CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) voted Wednesday to keep the Fayette County School System on non-approval status based on an Office of Education Performance Audit (OEPA) six-month progress report. The progress report was given to the board during its monthly WVBOE meeting in Charleston.
Earlier this year, the board declared a state of emergency and placed Fayette County Schools on non-approval status. An improvement team compiled a report that included improvements to hiring procedures, curriculum and instruction issues, fiscal procedures, graduation rates, facility deficiencies, licensing, school board training and compliance with state and federal laws and state policies. The Fayette County School System had six months to adopt recommendations made by a West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Improvement Consultant Team.
“I am not recommending state intervention at this time. Fayette County has shown progress related to financial procedures and personnel issues, however, the system still has significant facility and curriculum issues at the secondary level,” said OEPA Executive Director Dr. Kenna Seal. “The Fayette County Board of Education and the county superintendent have exhibited a willingness to improve and we have seen a good start.”
Based on a recommendation by the West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine, the WVBOE has required that Fayette County School System develop an in-depth Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan to deal with health, safety and maintenance concerns in schools. A leadership improvement team led by the WVDE will also work with district and school leaders.
“This is the greatest level of involvement the board and department has ever had in a county without a full intervention,” said Paine. “There are pockets of excellence in Fayette County Schools but county leaders need to take a hard look at their facility issues and lack of high quality curriculum at the high school level.”
The Fayette County School System has been given until October 2008 to show additional improvement.
For more information about the Fayette County School System audit, contact Dr. Kenna Seal, OEPA executive director, at (304) 558-3788 or the West Virginia Department of Education’s Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.