School closures, constructions planned; A-F grades coming next week

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School closures, constructions planned; A-F grades coming next week
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday approved new plans involving school closures and constructions in Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe and Wood counties, and state education officials said the delayed A-F grades for entire schools should be approved and publicly released next week.

The new grades, largely based on students’ annual end-of-year standardized test scores and their rate of improvement in those scores, were supposed to be released Wednesday. Michele Blatt, the state Department of Education’s chief accountability officer, said the delay was to give schools more time to access and contest the data behind their grades and to fix a vendor’s error in calculating test score proficiency growth.

The state school board’s approval of school systems’ requested amendments to their Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plans comes ahead of schools superintendents’ planned presentations next week to the state School Building Authority’s board, which is supposed to vote next month on which projects will receive funding.

For a school system to receive SBA funding for a project, the project must be in the system’s approved facilities plan.

SBA board members decide how to distribute the SBA’s state general revenue, bond proceeds and lottery money to school construction and renovation projects around the state.

Annual SBA money is limited, so school systems must compete for funding.

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