MASON COUNTY — On Wednesday, officials from the Mason County Board of Education and the Mason County Schools System met with staff from the West Virginia Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) to discuss the turnaround the school system has made since last year’s harsh audit, resulting in all schools and the county being recommended for full accreditation.
A year of correcting deficiencies and exceeding OEPA expectations resulted in that recommendation for full accreditation as well as a recommendation Mason County Schools be released from further scrutiny by the OEPA, providing it continues its course towards improvements in the school system.
A summary of OEPA’s recent report is as follows: “Most of the deficiencies identified in the Education Performance Audit of the Mason County School District have been corrected. A fresh atmosphere, appearance, and culture were present at the central office. This is attributed to a new superintendent who is leading the county in a news direction and resolving previous personnel issues.”
The report goes on to list the following improvements:
* The Mason County Board of Education demonstrated leaderships and a resolve to improve the county.
* The financial operations were found to be operating smoothly with the new treasurer.
* The county has demonstrated remarkable success in correcting the hiring and licensure issues.
* A system is in place to ensure that personnel are evaluated according to West Virginia Code, West Virginia Code, West Virginia Board of Education policies, and county polices.
* Facility maintenance preventive practices have been instituted.
* Security at the county board has been enhanced.
* The financial deficit is being reduced and the county continues further deficit reduction efforts.
* The board of education is now focused on policy development and student achievement.
The summary then states: “Mason County has exceeded the exceptions of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) in correcting the deficiencies identified in the December 2010 audit report. It is for this reason that the OEPA believes that the Mason County School District is prepared to proceed with school and county improvement.”
The report goes on to list the following recommendations:
* The Office of Education Performance Audits respectfully recommends that the West Virginia Board of Education continue the Mason County School District’s Full Approval status.
* The OEPA recommends that the West Virginia Board of Education release Mason County from further scrutiny by the OEPA and continue the course established through the Action Steps document for improvement.
* It is further recommended that the System of School Support continue assistance until such time that the West Virginia Department of Education determines that this process has achieved the desired results.
* The Office of Education Performance Audits recommends that the West Virginia Board of Education grant the school in Mason County the accreditation status listed in each school report.