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PC Schools Report Successes To Board

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

From left, Braxton Herrick, Erica Sapp, Doug Shepherd, and Sabrina Midcap, Paden City High School students enrolled in music appreciation, play a version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” during Monday’s Board of Education meeting. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

Paden City students are behaving better and achieving more, according to reports from their school principals to the Wetzel County Board of Education Oct. 5, meeting at Paden City Elementary School.

PCES Principal Tammy Chambers said the number of office referrals has dropped 35 percent since 2004, when the school’s enrollment was 203 pupils. Similarly, Chambers said detentions in that period dropped 39 percent in the 2008-09 school year when PCES students numbered 207.

She also noted that positive discipline rewards at PCES rose 15 percent in the five-year period and that attendance remains the highest in the county-94.89 percent.

In academics, PCES third graders scored an awesome 90 percent in mathematics on a newly-developed WesTest2, 25 percent higher than other Wetzel County schools and 24 percent better than other third graders in the state.

Although the math score for PCES fourth graders, 63 percent, was slightly lower than others in the county and state, fifth and sixth graders achieved higher marks than others. Fifth grade students scored a 71 percent, compared with 68 and 62 percent of the students in the county and state, respectively.

The principals of Paden City schools and the presidents of their Local School Improvement Councils addressed the Wetzel County Board of Education Oct. 6, meeting at Paden City Elementary School. From left, are Steve Jones, president of the Paden City High School LSIC and music instructor; PCHS Principal Warren L. Grace Jr.; Board President Mike Blair; PCES Principal Tammy Chambers; Elliott Kendle, president of the LSIC and ECE instructor at PCES; and County Superintendent of Schools Bill Jones. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

Sixth graders exceeded by 20 percent the 65 percent county level and by 25 percent the 59 percent averaged by all sixth grade students in the state.

In reading and language arts, PCES fourth graders scored a composite 83 percent, compared with 66 percent for other fourth graders in the state and 58 percent for other Wetzel County students in the same grade.

Fourth and sixth graders also outscored other county and state students, while fifth grade students fell below their county and state counterparts by nine percent and three percent, respectively.

Chambers and LSIC President Elliot Kendle recounted their students’ achievements in other areas that included multiple activities with PCES Partners-in-Education and in competitions with other schools in the county and state.

LSIC members were involved in efforts to encourage parental involvement and in helping to improve school safety. Some of that work included the removal of railroad ties and replacing parts of the baseball backstop. Members also communicated with families and friends of former students who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the current year, Kendle said the LSIC will work to support the school’s strategic plan and help the school meet AYP. Members also will develop a “livable” parking solution for staff and visitors and encourage parental involvement through GradeQuick and EdLine, computer programs that were addressed later during the meeting.

Paden City High School Principal Warren Grace told board members the 2008-09 school year saw the only two student expulsions in PCHS history.

His remarks were introduced by a short performance by five of the 20 students enrolled in music appreciation at the school, who rendered a unique keyboard and guitar version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

Grace said appropriate codes of conduct are distributed to students and parents at the beginning of each school year. Those plans contain anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies, as well as the procedures for alternative education any expelled or suspended student must receive, as required by state law.

Grace also reported that PCHS students finished WesTest2 in the top one-third of all high schools in the state- “A very strong indication,” said Grace, “that the faculty and staff at our school are among the best in the state.”

Continuing, Grace said WesTest results also show that PCHS students are “on track to be very successful at the next level.”

Steve Jones, LSIC president and PCHS music instructor, outlined to the board his group’s goals for the current school year. Those objectives include the purchase of additional guitars and keyboards for music appreciation classes and sponsoring field trips to fine and performing arts events.

The group also will determine what interest there may be for establishing a school drama club and continue to maintain a good relationship with PCES and the community.