The Kanawha County Board of Education is moving forward with the creation of a project to improve academics at its schools on Charleston’s West Side.
At Thursday night’s meeting, the board approved the recommendation to expand Senate Bill 2009 and create a Community Development School Pilot Demonstration Project.
Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring said more changes are needed.
“They’re making gains academically but we would like to see it even more and we think that we need to look at some other changes over there in order to improve achievement,” said Duerring.
The project involves taking numerous recommendations put together by Duerring and Rev. Matthew Watts with HOPE Community Development Corporation and implementing them into West Side schools in an effort to improve achievement.
Duerring said the recommendations include year-round school, requiring uniforms, dealing with tardiness and taking a look at absenteeism just to name a few.
“Any tool that we can pull out of our box to improve that situation were hoping, that if we can get the ability to do that, we’d like to do it,” said Duerring.
The pilot project also supports the creation of a Comprehensive Youth and Family Services Clearinghouse as well as a state-of-the-art Extreme Career Exploration Center.
The project involves a total of 16 recommendations.
Duerring said this is a way to find out what works and what doesn’t.
“Not everything is going to work in there and we need to find out if it is or if it isn’t,” said Duerring. “And those things that work we will continue to do.”
The school board hopes to take those things that do work in this project and eventually apply them to other schools throughout the county.
Duerring is working on writing a letter on behalf of the board to Gov. Earl RayTomblin and state lawmakers seeking approval of legislation and possible funding to enact the recommendations.
Five schools will be participating in the project.