West Virginia’s Middle College Program presented to State Board of Education

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) received a briefing about a new program to support students in foster care during its June meeting today. The Middle College Program, the first of its kind in the nation, is the culmination of a partnership between Fairmont State University (FSU), Marion County Schools, KVC West Virginia and the West Virginia Schools of Diversion and Transition. It aims to prepare our most vulnerable students for success after high school.

Middle College is an on-campus, academic program that provides extensive resources to enrolled foster care students entering the 11th grade.  A dedicated team of resident hall staff, case managers, therapists and specialized supervisory staff will wrap individualized services around each child to address academic deficiencies and/or other needs.

Enrolled students will reside at FSU and, over two years, will earn their high school diploma. Additionally, each will exit Middle College with 60 college credit hours for the completion of an associate degree. Students may then pursue pathways to employment, enlistment or education with the skills and confidence of the general school population.

The inaugural program begins this fall with a cohort of up to 50 students. Additional information about Middle College at Fairmont State University is available online.

Martinsburg North Middle School Update

The WVBE approved the Corrective Action Plan for a Berkeley County Middle School during its June meeting today.

The WVBE placed Martinsburg North Middle School under a State of Emergency last month after a Targeted School Environment Assessment (TSEA) conducted by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) identified conditions that threaten a safe and productive learning environment for children. Today’s plan will assist county leaders in addressing areas that led to the State of Emergency.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, a team, representing the WVDE Office of District/School Improvement and the Office of Leadership Development, visited the middle school to conduct the TSEA. The assessment was prompted by behavior data reported in the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS) and achievement scores which continued to lag significantly below state averages (among other issues).

Among the plan requirements, county and school leadership will:

  • Develop a multi-tiered discipline plan with appropriate supports and interventions
  • Set clear and consistent processes for supporting and managing student behaviors
  • Examine and maximize instructional time for improved student outcomes
  • Provide professional learning to improve instruction
  • Provide a mentor for instructional leadership

To review the complete Martinsburg North Middle School Corrective Action Plan, visit the WVDE website.

Superintendent Evaluation

The WVBE has evaluated the job performance of Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt as, “outstanding in all areas of the evaluation.” In accordance with W.Va. Code §18-3-1, the WVBE evaluates the performance of the state superintendent annually. Superintendent Blatt was appointed to the position in June 2023 and has guided the WVDE through several post-pandemic challenges. She continues the focus on early learning by building resources identified in the Third Grade Success Act to support literacy, numeracy and other building blocks of learning.

The WVBE recognized Superintendent Blatt’s leadership of public education as exceptional and the respect she garners from stakeholders throughout public education.

Policy Revisions

Several policy revisions were discussed and recommended for public review.

Policy 1241 is proposed to be amended related to live streaming WVBE meetings and to the telephonic/electronic conferencing participation by persons who are scheduled to present to the WVBE. The proposed amendments are designed to ensure transparency and accessibility related to WVBE public meetings.

Policy 4110 is being recommended for repeal and replacement to incorporate recent legislation and better organize the policy to reflect state, county and school responsibilities. The policy defines and outlines the plan for districts to create a System of Support Plan for schools to encourage and support student attendance.

These policies have been placed on public comment for 30 days and may be reviewed on the WVDE Policies page.


*Please note a change in the July WVBE meeting which has been moved to 9 a.m., Monday, July 8, 2024, in Building 6, Suite 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.

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