Proposed autism center focus of public meeting

BEVERLY – The Tygart Valley Christian Academy in Beverly is holding an open meeting at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Beverly Community Church, in hopes of receiving feedback from the community on the possibility of opening an autism center at the school.

Curlie Ray, Jr., president of the Academy, said children with autism, and other special needs, require more one-on-one time and he believes expanding the school to include the center would be beneficial to the community.

“We are doing everything we can to help kids with special needs,” Ray said. “Public schools can’t do it all and sometimes we need someone to pick up the slack.”

Officials plan to remodel the sanctuary and split it in two, with half becoming the autism center and the other half including a food pantry.

The meeting will feature a special speaker on autism who will discuss ways the center can help children with autism and other special needs. The meeting will also include a discussion on what the center will be able to provide the community in addition to support for students.

The Tygart Valley Christian Academy was founded in 1994 and serves students from pre-school through 12th grade.

According to the Academy’s website, it is a yearly registered Exemption K School with the West Virginia State Department of Education in Charleston and the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics in Washington D.C.

The Academy currently has 90 students, and provides parents home school materials.