CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) President Gayle Manchin participated in a meeting with community members and other stakeholders to discuss the future of Fayette County schools. In October, the WVBE voted to amend the Fayette County facilities plan to remove Meadow Bridge High School from consolidation plans for one year.
“The Board is committed to continuing the open dialogue with the residents of Fayette County regarding the needs of its students,” said WVBE President Gayle Manchin. “We are here this evening with no preconceived notions or agendas regarding Meadow Bridge. This public discussion is another opportunity to hear from the community and layout the board’s plans and expectations for a yearlong study.”
In September, the state board asked Fayette County Superintendent Keith Butcher to conduct a study this school year to determine how the educational needs of the students in the Meadow Bridge attendance area may be best served. The study will include, but are not limited to, the feasibility of Meadow Bridge high school students attending schools across county lines in Greenbrier or Summers counties; how students can be served by career and technical education programs available in all three counties; an independent study of what educational goals parents have for their children; a WVBE tour of schools/facilities; and research of national studies related to rural, small schools.
“Our job as board members is to provide the best education for each student,” added Manchin. “It is vitally important that the community is informed and involved in every step of the yearlong study.”
A bond vote is scheduled for May 2014 in Fayette County. The bond includes new construction and renovations to existing school facilities. Attendees at the public forum heard plans for a Meadow Bridge Pre K – 8 community school. The Fayette County Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan will be amended so that the community school can become a part of future facility plans.
Fayette County Schools came under state control in 2010 following an Office of Education Performance Audit (OEPA) recommendation. As part of a county review, the OEPA found financial, personnel, curriculum and facilities issues.