The West Virginia Board of Education has identified a list of 32 low performing schools across the state as priority schools.

The priority schools designation is part of West Virginia’s ESEA Flexibility Request which includes waivers of certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the ESEA Flexibility Request, these priority schools are among the lowest five percent of Title I schools based on school-wide student achievement and a historical lack of progress over three years. Non-Title I schools meeting the same criteria are also on the list.

Under the priority schools designation, a diagnostic visit will be conducted to identify weaknesses within the school and then each school will be provided a road-map to success based on its specific needs.

The West Virginia Department of Education and Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) will then work together with each school and county school system to provide professional development and technical assistance to improve the performance level of each school.

Schools named priority schools and their county are: Barbour, Philippi Middle, Junior Elementary; Berkeley, Burke Street Elementary; Braxton, Braxton County High; Cabell, Peyton Elementary, Enslow Middle; Fayette, Ansted Elementary, Collins Middle; Grant, Union Educational Complex; Hampshire, Hampshire Senior High; Kanawha, Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary, Watts Elementary, J E Robins Elementary; Lincoln, Lincoln County High, Midway Elementary; Logan, Buffalo Elementary, Man Senior High, Chapmanville Senior High; Mercer, Spanishburg School; Mingo, Gilbert Middle, Williamson Middle; McDowell, Southside K-8, Mount View High; Preston, Tunnelton-Denver Elementary; Summers, Summers County High School; Taylor, Anna Jarvis Elementary; Wayne, East Lynn Elementary, Wayne Middle; Webster, Webster County High, Glade Middle; and Wood, Jefferson Elementary, Franklin Elementary.

If after a three year period the priority school no longer fits the initial criteria for priority status and shows major improvements in student achievement, they can lose the status.

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  • Mindy

    I have a child in the school system that I know has a learning problem. I have tried talking to the teachers and going through all the routes that I possibly know how to, to get him some help and I've even sit at home and tried helping him myself and nothing helps. The problem is he needs the extra help but his scores on the COMPUTER shows different. He's grades DON"T. They need to stop worrying about the WEST tests and start working on teaching the kids what they need to know to live life. I understand that teachers don't get paid near enough money for what they do, but somewhere someone needs to step in and solve the problems with all the political bull**** in the system that won't let the teachers do what they need to, to help the kids that need the extra help.... Just my opinion.

  • Mark Wratchford

    Gubbament monopoly is not good. Let the parents decide where their tax money goes and private schools will pop up everywhere. As John Stossel's one hour special on schools has shown, private schools with less focus on the buildings and more focus on the student and the basics far excel the gubbament models. Free market always works best. Not this crony capitalism that we have had for the past hundred years. Woodrow Wilson's blueprint.

  • DebbieL

    I can understand why our high school is on the list....graduating seniors with 3.5 to 4.0 + and the majority can't write a sentence or spell.....but they sure did get all that extra credit for showing up for class. When I went to school showing up for class was a given!

    • Francesca

      Attitudes about coming to school are not what they use to be. A lot of us would never have missed attending a class. There are students who never miss and then there are those who may attend two days a week. Recently a student said the parents had both dropped out of school and told her that she could also. Extra credit.....not offered in a lot of classes, but at the same time, instructors are told to make arrangements for extra assignments to provide the student every opportunity to pass the class. Also, early morning and after school tutoring is offered by every teacher three days a week and also a few evenings in the library.....most students do not take advantage of the tutoring. Programs are offered but sadly not always taken advantage of.

  • JImJim

    It's over, schools are not the answer. WV could have a 50 % improvement and still be way behind. The way of life and society in America has changed, there is no going back. Businesses need to train their own employees. Make education real. Businesses get the benefit of an educated workforce, they should pay the price. It's on the horizon and it will be here sooner than we realize. You can see the trend developing in the number of people who do not get a four year college degree. Why should the public pay taxes to fund schools to benefit businesses. Let them pay the cost of the education of their employees.

  • Francesca

    Yes, HHS is on the list because of low WEST TEST scores three years in a row. Understand that I am there daily. There are a lot of great things happening in the classrooms of HHS. Good things happen and yes, there are areas that also need improvement. Being positive is one of the first steps that I feel needs to be on the mind of everyone involved. Rumors, of course you are going to hear rumors, but until you are personally involved in the day to day events of the school, please dismiss the rumors. Now is the time for change to happen, decisions are going to be made and everyone is not going to be happy with changes that we will be faced with. But that is ok. It is time to jump in with both feet and move forward for a better tomorrow!

  • ME

    Hampshire Senior High on the list.. Now that does not surprise me. If people only knew what really goin on there.


    Here's the deal. If teachers and others blame the parents, a variable that can never be corrected as its an intangible. Accept it, a develop a plan to fix it! That doesn't include jailing parents as that won't solve anything. So as any successful business does, develop a solution to respond to this gap and press on. Stop the blaming game, get your heads out of your asses and solve this problem. End of that story.

    • Joe

      Thanks, WVforLife. That is what I was getting at in my previous posts....if a gap-fill plan currently does not exist, what professional development will the RESA's accomplish if these truly are parent/socioeconomic issues? If such action plans do exist, what is the obstacle preventing their implementation?

  • itisevie

    I think consolidated schools pose a hardship on the students. Get back to smaller schools where the faculty actually know the parents, make each hold the other accountable for their role in the child's life.

    • Scott


    • GregG

      Thank you itisevie!!! I have said for many years that consolidation is one of the biggest problems with our education system. Another BIG one, that most want to ignore is the economy. It takes both parents working, and many times more than one job, to live today. If we could go back to an economy where one parent could be home actually taking part in the lives of the children then I believe we would see a big improvement in education and also a big decrease in other issues such as crime, teen pregnancy and drug abuse. Sadly, I don't see that ever taking place because we have become a nation that would rather see a CEO of some business earn millions upon millions than to see our youth educated.

  • Blu 31

    Six of the eight high schools listed are consolidated schools - to the best of my knowledge. I know that many students in these schools travel an hour each way to and from school. That alone could be a big part of the problem in those situations.. It would be interesting to see how successful consolidated schools handle this problem.


      Too much emphasis on sports!!!! All that matters is the football, volleyball and baseball seasons.

  • Brian

    While I do agree that parents and students are falling far short of what they should be doing to ensure proper education, I consistently get the distinct impression that teachers seem very unwilling to take any responsibility for poor educational outcomes. I am not impressed with what I know, or think I know, of teachers. It is the most important job in the country, and the pay scale does not reflect that. We need to pay teachers better and get better people into that essential profession.

    And parents, wow, what a mess! We have a generation of terrible, selfish, spoiled, lazy parents who were taught to be that way by their terrible, selfish, spoiled, lazy, hippy parents. It's a mess, and all the momentum is going the wrong way.

    • itisevie

      I have to agree that teachers aren't as a rule willing to go the extra mile. In my comment above I mentioned how kids opt out of the classroom by not participating, mostly due to the fact they have outpaced their parents' education. Teahcers HAVE to be able to see this if a parent can see it. What action plans do schools have for this? What can a teacher do to inspire a kid to rise above?

      • Support Education

        Many teachers do try to inspire their students. One problem is that as class size increases at higher grade levels in many places. Teachers at higher grade levels are often faced with larger classes as well as multiple class loads (multiple periods) thus making it harder to establish solid rapport and trust with his/her students.

  • Liberalism IsaDisease

    Progressives have run the education system for the last 40 years and where has that gotten WV???? WV continually ranked at the bottom of test scores. The US lost its top ranking and now is ranked about 38th in the world in educating children.
    The Progressive education model is a miserable failure. A miserable failure. And they continually whine and cry about more money.
    And now the repressive Progressives want to manage your health care. No thanks.
    The repressive Progressives have the Anti-Midas touch. Whatever they touch turns into crap in a hurry.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    maybe the parents should go back to school with them if they are uneducated

    • itisevie

      I noticed with my kids that in about 4th to 5th grade kids in their classes would virtually opt out of school, they stopped handing in homework, and became apathetic in the classroom. It took a few months the first time I noticed to make the correlation to the parents. Almost universally, the kids opting out had illiterate or nearly illiterate parents. The kids had out paced the parents and could no longer get support at home for doing work outside of class. Very sad. Illiteracy perpetuates itself...


        Great observation. So now lets attach the problem head on without parents. It's obvious that will never happen. So how do we fill that gap? That's the million dollar answer. So develop a solution now.

  • Joe

    I wasn't being sarcastic, Brian. What kind of professional development are they talking about? All your points above are specific to problems in the home.

    BTW-the name is Joe.

    • BigDave

      Excellent observation, Joe. Anyone who follows education even with half an eye and ear operating knows the cry of the teachers is . . . . it's all the fault of the parents!! Now give us a raise!

  • Brian

    Your sarcasm is cute Joey - BUT; that comment Is probably more realistic than you (or most) can imagine.
    I live in Cabell Co. & both Peyton Ele. and Enslow Middle serve some of the lowest socio-economic, highest unwed mother, and least educated demographics in both the county (and state). I read a stat from last year that Peyton Elementary has upwards of 90% Free/Reduced lunch - which, unfortunately, has PROVEN and DIRECT correlation to the factors I mentioned above.
    So....... I guess a thank you is in order for reminding folks about the daily struggles most public school teachers face everyday.

    Appreciate it buddy!!!

  • Joe

    Provide professional development for who? The teachers have repeatedly indicated it's the parents and students who cause this.