Wise Primary School, a Wise County School, is located at 323 Railroad Avenue S.E., Wise, Virginia. The building was first occupied in the 1968-1969 school year housing grades one through four. Wise Primary School is currently a pre-k through grade four facility housing approximately 696 students. It is staffed by 100 highly qualified faculty and staff. Dr. Selena Kiser is the Principal and Mr. Jonah Kelley is Assistant Principal.
The latest renovations and additions to the school were completed in the spring of 2001. Additions to the original structure included a two story classroom addition of 19,000 square feet that houses six fourth grade classrooms, two Pre-K classrooms, a music room, a computer lab, a speech lab, a handicap pre-school room, and a resource room. In addition to classroom space a 12,000 square feet gymnasium with seating for 250, a 2,000 square feet expansion to the Library, and a new HVAC system were also part of the renovations. After the building renovations were complete a major fundraising effort was led by the school community to construct a new playground for use by the school and community. The playground was built in five days with support from over 1,000 volunteers.
Wise Primary is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. School accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on SOL tests and other approved assessments in the four core academic areas of English, history/social science, mathematics and science. Wise Primary has met all of the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) mandates and has been accredited by AdvancED for thirty-seven years. AdvancED accreditation is a set of rigorous protocols and research-based processes for evaluating an institution’s organizational effectiveness. Accreditation examines the whole institution—the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of the students.
Wise Primary hosts a variety of programs to meet the needs of our students. These programs include the Autism Center for Excellence (ACE), Family Preservation Services (FPS), gifted and talented, and Americorp. The ACE program at Wise Primary is a pilot program dedicated to improving services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder in schools and the community. This program uses systematic instruction to address communication skills and social development in order to promote the future success of these students in the least restrictive environment with minimal supports. This program currently serves 4 students ages 4 to 5. FPS is a program that provides individual and group counseling, behavior modification, and case management services to at risk students at Wise Primary. FPS counselors work with students and their families to develop coping and stress management skills. The primary goal of FPS at Wise Primary is to help students become more successful at home and in the classroom. FPS currently serves approximately 35 of our students. For students identified as exceptional, Wise Primary offers the gifted and talented program. This program is designed to allow exceptional students to broaden their learning base and offer them enrichment activities to challenge them beyond the regular classroom curriculum. We currently have approximately 105 students participating in our gifted and talented program. In cooperation with Mountain Empire Community College, Wise Primary hosts local college students who participate in the Americorp program. These college students work inside the school to tutor and promote literacy for children grades Pre-K through 4.
Wise Primary School is located in southwest Virginia in the town of Wise, a mountainous area blessed by an abundance of natural, scenic, and historic resources. Wise is located on U.S. Route 23. As the county seat for Wise County, the Town of Wise has become a commercial and legal center. However, it still maintains its small town charm and friendliness. Wise sits at 2,540 feet above sea level.
Wise Primary School is located in the commerce hub of Wise County. The Wise County Industrial Park is host to several area industries such as Alpha Natural Resources, Crutchfield Corporation, Suburban Gas and Industrial Gas. Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park is home to Verizon and Sykes and helps position the Coalfield Region for technology growth and greatly enhances economic diversification in the region. The Wise area has several federal and state agencies based in Wise to serve Wise County. Some of the federal agencies are Clinch Valley Ranger Station and Mine Safety and Health Administration. State agencies include Wise County Health Department, Wise County Department of Social Services and the District office of Department of Transportation. The Town of Wise is home to the Wise County School Division and is one of the major employers in Wise County. Wise County Courthouse is in Wise and houses many of the local government and state offices. Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise, Virginia is the primary corporate air terminal for business and industry in Southwest Virginia. Coal mining has been a very important industry for Wise which has produced several small businesses in the area. A newly developed business in the Wise area that has been very successful is the Mountain Rose Vineyard.
Formerly known as Clinch Valley College, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise grew out of the commitment of individuals who sought to bring the benefits of higher education to the coalfields of southwestern Virginia. The only branch campus of the University of Virginia, UVA-Wise was founded in 1954 and currently enrolls 2,000 students and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten liberal arts colleges in the entire United States.
In August 2011, the David Prior Convocation Center opened. The $30 million, 76,000-square-foot facility has seating capacity of about 3,000 for indoor athletic events and around 3,700 for concerts and convention events. The convocation center is an asset the region has never had before. Wise County Schools have greatly benefited from the addition of the convocation center hosting various events held at the Convocation Center.