CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) adopted a policy today that will strengthen the relationship between county school boards and The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy. Policy 2446, was written to clarify the amended legislation, Code §18-2-6, via HB459 which provides for the payment of tuition by county boards of education to The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy for each student graduating from the Academy with a high school diploma.The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education. High School Diplomas are available for those who qualify. Diplomas are issued by the home high school and are presented at the MCA graduation. In addition, a variety of training certifications are available. “The State Board of Education’s policy clarifies how the payment of tuition to The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy will be calculated and maintains that the payment will only be required for those students who graduate from the Academy with a high school diploma,” said Michael Green, WVBE President. “This is a way to strengthen the support between the home county and the Academy while reinforcing the exceptional programs the Academy provides to our young people.” The mission of the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is to train and mentor selected at-risk youth to become contributing members of society using the eight core components. The mentorship is completed in a quasi-military environment during a 22-week residential and one-year Post-Residential follow-up program. The eight core components include academic excellence, life coping skills, job skills, health and hygiene, responsible citizenship, service to the community, leadership and followership and physical fitness. “We see continued success with our cadets who dedicate themselves to the program,” said Kathy L. Tasker, director of the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy. “To date, the Academy has graduated 3,585 cadets. About 80% of those cadets are leaving here with a high school diploma. That is more than 3,500 students who were at one time at high risk for dropping out of high school completely.” The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is free for accepted cadets through support funds from the U.S. Department of Defense and the West Virginia Department of Education. For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.