Education, Latest News, Monongalia County, News

Groups virtually talk renovations, new buildings

Could a new high school solely devoted to STEM and career technical education pursuits make the grade in Monongalia County?

That’s what the district would like to know … from you.

Teachers, administrators and parents have been meeting over the past several weeks to work out the update of the district’s Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan, which comes due in June.
Known as the CEFP, the document is a 10-year series of goals and proposed benchmarks to see the district through 2030.

Call it an infrastructure owner’s manual.
The CEFP projects out for classroom renovations and the construction of new buildings — which may (or may not) become obsolete in the future as digital instruction becomes more of the learning norm.
In the “new normal” everyone is talking about in the present-day of COVID-19, planning-by-distance has been the order for the steering committee.

Teachers, administrators, parents and others on the committee have been meeting virtually, in accordance with the social distancing mandate brought by the pandemic.

June, when the document will be brought to the state Department of Education for final approval, is right around the coronavirus corner, Barbara Parsons said.

“It’s about crafting a vision,” the steering committee co-chair and former Mon BOE president said.
“And when you have a vision, you can accomplish anything.”

Parsons was on the BOE for the 2000-10 rework of the plan that saw the construction of a new University High School on Bakers Ridge.

She was also there for the 2010-20 edition, which brought Eastwood Elementary, the district’s first environmentally friendly green school, to the Mileground.

If the CEFP is about vision, she said, it’s also about revisioning.
Which is how Eastwood happened, she said.

And how a standalone high school, one with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math — plus extensive instruction in the fields that don’t necessarily require college for jobs and careers — could happen.

You can add your vision by taking an online survey, she said.

Visit the Mon Schools site online and follow the Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan link to a video presentation and the survey.
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