Liz McCormick Published

Board Approves Contracts For W.Va.’s 5 Charter Schools

High School Hallway

Five public charter schools in West Virginia are on track to open this fall.

The West Virginia Professional Charter School Board met Tuesday morning to announce that the contracts for all five recently authorized public charter schools in West Virginia have been approved.

“It’s another great day for the students of West Virginia,” Adam Kissel, chairman of the board, said during the meeting.

A charter contract is an agreement between a charter school and a management company, meaning an organization that will provide the charter with its curriculum. The state’s charter school board must approve contracts before a school can open.

The meeting of the board this week was the first time it met in the new year. A previously scheduled meeting in January was canceled amid a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality in which charters are approved. Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a temporary injunction on the charter schools.

The West Virginia Supreme Court later issued a stay, which allows the schools to open as planned, while the court cases continue.

West Virginia will have three brick-and-mortar charter schools and two virtual schools.

The three physical schools will be West Virginia Academy, located in the Morgantown area, Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy, located in Charles Town, and Nitro Preparatory Academy, located in Nitro.

The virtual schools will be statewide.

“With Hope Scholarships and charter schools coming on line this year, West Virginia’s students will have better choices than ever,” Kissel said in an email. “I am grateful to legislators, the governor, and the many others who have acted to expand choices and opportunities for students over the past few years.”

Kissel said West Virginia Academy has so far received “hundreds” of preregistrations.

He said the board is still looking to hire an executive director. The board is tentatively scheduled to meet again via Zoom on Monday, April 18 at 8 a.m.