Frequently Asked Questions
There has been a lot of information reported about West Virginia Academy and charter schools in general. We address some of the most common concerns and questions parents are asking about this unique new approach to public education.
Q: Does West Virginia Academy charge tuition like private schools?
There is no tuition or additional fees at West Virginia Academy. The WV charter school law states that “[a]ll public charter schools established under this article are public schools and are part of the state’s public education system.” (see West Virginia Code Sec. 18-5G-1(c)) As part of the public education system, charter schools mirror traditional public schools in some ways including that there is never a tuition charge and any fees must be commensurate with any fees charged at public schools.
Q: What is the difference between Public Charter Schools and Traditional Public Schools?
Public charter schools are granted more flexibility how the state curriculum is presented and in the academic standards to which they adhere. The stated purpose of the public charter school model is to empower new, innovative, and more flexible ways of educating West Virginia children. Charter schools have greater flexibility in terms of establishing distinctive curriculum and innovative practices and programs to engage student learning. Public charter schools may also expand opportunities for parents, community members, and local entities to meaningfully engage in the public school system.
Q: Do West Virginia Public Charter Schools Comply with Curricular Standards?
Yes. Public charter schools are still responsible for the same student performance standards as all other public schools. Charters report student test scores within the West Virginia reporting system to the WVDE and are overseen by an authorizer. The innovative techniques and themes public charters can incorporate set them apart from traditional public schools, which allows children to learn in various ways. Public charter schools can be thought of as innovation labs where new, but proven, curriculum, technology, and teaching strategies can be implemented among West Virginia students to enhance education more generally.
Q: Will West Virginia Academy have a Competitive Sports Program?
Yes! According to West Virginia Charter Code, public charter schools are "eligible to participate in state-sponsored or district-sponsored athletic and academic interscholastic leagues, competitions, awards, scholarships, and recognition programs for students, educators, administrators, and schools to the same extent as non-charter public schools."
Q. Will West Virginia Academy have the same State Assessments?
Yes! West Virginia Academy will give the same standardize tests as in non-charter public schools. Assessments are a very important measure for our teachers and administrators to see if our teaching methods and curriculum are being implemented successfully. Our decisions are data-driven to enable our teachers to implement the most effective methods and continuously improvement.
Q. Is bus transportation provided to the charter school?
Yes. Public charter schools can provide bus transportation just like non-charter public schools and West Virginia Academy will provide transportation to all students residing in its Primary Recruitment Area.
Q. Can Anyone Attend West Virginia Academy?
Yes. Any child that resides anywhere in West Virginia can attend West Virginia Academy. Under the law, all WV charter schools are open to all students in West Virginia, although practical considerations will typically limit each schools student base to those students that reside within a reasonable driving distance of the school. Additionally, if continuing students and additional applicants exceed available capacity at the school, then a lottery is held to determine which new applicants are enrolled. As long as there is space, everyone that applies is enrolled.
Q. What is a charter school admission lottery? Are continuing students subject to the lottery?
The lottery admissions process may apply to new applicants, but does not apply to continuing students. Continuing students are permitted to enroll for the upcoming year by simply registering before the applicable deadline for continuing students. Also, if there is sufficient capacity at our school to accommodate all new applicants then every new applicant is also enrolled without holding a lottery. In the event that there are more new applicants than slots available for any particular grade, the students from that grade are selected based on a tiered random lottery system. The lottery system places students into priority pools and then students are accepted based on a random selection within each pool in the order of priority until all space at the school is allocated. The top priority pool is for new applicants who have one or more siblings already attending the school and then the next level of priority goes to applicants who are children of staff and board members. Then the next priority pool is applicants who reside in the primary recruitment area and then, lastly, new applicants where none of the enrollment preferences apply.