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‘State of Emergency’ issued for Hampshire County Schools’ special education services

By Review Staff, Hampshire Review

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Board of Education placed Hampshire County Schools’ special education services under a  “state of emergency” at their monthly meeting today.

The Board placed the county schools’ special education services under a state of emergency in order to address critical areas identified during a recent Special Circumstance Review, detailed a press release from the West Virginia Department of Education Wednesday.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Accountability initiated the Review of Hampshire County in September due to a lack of progress over a three-year period on a targeted improvement plan developed by the WVDE Office of Special Education.

Hampshire County received a rating of “Needs Assistance” in the Special Education Indicator of Efficiency in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 County Approval Status and Accreditation Report. This resulted in increased monitoring and technical assistance by the WVDE, however, sufficient progress was not achieved.

The WVDE also identified three additional focus areas as part of the review. These include county administrative practices, information in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and access to curriculum.

With the issuance of the state of emergency, the WVBE directed State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt to appoint designees to coordinate on-site school improvement efforts with Hampshire County Schools Superintendent Jeff Pancione.

If progress in correcting the extraordinary circumstances is not made in six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the WVBE may consider additional action.

The full report can be accessed on the WVDE website.

The Review is following this story. More information will be available in next week’s edition.

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