West Virginia Standards for Effective Schools

These best practices were collected through submissions from the West Virginia Hub for Administrators. Submissions were aligned to a specific standard as they relate to the standard definition and key concepts. If you have questions, please contact Drew McClanahan – dmcclanahan@k12.wv.us.

1. Clear and Focused Mission

Definition: The school’s purpose and approach to support learning for all

Key Concepts:

  • A culture of ownership for student success is pervasive.
  • Shared beliefs and values are evident.
  • Commitment to a shared vision is present.

Welch Elementary staff in McDowell County are engaging in virtual professional learning for staff on a regular basis.  Reading and Math strategies, Safe Schools modules, and social-emotional learning resources are provided for staff to support students remotely and ensure learning for all.

Shared by:

Kristy East
Principal
Welch Elementary School
McDowell County

Horace Mann Middle School is ensuring there is a focus on the school’s collective mission by sending out a weekly email with encouraging messages and information on how the school can help, frequently updating their Facebook and school pages, and providing all parents with both administrators’ cell phone numbers.  The also have a Helpline QR that is still working; when utilized, it sends an email to five staff members to provide assistance to students in need. Teachers are also doing their part! Each grade level team has created Google spreadsheets for the entire staff to use with the status of students, and whether they are accounted for and working.  If there are concerns, they make a plan to address the situation. Horace Mann is committed to the learning of ALL students!

Shared by:

Shandon Tweedy
Principal
Horace Mann Middle School
Kanawha County

Hurricane High School is continuing to focus on feedback and engagement as essential parts of its mission. “Even though we are teaching remotely, and facing many challenges doing so, we are still holding true to our mission.”

Shared by:

P.E. McClanahan
Principal
Hurricane High School
Putnam County

2. Instructional Leadership

Definition: Ensuring the effectiveness of instruction leads to student achievement

Key Concepts:

  • Principal ensures implementation of high-yield instructional strategies.
  • Staff lead and assume responsibility for overall academic success.
  • Students are engaged in age-appropriate leadership opportunities.

Geary Elementary/Middle School staff in Roane County are communicating with students, families, and staff frequently. Teachers are keeping logs and making contacts twice weekly with students.  They are also conducting virtual school leadership meetings to discuss next steps during the COVID-19 crisis.

Shared by:

Sara Caldwell
Principal
Geary Elementary School
Roane County

Sissonville Middle School is focusing on instructional leadership.  Currently, the school is using Schoology as their online learning platform. Teachers are submitting lessons and the principal gives feedback to ensure meaningful instruction is provided via an online platform.  Administration is available to answer parent questions and troubleshoot technology issues.  The school’s phone has been forwarded to the principal, so he is able to address any issues that come up even from home. Social media is being used to effectively communicate with the community.  Learning is still essential and student progress and achievement is being highlighted on these platforms!

Shared by:

Gene Smith
Principal
Sissonville Middle School
Kanawha County

The Spring Valley High School administrative team is utilizing this time to examine the school’s strategic plan to guide plans and goals for student academic success.

Shared by:

Shayne Carey
Principal
Spring Valley High School
Wayne County

3. High Expectations for Success

Definition: Purposefully providing a climate in which all students can learn and succeed

Key Concepts:

  • Staff believe in and demonstrate their ability to successfully teach all students.
  • Staff believe all students can and will obtain mastery.
  • Responses and adjustments occur to assure mastery when some students do not learn, or have already mastered the concept.

Man Elementary staff in Logan County are reflecting high expectations of themselves in multiple ways.  They created a “Pioneer” portal to organize resources, weekly lessons, data collections, and information for staff members, students, and their families. They also utilized an online survey for families to complete in order to gain insights on providing more engaging virtual learning experiences.  Man Elementary is partnering virtually with other schools nationally to explore student engagement opportunities.  The staff is engaged in virtual strategic planning meetings on a regular basis.

Shared by:

Doug Barrett
Principal
Man Elementary School
Logan County

Pressley Ridge at Laurel Park maintains high expectations for success even through distance learning.  They are providing content delivery in many forms, both digitally and through learning packets for students with limited technology access.  The school worked with the Leadership Team and Technology Coordinator to devise a plan to provide access to as many students as possible during this time.  Their focus is reducing stress levels and bringing normalcy to their learning opportunities.  Delivering content through a blended approach provides opportunities for everyone to learn!

Shared by:

LD Skarzinski
Principal
Pressley Ridge at Laurel Park, Office of Diversion & Transportation

Nitro High School is recording lessons to ensure students have consistent access and can review the content at any time. Further, staff are documenting participation and the school’s administration is reaching out to individual students who are not participating.

Shared by:

Jason Redman
Principal
Nitro High School
Kanawha County

4. Positive and Safe Environment

Definition: Orderly, purposeful, and accommodating of all students’ needs

Key Concepts:

  • Collaboration and cooperation are pervasive among staff and students.
  • Appropriate behavior is expected and supported.
  • Student diversity is embraced and respected.

Gauley River Elementary staff in Nicholas County are providing a positive and caring environment virtually by contacting students and their families weekly to encourage continuous learning activities and creativity while assessing social-emotional needs.  Student referrals are submitted to the principal, social worker, and/or the counselor.  After receiving the referrals, contacts are made to the families by the social worker.  Food and other resources are provided to families on a regular basis.

Shared by:

Patricia Metheny
Principal
Gauley River Elementary School
Nicholas County

Van Devender Middle School wants online learning to be a positive experience for students and families! Teachers have scheduled office hours for students/families to contact them.  Additionally, they teach online through live classes and/or record YouTube videos for students to access at their convenience.  Staff have dropped off work packets for those who can’t get to school.  They have weekly live drawings for all students who participate and send out gift cards to them.  The staff sends handwritten notes and call and check on students using Google phone numbers.

Shared by:

Darlene Parsons
Principal
Van Devender Middle School
Wood County

Mount View High School has provided varied methods of instruction more relevant to at-home learning. Additional topics such as, physical activity, journal writing, and animal care have been provided to accommodate individual student need. A focus on student social-emotional health has also continued, with check and connect practices.

Shared by:

Debra Hall
Principal
Mount View High School
McDowell County

5. Equitable Opportunities to Learn and Effective Instruction

Definition: Sufficient time for meaningful learning is provided to all students

Key Concepts:

  • Instructional time is utilized efficiently and effectively.
  • Instructional activities are rigorous and aligned to student interest and State Standards.
  • Feedback is timely, ongoing, and supports individual student growth.

Kanawha City Elementary staff in Kanawha County are providing a weekly virtual learning session to teach new skills to students. Both whole and small group instruction is provided during the sessions.  Reading and Math interventionists participate in the sessions to scaffold learning for students.  Various tools and strategies are utilized; such as, check for understanding, interactive whiteboards, student polls, and break-out rooms.  Teachers engage with families who do not have internet access and provide learning experiences in various settings.

Shared by:

Cathi Bradley
Principal
Kanawha City Elementary School
Kanawha County

Dunbar Middle School is focusing on providing meaningful learning opportunities to all students. Video conferences with screen sharing is being utilized, enabling both the teacher and student to write on their screens.  This is great way to provide immediate feedback to all students.  Lessons are engaging and student activities are aligned to grade-level standards!

Shared by:

Amon Gilliam
Principal
Dunbar Middle School
Kanawha County

John Marshall High School has provided opportunities for students to sign out iPads and computers while providing Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the community to ensure all students have access.

Shared by:

Robert Havanak
Principal
John Marshall High School
Marshall County

6. Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress

Definition: A variety of data are used as the basis for adjusting the instructional approach

Key Concepts:

  • Formative assessment processes are utilized to measure student performance.
  • Student performance is used to guide instructional decisions.
  • Teacher monitors student progress toward established instructional goals.

New River Primary staff in Fayette County are monitoring student progress by conducting virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  Teachers are collaborating on ways to make learning fun and engaging with students and their families.  Student progress is monitored through virtual observations, conversations, and anecdotal notes.  Teachers discuss learning from various experiences; such as Saturday Science lessons, hands-on activities, journal writing, shape hunts, and nature walks. Staff members monitor social-emotional needs.  Videos are provided to families dealing with stress and anxiety.

Shared by:

Lee Jones
Principal
New River Primary School
Fayette County

West Fairmont Middle School is committed to monitoring student progress through distance learning. The administrative team frequently meets with each grade level team and PLCs (leadership, SWPBIS, discipline, safety, etc.) are meeting electronically as well. During their meetings, they look at data to ensure best practices are being used with their students.

Shared by:

Earl “Rob” Shaffer
Principal
West Fairmont Middle School
Marion County

Hannan High School has utilized student contact logs to track frequency of student contact along with the best way(s) to reach individual students. Continued communication has been a focus to ensure student progress is being consistently monitored.

Shared by:

Steve Pritchard
Principal
Hannan High School
Mason County

7. Family and Community Partnerships

Definition: Purposeful relationships exist between families, community, and the school

Key Concepts:

  • The school community fosters shared responsibility for student success.
  • Community understands and supports the school’s mission.
  • Partnerships exist between school and community to support academic, social-emotional, and physical needs.

Talcott Elementary staff in Summers County are communicating virtually with families regularly.  Staff members, students, and their families are uploading online videos and pictures to share virtual learning experiences.  COVID-19 resources are shared with families to provide ongoing support.  Staff members are making home visits with social distancing practices to support students’ well-being when necessary.

Shared by:

Jessica Rodes
Principal
Talcott Elementary School
Summers County

Point Pleasant Intermediate School is connecting with parents/guardians through electronic systems such as Class Dojo and Live Grades.  Additionally, the administration placed four containers outside the school entrance that are protected from weather to allow teachers to place paper copies of assignments and additional resources for parents.  The school has received positive feedback from parents regarding this practice, as they are able to stop at their convenience in order to obtain the resources they need

Shared by:

Stacey Walton
Principal
Point Pleasant Intermediate School
Mason County

Tucker County High School is providing weekly videos with messages from the school’s staff to the community. The school’s counselors are assisting with communication to families and the schools administration are delivering packets, when needed.

Shared by:

Steve Cosner
Principal
Tucker County High School
Tucker County

Wirt County High School is utilizing parent link phone calls with uplifting messages, sending postcards to students, along with personal phone calls and emails to foster a positive relationship between the school and families.

Shared by:

Dottie Smith
Principal
Wirt County High School
Wirt County