West Virginia Academy
Morgantown, West Virginia
The first to forge the new pass of charter schooling in the Mountain State and show what real advocacy for what great education looks like.
Soon after opening, the pioneering school which Heidi Treu, a mother of 7 – including two foster children – founded unexpectedly became the lead plaintiff in the union’s effort to put them out of business. The WVA community’s advocacy was instrumental in the law being declared Constitutional by the state Supreme Court. Then, when the state created its Hope Scholarship program giving thousands of parents access to additional choices, they could have seen it as competition but instead pioneered another innovation. The law restricts choices to students already in public school so WVA gives parents wanting equitable access to education funds the opportunity to enroll their students and enable them to qualify for an education savings account should they choose a different course for their child.
Their why is crystal clear – WVA is the first to give students in the third largest district an education that caters to student needs and not top down mandates.
“There are almost 6,300 kids in the foster system of West Virginia and has the highest poverty rate…we know that education is the key and in 2019 my husband and I decided we’ve got to step up, we’ve got to help.”
Why they stand out
As the first public charter school in West Virginia, the leaders at West Virginia Academy work to reverse the statistics that plague West Virginia for students, including many foster children. The WVA team deploys a mastery-based approach with a classical curriculum, instructing students at their individualized level of understanding and frequent assessments to ensure students make monumental growth. At the same time act beyond their walls to advocate for more education choices.
How they STOP for education
Fully embodies the permissionless principle, fighting opponents all the way to the state Supreme Court in order to open West Virginia Academy two years ago – and this was just the start. They continue to advocate and push for legislation for the state that has the second highest poverty rate in the country.
Prepares and empowers their children and has shown outstanding results, exceeding the top school district in the state on average, through their transformational approach to learning.
Utilizes the public funding that follows students to be sustainable while working to expand the same opportunities to more students.
Winning their award
With a contract that gives them the ability to open as many campuses around the state as they are able, WVA will scale more mountain tops first by expanding both vertically up to 12th grade and horizontally with the opening of an additional campus, and then moving on to support other communities.