MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The first charter school in West Virginia continues to grow as they start the 2023–24 school year.
West Virginia Academy Board Chairman John Treu announced that plans for expansion are in the works as the second year of operation gets underway. On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Treu said plans are in place for a new location in Monongalia County and continued development in Preston County.
“We’ve just had a really good start to the semester, we’ve got about 300 students in the building from pre-school up to tenth grade,” said Treu. “We seem to be growing, there’s a lot of new families that get into town and they come check us out, and it’s been a really good beginning of the school year,” he said.
The West Virginia Academy educates a student base predominantly from Monongalia and Preston counties. To account for the demographics of the students, Treu stated that a land option is in place for property in Morgantown’s Falling Water neighborhood as well as an agreement to continue to develop the Preston County Youth Center in Masontown. The plan for the West Virginia Academy is to have three separate facilities as they expand on their original location.
“The Falling Water campus would initially be the secondary school campus, and then it would grow and include a primary school campus there as well,” said Treu on the expansion plans. “The current facility right now would continue as mostly a primary school campus, the Preston campus would initially start with younger grades,” he said.
As the West Virginia Academy expands, Treu expects the offerings for extracurricular activities to grow as well. Despite having 300 students combined from pre-school up to the tenth grade, teams have been established for athletic programs and sports. Since passage of House Bill 2820 West Virginia Academy athletes can participate with other high schools, But treu hopes programs like football and baseball can be added over the next few years.
“We do offer cross-country and track for both boys and girls, and we offer girls volleyball and boys basketball,” said Treu on WAJR’s Talk of the Town. “Those are the sports that we’re focused on, and we do keep adding more sports as the size of our programs grows,” he said.
Treu and the rest of the West Virginia Academy board feel more students will join as the 2023–24 school year continues. The unique education approach that aims to bring students to appropriate learning levels at a pace best suited for an individual has led to neighborhoods around Marion County bringing their kids to learn with students from Monongalia and Preston counties. With pending test results projected to show positive developments, Treu expects the West Virginia Academy expansion to garner a lot of public support.
“So far, the programs have been really successful in seeing that progress among our student base,” said Treu. “I think after the second year, when we do testing, we’ll be able to see the success of the program year over year,” he said.
The primary facility is located at 763 Chestnut Ridge Road.