Liz McCormick Published

Student Enrollment Is Down In W.Va. K-12 Schools This Year

Wooden classroom desks

Student enrollment in West Virginia’s K-12 public schools has decreased this year.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch told West Virginia Board of Education members this week that enrollment in West Virginia public schools has dropped by more than 1,400 students compared to last year.

The drop, according to Burch, is due to continued population loss in the state and the impacts of the pandemic.

For the 2021-2022 school year, there are 250,899 students enrolled in public schools in the state.

Additionally, the state board of education agreed to permanently close and consolidate schools in Hampshire and Lincoln counties.

Hampshire County will close John J. Cornwell Elementary School ahead of schedule due to enrollment decreases, safety concerns and required educational needs. It’s one of five elementary schools earmarked to close after the county passed a school construction bond in 2020.

The board also approved the closure and consolidation of Duval pre-K-8 and Midway Elementary in Lincoln County due to structural concerns. The facility closed in July.

Students at all three schools have been reassigned temporarily to nearby schools until consolidation can begin.

The board also placed the following policies on public comment until Dec. 13, 2021:

Policy 2315, Comprehensive School Counseling Program will be repealed and replaced to update content to align with current terminology in the West Virginia School Counseling Model and W.Va. Code §18 5 18b.

Policy 2322, West Virginia System of Support and Accountability has been revised to clarify accountability requirements for all public schools. It will also embed requirements for county board of education member-training currently outlined in Policy 3235, Definition of Good Cause Failure to Receive School Board Training, which will be repealed. Additionally, it will embed West Virginia Report Card requirements currently outlined in Policy 7300, Better Schools Accountability: School, School Districts, and Statewide School Report Cards, which will also be repealed.

Policy 5100, Approval of Educator Preparation Programs has been revised for the purpose of adding clarifying language.