BCS Parent/Caregiver Important News

School Bond, Report Card, STEM & Smart 529 Information

Message from Superintendent Stephens to the BCS Community:

On November 8, 2022, Berkeley County voters will be presented with a school bond on the General Election ballot. Voters can choose to approve or not to approve a school bond to support the construction of 4 new schools, 2 school remodels and 1 school addition as part of 102 district-wide projects identified for improvement in the required 10-year Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP).

The cost of this building and renovation program is $124.9 million dollars. Projects included are a new elementary school in the Gerrardstown area, a new elementary school in the Marlowe area, two new Pre-K centers in the Hedgesville and Inwood areas, remodels to Marlowe Elementary and Bedington Elementary and an addition to Tomahawk Intermediate School. School facilities across the district will see upgrades in safer school entrances, fire alarms, fencing, security systems, roofs, doors, windows, and HVAC, etc. The arts and athletics will see improvements as well. I ask you to review a complete list of these projects at www.berkeleycountyschools.org/bond.

Earlier this summer, Berkeley County Schools reviewed the two new elementary school building projects with the West Virginia School Building Authority and will be eligible for a potential grant of $25 million dollars with the successful passage of the school bond on November 8, 2022. Berkeley County Schools can only be an applicant for the $25 million grant if the bond passes. Due to recent legislative changes, should the bond not pass, the next opportunity for our school district to bring a bond before the public would be May 2024.

As the fastest-growing and second largest school district in West Virginia, Berkeley County Schools' student enrollment hovers just shy of 20,000, including 1,200 Pre-K students located in 67 Berkeley County classrooms. Widespread enrollment growth is driving the need for this building and renovation program. Our most recent school bond was passed in 2009 and expires in 2025. Since that time, Berkeley County Schools’ student enrollment has increased by approximately 2,200 students. A recent study indicates Berkeley County Schools can expect an enrollment growth of nearly 4,000 students between now and 2031.

The Berkeley County community has a long-standing tradition of approving school bonds, most recently in 1995, 2001 and 2009. Because of these relationships, and financial support of the West Virginia School Building Authority, our school district has benefitted from over 1 million square feet of additional instructional space. This proposed 2022 school bond, if approved, will add approximately 2,000 new seats to our growing school community.

Please take the opportunity to learn more about the proposed school bond by visiting www.berkeleycountyschools.org/bond and vote on November 8, 2022.

My sincere thanks.

Ron Stephens, Superintendent of Schools

First 9-Weeks Report Cards Released TODAY, Tues., Oct 25th

Today, report cards for the first 9 weeks will be available for BCS families. Here are a few things you may want to know about report cards since moving to WVEIS 2.0.

SECONDARY GRADES UPDATE: The report card template will look different this year as we are getting accustomed to WVEIS 2.0. Be aware that weighted grades are not pulling correctly and no cumulative GPA is listed. If a student needs this information for scholarships, college applications, etc. please contact the school's guidance office. Also, please contact the school's athletic director for athletic eligibility.

PRIMARY GRADES UPDATES: Kindergarten will continue to receive a standards-based report card through the West Virginia Early Learning Reporting System. Berkeley County Schools has adopted a new standards-based report card for First and Second grade (see below). The report card will give parents / guardians insight on their child's mastery of foundational skills in Language Arts and Math and not a traditional number or letter grade. Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade will be receiving a traditional WVEIS 2.0 print out of progress.

SMART 529 Sweepstakes

SMART529 is celebrating 20 years by giving away three $20,000 savings scholarships to West Virginia children ages 14 and under. One scholarship has been given away already, but there is still time to register for the remaining two. Families must register to be eligible for the sweepstakes.

Big picture

Berkeley County Schools

Berkeley County Schools, WV's second largest and fastest growing school district, boasts a diverse student population recognized statewide for great success in academics, the arts and athletics.

This newsletter is a publication of the Berkeley County Schools' Communications Office on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.