Board approves West Virginia’s first online charter schools

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A new state board has approved West Virginia’s first statewide online charter schools.

The West Virginia Professional Charter School Board on Wednesday approved the West Virginia Virtual Academy and the Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Both will enroll students from kindergarten through 12th grade starting next year.

The West Virginia Virtual Academy will be operated by Stride Inc. The Virtual Preparatory Academy is operated by Accel Schools, which also will run brick-and-mortar charter schools in Nitro and in Jefferson County.

The board approved three brick-and-and-mortar schools last week, including one in the Cheat Lake area of Morgantown that will be run by West Virginia Academy, whose president, John Treu, is a West Virginia University assistant professor of accounting.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill in 2019 that allows for the creation of charter schools. Legislation approved earlier this year created the new state-level charter board, whose members were appointed by Justice.

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