Harrison County Schools React to State Board Of Education - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Harrison County Schools React to State Board Of Education Rankings

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CLARKSBURG -

A recent ranking by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2013 KIDS COUNT® Data Book places West Virginia 47th in the nation in regards to reading proficiency and preschool enrollment.

But the state has ranked schools regionally on their learning gaps among different student groups.

The ranking is based on the 2012 WESTEST2 results and high school graduation rates.

The ranking is part of West Virginia's WSEA Flexibility Waiver, which includes standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Six schools in Harrison County were listed as "focus schools." A focus school is defined as a school that has the largest achievement or graduation gaps in the state. A minimum of 10% of schools must be on this list.

Harrison County Schools said it's already working on improving that ranking, by reaching out to students at risk of falling behind and providing more focused learning exercises for them.

Each school will have access to Focus Assistance Teams (FAST) on the state, regional and county levels.

The improvement period will last for three years and looks to focus on the students most at risk of falling behind. A new ranking will be published at that time.

"Our goal is to find a way to reach those students so that we can reduce the gap that is there and the same way with our students that are coming from economically disadvantaged homes," said Wendy Imperial, Superintendent of Curriculum.

Imperial said that focus schools are not the worst ranking a school can receive, it falls behind priority and support schools.

A priority school is persistently the lowest performing in the state and brings in scores at the bottom 5%. Progress schools are identified as institutions that are not on target for the majority or subgroups of students.