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West Virginia Schools For The Deaf and the Blind

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Free Support and Training for Parents of Students with Special Needs


WV Parent Training & Information (WVPTI) 

A non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children and youth with all disabilities and special healthcare needs. 


WVPTI is the state's designated Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and receives funding from the federal Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  They serve parents and families of a child or youth from birth to age twenty-six with special needs. 


WVPTI, Inc. affirms the right of all individuals, from all backgrounds and cultures, with or without disabilities, to appropriate education and other needed services. 



Brenda Lamkin, Executive Director 

Phone: (304) 472-5697
Email: [email protected] 



WV Developmental Disabilities Council (WV DDC) 

A state agency that provides resources, training, and advocacy for children and adults with developmental disabilities.  



Steve Wiseman, Executive Director 

Phone: (304) 558-0416 

Email:  [email protected] 



WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVUCED) 

The mission of the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities is to improve the lives of West Virginians with disabilities by supporting more diverse, inclusive communities.   


As a federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), we are part of a national network of similar centers across the country and serve as a resource to the community in the areas of education, research and service as it relates to the needs of people with disabilities. 



Lori C. Heginbotham, Program Manager 

Phone: (304) 293-4692 

Email:  [email protected] 



WV Parent Teacher Association (WVPTA) 

In addition to their  vast parent resources, the WVPTA provides a free toolkit that helps make sense of an often confusing system and educates families of newly diagnosed children with special needs on how to get the best special education, services and resources available to them. 


The WV PTA continues to campaign to include families of diversity including those with children who have special needs.  Additional information is here. 



Ginnie Molnar, Diversity Manager 

Phone: (304) 420-9576  

Email: [email protected] 



WV Family Engagement Center (WVFEC) 

The WVFEC provides training and resources for educators and families that build effective family-school relationships, encourage parents to participate in learning, and helps parents build their capacity to support learning at home.   



Dr. Meaghan Cochran, Assistant Director 

Phone: (304) 296-9021 

Email: [email protected] 




A local school improvement council shall be established at the school consisting of the following:

1. The principal, who shall serve as an ex officio member of the council and be entitled to vote;

2. Three teachers elected by the faculty senate of the school;

3. Two school service personnel elected by the school service personnel employed at the school;

4. Three parents or legal guardians of students enrolled at the school elected by the parent members of the school’s parent-teacher organization: Provided, That if there is not a parent teacher organization, the parent or legal guardian members shall be elected by the parents and legal guardians of students enrolled at the school in such manner as may be determined by the principal;

5. Two at-large members appointed by the principal, one of whom resides in the school’s attendance area and one of whom represents business or industry, neither of whom is eligible for membership under any of the other elected classes of members;

6. In the case of the vocational-technical schools, the vocational director: Provided, That if there is no vocational director, then the principal may appoint no more than two additional representatives, one of whom represents business and one of whom represents industry;

7. In the case of a school with students in grade seven or higher, the student body president or another student in grade seven or higher

elected by the student body in those grades.


The principal shall arrange for such elections to be held prior to the fifteenth day of September of each school year to elect a council and shall give notice of the elections at least one week prior to the election being held. To the extent practicable, all elections to select council members shall be held within the same week. Parents, teachers, and service personnel election to the council shall serve a two-year term, and elections shall be arranged in such a manner that no more than two teachers, no more than two parents or legal guardians, and no more than one service person are elected in a given year. All other non-ex-officio members shall serve one-year terms. Council members may only be replaced upon death, resignation, failure to appear at three consecutive meetings of the council for which notice was given, or a change in personal circumstances so that the person is no longer representative of the class of members from which appointed. In the case of replacement, an election shall be held to elect another qualified person to serve the unexpired term of the person being replaced.


As soon as practicable after the election of council members and no later than the first day of October of each school year, the principal shall convene an organizational meeting of the school improvement council. The principal shall notify each member in writing at least two employment days in advance of the organizational meeting. At this meeting, the principal shall provide each member with a copy of the current applicable section of this code and any state board rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to the operation of these councils. The council shall elect from its membership a chair and two members to assist the chair in setting the agenda for each council meeting. The chair shall serve a term of one year and no person may serve as chair for more than two consecutive terms. If the chair’s position becomes vacant for any reason, the principal shall call a meeting of the council to elect another qualified person to serve the unexpired term. Once elected, the chair is responsible for notifying each member of the school improvement council in writing two employment days in advance of any council meeting. School improvement councils shall meet at least once every nine weeks or equivalent grading period at the call of the chair or by three-fourths of its members. School improvement councils shall be considered for the receipt of the school of excellence awards under section three of this article and competitive grant awards under section twenty-nine, article two of this chapter, and may receive and expend such grants for the purposes provided in such section. In all matters that may fall within the scope of the school improvement councils and the school curriculum teams authorized in section five of this article, the school curriculum teams shall be deemed to have jurisdiction. In order to promote innovations and improvements in the environment for teaching and learning at the school, a school improvement council shall receive cooperation from the school in implementing policies and programs it may adopt to:

  • Encourage the involvement of parents in their child’s educational process and in the school.
  • Encourage businesses to provide time for their employees who are parents to meet with teachers concerning their child’s education;
  • Encourage advice and suggestions from the business community;
  • Encourage school volunteer programs and mentorship programs;
  • Foster utilization of the school facilities and grounds for public community activities,
WVSDB and Local School Improvement Councils Meetings will be scheduled during the months of October– January. Dates, times, and locations will be announced in late September.