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HUNTINGTON — The Cabell County Board of Education has voted to continue a waiver that will allow Explorer Academy in Huntington to continue their own English Language Arts curriculum, which differs from other schools in the county.

The waiver has been in place for several years, but recent action from the board members would have ended that exception and Explorer Academy would have adopted the same curriculum as the rest of the county.

A number of school families were vocal in their support for continuation of the current curriculum when a new district-wide curriculum was adopted in the spring, Superintendent Ryan Saxe said.

He added that there was nothing inherently wrong with the current EL curriculum used at the school, but the waiver was inadvertently overridden when that district-wide curriculum was approved.

“Explorer Academy has a very unique curriculum, and the English Language Arts curriculum they offer, which is called EL, is something that has been their cornerstone,” Saxe said. “Families requested to continue using it, the school LSIC wanted to continue to use it, so we decided to go back and revisit that waiver and extend it with certain parameters in place that continue to promote the academic progress of the students there.”

In other business, eight interagency agreements were approved between the Cabell County Board of Education and several health care facilities in the area to provide an opportunity for students enrolled in the practical nursing program in Cabell County Schools to observe and acquire clinical experience for the 2021-22 school year.

Those facilities are Cabell Huntington Hospital, Genesis Health Care, Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Cabell Health Care Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center, River Park Hospital, Woodlands Retirement Community and University Physicians & Surgeons, Marshall Health.

Board members also recognized a number of students for various achievements, including two Huntington High School students for their participation in the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy, as well as eight Cabell Midland High School students and one Milton Middle School student for award-winning performances at the West Virginia FFA state convention.

Two parent and family engagement policies were passed after the third public reading of the amended policies, while 18 policy amendments were given a first reading at Tuesday’s meeting of the BOE. Those policy changes are listed on the board’s website for public access.

The board also received an update on the number of students who have expressed interest — 163 — in the Cabell Virtual Learning Academy, which will be offered next school year.

Luke Creasy is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @LukeCreasy or reach him by phone at 304-526-2800.

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