CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) approved an amendment to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) 2020 – 2030 Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP) following a presentation at its May 11, 2022, meeting held in Charleston. These projects are identified as needs for the remainder of the 2020-2030 CEFP and are pending the availability of resources.
This amendment includes a plan change in facilities for student housing, necessary demolition work, fire safety system improvements, elevator upgrades, project reprioritization and the inclusion of other miscellaneous needs. These changes will improve campus safety, the overall student experience and the operational efficiency of the school.
After a thorough review, it was found that Seaton Hall will no longer be considered for student housing. In its new proposed configuration, the residential wings are planned to be demolished, and the dining room and activity wing of the building will undergo a modernizing renovation.
Keller Hall will become the permanent residence hall for all residential students with upgrades planned throughout the building. Interior and exterior spaces will be improved to enhance the student experience. Additionally, the Blue and Gold Building is planned to be renovated to augment the meeting and activity needs of the campus. The plan also includes construction of a memorial in honor of the former Administration Building destroyed by fire in February, and a bus loop with an enhanced student drop-off and pick-up area.
“This plan will ensure that our facilities at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind are best equipped to meet the needs of our students,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “We are dedicated to our students’ well-being and providing them the best opportunities to succeed. Learning and living in appropriate accommodations are ways they can prepare for their futures.”
“There have been significant changes over the past several decades, among them, the way we serve our students with exceptionalities,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “The plan approved by the Board today will allow us to devote resources so our facilities can most appropriately serve and support those needs.”
In other board activity, WVBE approved an amendment requested by the Lincoln County Board of Education to unify all Duvall Pre-K – 8 students into the central office facility until the new Duval/Midway school is constructed. Currently, Duval Pre-K – 2 students are located in portables at the old Duval site, grades 3 – 5 students are at Hamlin Pre-K – 8 and grades 6 – 8 students are at the central office facility. This action enables Duval Pre-K – 8 to operate in a more traditional school environment and allow the county to provide the necessary student services and supervision more efficiently.
WVBE also recognized Garnet Mooney of Raleigh County Schools, who will retire at the end of this school year as the longest serving school employee in West Virginia History. Also present for special recognition was 2022 Milken Award Winner Michelle Wolfe from East Hardy High School in Hardy County.
Other policy revisions were also discussed and recommended for public review.
Policy 2436.10 is being minimally revised to include updated language reflecting statutory requirements from W. Va. Code and House Bill 2785. Additionally, a purpose section has been added. Changes to this policy will impact credits and grades for students who have had a break in public school attendance wishing to return to public school and participate in extracurricular activities. Additionally, the policy outlines requirements for students who are homeschooled and wish to participate in public school extracurricular activities.
Principals of member schools belonging to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) submitted revisions to the rules and regulations at the annual Board of Control meeting. Approved changes are then submitted to the WVBE for its review and approval. The proposed amendments are brought forth to keep the WVSSAC current and updated on changes, trends and issues in the band and athletic programs. This year, 34 proposals were submitted by member schools for consideration; 29 proposals were approved.
These policies will be placed on public comment for 30 days and may be reviewed at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.
Documents presented to the board during the May meeting are available on the WVDE website.
The next WVBE meeting is Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 9 a.m., Suite 600, Building 6, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV, 25305.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.