GHS Principal discusses multiple topics at Tuesday’s Board of Ed. meeting

Among the topics: graduation rate, their A-F accountability grade, along with identifying and addressing at-risk students

GRAFTON— Grafton High School Principal Dr. Joseph Findley unveiled his plan to raise the C grade to a B grade, at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

Board member, Doug Flohr, was unable to attend the meeting, but was on speaker phone, to hear Findley present his plan.

Findley presented the board with a PowerPoint presentation, that outlined four goals that the school has made, to raise the C grade received from the West Virginia A-F accountability system, last year.

The PowerPoint presentation showed timelines, goals, objectives and action plans to help the students at Grafton High School, achieve their ultimate goal of graduating.

The first goal that was presented to the board, was to identify and address at-risk students, as well as, to raise the graduation rate at the school.

According to Findley, one of the action steps to achieve this goal, is to utilize ZoomWV, Bright Bytes, and teacher identification, to maintain or adjust an at-risk list.

“With a list of at-risk students, we can provide those students different services to help them,” Findley added.

Principal Findley explained to the board, there are programs available at the school to help at-risk students. The programs are the Freshman Academy, Credit Recovery, Option Pathway and SAT.

Freshman Academy is a program that identifies at-risk students in the eighth grade. Those students will be placed in the academy to receive additional academic support, and have an extra class that is designed to help with the transition to high school.

Findley shared, the SOS Program is another program to help students. The program is geared toward juniors and seniors that need extra help. An individual support plan is made for the student, which will help them graduate.

The second goal presented to the board was the school’s plan to increase English scores.

One of the steps Findley said the school would take to achieve this goal, is to hold monthly department meetings to discuss areas of weakness from the 2016 GSA test.

According to Findley, with the information from the meetings, the teachers can focus on areas of writing, composition, reading comprehension and test-taking strategies to use in the classroom.

Findley explained another action step is to implement APL strategies to help with a positive and organized classroom environment, and to use thinking maps to help with student comprehension and high-thinking skills.

The third goal Findley told the board was to increase math scores.

He said to achieve this goal, they would need to hold bi-monthly math meetings, in conjunction with the Taylor County Middle School teachers.

Findley told the board, he would like to use Interim Assessments, to expose the students to the type of questions on the GSA test. With the assessments, the teachers will create questions to use on unit tests.

Findley added, the teachers have test talks on reading and math with the students, and work one-on-one to improve skills.

The fourth goal Findley presented to the board was to increase attendance rates at the high school.

According to Findley, one of the action steps for this goal is to have student-recognition programs each quarter, which will include attendance, grades, and GSA awards.

He said he would like to have a semester exam exemption policy for students with good attendance and grades.

Findley told the board, “With the goals we have set and action steps taken so far, I am confident that we are already at a B grade.”

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