June 2021

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Opportunities Available through ACE and Adult Education – June 11, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, we learn more about the differences between the Offices of Advanced Career Education (ACE) and Adult Education and how they work together to enhance the educational opportunities for all West Virginians. Mendy Marshall, director of Adult Education, and Adam Canter, director of ACE, announce the joint campaign launching this summer to promote both ACE and Adult Education programs and services.
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#IGotVaxxedWV Student Athletes – June 4, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, we visit student athletes and club members who have experienced significant disruptions to their seasons and scheduled activities due to the pandemic. As we continue to promote the importance of vaccines through the #IGotVaxxedWV campaign, students share their experiences and their hopes for the class of 2022 and beyond.

May 2021

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Superintendent Spotlight: Will Hosaflook – May 28, 2021
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The last Friday of the month is reserved for our Keeping ConnectED Superintendent Spotlight. In this episode, State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch sits down with Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook who shares details of the county’s exciting Summer SOLE program.
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Vaccine Rollout for Middle School Students – May 21, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, we continue the #IGotVaxxedWV campaign as Deputy Superintendent Michele Blatt discusses the vaccine rollout for students age 12-15. Thank you to the schools and counties that invited the WVDE to their clinics to speak to middle school students who received the vaccine and look forward to fewer COVID-19 restrictions.
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WVDE Launches #IGotVaxxedWV Campaign – May 14, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, State Superintendent Clayton Burch launches the new WVDE #IGotVaxxedWV campaign, which aims to encourage West Virginia students, age 12 – 18, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
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Creating a Skilled Workforce – May 7, 2021
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In this week’s #KeepingConnectED, Career Technical Education (CTE) students discuss how they’ve navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic. Despite the challenges, they continue to hone their trades and create a skilled workforce for West Virginia. Find out more information about CTE here: wvde.us/technical-education/.

April 2021

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Superintendent Spotlight: Ryan Saxe – April 30, 2021
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Cabell County Superintendent Ryan Saxe invites State Superintendent Clayton Burch to the site of the county’s future Career and Technology Center. They discuss the county’s approach to post-pandemic learning and highlight Cabell County’s efforts to enhance college -and career-readiness through the new Center. Learn more about Superintendent Saxe in this month’s Superintendent Spotlight.
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Powerful Partnerships: The Path Back to Normal – April 23, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, we spotlight Fayette County and Cabell County Schools as they host vaccination clinics for students 16 years of age and older. Administrators, educators and students alike speak about the importance of student vaccinations and what vaccinations mean for themselves and their school communities.
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Importance of Student Vaccination Clinics – April 16, 2021
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In this week’s Keeping ConnectED, we spotlight Fayette County and Cabell County Schools as they host vaccination clinics for students 16 years of age and older. Administrators, educators and students alike speak about the importance of student vaccinations and what vaccinations mean for themselves and their school communities.
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Vaccine Rollout for High School Students – April 12, 2021
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Superintendent Burch speaks with state Coronavirus Czar Dr. Marsh about the vaccine rollout for high school students. Counties are hosting clinics for students and families around the state, and Dr. Marsh explains the importance of vaccines for those 16 years of age and older.
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Celebrating National Autism Acceptance Month – April 2, 2021
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West Virginia Department of Education Special Education Coordinator Dr. Jason Conaway kicks off National Autism Acceptance Month, and introduces several West Virginia students with autism who share stories of hope, joy and love. Join the West Virginia Department of Education all month long as we spotlight our students with autism on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

March 2021

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Superintendent Spotlight: Stephen Wotring – March 26, 2021
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Preston County Schools Superintendent Stephen Wotring discusses lessons learned from COVID-19 and highlights Preston County’s efforts to support students during the summer and next school year with extended learning opportunities.
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Summer SOLE: Engaging All Students – March 19, 2021
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Christy Swartz, coordinator at the West Virginia Department of Education for the summer Student Opportunities for Learning and Engagement (SOLE) program, sits down with the 2021 Teacher of the Year Erin Anderson to discuss the importance and need for summer and extended learning and engagement activities.
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Empowering our Leaders of Literacy – March 5, 2021
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Dr. Monica DellaMea, Director of Early and Elementary Learning for the West Virginia Department of Education, discusses the state’s early literacy efforts through the Leaders of Literacy: West Virginia Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. She also provides an overview on professional development opportunities for educators and how the literacy campaign will supplement summer learning and engagement programs.
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Funding Available through Summer SOLE Grant Program – February 26, 2021
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Melanie Purkey, Federal Programs Officer at the West Virginia Department of Education, discusses the Summer SOLE grant program, which is dedicated to providing additional resources for summer learning and engagement for our K-12 students. The Department is allocating its portion of the CARES 2 funding to counties allowing them to better address learning losses suffered during the pandemic.
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One-Year Anniversary: WVDE’s COVID Recovery Timeline – March 12, 2021
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As we commemorate the one-year anniversary of COVID-19’s impact on West Virginia schools, State Superintendent Clayton Burch introduces the new COVID Recovery Timeline in this week’s Keeping Connected video. The timeline provides a comprehensive overview of important events and milestones reached during the pandemic. Explore the interactive timeline by visiting wvde.us/covid-timeline/.

February 2021

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Exploring Wood County’s Distance Learning Academy – February 19, 2021
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Sonya White, Teaching & Learning Officer for the West Virginia Department of Education, speaks with Wood County Superintendent William Hosaflook. They discuss how Wood County’s Distance Learning Academy is making an impact on virtual learning.
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Shared Experiences: A Visit with Wyoming and McDowell Counties – February 12, 2021
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In this Keeping ConnectED, State Superintendent Clayton Burch discusses his recent visit to McDowell and Wyoming counties, and addresses lessons learned about the important role schools play in each community. He emphasized how each county has demonstrated strong leadership and support when facing challenges over the past year.
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A Message for High School Seniors – February 5, 2021
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The pandemic has interrupted many aspects of education including Promise Scholarship applications, which are down 50 percent. In this Keeping ConnectED, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Chancellor Dr. Sarah Tucker discusses the importance of high school seniors pursuing financial aid opportunities.

January 2021

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Meet Erin Anderson: West Virginia’s 2021 Teacher of the Year
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In this Keeping ConnectED, West Virginia’s 2021 Teacher of the Year Erin Anderson shares her thoughts on the profession, the pandemic, and the importance of relationships with her students and families.
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Planning for Progress – January 15, 2021

Superintendent Clayton Burch and Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Williams discuss Kanawha County’s experience with in-person instruction during the first semester and the important role mitigation strategies have played. They also consider efforts to address pandemic learning now and in the future.
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Realizing the Importance of In-Person Learning – January 8, 2021
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Superintendent Clayton Burch and Jackson County Superintendent Blaine Hess discuss the challenges of remote learning, the importance of in-person instruction and what they’ve learned to prepare for the spring semester.

December

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WVDE 2020: A Year in Review

Superintendent Burch recaps the eventful and busy year that was 2020. He recognizes the resilience of our students and the commitment of our educators to maintain normalcy during a global pandemic.
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Communities In Schools: Supporting Families through COVID-19 – December 11, 2020

Superintendent Burch talks with Erin Boyd, a Communities In Schools (CIS) coordinator in Raleigh County, about the importance of this program as the pandemic progressed.

Celebrating Special Education – December 4, 2020

The West Virginia Department of Education provides a closer look at Special Education services in Monongalia County as Superintendent Clayton Burch talks with Tiffany Barnett about successful strategies to support students, staff and families. 

November

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Support Those Who Transition from Foster Care – November 20, 2020

Superintendent Burch introduces us to the Tiny Homes Village in Wayne County. The program provides support for young adults transitioning out of the foster care system.

School Counselors: Important Role during Pandemic – November 13, 2020

Superintendent Burch speaks with Madison Elementary School Counselor Jessica Watt about the importance of school counselors during the pandemic.

Creative Approach to Relieve Substitute Teacher Shortage – November 6, 2020

Superintendent Burch speaks to a pre-service teacher who is participating in the substitute teacher program.

October

Scholarship Offerings for West Virginia Students – October 30, 2020

Superintendent Burch joins Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, to discuss scholarship offerings for West Virginia students.

Communities In Schools (CIS) Program Empowers Students – October 23, 2020

Superintendent Burch and State Board of Education Member Debra Sullivan discuss the importance of the Communities In Schools program in our state, which was created to identify challenges students face, address their immediate needs and create solutions to help them succeed.

WV College Students Help with Substitute Teacher Shortage – October 16, 2020

Superintendent Burch talks about the Department’s collaboration with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to provide substitute teachers to our schools. As a portion of their clinical experience, college students may be used to fill this need, gain important experience and earn additional income.

Maintaining Normalcy for Our West Virginia Students – October 9, 2020

Superintendent Burch and West Virginia Board of Education President Miller Hall reflect on the month of September, which marked the start of a new school year drastically impacted by COVID-19.

Teacher of the Year & Service Personnel of the Year – October 2, 2020

Superintendent Burch recaps the Teacher of the Year and Service Personnel of the Year Virtual Award Ceremony and gives special recognition to Service Personnel of the Year recipient, Susie Kirkpatrick, of Gilmer County; and Teacher of the Year recipient, Erin Anderson, of Upshur County.

September

Keeping ConnectED – September 19, 2020

Deputy Superintendent Michele Blatt joins Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia’s State Health Officer, to discuss how the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) are working together to share information about COVID-19 cases confirmed in our public schools.

Reporting Progress within a Pandemic – September 11, 2020

Superintendent Burch highlights the progress being made six months into the pandemic. He reflects on how one caring adult, whether it’s an educator or support staff, has made the difference in ensuring West Virginia students receive the resources and care they need to succeed during these unprecedented times.

WVDE rolls out School Alert System & COVID-19 Guidelines – September 4, 2020

Superintendent Burch discusses the release of the weekly WVDE Education Map and what this means for students who will attend school remotely, virtually or in-person based on their county color. In an effort to keep students and staff safe, he reflects on the importance of face coverings, social distancing and adhering to public health guidelines. #KeepingConnectED

August

School Re-entry Metrics & What They Mean – August 28, 2020

Superintendent Burch gives us a closer look at the School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols put in place by WVDHHR and WVDE. The map will release at 9:00 p.m. Saturday, August 29, at wvde.us/reentrymetrics, which is important because it will guide the level of extracurricular and athletic activities permitted each school week.

WVDE Launches School Re-entry Hotline – August 21, 2020

Superintendent Burch gears up for the Sept. 8 re-opening and discusses the importance of open dialogue and accessibility to WVDE leadership. He encourages parents, educators, students and all constituents invested in public education to utilize the new School Re-entry Hotline by calling 304-957-1234.

County Re-entry Plans Provide Safe Options – August 14, 2020

Superintendent Burch discusses the 55 county plans developed to provide both in-person and remote options to ensure safety for all families. He provides an in-depth look at the Re-entry plan and what the map colors mean for each county regarding school instruction and extracurricular activities.

Behind-the-Scenes Prep for School Re-entry – August 7, 2020

Superintendent Burch discusses the dedication of our county school systems as they finalize their local re-entry plans, and the work the West Virginia Department of Education is doing in conjunction with Governor Jim Justice and local and state health agencies to support those plans.

July

Communication is Key for Successful School Re-entry – July 31, 2020

Superintendent Burch highlights our important partnerships with the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, Dr. Clay Marsh, Governor Jim Justice and education partners, and how these partnerships enhance the sharing of information and the planning of a safe school year.

Defining Options for Families – July 24, 2020

“Giving options to families is our number one priority.” Superintendent Burch continues the conversation about school re-entry and recognizes how all 55 district leaders are working tirelessly to develop plans aimed at student success. He also defines the difference in remote learning, virtual learning and in-person instruction during COVID-19.

Grant Opportunities Available for School Re-entry – July 17, 2020

Superintendent Burch shares details about grant opportunities available to WV counties as they finalize re-entry plans. Applications can be submitted between now & July 30 for grants including CARES & WVDE funding.

WVDE launches School Re-Entry Toolkit – July 10, 2020

Superintendent Burch discusses the challenges and plans leading to the re-opening of schools on September 8, 2020. Visit wvde.us/reentry to review guidance and the re-entry toolkit.

Celebrating Dr. Kathy D’Antoni – July 2, 2020

Known throughout West Virginia for her work in Career and Technical Education, Dr. Kathy D’Antoni has been a tireless champion for West Virginia students. D’Antoni’s Simulated Workplace program is a national model, and her work in preparing tomorrow’s workforce is unparalleled.

June

Summer Food Feeding Sites Announced – June 26, 2020

Superintendent Burch provides an update on the Summer Food Service Program and invites the community to engage in the state’s school re-entry efforts by participating in our surveys, which are open through July 10.

School Re-Entry Survey Announced – June 19, 2020

Superintendent Burch provides additional insight into the re-entry guidance process, and announces a community survey that will be available to the public with the next wave of guidance to be released June 25, 2020.

Discussing School Re-Entry Scenarios – June 12, 2020

Superintendent Burch talks about the recently released re-entry guidance, laying out the three main scenarios the state’s School Re-entry Advisory Council is focusing on for the 2020-21 school year.

The Dollywood Foundation: A Summer Learning Partnership – June 5, 2020

Superintendent Burch announces exciting summer learning programs, including a partnership with The Dollywood Foundation that will deliver approximately 200,000 books to children entering 1st and 2nd grade next school year.

May

Outbreak to Recovery: Advisory Council Established – May 29, 2020

Superintendent Burch expresses gratitude to all West Virginia teachers and the WVDE’s education partners for their commitment to students from the onset of the pandemic until the end of the school year.

Congratulating our Class of 2020 – May 22, 2020

Superintendent Burch gives a heartfelt message to the Class of 2020. He emphasizes the impact of COVID-19 on our high school seniors, and how opportunities will be available for these students to make their mark on West Virginia’s future.

Celebrating Nurses Appreciation Week – May 15, 2020

Nurses Appreciation Weeks takes place every year May 6-12, and Superintendent Burch gives special recognition to the school nurses who help improve the mental, physical, social and emotional health of our children.

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week – May 8, 2020

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated every year in May to honor those “one caring adults” who influence the lives of our children for the better. With 23K educators and 265K students in over 691 schools, West Virginia teachers continue to go above and beyond for our youth.

Updates to COVID-19 website; Celebrating School Lunch Heroes Day – May 1, 2020

Superintendent Burch discusses the creation of the COVID-19 website, which includes guidance for school closures, summer learning opportunities, retrieving student belongings and much more. He also announces the free SAT test dates for juniors and seniors, and honors those who work as our “School Lunch Heroes.”

April

Connecting and Caring for West Virginia Students – April 23, 2020

Superintendent Burch announces a continuation of remote learning throughout the remainder of the 2020 school year with WVBE President David Perry. Together, they emphasize the importance of connecting with our students and being that “one caring adult” in their lives.

Available Resources for Virtual Learning – April 10, 2020

Superintendent Burch showcases West Virginia’s educators as they navigate educational challenges in a pandemic. He also highlights the various resources available to educators who wish to be as successful as possible when conducting virtual and/or remote learning.