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Improvement report presented to Tucker BOE

December 18, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School Improvement Report was presented Monday evening to the Tucker County Board of Education.

Kim Falls, principal of Tucker Valley, spoke about the growth and deficiencies at the school, including an analysis of the WESTEST and how progress is being tracked for each student at the school.

"We are here to talk to you about who we are, what we are (and) what we are doing," she said, addressing the board.

She began by speaking about Adequate Yearly Progress, a measure of student success for children taking the WESTEST.

"This is the first year that Tucker Valley didn't make AYP," she said, "but we are making growth with all our children."

"We are doing good things at Tucker Valley," she said.

The U.S. Department of Education website lists Title I as a part of the No Child Left Behind Act - an effort to provide funding for schools who meet academic requirements.

Tucker Valley's Title I program is an organization that helps implement measures that will help students meet those federal requirements. It has been restructured, according to Falls.

She said elements of the program were changed to cater to individual students and track their progress.

Students who qualify for math and reading intervention, for instance, are now able to receive extra instruction of 30 minutes, four times a week. Skills groups were created, Falls said, to allow students to work together in small group settings.

Falls said computer programs are also being used, such as Lexia, Star Reader, Star Math, Acquity and WV Writes - all of which can help students improve their school learning and their WESTEST scores.

Falls said teachers are also being encouraged to give pre- and post-assessments to track the progress of students across the school year.

Buck Helmick, Tucker Valley's special education teacher, was also in attendance. He talked about efforts being made to cater to the students he instructs.

Special education students, as a whole, are not meeting AYP, he said.

Those students who are not succeeding in regular education math or reading are now able to receive instruction from a special education teacher who will teach students at their levels.

Like students outside the special education classroom, this includes small group settings.

Special education students who are succeeding in regular classrooms are able to get assistance, as well. Instead of being taught outside the regular classroom, however, they are able to receive instruction within the regular classroom from special education staff.

Falls also addressed the need for parents.

"Parents are an integral part of (learning)," she said.

She encouraged parents to take an interest in their student's learning by asking them what they learned in class, checking report cards and midterm scores, practicing basic math and reading with their child and participating in parent/teacher conferences.

Board members inquired about the ability to track each child's progress throughout the year.

Falls said spreadsheets are made for each child which list their scores on the different computer programs they use in class. Pre- and post-tests are also a way that teachers can determine if a child is making progress with his or her studies.

A few personnel decisions were made at the meeting:

- The resignation of David Kyle as the head football coach at Tucker Valley was accepted.

- Neal McDermott has been hired as a half-time building construction instructor at Tucker County High School.

- Elspeth DelEurere has been hired as the academic fair coordinator at Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School.

- Alison Isaacs-Dun has been hired as the assistant track coach at Davis Thomas.

- All hired employees above are for the 2012-2013 school year.



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