation of the county superintendant. The authorization is good for one year.

It is recommended that training in the use of standardized recipes, meal patterns, use of quantity equipment, food preparation skills, safety, and sanitation be given as pre-service training.

Professional Development: Board Policy 4320 requires food service personnel be trained so that they may develop an understanding of their responsibilities. Furthermore, as funds are made available by grants, training programs may be made available to food service personnel. Statute 126-86-11 (2008) requires School Nutrition Service Directors seeking to renew their authorizations to have completed 15 hours of staff development related to Child Nutrition Programs. 

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Board Policy 5202 (2004) requires coaches to have at least a high school diploma or GED, be employed under contract by the board of education to serve as a coach, complete approved training, and have the county superintendent's recommendation.

Professional Development: Board Policy 5202 requires the coach to be employed under contract with a board of education to serve as a coach and the recommendation of the county superintendent for licensure renewal.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 3/13/2012

Additional Accountability Requirements: None

Additional Content Requirements: State Board of Education Policy 4321.1 (2008) and Statute 126-86-12 (2008) outline requirements of local wellness policies that county boards of education are required to follow.  These exceed the federal requirements. Wellness policies must address nutrition education, physical activity, nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages available on school campus, and other school-based activities to promote student wellness. The policy must include an evaluation plan for measuring implementation, a timeline for implementation, assessment and evaluation. A county-wide assessment must be conducted biannually. The policy must govern all schools in the county and be submitted to the Office of Child Nutrition biannually. Failure to submit the policy may result in a non-compliance violation and suspension of federal meal reimbursements pending compliance.

The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Student Wellness (2006) outlines recommendations for how county school boards should develop wellness policies, including the need to take into account the state's preexisting minimum standards for child and school nutrition programs (Policies 4320 and 4321.1); minimum standards for the content and duration of physical education (Policies 2510 and 2520.6); and minimum standards for Health Education, nutrition education, and student assessment of health knowledge (Policy 2520.5).

Guidance Materials: The State Board of Education adopted a position statement supporting local wellness policy adoption that refers to pre-established rule and regulations regarding school health and wellness.

Other: The State Board of Education adopted a position statement supporting local wellness policy adoption that lists pre-established rule and regulations regarding school health and wellness.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/22/2013
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Food Services: State Board Policy 4321.1 requires schools to make plain, unflavored water available throughout the school day at no charge. Cups must be available at any water dispenser for easy student access. It also requires all meals to be priced and served as a unit. Only milk, low-fat  and or 1% fat milkshakes and bottled water may be served as a la carte items at any grade level.

State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) requires county boards of education to select one of two West Virginia Department of Education Lunch Menu Planning Options, as outlined in the policy. Under option A, meals must, over the averaged period of one week, meet the following requirements: 

  • Provide at least one-third  of students' recommended RDA for calories, protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and C
  • Limit calories from fat to no more than 30%, saturated fat to less than 10%, and trans fat not to exceed 0.5 grams per product.
  • Limit sodium to 1100 milligrams
  • Provide at least 6 grams of naturally occurring dietary fiber
  • Offer water
  • Omit any foods or beverages containing non-nutritive, artificial sweeteners
  • Meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Under option A, the policy also requires additional foods to be provided to pregnant or lactating students so that breakfast and lunch together provide the following:

  • A total of 5 oz of protein foods, of which 1 oz must be 1 oz of cheese, 1 cup of yougart or 8 oz milk
  • 3 servings from the grain group (preferably whole grains)
  • 1 1/4 cups from the fruit and vegetable group
  • 16 fluid oz from the milk group 
  • 1 cup of fruit in place of one serving of the grain group once a week is allowed.

The requirements of option B are broken down by grade level and meal component, and are outlined in Board Policy 4321.1 (2008).

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) allows schools to provide a nutritious in-school snack through the child nutrition program. Snack items should be age appropriate to prevent choking and adjusted to meet the nutritional needs of the child based on age. Snack choices should include fruits/vegetables, whole grains and non-fat and/or 1% low-fat dairy.
 

     Last Updated: 8/5/2014

Adequate Time to Eat: State Board Policy 4321.1 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch.

School Breakfast: Code 18-5-37 requires each county board of education to establish and operate a school breakfast program. Section 7.4.c of Board Policy 2510 (2008) requires districts to provide a breakfast program with balanced meals. All schools must serve meals that are nutritionally adequate.The state superintendant may grant waivers of up to two years to schools with compelling crcumstances. Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) outlines nutritional component requirements for school breakfast implementation.

Food Allergies: No state policy. However the Department of Education provides guidance in Guidelines for Allergies in the School Setting.

Farm-to-School: No state policy.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/2/2014
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State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) prohibits offering food or beverages as an award or using them as a means of punishment or disciplinary action for any student during the school day. 

State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) encourages county boards of education to minimize marketing of other foods and beverages in the high school setting by locating their distribution in low student traffic areas and by ensuring that the exterior of vending machines does not depict commercial logos of products or suggest that the consumption of vended items conveys a health or social benefit. 

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) requires all other food and beverages (outside of the school meal program) to meet the following requirements.

  • No more than 200 calories per product/package
  • No more than 35% of total calories from fat, excluding nuts and cheese
  • 10% or less of the calories from saturated fat 
  • 0.5 grams or less of trans fat per product/package
  • No more than 200 milligrams of sodium per product/package
  • Limit fruit/vegetable portion sizes to no more than 4 oz fper product/package or elementary and 8 oz for middle/high school students

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) reccommends that only water, 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice and non-fat  and/or low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored, be sold, served or distributed during the school day. However, Code 18-2-6a (no date available) permits the sale of other juice beverages with a minimum of 20% real juice. Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) also prohibits the following: (1) the sale and/or distribution of coffee and coffee-based products during the school day, (2) the sale, service or distribution of products containing non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners, and (3) caffeine containing beverages with the exception of those containing naturally occurring caffeine substances.

Code 18-2-6a (no date available) requires that soft drinks may not be sold during the school day in areas accessible to students in elementary, middle or junior high school through vending machines, in school stores, school canteens or through fundraisers. In elementary, middle school or junior high school, only healthy beverages may be sold at the aforementioned points of service. This does not restrict fund-raising activities off school groups. High schools which permit the sale of soft drinks through vending machines must ensure that 50% of the beverages offered for sale are healthy beverages" and that the machines are located near the vending machines containing soft drinks. Healthy beverages" are defined as water, 100% fruit and vegetable juice, low-fat milk and other juice beverages with a minimum of 20% juice. Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) reccommends that only water, 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice and non-fat and/or low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored, be sold, served or distributed during the school day at all levels.

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) prohibits candy, soft drinks, chewing gum, or flavored ice bars to be sold or served during the school day, except where county boards permit the sale of soft drinks in high schools, per Code 18-2-6a (no date available), but not during breakfast or lunch periods. The policy prohibits the selling of food outside the school nutrition programs in elementary schools from the time the first child arrives until 20 minutes after the last lunch period. Soft drinks may be sold in high schools during the school day provided that equal access to water and 100% fruit or vegetable juice is given. Reduced or low fat milk must also be offered wherever and whenever drinks are sold.
 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/27/2010

General Physical Activity: The State Board of Education's Position Statement on School Wellness (2006) recommends the provision of physical activity outside of physical education class, including time and opportunities for vigorous physical activity during the school day and opportunities and encouragement for staff to model healthy eating and physical activity habits as a valuable party of daily life.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: Not required or recommended. 

Recess Before Lunch: Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) strongly recommends recess before lunch in elementary schools.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 12/30/2013

Interscholastic Athletics: Board Policy 2436.10 (1984) outlines the requirements for participating in nonacademic activities in grades 7-12.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: Code 18-2-25a (2013) requires the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission to promulgate rules that address concussions and head injuries in interscholastic athletes. The policy requires the WVSSAC to submit the rule to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Educational Accountability prior to adoption by the State Board of Education. The rules must include the following:

     (1) Guidelines and forms to inform and educate appropriate school administrators, coaches, interscholastic athletes and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play or practice after a concussion or head injury;
     (2) A concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed and returned by the interscholastic athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian on an annual basis before beginning practice or competition;
     (3) A requirement that each head coach of an interscholastic sport at a high school or middle school that is a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission complete a commission-approved concussion and head injury recognition and return-to-play protocol course annually;
     (4) Requirement for removal from play for an interscholastic athlete who is suspected by a licensed health care professional or by his or her head coach or athletic trainer of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game;
     (5) Requirement that an athlete who has been removed from practice or play may not return until they are evaluated and provided written clearance to return to play and practice by a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.
     (6) A list of the respective categories of licensed health care professionals who, if properly trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, are authorized to provide written clearance for the interscholastic athlete to return to play; and
     (7) A requirement that all member schools must submit a report to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission within thirty days of an interscholastic athlete suffering or being suspected of suffering a concussion or head injury in a practice or game. Requirements for the report are outlined in the policy. 

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 12/19/2010

Code 18-2C-1 (2001) finds that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. The law then charges all school employees to set an appropriate example to encourage a safe learning environment.

Board Policy 2510 (2008) sets forth regulations for schools to provide a safe and caring environment that fosters supportive relationships, is free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, discrimination and other inappropriate forms of conduct, and involves parents.  Board Policy 4373 (2002) sets the requirements for the conduct of students to assure a violence and harassment free learning environment. The rule specifically outlines unacceptable behavior by students and charges county boards of education with the implementation of this policy. 

Fighting/Gangs: Board Policy 4373 (2002) sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken in the event of a physical altercation, a Level III" punishable offense. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken for gang activity, a Level II" punishable offense. Gang activity includes wearing or displaying gang clothes, colors, or insignia, using gang phrases or gestures, gang recruitment, and the gathering of two or more persons to discuss gang promotion or engage in gang activities.

Weapons: Board Policy 4373 sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken against a student who possesses a firearm or deadly weapon on or in any school building, structure, facility, grounds, or school-sponsored function, in violation of Code 18A-5-1A, a Level IV" punishable offense.

Drugs and Alcohol: Board Policy 2422.5 (2005) and Policy 4373 prohibit the possession, use, or distribution of any alcohol product, illegal substance, or drug paraphernalia on property owned, leased, or operated by schools, at an education-sponsored event, on a school bus or vehicle used for school related events, or at a school-sponsored activity or event. Such violations are subject to suspension or expulsion as a Level III or IV" punishable offense.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Code 18-2C-5 recommends schools and county boards involve law enforcement in harassment, intimidation, and bullying programs and initiatives.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 2/29/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 18-2C-3 (2001) requires each county board of education to establish a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment as defined in Code 18-2C-2 (2001).  The policy must include the following:  (1) a definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than outlined in 18-2C-2 (2001), (2) reporting, investigating, documenting, and disciplinary procedures for bullying incidents, and (3) strategies for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying. Parents and legal guardians are also to be notified and the information relating to the incident must be confidential. Code 18-2C-4 (2001) provides immunity to a school employee, student or volunteer is immune from a cause of action from damages arising with reporting of an incident of bullying or harassment.

Code 18-2C-5 (2001) recommends schools and county boards form bullying and harassment prevention task forces. Furthermore, school districts are required to not only provide training on bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students but also develop a process to educate students on bullying and harassment policy. Code 18-2-7b (no date available) requires the State Board prescribe programs for coordinating violence reduction efforts in schools. 

Board Policy 4373 (2011) sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state to ensure a nurturing and orderly, safe, drug-free, violence- and harassment-free learning environment. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken against a student who bullies or harasses another, a Level 3 punishable offense.  The policy requires that acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics, shall be reported using the following list: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, sexual orientation, mental/physical/developmental/sensory disability or other characteristic. Detailed descriptions of each of these cases are provided in the policy. The policy Board Policy 4336 (2004) then extends this policy and outlines specific procedures for school buses and transportation.

Board Policy 2421 (1997) enacts regulations targeted at preventing racial, sexual, and religious/ethnic violence. The policy requires county boards to design and implement prevention and response programs, to outline investigatory and reporting procedures, and to delineate penalties and prohibits students, staff or members of the public from engaging in sexual, racial or ethnic/religious harassment or violence during any school-related activity or education sponsored event. 

Cyberbullying: Code 18-2C-3 (2001) includes electronic acts in the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Board Policy 4373 (2011) further defines bullying to include "An electronic act, communication, transmission or threat includes but is not limited to one which is administered via telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any electronic or wireless device whatsoever, and includes but is not limited to transmission of any image or voice, email or text message using any such device.

Hazing: Code 18-2-33 (no date available) requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules that addresses hazing in the public schools. Board Policy 4373 sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken against a student who hazes another, a Level III" offense. Hazing includes any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person or persons to destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation or continued membership in any organization or activity.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 4/29/2009

Response and Management Plans: No state policy.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Code 18-2C-3 requires each county board of education to establish a procedure for reporting incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying as defined in Code 18-2C-2 (2001). Code 18-2C-4 (2001) provides immunity for a school employee, student, or volunteer who in good faith reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Board Policy 2421 requires county boards to design and implement prevention and response programs, to outline investigatory and reporting procedures, and to delineate penalties. 

Board Policy 4373 (2002), the Student Code of Conduct, requires all violations of the Code to be reported to the appropriate, designated school personnel for appropriate action. County boards are thus required to have an identified procedural mechanism for reporting alleged violations to said personnel. Nothing should disallow for the direct reporting to the county superintendent, the WVA Human Rights Commission, or to a law enforcement agency.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008
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Board Policies 2422.5 (2005) and 4373 (2002) prohibit the possession, use, or distribution of tobacco products in school buildings, on school grounds, in school-leased or -owned vehicles, and at all school affiliated functions in maintaining a tobacco free school.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009
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Board Policy 6201 (2000) highly recommends carpeting be restricted in public school buildings to the following areas: classrooms for grades K-2, computer labs, libraries/media centers, teachers' lounges, auditorium aisles and walkways, music rehearsal rooms, and administrative offices.

Board Policy 4336 (12) (2004) prohibits school bus idling while waiting for or loading students.

     Last Updated: 4/29/2009

Code 18-9E-5 (no date available) requires the state board, in consultation with the division of health, to develop rules requiring each county board to investigate all indoor air quality problem reports within the county.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Department of Agriculture Legislative Rule 61-12J-4 (1996) requires all schools to develop and maintain an integrated pest management program containing a policy statement, pest management objectives, education of the building occupants, inspection activities, monitoring activities, and an evaluation of the integrated pest management strategies practice.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 2/19/2006

No state policy.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 6/20/2013

Code §18-5-19 authorizes county boards to provide for the free, comfortable, and convenient use of any school property to promote and facilitate meetings and associations of people for recreation and other community activities.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Vision and Hearing: Code 18-5-17 requires new school enterers to be screened for vision, hearing and speech and language prior to enrollment.  Development screening are performed upon request from parent or community member.  State Board of Education Policy  2525 requires all PreK students to have an EPSDT(HealthCheck) on file prior to enrollment or 45 days after enrollment which in inclusive of hearing, vision, speech & language, developmental and dental.

Chronic Health Conditions: WVSBOE Policy 2525 requires an EPSDT(HealthCheck) and provider identification of chronic health conditions and ordered care during the school day.  WV's Governor has initiated a KIDS FIRST program to recommend all students entering kindergarten receive a EPSDT(HealthCheck) prior to enrollment.  The initiative is at http://www.wvkidsfirst.org/ .

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: Code 18-2-7a (2005) states that the board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions article 3b, chapter 29a the code that includes at least the following provisions to provide for the collection, reporting and use of BMI data in the public schools:
(1) The data shall be collected using the appropriate methodology for assessing the BMI from student height and weight data;
(2) The data shall be collected on a scientifically drawn sample of students;
(3) The data shall be collected and reported in a manner that protects student confidentiality;
(4) The data shall be reported to the Department of Education; and
(5) All body mass index data shall be reported in aggregate to the Governor, the State Board of Education, the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability for use as an indicator of progress toward promoting healthy lifestyles among school-aged children.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Staff Administration: Code 18-5-22a (no date available) states, "All county boards of education shall develop a specific medication administration policy which establishes the procedure to be followed for the administration of medication at each school".

Board Policy 2422.8 (2004) states prescription medications shall be administered with written authorization from a licensed prescriber and the parent/guardian. This policy also allows for non-certified school personnel, with the proper training, to administer prescription and/or non-prescription medications.

Self Administration of Asthma Medication: Board Policy 2422.8 and Code 18-5-22b (no date available) states that self-administration of asthma medication is permitted when written authorization is received from the parent/guardian, a written statement by the licensed prescriber is received explaining the circumstances and appropriate usage of the medication, and the parent/guardian has given written acknowledgement exempting the school board and its employees of any liability from any injury arising from self-administration. Self-administration of prescribed medication includes medication for emergency and acute situations, such as a rescue inhaler.

Board Policy 2422.7 (2004) requires a health care plan to be prepared by the certified school nurse based on the assessment of a student and/or a physician's written order. The rule also requires confidentiality of all records, logs including the date and time procedures were performed, and the signature of the person administering the medicine to be maintained for each student needing specialized health care procedures.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Board Policy 2422.8 (2004) allows students to self-administer prescribed emergency or acute medications, such as an Epi-pen, when the prescription indicates that the student must maintain possession of the medication.

Psychotropic Medications: There is no specific state policy for the administering of psychotropic medications. However, Board Policy 2422.8 states that prescription medications will be administered with written authorization from a licensed prescriber and the parent/guardian.

Storage and Record-keeping: Board Policy 2422.8 requires schools to designate space in the building to store student medication at the correct temperature, in a secure, locked, clean cabinet or refrigerator, as required. These medications are to be entered on a medical inventory and all circumstances, orders received, actions taken, and student's status must be documented. 

 

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Requirement to Provide Services: Board Policy 2510 (2008), per Code 18-5-18b (no date available), requires each county board to provide counseling and psychological services for each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county. Board Policy 2315 (2002) further requires public schools to establish and implement comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling programs.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: No state policy.

Substance Abuse: Board Policy 2422.5 (2005) requires county boards of education to have clear procedures for intervention and referral of students with substance abuse problems. : Board Policy 2315 requires school counseling services to have an individual, responsive services component, which includes substance abuse counseling services.

Suicide Prevention: Board Policy 2315 requires school counseling services to have an individual, responsive services component, which directly handles students in crisis and dealing with the issue of suicide.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: No state policy.

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 5/18/2011

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry."

State Board Policy 2423  policy reinforces new school enterer immunization requirements and entry into the WV Electronic Information System(WVEIS).  It also strongly recommends 6th and 9th grade adolescent immunizations.

Exemptions: Code 16-3-4 (no date available) allows for medical exemption from immunization requirements with a certificate from a reputable physician showing that immunization for any or all designated diseases is impossible or improper, or sufficient reason why any or all immunizations should not be done.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Board Policy 2423 (1991) requires each of the fifty-five county boards of education to adopt a communicable disease policy that protects individual students, staff members and the school population in general. The rule addresses a concern for unnecessary exclusion from the school setting, and urges counties to be protective of the educational process and the rights, health, and safety of students and staff. Confidentiality requirements, as outlined in FERPA are to be followed, and for a staff member who is known to have HIV, Hepatitis B, and other like diseases, the decision as to whether the affected person will remain in the school setting will be addressed on a case by case basis by a review panel. Also, mandatory screening is not warranted as a condition for employment or continued employment, nor is it legal.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Board Policy 2423 (1991) requires each of the fifty-five county boards of education to adopt a communicable disease policy that protects individual students, staff members and the school population in general. The rule addresses a concern for unnecessary exclusion from the school setting, and urges counties to develop a policy that is protective of the educational process and the rights, health, and safety of students and staff. If a decision is made to exclude a child from school who is HIV positive or has AIDS, the West Virginia Department of Health must make final approval of this decision. Also, mandatory screening for communicable diseases that are not known to be spread by casual contact is not warranted as a condition for school entry, nor is it legal.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

Board Policy 4321.1 (2004) requires the provision of additional foods for pregnant or lactating students. Details are provided in the policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Board Policy 2422.7 (2004) requires a health care plan to be prepared by a certified school nurse based on the assessment of a student and/or physician's order. The plan should include a nursing assessment, nursing diagnosis, goals and expected outcomes, interventions, and evaluations.

Board Policy 2419 (2005) requires full educational opportunities to all students with disabilities from birth through 21 years of age. The rule classifies chronic health conditions as an other health impairment" disability that requires documentation of a licensed physician's diagnoses and the educational accommodations needed as a result of the condition.

Code 18-2K-2 (2006) requires the State Board of Education to adopt guidelines for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans.  The requirements of the plan are outlined in the code, including an emergency care plan and student and staff responsibilities.  Code 18-2K-3 (2006) requires each county board of education to adopt a diabetes care plan to be implemented in schools in which students diagnosed with diabetes are enrolled.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

State-level: The WVDE shall establish a broad-based nutrition advisory council to keep the WVBE apprised of current research findings in nutrition and assess implications for future program development and implementation as directed in Board Policy 4321.1 (2004).

Local-level: No state policy.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: Each county superintendent is to designate a school nutrition program director who holds an authorized endorsement according to Board Policy 4321.1 (2004).

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Board Policy 2422.7 (2004) requires all school health records to remain confidential and not to be released except under existing law and Board of Education policies. Board Policy 2422.8 (2004) requires schools to keep confidential all student information related to diagnosis and medications per federal FERPA requirements. SBOE Policy 4350 provides guidance and compliance with FERPA regulations for public schools.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 2/19/2006

No state policy.

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