CHARLESTON, W.Va. –
Full control will be given back to Gilmer County Schools on January 6, 2017 upon recommendation by Susan O'Brien, Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA). The WVBE voted to return local control under the following terms: the current superintendent will remain in the position until June 30, 2017 unless the Gilmer County Board of Education (GCBE) and the superintendent mutually agree to terminate the contract; the GCBE shall post and fill the position of superintendent by July 1, 2017; and the current superintendent retains all rights to apply for the position if so desired and shall be given the same consideration as all applicants.
Since Gilmer County Schools were declared in a state of emergency in June 2011, the WVBE and OEPA have been working directly with the schools to make improvements in areas including curriculum, policy, finance, facilities, personnel, transportation and the establishment and operation of a school calendar. In 2013, Gilmer County Schools regained control of curriculum, policies, general finances, transportation and the establishment of the school calendar after exhibiting progress in those areas. In July 2016, control of personnel was also granted. Gilmer County Schools regained full control as the WVBE voted to hand over control of the last two remaining areas: facilities and finances related to facilities.
"The West Virginia Board of Education is pleased to return control to Gilmer County Schools," said Michael Green, WVBE president. “We have thoroughly reviewed the OEPA reports, and feel confident in returning control back to the Gilmer County Board of Education. We believe the best days are ahead for the students in Gilmer County.”
Following the WVBE’s vote to return total control to Gilmer County, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be executed which outlines the exit strategy for WVBE and lays out the two-year provisional oversight period. This allows for continued monitoring of the county’s performance of areas noted in the initial performance audit, and helps to ensure a smooth and successful transition.