Charter schools focused on nursing and business mentoring apply for next round

Two new organizations are applying to start charter schools in West Virginia over the next two years.

The Workforce Initiative for Nurses (WIN) Academy proposes to provide an accelerated nursing program option to up to 30 high school students in the ten-county area served by BridgeValley Community & Technical College. The application characterizes the charter school as an initiative of Casey Sacks, president of BridgeValley.

The focus would be on high school students. allowing participants to complete the first year of an associate-level registered nursing program.

“If successful, WIN Academy will help a small cohort of young students complete their nursing program around age 20, contributing to the larger labor shortage of registered nurses – which is a high-demand, high-paying position in West Virginia,” the organization wrote in its application.

The MECCA Business Learning Institute hopes to open in Berkeley County for middle and high school students with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and finance. Its application proposes to start for about 250 seventh and eighth graders in the fall of 2024. Over time, the school could grow to 850 students through 12th grade.

The name stands for MBEF College & Career Academies. The “MBEF”, in turn, stands for the “Mentoring by Example Foundation”, which is a non-profit organization working with young people.

“MBLI believes that all students can reach their full potential and will provide students with the opportunity to explore interest in business and entrepreneurship while developing leadership skills,” the organization wrote in its application.

The deadline for new applicants to the West Virginia Board of Chartered Vocational Schools was last week.

Adam Kissel

“It’s great to have the prospect of general and specialized charter schools in West Virginia,” said Adam Kissel, chairman of this board.

“I would like to see a wide variety of proven or innovative program models, including traditional schools, with a wide variety of enrollment sizes, tailored to the needs and preferences of families, students and communities of all kinds at across the state.”

He noted that if the two new applicants are approved, the total number of approved charter schools in West Virginia would be seven.

“The rate of growth appears to be following the 10 charter limit set by the legislature in the first three years,” Kissel said.

West Virginia had no charter schools until now, after passing state law allowing them in 2019. The first schools opened in the past few weeks.

West Virginia Academy in Morgantown began its academic year a few weeks ago with 470 students.

Eastern Panhandle Prep Academy has 330 students enrolled through the end of last week.

The West Virginia Virtual Academy had 261 students enrolled.

The Virtual Prep Academy has 192 registrants.

A fifth that was approved to open this year, Nitro Preparatory Academy, has been delayed from its location this year and plans to open next year instead.

The first charter schools took root even as a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the system heads to the state Supreme Court.

Garrett Ballengee

“I don’t think West Virginia has fully realized the potential of charter schools to solve some of our state’s biggest problems,” said Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute, which has supported various “choice of school”. West Virginia.

“For example, take the proposed nursing-focused charter school in the Kanawha Valley, the more you can address issues like a nursing shortage upstream, the better it is for taxpayers, the state, and local communities. Once West Virginia becomes comfortable exercising choice in education, I expect we will continue to see impressive growth in charter schools and education options, in general. , which is good for children and families.

Comments are closed.