21st Century Pilot Schools To Meet For First Time

September 25, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ Sixteen high schools chosen to participate as pilot sites for the West Virginia Department of Education’s 21st Century High Schools That Work program will meet for the first time on Monday, Sept. 25 at the Charleston Civic Center Parlor D at 10 a.m.  

The initiative is a five-year effort to provide targeted technical assistance to schools that have committed to implementing practices to improve student performance and school effectiveness.  

“Our challenge is to provide instruction that is not only relevant, engaging and meaningful, but that is also rigorous to prepare our students to be competitive in the 21st century workplace,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. “These schools will help us reach that goal.”  

The selected high schools, by county, are: Berkeley: Hedgesville, Martinsburg and Musselman; Boone: Scott; Fayette: Mount Hope; Hampshire: Hampshire High; Hancock: Oak Glen; Jackson: Ripley; Lincoln: Lincoln County; Mineral: Frankfort and Keyser; Monroe: James Monroe; Ohio: Wheeling Park; Preston: Preston High; Raleigh: Woodrow Wilson; and Webster: Webster County.  

Board President Lowell Johnson will address about 200 teachers, principals and superintendents from the chosen schools.  

“We at the state board are firm believers that we need to develop rigor in our curriculum,” Johnson said. “And when we talk about rigor, we’re not talking about giving kids more tests. We’re talking about increasing their understanding of the content we teach them so they can better apply it in the real world.”  

The 21st Century High Schools That Work program builds on standards established by the Southern Regional Education Board’s High Schools that Work design. It also incorporates 21st Century Learning Skills, which the state Board of Education has made the basis of its five-year plan to improve achievement.  

The 21st Century High Schools That Work is founded on the conviction that students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create an environment that motives students. It provides the structure, goals and practices for accelerating learning and setting higher standards.  

Participating schools will strive to meet various benchmarks, including increasing the number of students graduating, the number of students meeting ACT college readiness standards and the percentage of students enrolled and completing AP courses. They also will develop a transition class in English and math for all seniors who fail to demonstrate readiness for postsecondary studies.  

Contact Assistant Superintendent Stan Hopkins in the Division of Technical and Adult Education at (304) 558-2346 for more information.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.