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Deficiencies addressed at WVa schools for deaf, blind

June 24, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Education officials on Thursday released recommendations to address deficiencies at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, including a plan to consolidate the schools.

The Department of Education released a 39-page report following an on-site review at the schools in Romney. The schools offer educational programs for hearing impaired and visually impaired students.

The review resulted in issues of noncompliance in areas such as student care, facilities, finance, school leadership and transportation, the department said in a news release.

“We will always focus on what is best for the children of our state, especially those in vulnerable circumstances,” state Board of Education President Miller Hall said in a statement. “The Board is committed to the process of restoring the vision and mission of the school so that it can best serve this important role. It is going to take some time; however, it is essential that we understand the magnitude of the issues in order to begin implementing the necessary measures.”

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The schools currently house 93 students and 24 teachers. During a change in administration at the schools, the department provided increased support through the 2020 school year. But more concerns came up, prompting a special review. Staff members conducted classroom visits, facility tours and examined financial records and student files in late April.

In addition to areas of noncompliance, the review found the need for improved documentation, family communication and the utilization and maintenance of facilities.

Consolidation of the two schools will begin this summer.