Sec. 126-79-3 - Definitions

§ 126-79-3. Definitions

3.1. Accountability Plan. The set of objectives against which the success of a charter school is evaluated. The accountability plan must be comprised of two parts. First, charter schools must participate in the state accountability system, pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-3(a)(1) and § 18-5G-8(b)(10). Second, charter schools are accountable to a performance framework defined in the charter contract that includes a set of student outcome goals and specific measures aligned to the educational mission of the charter school, pursuant to W. Va. Code §§ 18-5G-4(a)(4), 18-5G-6(h), and 18-5G-9(c). Authorizers will use success in meeting the goals of the accountability plan in evaluating the status of charter contracts.

3.2. Authorizer. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(2), the entity that reviews charter school applications, determines whether to approve or reject charter school applications, enters into charter contracts with approved charter school applicants, oversees the charter public school the entity has authorized, and determines whether to renew, not renew, or revoke a charter contract.

3.2.a. Authorizers include (1) a county board of education when the application includes a primary recruitment area, as defined in section 9 of this policy, that is wholly within the county over which the county board has jurisdiction, or (2) two or more county boards of education when the application includes a primary recruitment area that encompasses territory in the two or more counties over which the respective boards have jurisdiction. The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) may serve as an authorizer in a county where the WVBE is currently intervening pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-2E-5 or when an authorizer has approved an application and then submits a request to the WVBE to perform all other authorizer duties and responsibilities demonstrating that the authorizer lacks the capacity to fulfill the authorizing duties and responsibilities set forth in law and policy.

3.2.b. Authorizers serve as the local education agency (LEA) for charter schools. As such, they shall receive federal and state funding on behalf of authorized charter schools. Authorizers are responsible for distributing funds as specified by W. Va. Code § 18-5G-5 and section 12 of this policy. Throughout this policy, the term authorizer is used in place of LEA for consistency. When the provision relates to federal law and regulations governing LEAs, the term authorizer shall be understood to mean LEA.

3.3. Charter Applicant or Applicant. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(1), any one or more combination of parents/guardians, community members, teachers, school administrators, or institutions of higher education in this state who are interested in organizing a charter school, have obtained or applied to obtain 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) (501(c)(3)) tax-exempt status, and have developed and submitted a charter school application to an authorizer. Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, an applicant must obtain 501(c)(3) status before operation of any charter school commences.

3.4. Charter Contract. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(3), the fixed-term, renewable contract between a charter school's governing board and an authorizer. The required components of a charter contract are detailed in section 6 of this policy.

3.5. Charter Public School or Charter School. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(11), a public school that is authorized in accordance with W. Va. Code § 18-5G-1, et seq. and this policy. References to the entity of a charter school encompass the governing board, administration, and staff of the charter school in question, except where specific reference is made to one group. In all cases, the governing board of a charter school is ultimately responsible for the actions and performance of the charter school.

3.6. Conditional Approval. Approval given by an authorizer after thoroughly reviewing a charter school application based upon the representations and commitments made by the applicant in the application. Satisfaction of those representations and commitments will result in final approval of the charter school application by the authorizer.

3.7. Conversion Charter School. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(5), a public school that existed as a non-charter public school prior to being authorized to operate as a charter school. Applicants seeking to establish a conversion charter school can only apply to the county board of education where the school is located. In accordance with W. Va. Code § 18-5G-1(e), existing private, parochial, and nonpublic schools are not permitted to apply as a conversion charter school.

3.8. Education Service Provider(ESP). An entity that manages the day-to-day delivery of education to students in a charter school and meets and adheres to the requirements set forth in W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(7) and section 11 of this policy.

3.9. Governing Board. An entity that meets the requirements of W. Va. Code § 18-5G-7 and is party to a charter contract with an authorizer. Specific references to the governing board in this policy indicate where the governing board has a specific duty to perform certain acts. The governing board is the entity responsible for the actions and performance of charter schools.

3.10. Non-charter Public School. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(9), a public school or multicounty career technical education (CTE) center other than a charter school.

3.11. Start-up Charter School. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(13), a charter school that did not exist as a non-charter public school prior to becoming a charter school. In accordance with W. Va. Code § 18-5G-1(e), existing private, parochial, and nonpublic schools are not permitted to apply as start-up charter schools.

3.12. Student. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-2(15), any person who is eligible to attend a public school in West Virginia.

3.13. Student with Special Needs. A student who has a documented need that may require additional focus, support, and resources to successfully educate the student. Such students include, but are not limited to, at-risk students, English learners, students with severe disciplinary problems at a non-charter public school, or students involved with the juvenile justice system, pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18-5G-3(b)(4)(B). A student with disabilities, with an individualized education program (IEP), and/or a plan that meets the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub.L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (1973) (Section 504) also qualifies as a student with special needs. The explicit inclusion of specific needs does not limit the inclusion of other needs that meet the spirit and intent of this definition and W. Va. Code § 18-5G-1 et seq.

3.14. Virtual, Asynchronous Instruction. Instruction that a student receives that is:

3.14.a. Virtual instruction is delivered via digitally transmitted class materials, often in an online environment such as a learning management system; and

3.14.b. Asynchronous instruction is non-real time communication with the instructor, often through online messaging or email.

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