CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

§18-2-9. Required courses of instruction.

(a) (1) In all public, private, parochial, and denominational schools located within this state there shall be given prior to the completion of the eighth grade at least one year of instruction in the history of the State of West Virginia. The schools shall require regular courses of instruction by the completion of the 12th grade in the history of the United States, in civics, in the Constitution of the United States, and in the government of the State of West Virginia for the purpose of teaching, fostering, and perpetuating the ideals, principles, and spirit of political and economic democracy in America, and increasing the knowledge of the organization and machinery of the government of the United States and of the State of West Virginia. The required courses shall include instruction on the institutions and structure of American government, such as the separation of powers, the Electoral College, and federalism. The required courses shall include instruction that provides students an understanding of American political philosophy and history, utilizing writings from prominent figures in Western civilization, such as Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson. The courses of instruction shall offer an objective and critical analysis of ideologies throughout history including, but not limited to, capitalism, republicanism, democracy, socialism, communism, and fascism. The required courses shall emphasize the use of primary sources and interactive learning techniques, such as mock scenarios, debates, and open and impartial discussions.

(2) The state board shall, with the advice of the state superintendent, and after consultation with other entities, prescribe the courses of study, including the basic course requirements for middle school and high school, and the academic standards listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection for these courses of study covering these subjects for the public schools, and publish an approved list of instructional resources pursuant to §18-2A-1 et seq. of this code. The curriculum used in the delivery of instruction shall cover the standards adopted for such courses. The other entities for consultation may include such organizations as the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, the College Board, the Bill of Rights Institute, Hillsdale College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Constitutional Sources Project, educators, school administrators, postsecondary education representatives, elected officials, business and industry leaders, parents, and the public. Officials or boards having authority over the respective private, parochial, and denominational schools shall prescribe courses of study for the schools under their control and supervision similar to those required for the public schools.

(3) The state board shall provide testing or assessment instruments for the history and civics courses of instruction required by this section. These testing instruments shall:

(A) Be aligned with the academic standards required by this section;

(B) Be mandatory for students enrolled in those courses of instruction;

(C) Be cumulative by including questions about knowledge learned in prior history and civics courses; and

(D) Measure students’ factual and conceptual knowledge including how the facts interrelate and the reasons behind historical documents and events.

(4) To further this study, every high school student eligible by age for voter registration shall be afforded the opportunity to register to vote pursuant to §3-2-22 of this code.

(b) The state board shall cause to be taught in all public schools of this state the subject of health education, including instruction in any of the grades six through 12 as considered appropriate by the county board, on: (1) The prevention, transmission, and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases; (2) substance abuse, including the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics, tobacco products, and other potentially harmful drugs, with special instruction as to their effect upon the human system and upon society in general; (3) the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in maintaining healthy weight; and (4) education concerning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, including instruction in the care for conscious choking, and recognition of symptoms of drug or alcohol overdose. 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. The state board shall prescribe a standardized health education assessment to be administered within health education classes to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness.

(c) An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission, and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in the instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in the instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal.

(d) After July 1, 2015, the required instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in subsection (b) of this section shall include at least 30 minutes of instruction for each student prior to graduation on the proper administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the psychomotor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term “psychomotor skills” means the use of hands-on practicing to support cognitive learning. Cognitive-only training does not qualify as “psychomotor skills”. The CPR instruction shall be based on an instructional program established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or another program which is nationally recognized and uses the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines and incorporates psychomotor skills development into the instruction. A licensed teacher is not required to be a certified trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to facilitate, provide, or oversee such instruction. The instruction may be given by community members, such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, licensed nurses, and representatives of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. These community members are encouraged to provide necessary training and instructional resources such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation kits and other material at no cost to the schools. The requirements of this subsection are minimum requirements. A local school district may offer CPR instruction for longer periods of time and may enhance the curriculum and training components, including, but not limited to, incorporating into the instruction the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED): Provided, That any instruction that results in a certification being earned shall be taught by an authorized CPR/AED instructor.

(e) A full week of classes during the week selected by the county board of education shall be recognized as Celebrate Freedom Week. The purpose of Celebrate Freedom Week is to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded.

Celebrate Freedom Week shall include appropriate instruction in each social studies class which:

(1) Includes an in-depth study of the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on the amendments that are crucial to the survival of democracy and freedom, such as the Bill of Rights and the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and nineteenth amendments;

(2) Uses the historical, political, and social environments surrounding each document at the time of its initial passage or ratification; and

(3) Includes the study of historical documents to firmly establish the historical background leading to the establishment of the provisions of the constitution and Bill of Rights by the founding fathers for the purposes of safeguarding our constitutional republic.

The requirements of this subsection are applicable to all public, private, parochial, and denominational schools located within this state. Nothing in this subsection creates a standard or requirement subject to state accountability measures.

(f) Beginning the 2018-2019 school year, students in public schools shall be administered a test the same as or substantially similar to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services between their ninth and 12th grade years as an indicator of student achievement in the area of civics education. The test results may be reported in the aggregate to the county board for evaluation by the board’s curriculum director and reported to the board members. Nothing in this subsection creates a standard or requirement subject to state accountability measures.

Bills Affecting §18-2-9

2021 Regular Session: HB2357
2021 Regular Session: HB2555
2021 Regular Session: HB3305
2021 Regular Session: SB636
2020 Regular Session: SB107
2020 Regular Session: HB2742
2020 Regular Session: HB4398
2020 Regular Session: SB45
2020 Regular Session: HB4623
2020 Regular Session: HB4771
2020 Regular Session: SB685
2019 First Special Session: HB202
2019 Regular Session: HB2422
2019 Regular Session: HB2742
2019 Regular Session: SB328
2019 Regular Session: SB513
2018 Regular Session: HB2073
2018 Regular Session: HB3008
2017 Regular Session: HB2073
2017 Regular Session: HB2421
2017 Regular Session: HB3008
2017 Regular Session: HB3080
2016 Regular Session: HB2499
2016 Regular Session: HB2972
2016 Regular Session: HB4492
2015 Regular Session: HB2007
2015 Regular Session: HB2107
2015 Regular Session: HB2443
2015 Regular Session: HB2499
2015 Regular Session: HB2824
2015 Regular Session: HB2972
2015 Regular Session: SB7
2014 Regular Session: HB2594
2014 Regular Session: SB381
2013 Regular Session: HB2594
2012 Regular Session: HB2414
2012 Regular Session: HB2797
2011 Regular Session: HB2070
2011 Regular Session: HB2414
2011 Regular Session: HB2797
2010 Regular Session: HB2096
2010 Regular Session: HB2551
2010 Regular Session: HB3260
2009 Regular Session: HB2096
2009 Regular Session: HB2551
2009 Regular Session: HB3260
2008 Regular Session: HB2081
2008 Regular Session: HB2969
2008 Regular Session: HB3252
2008 Regular Session: HB4124
2008 Regular Session: SB637
2007 Regular Session: HB2081
2007 Regular Session: HB2969
2007 Regular Session: HB3252
2006 Regular Session: HB2149
2006 Regular Session: HB2867
2005 Regular Session: HB2149
2005 Regular Session: HB2816
2005 Regular Session: HB2867
2005 Regular Session: HB3244
2004 Regular Session: HB2245
2004 Regular Session: HB2747
2004 Regular Session: HB4675
2004 Regular Session: SB622
2003 Regular Session: HB2245
2003 Regular Session: HB2747
2003 Regular Session: HB3115
2002 Regular Session: HB2038
2002 Regular Session: HB2092
2002 Regular Session: HB3075
2002 Regular Session: HB4369
2001 Regular Session: HB2038
2001 Regular Session: HB2092
2001 Regular Session: HB3075
2000 Regular Session: HB2161
2000 Regular Session: HB2370
2000 Regular Session: SB43
2000 Regular Session: HB4545
1999 Regular Session: HB2161
1999 Regular Session: HB2370
1999 Regular Session: SB633
1998 Regular Session: HB2488
1997 Regular Session: HB2488
1996 Regular Session: HB4123
1995 Regular Session: HB2283
1994 Regular Session: HB4189