School Fair in Oglebay promotes ‘hope’ for choice in West Virginia | News, Sports, Jobs
WHEELING — Those looking for more knowledge and “hope” for school choice in West Virginia had the opportunity Saturday in Wheeling.
West Virginia’s first-ever School Choice Fair—sponsored by the Cardinal Institute and West Virginia Voice for Education Choice—was held in the Pine Room in Oglebay Park.
Educators from across the region representing public, religious and special schools were present.
Many parents and grandparents have been found to know more about the educational opportunities that exist for their children locally, and details of the Hope Scholarship are expected to be available for West Virginia students later this year.
The Hope Scholarship, in its first year, is expected to provide approximately $4,600 per child to families wishing to individualize their education by homeschooling or attending a private school.
The money can be invested in tuition, textbooks, e-learning, accreditation, educational therapies such as speech therapy, and technology.
Homeschoolers and current private school students are not eligible unless they return to public school to meet the 45-day minimum enrollment period, according to information provided by the Cardinal Institute.
Andrew Bambrick, educational outreach coordinator for the Cardinal Institute, said Saturday’s inaugural event “went very well.” He estimated that around 100 parents attended between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“The goal was to showcase educational opportunities in West Virginia,” he said. “Public, religious and private schools have come together for a tremendous effort.
“People came looking for the educational option that best suited their child. Each child has different needs, goals and aspirations, and this was an opportunity to find out more about what is available. »
In addition to showcasing different school options, the fair highlighted how far West Virginia has come in its educational opportunities, Bambrick said.
“There’s a lot more diversity and options available, and it’s a time to celebrate school choice.”
Students from Cornerstone Christian Academy in Beech Bottom started the event with a dance, while a color guard from Speiro Academy in Martins Ferry presented the colors.
St. Michael’s Parish School Choir sang the national anthem.
Wheeling Park HIgh School’s Steel Drum Band performed, and attendees were invited to come watch the school’s robotics via a live stream on a monitor as they took part in an event at Fairmont. One of the robots was also on display at the fair.
Parent Katie Switzer came from Morgantown to find out more about the Hope Scholarship and if it would be an option for her family later this year. One of her children about to start school has special needs, she explained.
She was worried after hearing about lawsuits that could thwart plans to implement the Hope Scholarship in West Virginia.
“We are one of the families that could benefit from this,” she said. “My daughter has special needs and we hope to use some of the money for her speech therapy.
“There are so many people trying to stop this, and we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s hard to make decisions. »
Participating schools had the chance to tell parents what makes their school special.
“Our community and family events are a big draw,” said Bailey Fredericks, director of advancement at St. Parish School. “We also have a commitment to quality education, rooted in faith-based religious education. This is an attractive aspect for many.
Those who stopped by the school table were invited to an Early Years Open House at 6 p.m. on January 31 in the cafeteria of St. Michael’s Parish School. Those wishing to attend should RSVP by Jan. 27 at 304-242-3966 at the station. 2.
Speiro Academy is a religious school that also focuses on the fine arts, principal Susan Cline explained.
The school offers both in-person and distance learning and accepts students regardless of what state they reside in or if they are out of the area.