State review ordered for Lincoln County school district

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia education officials have ordered a review of a county school system, a move that puts the district in jeopardy of being put back under state control.

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to have the state Department of Education review the Lincoln County school system, news outlets reported. The move came after a review of Guyan Valley Middle School found 31 non-compliance issues.

State Board of Education President Dave Perry said the school review in January was prompted by complaints because a student killed herself.

“They had a non-certified counselor and it would appear to a certain degree that the student was not permitted or allowed access to counseling services,” Perry said.

The review could lead to the state taking control of the district, which spent 12 years under state control before gaining independence in 2012, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

After a meeting that included two closed sessions, the board said that it was “gravely concerned at the findings in this report and is likewise concerned that similar conditions could be present in other schools in Lincoln County.”

Lincoln County School Board President Steve Priestley said he was surprised by some of the issues found at Guyan Valley, but said he thinks issues are confined to the school.

“I really don’t see that there are pervasive issues that go throughout our whole county,” he said.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.