West Virginia Department of Education

Public Education
9:44 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Martirano Called Visionary Leader W.Va. Needs

Newly appointed state Superintendent Michael Martirano addressed a crowd at a press conference at the Capitol.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia got a glimpse of its newly appointed superintendent of schools Tuesday when Dr. Michael Martirano was introduced to a crowd of state employees and members of the media.

The appointment comes more than year into Governor Tomblin’s mission to strengthen public education in the state.

Read more
School Construction
8:25 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Construction of New McDowell Co. School to Begin Soon

Construction of a new $12 million elementary school in McDowell County is expected to begin after crews stabilize a riverbank that partially collapsed earlier this year.

Superintendent Nelson Spencer tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that demolition of the old Iaeger Elementary School has been completed. He says large rocks from the construction area are being used to help stabilize the bank.

Read more
Public Education
11:23 am
Tue July 1, 2014

State Board Unanimously Approves New Superintendent

Credit twitter.com

It’s official. The West Virginia Board of Education has approved the next state superintendent of schools.

Members unanimously agreed to hire Dr. Michael Martirano Tuesday to take over as state school’s chief this fall. Martirano currently serves as superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in southern Maryland, a position he’s held for almost a decade.

Read more
Public Education
6:57 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

W.Va. BOE Will ‘Likely’ Name Martirano Next Superintendent

Dr. Michael Martirano will likely be approved as the new West Virginia State Superintendent Tuesday, July 1.
Credit 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.

Read more
9:36 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Health Conference Aims at Students, Families

  A school health professional development seminar is being held this week in Charleston.
The 2014 Kidstrong Conference is set for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center.
The conference is aimed at school administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, school-based health staff and public health specialists.

Read more
Child Nutrition
3:44 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Summer Program Brings Free, Nutritious Meals to Children

Summer Food Service Program Kick-Off Celebration at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 2014
Credit Liz McCormick

During the fall and spring school sessions, thousands of West Virginia schoolchildren are fed both breakfast and lunch as part of the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. But when school is out for the summer, these meals end. This is why the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Child Nutrition started their Summer Food Service Program.

Read more
Child Nutrition
11:03 am
Mon June 9, 2014

W.Va. to Launch Summer Food Program Wednesday

Credit National Institutes of Health / commons.wikimedia.org

A federal program that provides free meals to lower-income children during the summer will kick off in West Virginia this week.

Read more
4:19 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ex-Superintendent of W.Va. Schools Files Second Suit

Dr. Jorea Marple
Credit www.wvencyclopedia.org

West Virginia's former state school superintendent has filed a second lawsuit contending she was unfairly fired.

Jorea Marple's latest legal claim was filed this week in Kanawha County Circuit Court, according to media reports. A similar lawsuit is pending in federal court.

Read more
9:19 am
Mon April 14, 2014

W.Va. Schools to Get Free Computer System Upgrades

Credit 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.

Read more
5:03 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

W.Va. Schools Chief Looks Forward to Retirement

Credit 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.

Read more
Public Education
3:41 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

W.Va. Superintendent Announces Retirement as National Search Continues

State Superintendent Dr. James Phares
Credit 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.

Read more
12:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

W.Va. Schools for Deaf and Blind Job Requirement Change Approved

Child care workers at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind will be required to have an associate degree in to order to keep their jobs.
These employees work during non-instructional hours with students who live in the Romney school's dorms.

Read more
Chemical Leak
6:08 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Department of Education Says Gov. Tomblin Taking Proactive Steps to Ensure Student Safety

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

The West Virginia Department of Education said through a news release that they are working with the West Virginia National Guard following a directive from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Tomblin has called for additional water testing to confirm that all schools in the counties impacted by the chemical leak on Jan. 9 are under 2 parts per billion (ppb).

Read more
2:41 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

W.Va. School Board Seeks Local Spending Flexibility

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

The West Virginia Board of Education says county school districts should have more control over how their state funding is spent.
A decades-old funding formula determines how much state funding each county system gets annually. The formula also determines how this funding is spent.

Read more
2:11 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

W.Va. to Get Funding for Low-Performing Schools

West Virginia will receive $3.2 million in federal funding for continued efforts to help low-performing schools.
     The U.S. Department of Education announced more than $38 million in school improvement grants for West Virginia and five other states Friday. Education agencies in each state will dole out the funding to districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds.

Read more
Chemical Leak
10:13 am
Thu February 6, 2014

More Kanawha Co. School Closures Due to Water Concerns

Even more Kanawha County schools have canceled classes because of an odor resembling the chemical that spilled into a regional water system last month.
West Virginia Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro says Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring directed J.E. Robins Elementary School in Charleston to close Thursday morning as a precautionary measure.

Updated on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 4:30:

Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring released the following statement:

Read more
Chemical Leak
5:01 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Two W.Va. Schools Cancel Class After Chemical Odor

Riverside High School

Two West Virginia schools closed early because of an odor resembling the chemical that spilled into a regional water system last month.
     Riverside High and Midland Trail Elementary in Kanawha County closed Wednesday morning because of the licorice smell.
     The chemical wasn't detected in previous testing.

Read more
Public Education
10:27 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Lawmakers Get an Education on Career Opportunities for Students

Assistant State Superintendent of Schools with the West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Technical and Adult Education Services, Dr. Kathy D'Antoni.
Credit WVDE

The Governor’s Education Reform Bill passed through the legislature and was signed into law earlier this year. That bill was seen as a major overall to the state’s public education system which critics said was failing West Virginia students, but was only meant to be the first step in reform.

From preschool to college and beyond, legislators have spent the past nine months hearing from the state Department of Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission about how they’re working to expand their reach and improve the quality of education students’ are receiving.

Read more
4:55 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Report: Raising Dropout Age Reduced Rate

Credit Cecelia Mason

West Virginia's state superintendent says fewer 16-year-old students dropped out of high school after the compulsory attendance age was raised to 17.
     West Virginia State Superintendent James Phares told lawmakers on Tuesday that the number of 16-year-olds who dropped out of school in the 2012 school year declined by 52 percent from the previous year after the law went into effect.

Read more
Public Education
2:55 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Enrollment Declining in W.Va. Schools

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares before an Education Committee in the House Chambers.
Credit Ashton Marra

The state superintendent said enrollment numbers in public schools statewide are down and the Department of Education is now left trying to figure out where those students have gone.

Superintendent Dr. James Phares reported to a Joint Committee on Education, student enrollment has decreased by more than 1,200 student since last year.

Harrison County led the enrollment decrease losing 283 in the last five years.

Read more