March 11, 2016 - Volume 36 Issue 9


The West Virginia Department of Education welcomed a student to its staff Tuesday as part of the annual Arts Alive celebration. Mirabella Eller, a junior from Tyler Consolidated High School in Tyler County, visited the department to complete her Arts Alive 2016 poster design.

Arts Alive aims to: support developing and established arts programs in public schools throughout West Virginia; inspire local education systems to embrace the arts as an essential part of every child's education; and empower the broader learning community to advocate for comprehensive arts education in public schools. Hundreds of talented students earn the opportunity to perform during the yearly showcase.

Earlier this year, the Arts Alive planning committee sent out a call to all public school artists to submit a poster design for the event. Eller’s design was chosen as the winning submission from among 11 submissions. As the winner of the statewide Arts Alive 2016 Poster Design Contest, Eller spent a day working alongside Michael Daniels, a creative leader at the department, to make her design come to life. Her design will be used to promote this year's Arts Alive celebration scheduled for Friday, April 22, at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.

The Arts Alive lobby showcase will open at 6 p.m. with main stage events to begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required because seating is assigned. Tickets are available from the Clay Center box office by calling 304-561-3570. To learn more about Arts Alive 2016, visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/arts-alive/.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.


The West Virginia Department of Education is seeking organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months.

County boards of education and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program, which encourages communities to provide safe places for children and teenagers ages18 and under. Organizations receive funds to provide meals to complement recreational and educational programs. Feeding sites include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.

While children have access to school meals throughout the school year, those meals end when school is out for the summer months, which puts many students at risk for poor nutrition.

“Promoting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” Supt. Michael Martirano said. “Children benefit nutritionally by receiving complete, wholesome meals, while parents benefit by stretching their food dollars.”

The Summer Food Service Program was created to ensure children in lower-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during summer break. An average of 178,000 children in West Virginia, about 63 percent of school children, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only about 10,000 receive the free meals provided by the Summer Food Service Program.  

“In 2015, 485 Summer Food Service Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia, and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2016,” Rick Goff, executive director of the Office of Child Nutrition, said. “We are hopeful new organizations will opt to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children have access to healthy meals.”

Organizations interested in participating in the 2016 Summer Food Service Program should contact Cybele Boehm with the Office of Child Nutrition at cboehm@k12.wv.us or by calling (304) 558-2709.

Summer sites will be announced in May.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us


The West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Programs has posted the annual funding application for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, on its website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/ for public review and comment. To receive federal IDEA funding from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, the state is required to publish the proposed plan at least 60 days prior to the date on which the plan is submitted and to accept public comment.

Public comments on the application will be accepted through April 22, 2016. A Comment Response Form is posted. Please submit comment forms by mail to the West Virginia Office of Special Programs at the address indicated on the form, by fax to (304) 558-3741 or by e-mail to sdclay@k12.wv.us. For assistance, contact the office at (800) 642-8541.