The state's efforts to move education reform to the forefront also gives Watts hope that the program will be well received.
About 75 percent of the recommendations for the community development project coincide with the recommendations found in the governor's statewide audit of public schools and are supported by the state Department of Education, Watts said.
"We put our plan together before the state issued the audit, then we went through and looked for where there was support in the audit for our ideas," he said. "The environment at the state level is different than it's ever been. All are saying education reform is number one on the agenda this year and both major teacher associations are saying the same thing -- that we need to do something. I don't think we've ever had this type of alignment before."
If approved, the changes could go into effect as soon as July, and board members agreed that because it is a pilot, only good things could come from the initiative.
"The great thing about a pilot is that we can learn from it, see what works and doesn't work, and expand it to include other schools and counties across the state. But, it can't happen without the funding," board member Bill Raglin said.
Also at Thursday's meeting:
* The board discussed a new athletics sportsmanship policy that would mandate that student athletes and coaches show respect to opponents during and after games. The policy will be placed on public comment.
* Board members agreed to meet in the near future to discuss the possibility of an additional levy to help increase revenue for the county's education budget. The school board is facing a million dollar deficit.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.