State Board See Improvements at Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

November 08, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education’s action plan to address educational issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind is showing results, the state Board of Education learned Tuesday.

In 2010 the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind was cited by the Office of Education Performance Audits for safety, technology, curriculum and leadership issues. Since that time, the WVDE has developed an action plan to correct the deficiencies and hired a new superintendent, Lynn Boyer, who has led the improvement effort.

“The Schools for the Deaf and the Blind have had a long history in our state, spanning about 140 years,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “It was unfortunate that steps had to be taken to address issues there. Nevertheless, the bold and swift action taken by the board to correct deficiencies is paying off.”

The schools have prepared a cost proposal for the planning of its first Comprehensive Facilities Educational Plan (CEFP).  This planning will engage multiple groups of stakeholders who have a vested interest in the future of the school as an educational facility of national excellence, a source of economic development in the Romney community, and a consolidated site for professional development of teachers for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or low vision across the state.

In addition, the schools have submitted the first strategic plans that are a collective commitment to improving the achievement of students, establishing a culture of technology for instruction, creating a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, improving the competency levels in American Sign Language (ASL) for all staff directly engaged with students each day, and recreating a model of outreach that is efficient, data driven, and committed to improved outcomes for all students in West Virginia who have varying degrees of deafness or blindness. 

Also, only students who are eligible for services at the schools are now enrolled.  Through a rigorous review process conducted in 2010 and 2011, students whose primary areas of disability were not those related to deafness, hard of hearing, blind, low vision, or deaf-blind were transitioned to their counties of residence in collaboration with Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams in those counties. 

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.