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Education

All 5 W.Va. Public Charter Schools On Track To Open In Fall 2022

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All five of West Virginia’s public charter schools are on track to open in fall 2022, despite a location issue for one of the brick-and-mortar schools.

Nitro Preparatory Academy, one of the state’s three physical charter schools, hit a snag recently and is searching for a new building in Kanawha County.

“Our plans to locate Nitro Preparatory Academy at 302 21st Street [in Nitro] have changed due to a zoning challenge pertaining to the number of parking spaces available on-site,” Courtney Harritt, spokesperson for ACCEL Schools, said in an email. “At this time we are reviewing alternative locations in Nitro and throughout Kanawha County.”

Harritt said they hope to have a new building secured by mid-May.

ACCEL Schools is the education service provider for three of West Virginia’s five charter schools: Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy in Kearneysville, Nitro Prep and Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia.

Harritt said interest has been strong at both Virtual Prep and Eastern Panhandle Prep with more than 100 applications at each school. Both schools will offer grades K-10.

Virtual Prep, along with another virtual school, West Virginia Virtual Academy, are the state's two virtual charters.

West Virginia Virtual Academy will offer grades K-12, and its education service provider is a company called Stride.

Another brick-and-mortar charter school, West Virginia Academy, will be located in Morgantown and offer K-9. Its founder, John Treu, said in an email that the school will open in August.

“Our opening day is in early August because we have a modified term schedule with longer breaks between terms than traditional public schools,” Treu said. “We’ve hired most of our faculty and staff and over 400 students have applied and been admitted.”

Treu said the school has reached about 80 percent of total capacity with a couple grades nearly full. He said the majority of students are coming from Monongalia and Preston counties, with a few students enrolled from Marion County.

In related news, the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board met Friday. Prior to the meeting, Chairman Adam Kissel told West Virginia Public Broadcasting in an email that the board would have an “executive director discussion.”

However, this issue wasn’t brought up in the meeting. The board entered executive session for a “personnel matter” and then promptly adjourned.

The board has been searching for an executive director for some time. In October, the board had received at least six applications.


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