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Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will recognize the first class of Exemplary Practice Schools during its May 8, 2024, meeting. Sherman Elementary School (Boone County), Mountaineer Middle School (Monongalia County) and the United Technical Center (Harrison County) have illustrated outstanding school practice in one or more areas of the West Virginia Standards for Effective Schools.

Schools are eligible to apply for recognition based on their performance. Exemplary Practice Schools are identified for their performance on the 2023 Balanced Scorecard. They are among the top 5% in achievement in their respective programmatic areas. Additionally, they have implemented research-based, rigorous practices to address critical areas. This ranges from professional and instructional leadership communities for staff to data analysis and student ownership of learning. Each approach is aligned with a standard, implemented with fidelity and vigorously measured to ensure progress.

Exemplary practices include:

Sherman Elementary School

Standard 2 – Instructional Leadership: Ensuring the Effectiveness of Instruction Leads to Student Achievement.

School leadership is based on a collaborative model where the principal fosters an environment of shared decision-making and instructional leadership roles. All grade levels and departments are represented on the School Leadership Team which hosts biweekly meetings. Student involvement in leadership duties and the Local School Improvement Council offers a space for them to collaborate with partners, stakeholders, community members and faculty. This is achieved by:

  • The principal ensuring implementation of high-yield instructional strategies
  • The staff leading and assuming responsibility for academic success of all children
  • Students engaging in age-appropriate leadership opportunities

Mountaineer Middle School

Standard 5 – Equitable Opportunities to Learn and Effective Instruction
Standard 6 – Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress

At Mountaineer Middle School, the team designed a highly effective model for tiered intervention that addresses all students’ needs. Teachers have the flexibility to design unique supports at each grade level using the REAL-Time program:

R – Relating subject matter to the world
E – Empowering students to take charge of learning
A – Ensuring students are Actively engaging in subject matter to increase the depth of knowledge
L – Everyone commits to students’ Learning content standards to mastery and beyond

United Technical Center

Standard 2 – Instructional Leadership: Students are Engaged in Age-appropriate Leadership Opportunities.

The United Technical Center’s approach to instructional leadership is rooted in the belief in student agency and the recognition that true learning occurs when students are actively engaged in decision-making about their education. This is the product of student-led initiatives, peer-tutoring and participation in the decision-making process. This makes them contributors and leaders in the educational ecosystem.

“These schools represent the type of research-based and innovative approaches needed to address complex issues facing our students and the broader education community,” said Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “We celebrate their dedication to these processes which are critical to the success of our children and our schools. It is a privilege to recognize them as models of educational leadership.”

Each Exemplary Practice School will receive a $5,000 grant to support future school improvement efforts and a delegation from each will be recognized at the May WVBE meeting.

To learn more about Exemplary Practice Schools and view a photo gallery, visit Exemplary Practice Schools.

**Reminder, the May WVBE meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in Building 6 of the State Capitol Complex, Suite 600.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, WVDE Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.

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