The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

August 10, 2008

Parents praise Academy at MSU for kids’ success

Jill Hopkins, head of the Academy at MSU, met with parents Friday to discuss the success of the new middle school and overall input about how the school is performing in terms of their children’s needs.

The Academy became available to students in Raleigh County and surrounding areas in 2002 after parents requested a new option for their children’s education be put in place. The school’s enrollment as of the 2007-2008 school year was 102 students in grades six through 12.

The Academy offers small classroom sizes, with a teacher/student ratio of no higher than 15:1, and one-on-one student/ teacher interaction. And because the Academy is located on MSU’s campus, resources that would normally not be available to public school students are there for the enrichment of the children’s minds. Resources such as culinary arts and study in forensics have been introduced to the students of the Academy.

The curriculum found at the Academy includes science, math, social studies, English with a focus on reading, and electives such as health, physical education, Spanish, arts and music. The students are also able to use the MSU campus resources such as the university’s library, media centers, advanced technology center and cultural activities.

At the high school level students can also participate in general education college level classes offered at MSU starting during their sophomore year summer with permission from the dean of the Academy. Junior and senior students in the high school must enroll in at least one college class per semester during the school year.

Recently, the Academy announced the school is trying to expand to cover grades kindergarten through 12th. Currently, the school is seeking students for the fall in grades kindergarten through fifth.

When asked why the school wants to expand, Hopkins answered, “The school was created from parent interest and because parents wanted a different option for their children’s middle school education.” The new school costs were supported through the university and opened last year.

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