At the Oct. 13 meeting of the Greenbrier County Board of Education, Associate Superintendent Catherine Thompson and Vicky Cline, director of technology and testing, presented an overview of preliminary assessment results and the school system’s strategic plan.
In the spring of 2015, Greenbrier County students were assessed through the West Virginia General Summative Assessment. Students in grade 3-11 were assessed in English/language arts and mathematics. Students in grade 4, 6 and 10 were also assessed in science.
Preliminary assessment results released by the State Board of Education show that Greenbrier County students out-performed field test expectations in English/language arts at every grade level and significantly so at the third grade level. Third grade students in West Virginia have been taught using the new Next Generation Standards for the past four years.
Although third grade students outperformed field test expectations in math, as well, results at other grade levels for both math and science were mixed. “Our students and teachers are working hard. We are pleased with our English/language arts results, and we realize we have work to do in all areas, particularly math and science,” Cline said. “We will be using state-provided resources to target areas of need throughout the school year, and we anticipate growth.”
“I want to commend our students and teachers for the learning that takes place every day in our classrooms. We certainly celebrate our areas of success based on these preliminary results, but also know that we have to focus on continuous improvement in all areas of teaching and learning,”states Superintendent Sallie Dalton. It is important to share that these results do not include the alternate assessment results. It is likely that the percent proficient for districts and schools across the state, including Greenbrier County, will change once alternate assessment results are added. We anticipate the release of alternate assessment results from the WV Department of Education in the coming weeks,” continued Dalton.
Approximately 2,500 students in West Virginia took the WV Alternate Assessment. The results will be added to the final assessment results later this fall after those scores have been validated. Final assessment results, including alternate assessment results, will be released to districts and posted on ZoomWV later this fall.
Associate Superintendent Thompson explained that accountability results will not be a factor this school year. “Assessment results are different from accountability results. This year’s assessment provides baseline data from which we will compare achievement data going forward. In 2016-17, accountability results will come into play and student growth data will be incorporated. Our school system has used this preliminary data to develop a strategic plan with specific goals and interventions to raise all schools and students to their highest potential,” said Thompson.
Thompson further explained that the Strategic Plan for the 2015-2016 school year was developed using the information from the West Virginia General Summative Assessment along with other data from attendance and graduation rates, the educator evaluation system, and with input from parents, teachers, administrators and Greenbrier County Board members. The plan focuses on three goals:
1. Showing growth at each grade level in overall mastery of English/language arts and math by at least five percentile points.
2. Improving the attendance and graduation rates by two percent.
3. Strengthening the quality of and involvement in family and community engagement opportunities.
Each of these goals has a plan involving action steps designed to achieve the desired outcome. Furthermore, an in-depth professional development plan has been designed to provide differentiated support for all employees: beginning and experienced teachers, administrators, aides, and professional support personnel. Guidelines for working with student teachers are also addressed.
“We are deeply committed to moving all students forward. Our Strategic Plan directs our efforts to do so effectively,” concluded Thompson.