McDowell County Public Schools, a rural district in West Virginia, is one of the nation’s poorest school districts. In these trying times, challenges in the economy, as well as in the community are spilling over to their schools as they face problems such as outdated classroom tools and facilities, not having enough teachers, lack of busing and transportation, no after-school programs, etc.

Because McDowell County suffers from low performance from its students, the American Federation of Teachers and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin are leading a public-private partnership, called “Reconnecting McDowell”, in order to enhance educational opportunities in the district and address community problems inherently caused by chronic poverty and economic decline.

“Most people believe IQ has more impact on student achievement, but it’s actually hope,” says Bob Brown, in-district coordinator for Reconnecting McDowell. Reconnecting McDowell has gained several valuable donations and partnerships since it’s commencement in December of 2011 and is expected to last three to five years.

At eSchool Solutions, empowering students to achieve is something that we hold dear to our hearts. McDowell County PS is one of our SmartFindExpress® clients who believes in giving students hope and empowering them to achieve their goals. At eSchool Solutions, we know our clients face more than just absence management issues, and we are always encouraged to see initiatives like “Reconnecting McDowell” happening in our school districts.