CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – In a decisive move, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) has given its nod to the Special Circumstance Review of Philippi Middle School during its January meeting in Charleston.
The review, initiated in November 2023 by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), aimed to address pressing concerns regarding student safety and the perceived lack of progress in the school’s improvement process.
Philippi Middle School, situated in Barbour County, is home to approximately 275 students spanning grades 5 to 8.
The WVDE Office of Accountability undertook an extensive evaluation, conducting 44 classroom observations, along with interviews of teachers, students, and administrators.
The scrutiny also involved a meticulous analysis of school-level data.
Notably, both the county superintendent and school principal assumed their roles in July 2023, and it is pertinent to note that many of the identified issues predate their tenure.
The review brought to light a significant 22 areas of non-compliance and five key findings.
These encompassed a spectrum of concerns ranging from student achievement, well-being, and safety to issues related to discipline and administrative protocols.
In response to these findings, the WVBE has put forth a series of recommendations designed to address the identified challenges.
Among the recommendations is the immediate recruitment of a certified school counselor to bolster student support services.
Additionally, a disciplinary matrix is proposed to ensure consistent, fair, and firm responses to behavioral issues.
The need for enhancements to the school’s Special Education practices and procedures is underscored, aiming at fostering a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.
Furthermore, the WVBE advocates for improvements in instructional leadership practices to fortify overall academic outcomes.
As the Board takes a proactive stance in ensuring the welfare and academic success of students, these recommendations are set to shape the trajectory of Philippi Middle School towards a more conducive and secure educational setting.
The county, alongside the school’s leadership, now faces the critical task of implementing these corrective measures to drive positive change in the educational landscape.