CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Professional Charter School approved the application for the Clarksburg Classical Academy late last year.

The school will operate from a building at 1636 West Pike Street in the former location of Adamston Elementary School and is expected to conduct the first semester of instruction in the fall of 2024, according to Chairman of the Board, Chris “Mookie” Walker.

“The mission of the Clarksburg Classical Academy is to allow students to become productive, global citizens by providing a world-class, high-quality education by using the classic model,” Walker said.

The board favors a classical education, getting away from what Walker calls “telling students what to think,” but rather “teaching students how to think. He expects enrollment to approach 50 students in K through 8th grade for the first semester and grow as their profile in the community increases.

“We expect for the first few years to only have kindergarten through 8th grade, and then after we grow more and develop the students according to the stages, we’ll start the high school level,” Walker said.

In the classical model, there are three stages of learning. The grammar phase from K through 6 the logic phase from grades 7 through 9, and the rhetoric stage from grades 10 through 12. Each stage is focused on primary skill development to help students become critical thinkers.

“So during this stage (the rhetoric stage), students learn reasoning, informal reasoning, informal logic, and how to argue with wisdom and hopefully eloquence,” Walker said.

The school will be managed by Accel Schools, which manages 77 charter schools and 15 online schools, primarily in Ohio. According to Walker, Accel Schools will provide the teachers, and the controlling board of local residents will set and manage the course of the institution.

Accel Schools currently manages the Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy and the Virtual Prep Academy of West Virginia.

“But the board, at each and every meeting, looks hard and holds Accel Schools accountable, and they know that,” Walker said.

The Clarksburg Classical Academy Board of Directors meets on the first Friday of each month, and the meetings are open to the public. Walker hopes to grow the board with the parents of students to maximize family representation.

“The more the parents in the community know about what we’re doing, I think, the more enrollment we’ll get and the more support we’ll get from the parents to join the board of directors or to assist us in other ways,” Walker said.