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Wetzel County Schools Sees Highest Increase In Math Scores In State

By Staff | Jan 22, 2020

A meeting was recently held with data coaches and elementary principals along with representatives from the State Department. Pictured from left to right is: Denice Greene, Short Line Principal; Deanna Ammons, Short Line Assistant Principal; Pam Christy, Elementary Math Coach; Jackie Shephard, Elementary Literacy Coach for Wetzel County Schools; Fay Pritchard, New Martinsville School Principal; Jay Salva, Paden City High School Principal; Paul Huston, Long Drain Principal; Dr. Jan Barth, Assistant Superintendent; and Sonya White, Assistant Director of the Office of Assessment. In the back is the videographer for Department of Education. Not pictured is Cindy Burke, Coordinator of the Office of Middle and Secondary Learning; Christy Day, Office of Communications; Tammy Chambers, Paden City Elementary School Principal; and Teresa Standiford, Elementary Curriculum Director.

Wetzel County School officials were pleased when results recently returned in regards to math scores for students in the county, showing an eight percent increase in scores. This increase is reportedly the highest in the state, with both Wetzel County and Wood County seeing the same percentage of improvement in their scores.

Wetzel County Schools Elementary Math Coach Pam Christy was ecstatic about this development, explaining that while the county scores still fall short, this increase is proof that they are moving in the right direction.

The State Department was reportedly impressed with this increase as well, and became interested in what the county was doing to see such improvement.

A meeting in regards to this was held on Monday, January 13 with the data coaches and elementary principals, along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jan Barth, Assistant Director of the Office of Assessment Sonya White, and Coordinator of the Office of Middle and Secondary Learning Cindy Burke, all from the State Department.

It was reported that the State Department brought their own video crew, who taped the meeting, and said they were very impressed with the job of the coaches in their communication and collaboration. They also visited Long Drain in the afternoon and stayed for the after-school training with Christy. There the crew videotaped two teachers in action in a math classroom, and also interviewed one county principal, one teacher, and Christy. This is reportedly in an attempt to create a portfolio that can be showcased to other counties in West Virginia in order to help them improve as well.

The success of Wetzel County and their improvement of scores can be as a result of various aspects. It was said that the State Department was impressed with the communication between coaches, principals, and math teachers and the collaboration between all parties in an effort to achieve better scores. It was also hypothesized that having coaches is a vital aspect to improvement, as many counties still lack this position.

Christy, however, attributed the increase in part to great math teachers as well as a new textbooks series that was started in the last school year. This series spans from kindergarten to eighth grade, providing continuity all the way through the elementary experience.

It is because of these aspects as well as those outlined by the State Department, that it is Christy’s belief that they will see in increase in scores every year. As mentioned, the county still has a long journey ahead to continue to improve their math scores, but this success was reportedly uplifting to the officials.