PC Schools Continue WesTest Domination
In March of this year the Wetzel County Board of Education turned back a recommendation in its proposed 10-year Comprehensive Facilities Plan to close PCHS in the 2012 school year following strong arguments made by the Paden City Cornerstone Project and several residents to keep the school. Among the strongest of points was the school’s academic success not only within itself,, but against other schools in the county and state.
Paden City High School has once again scored well above the county and state averages in the recent WesTest exam. Particularly rewarding were the scores in the area of reading/language arts. In this area PCHS was named the fourth best high school among all West Virginia high schools. Also impressive was their ranking as 30th highest in the area of math in the state. “I am truly proud of the scores in those two crucial areas,” Principal Jay Salva said of the students’ and school’s accomplishments.
In West Virginia, students in grades three through eight and in grade 10 take the West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WesTest). This test is an assessment that measures student achievement of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs). The test identifies students’ levels of performance in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is determined by the WesTest scores and either attendance or graduation rate.
Even with such impressive results, PCHS did not reach their AYP. “The only reason we did not make AYP is because of our drop-out rate,” noted Salva. “Our scores were outstanding and our attendance was decent. With such a low enrollment, a few students dropping out really affects us.” Salva acknowledged the drop-out rate issue needs to be addressed and students need to be persuaded to stay in school. Salva added that even if a student drops out of school and later re-enrolls back into the school or gets his/her GED, that student still counts against the school’s drop-out rate. At the county Board of Education meeting held Oct. 4, Salva and the Local School Improvement Council pledged efforts to reduce the PCHS dropout rate to zero in the coming year as a top goal.
It should also be noted Paden City Elementary scored the second highest proficiency achievement level among all of the schools in Wetzel County on the 2010 WesTest2. All together such news is very encouraging to the level of academic success in the future for Paden City High School.
In fact the entire community is delighted to hear about these results. One civic leader commented, “We are delighted to learn about the results of the latest WesTest. These are the results we were hoping for and expecting. It is a great testament to the education in Paden City schools.
“These results will, no doubt, embolden our efforts to bring awareness to those on the county and state levels that an investment in community schools like Paden City High and Elementary Schools is a wise choice and will give West Virginia’s students the best opportunity to succeed.”