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August 2014

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August 4, 2014

By Chelsi Baker 
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The West Virginia Board of Education will start holding schools accountable for their performance in a more concrete way starting in the fall of 2015.

The state will implement an A-F letter grading system for all public schools, which will offer clear and concise information on schools’ overall performances from year to year in a way that parents, educators and students can easily understand, the state BOE reports.

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August 4, 2014

By Jennifer Smith 
WV MetroNews

HARMAN, W.Va. – Teachers, parents and community leaders fear Harman School in Randolph County may not reopen to all students pre-K through 12. Delegate Denise Campbell, (D) Randolph County, said she’s heard rumblings that when the school reopens after repairs, not everyone will be going back.

“I think that there is a fear that maybe not all the students will be able to return, that it might be just the elementary level,” according to...

August 5, 2014

By Phil Kabler 
The Charleston Gazette

With the state’s economy growing at a slower rate than hoped, revenue collections for the first month of the new budget year came in about $17.4 million below projections, Department of Revenue officials said Monday.

Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said the state’s economy needs to grow by about 4 percent in 2014-15 in order to balance the state budget, and the July figures instead showed sluggish growth, with the two biggest...

August 6, 2014

By Samuel Speciale
Charleston Daily Mail Staff

Despite flashing lights and stop signs warning drivers to keep a distance, about 500 motorists illegally pass school buses each day in West Virginia, a survey conducted by the state Department of Education has found.

While that number seems high to Jimmy Lacy, transportation safety director for Kanawha County, he said illegal passing happens every day.

“I don’t know if people are in a hurry or they’re distracted,” he...

August 11, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays, Staff writer 
 
In 2012, at least 1,850 teachers retired in West Virginia —about 230 more than the state saw in 2008, according to the state Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

Those numbers don’t include members of the Teachers Defined Contribution Retirement System, which has a smaller membership than the state’s Teachers Retirement System and was closed to new members in 2005.

Last year, in Kanawha County — the state’s largest school district...

August 14, 2014

By Hoppy Kercheval in Hoppy's Commentary | August 13, 2014 at 12:42AM

One of the more significant shortcomings of West Virginia’s public school system historically has been the erosion of actual days of instruction.  Rules concerning when school could start and had to end, employment contracts, snow days, holidays, spring break and deer season all conspired to cut into school time.

The supposed goal was always 180 days of instruction, but nearly every year most counties had...

August 14, 2014

By Shauna Johnson in News | 

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The superintendent of West Virginia’s second largest county school system says the school calendar has not changed that much in Berkeley County this year, even with a new mandate for 180 days of instructional time for students.

“Last year was such an unusual year for snow days and we’ve always been right around the 180 (requirement) in previous years,” Superintendent Manny Arvon said. “I think we might have started a day sooner...

August 18, 2014

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials are strengthening the partnership between the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind and Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

The West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday approved an agreement and contract for leasing between the entities.

Earlier this year, the board accepted a proposal to reclassify workers at the schools for the deaf and blind to be residential care specialists...

August 20, 2014

By Lloyd Jackson 
For The Charleston Gazette

The article of July 22 “West Virginia ranked low for preschool access,” relies on rankings by the Kids Count Data Center that fail to recognize all the facts about early childhood education in West Virginia. It is incredibly unfair to all those hard-working people who built our pre-K program to cite rankings in a way that implies their work has been anything less than a huge success. We owe it to them to convey the whole story and...

August 20, 2014

By Aaron Payne
WV MetroNews

The West Virginia Department of Education has revoked the “exemption (k)” status of Miracle Meadows School in the wake of child abuse allegations.

A letter was sent to the school Tuesday morning.

“The only oversight on k schools, they just have to file their test scores with us once a year and they get exemption k status,” said Liza Cordeiro, the department’s executive director for communications.

According to the department, the...

August 21, 2014

(News Release as appeared on WVVA.com)

PRINCETON, WV - (News Release)  Mercer County Schools' is elated to announce that Ms. A. Gail Shrewsbury, Instructional Aide at Spanishburg Elementary School, was recently named the 2014 Service Personnel Employee of the Year. She will be recognized at the September meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education. She is now entering her 15th year at Spanishburg Elementary, and she has been an employee of Mercer County Schools for 33 years. In...

August 21, 2014

By The Associated Press

CHARLESTON — The average score of West Virginia students taking the ACT college entrance exam remained the same for the fourth straight year.

The state Department of Education says overall test scores in West Virginia this year averaged 20.6.

Students showed a slight improvement in reading scores at 21.4. Scores were unchanged in science at 20.6 and math at 19.5, while English scores dipped slightly to 20.4.

Nearly 11,200 high school...

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