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Virtual charter school set to begin classes in 3 weeks

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. — Board members overseeing the Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia were told Tuesday the school would be ready for its first day of instruction set for Aug. 22.

Educational Service Provider Shannon McElwain told the board there are 98 students who are fully enrolled. That’s 33 additional students in the last three weeks. She said there are additional applications under review.

“We now have 375 total applications in process in any of the stages. That’s up 79 since the last time we met,” McElwain said. “The number of completed applications that are pending review are 72.”

Enrollment tends to break late in the summer in the online school space, McElwain told the board.

“We’re seeing that kind of expected uptick that we see at this point and time,” she said.

Russell Gray has been hired as Head of School. Gray has hired a school principal who will begin Aug. 8.

McElwain said VPA has a student services coordinator, special education coordinator, operations manager and registration all hired who have either started working or will begin soon.

VPA has hired 4 elementary school teachers with one position remaining to fill. There have been three teachers hired to teach middle school with an opening for a middle school science teacher. There will be four high school teachers with two positions remaining to be filled in the areas of math and science.

One of two special education positions has been filled.

VPA has also signed a lease for a physical office which will be located on Rosehill Drive in Kearneysville in Jefferson County. McElwain said it should be ready for occupation soon.

There’s a second virtual charter school, Mountain State Learning Solutions, also called West Virginia Virtual Academy, that is scheduled to begin classes this fall.

The application deadline for new public charter schools for the 2023-24 school year is Aug. 31.

The state charter school board also approved three physical charter schools earlier this year. The first, West Virginia Academy in Monongalia County, began classes this week.

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