PCHS Earns High Marks
Paden City High School’s 2014-2015 seventh, eighth, and tenth grades all scored above the county and state in regards to the 2014-2015 General Summative Assessment, according to PCHS Principal Jay Salva. Last year was the first year for the test, which replaced the former WESTEST.
In terms of percentage, seventh graders scored 14 percent higher than the county’s over seventh graders. PCHS seventh graders scored 12 percent higher, while they scored nine percent higher than the county in math, and 10 percent higher than the state. Tenth graders also had impressive test scores, scoring 27 percent higher than the county in English Language Arts and 19 percent higher than the state in English Language Arts. Tenth graders also scored 15 percent higher than the county in Math and six percent higher than the state in Math. The only single lower score involved ninth graders who scored six percentile lower than the state in English Language Arts. Also, 11th graders scored lower than the county and state in English Language Arts and Math. Salva said several 11th graders who were at the top of their class opted out of the examination.
Salva attributed the success with test scores to the fact that PCHS has the best attendance average in the county. Salva said PCHS ended last year with an average of 95.89 percent attendance rate, the highest average in 10 years. Salva said the attendance rate has been above 95 percent in all his five years of tenure. He said in his sixth year, he would like to see students break the 96 percent barrier.
Salva said last year PCHS had 28 suspensions, with the majority of those students serving internal suspension. Salva noted he did not prefer to see students be suspended away from school, as he wants them to be in the classroom, not in front of a video game during their time off. He said the 28 suspensions was unusually high for PCHS. He said this year PCHS has only had one suspension and three students that served after school detention.
Salva said PCHS had the second best percentage results of students finishing their FAFSA. He said PCHS had a 74 percent completion rate on the FAFSA. Furthermore, 30 out of 35 students graduated last year, which is an 85 percentage of students attending higher education.
Last year’s senior class earned an estimated $300,000 in scholarships.
PCHS students also have a variety of college courses offered to them. Some of this year’s PCHS seniors take College Algebra, Composition 101, Psychology, Sociology, and College 101, which is a free credit this semester. Seniors can also take Political Science, Speech, “and any other course they wish to pursue,” Salva said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to obtain credits at a reduced rate,” he remarked.
Salva said PCHS had multiple improvements in its facility over the past year, including sidewalks installed around the school. Part of the school’s parking lot was also paved.
PCHS also had new lockers installed, new toilets for the public on the field house, new tiling in the Commons area, outside ceiling tiles for the front porch, new chairs and tables for the cafeteria, new desks and tables in the science rooms, new chairs for the computer lab, new equipment for the Nutrition courses, and Smartboards installed in the classrooms.
PCHS also offered several new clubs for students last year, including archery club, Key Club for community service, art club, school decoration club for the holidays, chess club, anime club, board game club, video game club, photography club, and others.
Salva requested that the board look into an additional principal or dean of students to be split between the high school and elementary school, a full-time business and art teacher due to increase demand for the classes, and more academic courses to offer.
“We would like to offer what other area schools our size are offering,” Salva said.
The principal also requested new tables and stools for the art room and newer art equipment, ventilation for the art room, science rooms, nutrition class room, and computer rack room. He also requested new, safer doors for the classrooms on the second floor.
Salva had credited PCHS’s success to the fact that it is a smaller school. Superintendent Leatha Williams suggested that a smaller school does not always equate to a better school; however, she said in the case of PCHS, a small school, in combination with good leadership and good support through the staff, does equate a great school.
Salva agreed, describing the county and school as “phenomenal.”