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WVDE Recognizes Schools for Significant Improvement

August 14, 2002

As one of its priorities, the West Virginia Department of Education provides quality technical assistance to schools, placing a particular emphasis on schools with the greatest need. In August 2001, 22 low performing and five seriously impaired schools were targeted by the Department to receive intensive technical assistance. In December, four seriously impaired additional schools were added.  

A vast majority of the schools that were targeted for assistance have shown great improvement because of the hard work of the teachers, principals and the students.  

“Once these schools realized the severity of the issue, they immediately began working toward improvement,” said Steve McBride, Executive Director for the Office of Instructional Materials. “They should be recognized for the hard work they have done to bring their schools back up to a higher performance level.”  

In the area of student achievement, 20 of the 22 low-performing schools and five of the six seriously impaired schools significantly improved.  

There were six seriously impaired schools cited for low student attendance. In order to be in compliance, schools must have a 93 percent attendance rate. All six schools raised their attendance rate, and three schools exceeded the 93 percent standard. In Fayette County, Gauley Bridge High School’s attendance rate improved from a 91.8 percent to 93.4 percent. Jefferson High School, Jefferson County, increased is attendance rate from 90.2 percent to 94 percent, while Panther Elementary School in McDowell County improved from 91.4 percent to 94.7 percent.  

Jefferson High School improved in all three categories including its dropout rate, by reducing it from 8.5 percent to 4.1 percent.  

“The significant improvement these schools have made demonstrates that schools can improve their student achievement,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “Schools need to provide the best education possible for all children and I commend these schools for their hard to achieve that goal.”

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