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W.Va. Board Approves $500,000 for Innovation Zone Projects Across the State

January 13, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to award $500,000 to 19 schools or consortiums in 16 counties seeking to become the state’s first School Innovation Zones. At least one school in all eight Regional Education Service Agencies was selected for funding.

The School Innovations Zones Act, adopted last year, encourages pilot projects at schools around the state. The law allows for waivers to certain state laws, rules and policies to give teachers and principals greater local control over the curriculum, schedule and staffing in their schools. Schools designated as Innovation Zones essentially become learning laboratories with the flexibility to try innovative teaching strategies.

The board approved funding for the following projects:

  1. Berkeley County: Berkeley Heights Elementary, $9,100
  2. Boone: Nellis Elementary, $43,825
  3. Braxton: Braxton County High School, $17,320
  4. Cabell: Cabell County Elementary Schools Consortium (eight schools), $50,000; Cabell County Secondary Schools Consortium (three schools), $45,000
  5. Jefferson: Page Jackson Elementary, $6,915
  6. Harrison: Lincoln High School, $6,990
  7. Kanawha: Piedmont Elementary, $27,798; Westside Elementary (consolidated school formed from Chandler and Glenwood elementaries), $33,750
  8. Marshall: Cameron Elementary/High School, $49,000
  9. Mercer: Mercer County Technical School, $30,000
  10. Morgan: Warm Springs Intermediate, $28,255
  11. Nicholas: Cherry River Elementary, $7,625
  12. Ohio: Wheeling Park High School, $11,172
  13. Pleasants: Belmont Elementary, $45,000
  14. Putnam: Hometown Elementary, $10,900; Putnam County High Schools Consortium, (five schools), $24,000
  15. Randolph: Beverly Elementary, $42,500
  16. Webster: Hacker Valley School, $10,850

“Giving teachers the opportunity to make changes in their schools is an important step to implementing research-based 21st century teaching and learning, an essential component of West Virginia’s 21st century improvement plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Innovation zones allow schools to adapt to changing times and embrace new ideas and new teaching strategies so that our children prosper in the global economy of the 21st century.”

Applications for funding were evaluated by a committee, which looked at many factors including creativity and innovation; staff commitment; parental and community support; sustainability; and potential for success.

To view the applications submitted by the 19 awardees visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/innovationzones/awardsmap.html

To view all the applications visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/innovationzones/espptdocs.html

For more information, contact Donna Peduto, Innovation Zones coordinator, at 304-558-3199, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.

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