Vocational and technical students at Jenkins High School will return to the Wise County Career and Technical Center in Wise County for career and vocational training in the coming school year. The Jenkins School Board voted unanimously to make the change at the July meeting after Superintendent Mike Genton made sure that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will accept the end-of-year test results from the Virginia school. Jenkins students have attended the Letcher County Vocational School in Whitesburg since 2016.
Genton introduced the idea of returning to the Wise County Career and Technical School last month, saying that the school offers a broader range of programs. The system previously entered into an arrangement with Wise County Schools to allow Jenkins students to attend the Wise County Vocational and Technical School in 2014 because of the range of programs. But in 2016, the board dissolved its relationship with Wise County Schools because at that time, the Kentucky Department of Education did not recognize the end-ofcourse testing conducted in Virginia for vocational education, so the Jenkins system was not credited for Career Readiness on the KDE School Report Card.
Genton told the board that now, Kentucky and Virginia use the same endof term testing for vocational and technical education and there will be no discrepancies. He added that he was informed by the KDE that if one of the two states changed its endof year testing, the Jenkins students could continue to attend the Wise County school, but would have to pass the Kentucky test as well as the Virginia test.
At last month’s meeting, Genton said another potential stumbling block would be a potentially higher cost per student at Wise. But he said the cost of $2,200 per student for the Wise County school would be about the same as it is for Jenkins students to attend the Letcher County school in Whitesburg. He said the Kentucky Department of Education will reimburse the Jenkins system for travel costs to Wise, as it has for travel costs to Whitesburg. The distance to the two schools from Jenkins is about the same. Genton said the staff and administration at the Wise County Career and Technical School are very pleased that Jenkins students will be taking classes at their school again, and said they look forward to beginning the school year.