Weekly NewsBrief 11/15/21 - 11/21/21
Board approves West Virginia’s first online charter schools – By the Associated Press
A new state board has approved West Virginia’s first statewide online charter schools.
The West Virginia Professional Charter School Board on Wednesday approved the West Virginia Virtual Academy and the Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Both will enroll students from kindergarten through 12th grade starting next year.
The West Virginia Virtual Academy will be operated by Stride Inc. The Virtual Preparatory Academy is operated by Accel Schools, which also will run brick-and-mortar charter schools in Nitro and in Jefferson County.
The board approved three brick-and-and-mortar schools last week, including one in the Cheat Lake area of Morgantown that will be run by West Virginia Academy, whose president, John Treu, is a West Virginia University assistant professor of accounting.
Chicago might rely less on yellow buses to transport students next fall – By Mila Koumpilova, Chalkbeat
Chicago could rethink its reliance on yellow school buses next year after a fall plagued by school bus driver shortages left thousands of students without a dependable ride to school.
The district’s CEO, Pedro Martinez, told the school board Wednesday that he is looking ahead to next fall and weighing whether alternative modes of transporting students should play a larger role. For example, he said, some families currently receiving $500 monthly stipends to line up their own transportation for their children might like to continue that arrangement next year. Officials said 710 families have opted to receive that stipend.
Amid national driver shortages that have bedeviled school districts, Chicago is also teaming up with taxi firms and a company called RideAlong, which specializes in providing rides to children.
“I am not sure if for next year having yellow buses should be the exclusive mode of transporting students,” Martinez said. “Our old way of thinking might be too restrictive.”