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A Focus School is -

Identified as having the largest achievement or graduation rate gaps in the state. The WVDE identified Focus schools based on the following:

  • Elementary and middle schools - Achievement Gap component of the West Virginia Accountability Index (WVAI) for all valid subgroups (20 members or more) compared to non-subgroup members.
  • High schools - Graduation rate gaps for all valid subgroups (20 members or more) compared to non-subgroup members.
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How are Focus schools identified?

  • Prior to identification, Priority schools are removed from the statewide list of schools. Then, the following process is used:
    Elementary and Middle Schools:
    • All elementary and middle schools will be ranked using the Achievement Gap component of the WVAI.
    • WVDE will identify the 10th percentile Title I school with the largest achievement gap.
    • All (i.e., Title I and non-Title I) elementary and middle schools identified within the range of the 10th percentile Title I school will be identified as Focus schools.
  • High Schools:
    • All high schools will be ranked using graduation rate gaps.
    • A total number equal to 5% of the state's high schools with the largest graduation rate gaps will be identified as Focus schools .

What happens after being designated a Focus school?

  • Each Focus school will implement the West Virginia School Improvement Framework for Focus schools, which includes the following components:
    • Diagnostic visit/report with a concentration on identified gaps
    • Improvement plan
    • Memorandum of Understanding articulating responsibilities of each supporting agency
    • Implementation of targeted subgroup interventions
    • Monitoring/progress reports/redirection
  • A Focus Assistance Support Team (FAST) consisting of staff with programmatic expertise related to each subgroup population will be formed at the local, regional, and state levels to support implementation of appropriate interventions to improve subgroup achievement and school completion.
  • Specific supports/resources for implementation of Focus school improvement plans will be developed through collaborative efforts of all partners.

How does a school exit Focus status?

A school may exit Focus status when the following criteria have been met:

  • A school is no longer among the 10% of Title I schools with the largest subgroup gaps as a result of sufficient subgroup improvement, and
  • A school meets its subgroup proficiency Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for the subgroups that contribute to a school's achievement gap. Improvement will be subject to review by the ESEA School Review Committee.