Congratulations to Lewis Raeder, EPPA’s first-ever Golden Horseshoe winner! He received the coveted Golden Horseshoe pin and was inducted as a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe Society by the Superintendent of Schools this past summer.
We are pleased to announce that Eastern Panhandle Preparatory compliant clothing may be purchased from French Toast. Please visit the link below to access the school store or visit their website at www.frenchtoast.com and use school code QS61GUS to access our online store.
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Schoolwear Made for Kids to Shine
Credit: Journal photo by Jessica Wilt
On June 24, 2022, our school welcomed hundreds of local families to campus for our first Open House. The Journal’s Jessical Wilt was on hand to document the event that marks an important milestone in EPPA’s inaugural school year.
KEARNEYSVILLE — Traffic backed up on Rose Hill Drive in Kearneysville on Thursday evening, and the line of interested families wrapped around Founder’s Hall as the Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy hosted an open house.
The academy is on the cusp of opening this fall as the beginning of charter schools kicks off in West Virginia.
“We have had a warm reception from the community and families here in Jefferson County, and our enrollment numbers have exceeded expectations,” said Sharon Williams, the regional vice president for Accel Schools. “We are so excited to open our campus to new and prospective families and share our plans for the start of our first school year.”
The academy will serve students in pre-K through Grade 10, with 247 enrolled and 81 in the application process, as reported earlier this month.
“We are very pleased with the interest and want to remind everyone who is in the application phase that they must turn in all required documents to be fully enrolled,” Woodley said. “Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis until each grade level fills.”
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools defines charter schools as “independently operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the exacting standards outlined in their ‘charter.’”
For many families who attended the open house, it gave them a chance to possibly seek a different educational environment for their students.
“I was really interested in putting her more in a private school, but there aren’t really any options around us, other than some of the faith-related ones in the area, which aren’t even super close for us,” mother Peggy Price said. “We’re out in Charles Town, closer to Berryville. So when this one popped up, we were just very interested in having her attend for a little more specialized focus, rather than getting lost in a public school. That was definitely a worry of ours.”
She and her 5-year-old daughter walked the grounds as families enjoyed a bounce house, snacks and games, in addition to the tour and informational opportunities. Price said the classroom style definitely interests her family.
“The one thing I do like that they do is they have a standard classroom, but they will break them up into smaller, core groups based on where they are. If they need a little bit more help in reading, they’ll focus in that small group for that,” Price said. “If they’re more advanced, they can advance into other topics. That definitely interested me. And just the smaller school setting, rather than the massive public schools.”
Similarly, Jonelle Westbrook, of Bunker Hill, is looking forward to her 9-year-old daughter being in a small setting for classes. Westbrook’s daughter, who is already enrolled, had ADHD, which the family believes will benefit from the new environment.
“It was just looking for a different type of environment for her and small classrooms, not as rigid sitting at a desk the entire time, just seeing how that works out for her,” Westbrook said. “I think it will work better for her.”
Like Price, Westbrook was drawn to the small classrooms, as well.
“When we were walking through, we saw the classrooms, which are smaller,” she said. “It looks like it’ll be a more core group. It’s not like an overabundance of kids. That’s usually what the problem is, is there’s too many kids.”
As her daughter yelled from the bounce house that she made a new friend, Westbrook laughed that her daughter is excited for the coming school year. The mother also noted several of her friends from public school were at the open house, a pleasant surprise for the 9-year-old.
The Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy came to be as interested community members came together to form a board of directors, said Danyelle Knight Woodley, with the academy. From there, the group contacted ACCEL Schools, a charter school management group, that was hired by the board this past spring.
“We’re very excited to be in West Virginia,” Woodley said. “This is historic — voters asked for charter schools, and we are the lucky ones who get to deliver.”
The local academy is one of three brick-and-mortar charter schools to open this fall, and two more will open virtually, including the Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia and Mountain State Learning Solutions, also called West Virginia Virtual Academy. The Professional Charter School Board approved three physical charter schools last year: the Nitro Preparatory Academy, in Kanawha County, the Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy and the West Virginia Academy, in Monongalia County.
The curriculum and teaching plans at EPPA include no political or culturally charged content. The curriculum encompasses traditional and patriotic values and will not be decisive in any way.
What standards will the curriculum materials be aligned to?
- All curricula will be aligned to the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards appropriate for each grade level and content area.
What curriculum materials will support the English Language Arts standards at each grade level?
- Grades K-5 will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading series for core instruction
- Covers reading comprehension, fluency, writing, explicit phonics instruction and phonological awareness
- Curriculum is designed to strengthen key literacy skills and ensure that all students are tracking toward reading proficiently by third grade
- Grades 6-8 will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Literature series for core instruction
- Provides students with opportunities to read and listen to high-quality and interesting texts. Higher-level thinking skills and writing are included with each literature section. The materials support knowledge building as well as help student increase their vocabulary.
What curriculum materials will support the Mathematics standards at each grade level?
- All students in grades K-8 will use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Math series for core instruction. This math series builds foundational math skills while also giving students opportunities to apply their skills to real life situations. Multiple approaches to algorithm are taught after building a strong foundation in the concept.
What supplemental programs are available to support students with their learning goals?
- All students use the iReady program. iReady provides a diagnostic assessment at the beginning, middle and end of the year in both Math and Reading that allows teachers to customize student learning in daily small groups. Students use their Chromebooks to work on their iReady MyPath for 45 minutes per week in both Math and Reading. The program is customized to each student based on the most recent diagnostic assessment data and allows them to work on areas where they need support.
- The AMP platform provides many supplemental programs that teachers can access to enrich their classroom teaching and support individualized instruction within their classroom. A few of these include:
- IXL: contains thousands of math, language, social studies, science, and Spanish practice questions, games and modules that are aligned to the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards. Students practice one skill at a time, based on their learning profile, and earn points and ribbons when they get questions correct. Once they reach 100 points for a skill, kids earn a stamp in their book, encouraging them to master other skills to earn virtual prizes.
- RazKids: Students access their leveled text through an interactive learning portal designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Every eBook allows students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. Students then take a corresponding eQuiz complete with an extended answer response to test comprehension and determine future instruction needs. Once a student has read ten or more of the leveled eBooks and passed each of the corresponding eQuizzes, they advance on to the next reading level where they have access to lengthier and more difficult text.
- Newsela: the online database contains thousands of real-world texts that feature diverse perspectives. Texts are published at five different reading levels to allow all students exposure to a topic at a reading level that is appropriate for them.
- GoNoodle: provides short videos that help keep kids in grades K-5 moving and learning.
Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school opening in Fall 2022 for K-10 students. Located on a serene 30-acre, rural campus in Jefferson County, the school belongs to the acclaimed ACCEL Schools network and provides a college-prep curriculum aligned to state standards. A fully certified and licensed faculty promotes a culture of high expectations where students can grow academically as well as socially and emotionally. As a community-centered school, Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy builds strong relationships with our families, neighbors, and community organizations.
1. What grades will be offered for the 2022-23 school year?
We will offer PreK – 10 for the 22-23 School year and add an additional grade each year.
2. When is the first day of school?
Monday, August 22nd
3. What are the school hours?
Building Hours: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Classroom Hours: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
4. Will transportation be offered? If yes, what is the process to receive transportation? Who is eligible?
We are exploring the possibility of offering transportation in the surrounding areas.
5. Will there be clubs and extra-curricular opportunities for the students? Which grades can participate?
Sports and extracurricular will be offered to families based on interest. We will survey enrolled students/families to determine the level of interest.
We are in contact with WVSSAC to determine if EPPA students can participate in HS sports in their home district. More information will be provided later.
6. What is the dress code?
- Navy blue and/or white polo or button down shirt (long or short sleeve); No visible undergarments
- Navy, or khaki slacks. NO COLORED DENIM may be worn. No jeans, cargo pockets, overalls, sweatpants, leggings or jeggings.
- Navy, or khaki skirts, skorts, or jumpers, which must be knee length. No floor length dresses.
- Navy, or khaki shorts, which must be knee length; shorts may be worn during the months of April through September only;
- Black or brown belts must be worn around the waist (no “sagging”) when belt loops are present
- Solid color dress shoes or plain white tennis shoes may be worn. – No deck shoes, moccasins, sandals or boots; shoes must be closed toed shoes.
- Blue or white sweater or jacket
- Hooded sweat shirts (Hoodies) are not allowed in the building
- Baseball caps are not allowed in the building
- Students may wear Eastern Panhandle Prep Academy Attire at any time
- Outer garments are to be stored during the school day. No hats or hoods may be kept on during the school day unless students are outside in inclement weather.
7. What is the academic model for Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy?
Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy will follow the ACCEL Instructional Model (AIM).
Our instructional model is accredited by Cognia™ and provides the foundation of academic achievement for all students. AIM has eight key components to achieve strong academic results:
- Curricula aligned with state standards
- More Time on Task & double the instructional minutes for ELA and Math each day
- Short Cycle Assessments to track student mastery of learning standards
- Individualized Instruction differentiated to each student & driven by assessment data
- State Testing Overview & Onboarding Activities that generate excitement and reduce anxiety by acquainting teachers and students with the structure and methodology of state exams
- Academic Support including education technology, interventional specialists, and instructional aides during the school day, as well as after school tutoring, summer school, and Saturday school programs
- Extracurricular Courses & Activities that focus on social-emotional learning, athletics, arts & more
- Certified & Licensed Teachers and student-centered staff united in executing our mission to help students
8. Will you offer full services for students with an IEP or special needs? What is the process?
Yes, please indicate your student has an IEP on the student’s application and the principal will review and determine your child’s learning plan.
9. What are your school colors?
Blue and gold.
10. What is your school mascot?
11. How do I enroll my child?
- Complete an online Enrollment Form by visiting https://eppacademy.org/apply/
- Call (304) 850-6038 and press 1
12. What documents are required to enroll my child/student?
- Proof of Student Identity & Guardianship
- Proof of Residency
- Immunization/Vaccine/Shot Records
13. How can I submit the required documents needed to enroll?
- Scan and email documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Text a picture to our secure line at (216) 208-5052
- Call the Enrollment Team at (216) 250-1200
- Drop off at the school office
14. What is the cutoff age for Kindergarten students?
Each child who is five years of age on or before July 1st shall be eligible to enroll in kindergarten. A child who does not meet this age requirement set forth above, can enroll in our PreKindergarten Program if they turn 4 by July 1st.
15. Will you offer breakfast and lunch and is there a fee?
Breakfast and lunch will be served daily, from Lady J Caters. Families may be eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Forms will be available to see if you qualify for free and reduced lunch after July 1st. There will be more information provided regarding the Pay for service.
Breakfast Cost: $2.75
Lunch Cost: $4.25
16. What is a charter school?
Charter schools are publicly funded, tuition-free, and generally open to all students—in this way they are similar to traditional public schools. However, charter schools have their own “charter” to operate independently, outside of the local school district. This gives charter schools more freedom in how they allocate their budgets and develop their educational offerings. For example, charter schools can model their programs around educational philosophies such as Montessori or create programs geared to athletics, STEM education, or performing arts. While charter schools have additional flexibility, they are still accountable to educational outcomes and can have their charter revoked if they do not meet the appropriate standards. Charter schools are strengthening our public education system by ensuring that more students, especially those from underserved communities, receive the high-quality education and services they need to thrive. Working together, charter and traditional public schools can improve learning for all students.
Building a strong academic foundation from the start. Begin your journey with us!
West Virginia’s legislature recently gave the go ahead for charter schools to begin operating in the state. It is an exciting opportunity for families who value school choice, but how do you know if a charter school is a good fit for your family? First, it helps to have a basic understanding of what a charter school is.
What is a Charter School?
According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, charter schools are independently operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the exacting standards outlined in their “charter.”
Why Choose Charter?
The reasons parents choose charter schools for their children are just as unique as the students themselves. Here are a few of the reasons why families choose charter education:
Charter schools are known for having dedicated administrators and teachers who have a stake in their students’ success. The charter model encourages innovation, thinking “outside the box,” and going the extra mile to help each student be successful.
Charter schools come in many different varieties from STEM focused schools to bilingual schools to schools that espouse a specific educational methodology, such as Montessori or Waldorf. Parents are often drawn to a charter school for the specific programs it offers. Open Houses and special events on campus are excellent opportunities to get to know what makes each school unique.
Time for a change
Whether your child is struggling in his or her current school, needs extra challenge, or simply is ready for a different educational environment, charter schools offer a fresh approach to learning that many families appreciate. Every child is unique and charter schools offer many different options for meeting your family’s educational needs.
Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy is one of the first public charter schools to open in West Virginia. We are authorized by the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board and managed by ACCEL Schools, a high-performing network of over 50 charter schools located throughout the United States.
Charter schools offer families an alternative to the local public school and are among the top-performing schools in the nation. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools—open to all students in a state or district, regardless of their zip code, and focused on meeting student needs for success. The charter school model empowers teachers to provide innovative, high-quality instruction and gives them the autonomy to design a classroom that fits their students’ needs. Charter schools are led by dynamic principals who have the flexibility to create a school culture that fosters student performance and parent satisfaction. Charter schools are held accountable to the performance standards they agree to in their charter and by their communities. Read more about charter schools »
Eastern Panhandle Prep Charter School Advantage:
SAFE and Caring Environment: We care about the well-being and development of each child. We are interested in each child’s future. A secure and orderly learning environment is our top priority.
Education Technology: We see technology as a tool to support excellent teachers. Our students and staff will have access to technology which will enable the flexibility to accommodate different learning and teaching styles.
Professional Development: Our teachers are engaged, highly qualified, and supported by a team of mentors and specialists. Teachers receive regular professional development and performance reviews.
Curriculum and Teaching Best Practices: Innovate, validate, replicate. We take proven methods from high-performing programs and apply them to other schools across our network.
Operational Efficiency: Efficient school operations mean more resources for students. Our schools achieve a level of administrative diligence that matches our academic rigor. Best practices and transparency are a part of everything we do.
Personalization: Every student receives an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP), which is a dynamic, living road map. Regular, short-cycle assessments allow us to review student performance for each learning objective and react quickly to accelerate instruction or provide support.
Community Integration: We intentionally serve a broad range of communities, and we believe that community involvement is vital to the success of our schools. We work to identify the unique circumstances facing your area and include community leaders in our planning and operations. We make it a priority to develop relationships with our families, neighbors, and organizations that are benefiting our school community.
We look forward to welcoming families and the Kearneysville community to our school and preparing for a successful and thriving new school year this fall. To receive updates and more information, please complete our request for information form.
At Eastern Panhandle Prep, we implement the ACCEL Instructional Model (AIM) which starts with a standards-based curriculum taught by properly certified and licensed teachers. We frequently assess students (on a bi-weekly schedule) to know if a student is working ahead, falling behind, or right on track when it comes to mastering the learning standards for their grade level.
Our school is built on a strong foundation of high expectations for academic achievement for all students. Our instructional model has four key components to achieve strong academic results:
- Individualized Instruction. Students participate in a variety of learning activities each day that individualize instruction for each subject area. Students receive whole class instruction, small group instruction, and individual instruction with teachers, technology and other curricular tools.
- Properly Certified & Licensed Teachers. Our teachers meet rigorous requirements including a Bachelor’s degree, grade-level teaching license/certificate and ability to demonstrate subject area expertise. Our teachers are supported by trainers and participate in continuous, research-based professional development. Our teachers are accountable for student learning and rewarded for high quality performance.
- More Time on Task. Our students receive double the instruction in ELA and Math to provide a strong foundation for all learning. Our school also follows a longer school day and school year than many other schools.
- Short Cycle Assessments. Student knowledge of academic standards is assessed formally and informally in short cycles by each teacher. Our teachers adjust class-level and individual instruction based on student performance in these frequent intervals.
To receive updates and more information, please complete our request for information form.
ACCEL Schools proudly announced three learning options for its tuition-free, public charter schools for the 2020-21 school year. Parents had the flexibility to choose from Traditional, Online, and Hybrid learning options to meet the unique needs of their family.
“We’re a community school, and it was important to us to consider the needs of our community as we began making our plans to reopen for the 20-21 school year,” says Natalee Long, Senior Vice President of ACCEL Schools. “Not every family’s circumstances allow for at-home learning, and likewise, not every student is successful learning online 100% of the time, so we had to get creative with options for families. We will follow government safety guidelines and requisite operating restrictions, but as long as we are given the flexibility, we want to pass that along to families by providing as many learning options as possible.”
“Last spring as schools began closing, we began hearing from parents who begged for our schools to remain open. Like other schools, we had to close when face-to-face instruction was suspended across the state. As the situation unfolded, we noticed a shift by early summer where additional parents were asking for online options for the new school year,” says Dr. Rodney Bly, Superintendent of the Hope Academies in Cleveland and Case Preparatory Academy in Akron. “We responded by surveying all of our parents the first week of July asking for their thoughts and comfort level with multiple learning scenarios. We were very interested to see an even split between the three options—one-third wanted Traditional, one-third Online, and one-third Hybrid. We felt very compelled to respond to the needs of our families in a comprehensive way.”
As a charter school management organization that operates over 50 brick-and-mortar, hybrid, and virtual schools in five states, ACCEL Schools is uniquely positioned to support the full array of options with its internal expertise and resources. Regardless of learning model, all students followed the same curricular scope and sequence each week to achieve mastery of Ohio Learning Standards organized in the proprietary ACCEL Management Platform© (AMP).
“The beauty of AMP is that students have the opportunity to stay on track with their learning regardless of whether they can come to school or not,” says Ron Packard, President of ACCEL Schools. “This is crucial, as we do not know how long the pandemic will play out nor what additional guidelines our schools may be asked to follow throughout the year. With AMP, parents can choose whatever option is best for their family, and if that option gets restricted, their student can continue to progress as planned through the Online model.”
In ACCEL’s Traditional model, students received in-person learning at the school five days per week. Safety guidelines established by the CDC and Ohio Department of Health were rigorously followed, including daily assessment for symptoms, hand washing and sanitization, cleaning and sanitizing shared surfaces, and following a mandated face-covering policy. A ten-week of supply of n95 masks for teachers and 3-ply surgical masks for students went to each school.
In the Online model, students learned from their home environment under the guidance of classroom teachers supported by parents. Schools loaned laptops to students on an as-needed basis and reimbursed the cost of home Internet for students who met the eligibility requirement which includes ongoing attendance and participation. “Grab and Go” meals were available as part of the free breakfast and lunch program.
The Hybrid model was a mix where students learned at the school building two days of the week and then logged on from home for the remaining three days of the school week. Students wore masks and followed all safety guidelines in place for at-school learning days. Hybrid students were grouped together in learning pods located throughout the campus to maximize social distancing and continued their coursework with the support of a Class Facilitator.
“We believe families deserve the ultimate choice in schooling options anytime, and especially during the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Packard. “It is our goal to ensure every student has access to a safe, and high-quality education, and parents can make whatever choices they need to make for their family.”
- Uniform Ordering from French Toast
- Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy featured in The Journal
- Curriculum FAQs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Kindergarten Registration Now Open for Fall 2022!
- Is Charter School Right for My Family?
- About Charter Schools and the Charter School Advantage
- How We Individualize Instruction
- ACCEL Schools Reopened With a Full Array of Learning Options for 2020-21 School Year
- The ACCEL Schools Difference