Public Education

St. Mary's County Public Schools

The West Virginia Department of Education will soon have a new leader in Dr. Michael Martirano.

State Board President Gayle Manchin made the announcement of his likely nomination and approval Wednesday evening through a press release.

West Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia Board of Education members unanimously approved a new schools chief who will take the post starting next week. On June 30, current Superintendent Dr. James Phares will retire, but the man filling his shoes is a familiar face to the department.

Board members voted to put current Deputy Superintendent Charles Heinlein in the position, with the understanding that when a new, ling-term chief is hired, he will return to his current job and current salary.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares announced his retirement in April, but last week, presented his final report to the state Board. In it, he recounted his accomplishments in leading the state’s education system forward, but also gave a warning about what work must continue in order to truly impact student achievement.

Some of the biggest accomplishments during his 18 month tenure included the passage and implementation of Senate Bill 359, the Governor’s Education Reform Act.

West Virginia Department of Education

The way a county handles the actual maintenance of existing and building of new schools is one of the major areas the state considers before taking over a county school system.

In June of 2011, the state decided Gilmer County wasn’t doing a good job handling not just their facilities, but also personnel, finances and curriculum, among others. The board declared a state of emergency in Gilmer County and voted to intervene.

West Virginia Department of Education

Cuts to salaries for teachers and school service personnel were approved by the state Board of Education Wednesday for one county whose bottom line is stuck in the red.

State board members approved the salary cut for Calhoun County teachers and school service personnel at their monthly meeting in Charleston. Beginning July 1, staff at four schools will see $600 less per year on their paycheck.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After nearly a year since beginning the process of a nationwide search, members of the West Virginia State Board of Education say they’re getting closer to their goal of finding a new state schools chief.

Consulting firm Ray and Associates, Inc., presented the board with 64 completed applications at their meeting at Stonewall Resort in Lewis County Thursday. The applicants represented 43 different states.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's attorney general says some school administrators have been reassigned after a lawsuit claimed they brushed aside allegations that two boys at a middle school sexually abused female classmates.
 
Patrick Morrisey says Burch Middle School in Mingo County will have an outside professional serve as an administrator until the school year ends June 12.

WV Department of Education

  The West Virginia Board of Education has put Logan County Schools on alert. The county is in jeopardy of state takeover if they can’t turn things around before January of next year.

The vote by state board members came after a detailed audit of the county school system by the state Department of Education’s Office of Education Performance Audits. In that report, the OEPA found mishandlings of personnel matters, finances and failures in curriculum.

Sylvia Mathew Burwell faces her second confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee and receives an endorsement from a key republican.  The State Board of Education adopts a new A through F grading system to give parents a better understanding of how well their child's school is performing. Also, a Morgantown student heads to the National Geography Bee for the third time. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Parents across the state may soon have a better understanding of how their child’s school is fairing thanks to a new grading system adopted Monday by the state Board of Education.

The change comes after a directive from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin during his State of the State Address in January. In his address, he specifically called on the board to implement and A through F grading scale.

Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is reducing tuition rates for some high school students taking online college courses this summer.
 
Marshall says up to 30 students will pay 25 dollars per credit hour instead of the regular online fee, which will be 134 dollars per credit hour this fall.
 
Marshall is offering nearly 50 courses in the high school program this summer. Among them are math, history, geography, journalism, economics and music.  Class materials are included with each course.
 

A new report shows West Virginia high school seniors had the worst reading scores of students sampled in 13 states last year - and were tied for worst in math.

Wednesday's national assessment conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or nation's report card, did show that test scores had improved in West Virginia in recent years.
 

School Building Authority

 The West Virginia School Building Authority has awarded more than $43 million for construction projects in seven counties. The grants approved Monday include more than $12 million for a new elementary school in Gilmer County. Mingo, Monongalia and Wayne counties each received more than $8 million for school projects.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is assembling a council of education and industry leaders to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities in West Virginia.

www.wvencyclopedia.org

A federal lawsuit filed by West Virginia's former state school superintendent has been dismissed at her attorneys' request.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A telecommunications firm announced a hefty donation Wednesday to a program designed to improve the educational opportunities for students in one of the poorest counties in the state.

WTAP-TV

Wood County school officials have asked their lawyers to review a wrestling team's T-shirts that bear a Bible verse on the back.

Superintendent Pat Law said the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation complained about the Parkersburg South High School team's T-shirts to school officials.

Aravind Sivaraj / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's public schools will get free computer operating system upgrades for five years under a new agreement with Microsoft.
 
The Charleston Daily Mail reports
that schools will enter the agreement with Microsoft on July 1.
 
Under the agreement, schools can upgrade their computers' operating systems without cost if the hardware can handle the upgrade.

West Virginia Department of Education

Retiring state schools Superintendent James Phares says he viewed his brief stint as an opportunity to help make a difference in West Virginia's education system.

Phares is stepping down on June 30 after 18 months on the job. He says that was set long ago as the day he'd walk with his wife into retirement.
 
Phares was Randolph County's schools superintendent when he was hired to replace the fired Jorea Marple.
 

West Virginia Department of Education

State Board of Education members are now under even more pressure to complete their nationwide search for a new state superintendent of schools after Dr. James Phares announced Tuesday he would retire from that position in June.

In a short letter to state Board President Gayle Manchin, Phares cited pressing family issues and a desire to spend some time out of the public eye as reasons for retiring from his current position, as well as his 40 years of service in public education.

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