CONFIDENCE, W.Va. -- Putnam County will ask the state Department of Education for an innovation zone grant to help at-risk students choose a career path.
School board members agreed to apply for a $300,000 grant Monday night at the new Confidence Elementary School, where they held their board meeting after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The grant, which could provide up to $100,000 for three years, would be used to hire someone to work at the county high schools and help students explore career possibilities outside of college.
Schools that the state Department of Education approve as innovation zones receive waivers to state policy, which lets them try out new, research-based strategies in an effort to improve student learning.
The new Buffalo High School was given the maximum innovation zone grant funding, $300,000, in January.
In June, school officials announced they planned to stress life skills, like communication and work ethic, to boost their college retention rate.
"Our ultimate goal is for kids to be successful when they leave us," Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said.
Middle school students will have things like punctuality, work ethic and how well they communicate count as 10 percent of their grades beginning this fall.