March 11, 2011 - Volume 31 Issue 17


By Stan Maynard, Ed.D.

The Marshall University June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development was established in 2001 with a mission to provide leadership in education initiatives for West Virginia educators and students. The Center was named in honor/memory of the late wife of James “Buck” Harless, June Montgomery Harless, one of West Virginia’s most avid supporters of education. The center provides educators and families of rural West Virginia with a support system that addresses educational problems, sustains school improvement, and provides positive growth in all educational factors.

How we help:

The Harless Center team is composed of a diverse group of experienced professionals who have served in various capacities outside and within the K-18 system. Our passion and determination to incorporate the outlined core values into every student’s educational environment is the driving force behind our center:

Holistic Approach

Focusing on students’ cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development through practical 21st century learning experiences, character/service oriented education, and individualized support through community partnerships


Aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment to real world experiences.

Providing a challenging and relevant learning environment that prepares students for the 21st century


Redefine the role of students and teachers

Viewing the teaching and learning role as a reciprocal process


Leading the way

Building capacity in educational systems by producing a replicable model that defines 21st century learning in a K-12 setting


Expectation of Excellence

Requiring excellence from all teachers, students, families and the community with a focus on critical thinking


Systemic Change

Creating a K-12 comprehensive S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning culture that embraces necessary agility to prepare students an ever changing world


Student Focused

Providing a highly personalized education to enable students to reach their potential within a culture of trust and mutual respect


    Our staff has experience in:

    • identifying educational issues,
    • devising action plans,
    • supporting educational systems,
    • providing ongoing job-embedded teacher support and coaching.


    The Retrofit Process: Strengthening schools to excel in the 21st century

    Working together we can support your school in the transformation from 20th century classrooms to 21st century learning environments.

    An educational reform process called Retrofit was designed by the June Harless Center. The RETROFIT planning guide is designed to support planning teams in thinking through the process of developing innovative learning, teaching, and leadership in the current educational system. This document is an internal guide for the June Harless Center staff to use when working with schools or systems that need support. Based on the Harless Center experience, the RETROFIT guide includes activities and processes that help teams conduct needs assessments, create and implement a strategic plan, and document and evaluate the process to inform further planning. This guide has evolved into an educational reform process that empowers educators to be creative, collaborative, and decisive when facing issues. The RETROFIT framework’s intent is to be flexible, tailored, and comprehensive.


    Innovative Solutions

    The Harless Team will work with school faculty and staff in the following areas:

    One of the latest projects of the June Harless Center involves early education. In the fall of 2010, the June Harless Center and Cabell County schools partnered to prepare a cutting-edge learning environment that would support Pre-K programs throughout the state.

    Marshall University Early Education STEM Center opened its studio (formally known as our classroom) in August 2010. The STEM Center exists to promote a child-initiated, teacher supported, negotiated curriculum where children’s curiosities about the environment are encouraged and rooted in problem solving. Scientific inquiry serves as the basis for learning experiences and is promoted by child directed projects. In and outside the classroom you may observe students engaged in global studies experiences, Spanish immersion, the arts, research in project work, technology, and in developmentally appropriate play.

    The universal Pre-Kindergarten program in West Virginia in its infancy stage has a need to connect to already existing K-12 systems in philosophy, curriculum, standards, and expectations. Specifically, transitioning from preschool to the K-12 system currently is not a seamless process for children, parents, and teachers. However, the partnership that has been established by the June Harless Center and Cabell County schools to create a cutting-edge preschool experience has positioned the center to develop a seamless model of transition from home to preschool and preschool to kindergarten.

    • Student Support – Implementing curriculum that enhances three-tier intervention in reading and mathematics, 21st century courses/clubs (robotics, health and wellness, global studies, Spanish, etc), virtual field trips, etc.

    • 21st Century Organization— Vertical and horizontal teams focused on student learning.
    • Team Building – Conducting team building activities to establish a collaborative collegial learning environment.
    • Classroom Culture/Character Education – Developing a character education philosophy in order to create a positive school and classroom environment.
    • 21st Century Big Ideas – Developing an understanding of 21st century learning components to prepare teachers and administrators for implementation.
    • 21st Century Content – Deepening teacher knowledge in subjects such as English, reading/language arts, mathematics, science, foreign language, civics, government, economics, arts, history, geography, global awareness, financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy, and health and wellness.
    • Pedagogy – Developing 21st century skills and effective teaching techniques that promote student and teacher collaboration and inquiry/research based learning.

    Our TEAM can:

    • Provide full-day professional development held in the summer with topics and number of days based on the implementation plan;
    • Conduct training throughout the school year;
    • Offer in-class modeling and coaching based on teacher assessment needs;
    • Deliver professional development via videoconferencing with schools and school systems that have the technology capability.

    - Maynard is executive director of The Marshall University June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development



    CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education has published the annual funding application for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B on its website at for public review and comment. 

    To receive federal IDEA funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), West Virginia is required to publish the proposed plan at least 60 days prior to the date on which the plan is submitted. The state also is required to give the public the opportunity to comment on the plan for at least 30 days.  

    Public comments on the application will be accepted through April 11, 2011.  A Comment Response Form is posted.  Please submit comment forms by mail to the Office of Special Programs at the address indicated on the form, by fax to (304) 558-3741, or by e-mail to

    IDEA Application
    Funding Memo
    Part B Interactive Spreadsheet
    WV Annual IDEA Part B Application

    For more information, contact the Office of Special Programs at 304-558-2696, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.


    The Virginia State Bar and the West Virginia Department of Education have partnered to offer West Virginia students the chance to win as much as $1,000 for creating a three-minute video on “Righting a Wrong” to be placed on YouTube. The second-place finishers will win $500, while third-place will receive $250.

    The contest, which is open to West Virginia public school students in grades six through 12, gives participants the chance to create a video about a wrong that they would right, an injustice they would correct, or something that they would remedy within the judicial system. Judging will be broken into high school and middle school levels. 

    The creators of the first-place videos also will be invited to attend the West Virginia State Bar’s Annual Meeting on April 15 in Charleston.

    Videos will be judged based on originality, creativity, adherence to the theme and overall quality. Entries must include a parental permission form for those under the age of 18.

    Submissions will be accepted from Feb. 18 to April 1. Students interested in entering the contest can download an application and other forms as well as rules at:

    For more information, contact Mike Frazier at the West Virginia State Bar at (304) 697-4370 or at


    The West Virginia Department of Education is accepting proposals for the William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Project. The program integrates early childhood education, adult literacy, adult basic education and parenting education into a unified family literacy program. The program seeks to help low-income families and their young children to break the cycle of poverty and literacy.

    Applicants hoping to receive a portion of the $353,000 grant should be partnerships between one or more school districts and one or more nonprofit community organizations, public agencies or institutions of higher education. First authorized in 1988, Even Start was reauthorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 – Title I, Part B, Subpart 3.

    To qualify for a grant, participants must recruit, screen and provide services to eligible families that are most in need of services, based on income, adult literacy levels or English language proficiency of the eligible parent or parents and other need-related indicators.

    Even Start grants require a local match. The match in year one is 10 percent of the total budget; year two, 20 percent; year three, 30 percent; year four, 40 percent; years five through eight, 50 percent; and 65 percent each remaining year. Grants are for a four-year period; however, requests for continuance must be submitted for years two, three, four, six, seven, eight, 10 and after.

    For more information and an application, contact W. Clayton Burch in the Office of School Readiness at 304-558-5325, or, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.


    Other grants are available.

    Yamaha: Young Performing Artists Program
    The Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program (YYPA) recognizes outstanding young musicians from the world of classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Each year, the YYPA Finalists are invited to perform at the Music for All Summer Symposium held in late June. Maximum award: $5,000 in retail credit towards a professional model Yamaha instrument, as well as a series of clinics and master classes with renowned artists, designed to help winners launch their music career. Finalists will also receive a professional recording of their performances and national press coverage. Eligibility: musicians ages 16-21. Deadline: March 15, 2011.


    Toyota: International Teacher Program
    The Toyota International Teacher Program for Costa Rica Study will send teachers to eastern Costa Rica from November 19 to December 3, 2011 to study the country's environmental and cultural preservation efforts. Maximum award: a fully funded (transportation, lodging, meals, and all program activities) ten-day trip to Costa Rica. Eligibility: U.S. teachers grades 7-12 with at least three years of full-time teaching experience. Deadline: May 4, 2011.


    Pathways Within Roads to Reading Initiative
    The Pathways Within Roads to Reading Initiative donates books to literacy programs in small and rural low-income communities.
    Maximum Award: 200 books appropriate for readers age 0 to young adult; English only.
    Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations that run school, after-school, summer, community, day-care, and library reading and literacy programs; must have an annual operating budget of less than $95,000 (schools and libraries are exempt from this budget requirement) be located in an underserved community with a population of less than 50,000.
    Deadline: March 30, 2011.


    National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Nature of L
    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Nature of Learning Grant Program seeks to use National Wildlife Refuges as outdoor classrooms to promote a greater understanding of local conservation issues and utilize field experiences and student-led stewardship projects to connect classroom lessons to real world issues, as well as build partnership among local schools, community groups, natural resource professionals and local businesses.
    Maximum Award: $5,000.
    Eligibility: schools or non-profit organizations.
    Deadline: April 1, 2011.


    Dear Friends of Education,

    Do you have a little extra time this week? Looking for something to do this weekend? Spend it by making a difference in a student's life! There are three easy ways to do this:

    1. Complete the steps to become a WV eMentor! We want to serve every West Virginia high school student, but we can't do it without your help. In less than an hour, you can be placed into the matching pool and be making a difference in less than 15 minutes a week. Log on to today!
    2. If you're already a WV eMentor, please consider mentoring one more student. You are welcome to mentor as many students as you wish! To do this, log on to, select 'Menu' and 'Profile' to change the number of mentees you would like to serve.
    3. Spread the word to your family, friends, co-workers, and businesses about WV eMentoring! Anyone who has receive any type of post-secondary education, including on-the-job training, apprenticeship, professional school, vocational school, military training, two-year, four-year or graduate degree program can be a WV eMentor!

    Thank you for taking a few moments from your week to make a difference! If you have any questions, please contact us at