By Sarah Plummer
The West Virginia Department of Education has awarded Dropout Prevention Innovations Zone school grants for the 2012-13 school year.
Among those to receive the awards will be McDowell County Schools, Nicholas County Schools and Greenbrier West High School.
These schools will use the grants for school improvement tools such as after-school and community outreach programs, behavioral initiative, guidance counselors and standardized test preparation to combat dropout rates.
According to the state department, each county or school will have a Dropout Prevention Innovated Zone Plan tailored to its student needs.
At Greenbrier West High School in Greenbrier County, for instance, the grant will support after-school programs with a large focus on the arts in schools.
“Innovation Zones are allowing our schools to adapt to changing times and embrace new ideas and new teaching strategies,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Giving our schools greater flexibility allows them to create learning facilities that reflect how children live and learn today and in the future.”