West Virginia schools getting ready for opening day

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) – Student, teacher, parents, and staff were visiting Capitol High School in Charleston, Thursday, all in preparation for the first day of classes for many on Monday, August 12th, 2019.

“This is my ninth year and I’m looking forward to it. My classroom’s just about ready to go. I’ve got brand new textbooks and I can’t wait to meet the kids,” said Matt Cox at teacher at Capitol High School.

There will be some changes again this year after a two-day statewide teachers strike. School employees received another 5% pay increase, and the state is spending more than $30,000,000 to put mental health counselors in every public school.

“As we teach reading and writing and mathematics, and other content areas, we can also support them with their social, emotional and mental health needs,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine.

The state is also expanding its “Communities in Schools” program to provide food, health care, tutoring and counseling for kids at risk of dropping out. First Lady Cathy Justice is leading the initiative.

“Attendance is a huge thing for kids coming to school. So we want to encourage them. Sometimes the parents, just to get them to school, is really tough and they don’t understand the importance of it,” said Justice.

Eleven counties in West Virginia now have the “Communities in Schools” program, with the goal of setting it up in all counties in the next few years.

As for those three controversial charter schools approved by the legislature, we are not likely to see them this year. That’s because local boards of education must request them first, in what is going to be a time-consuming process.

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