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Seven N. Panhandle schools earn exemplary marks

October 6, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Seven Northern Panhandle public schools - including five in Ohio County - have been named exemplary schools by the West Virginia Board of Education.

The state board on Wednesday granted exemplary status to 58 schools across the state based on recommendations by the Office of Education Performance Audits. The seven local schools are:

* Ohio County - Bethlehem Elementary, West Liberty Elementary, Woodsdale Elementary, Steenrod Elementary and Triadelphia Middle.

* Brooke County - Franklin Primary.

* Tyler - Tyler Consolidated High.

One local career-technical educational program also received exemplary status: Brooke High School.

Ohio County Schools Superintendent George Krelis said he is proud of each of the schools in his district, and each is deserving of the honor. He said the principals work hard, and he is proud of their staff members and students.

"The principals lead the way, and this kind of achievement shows the quality work they are doing," he said. "All of the staff members, teachers and students should take a lot of pride in what they've accomplished. It took all of them to accomplish this. They truly are exemplary."

Each of the Ohio County schools that earned exemplary status this year earned the distinction last year as well. The recognition follows a series of recent honors achieved in the school system. Triadelphia Middle School was named in September as a National Blue Ribbon School while Steenrod Elementary School was named a West Virginia "School of Excellence" that same month.

Exemplary distinction is the "gold standard" of educational achievement. Schools must meet certain standards to achieve such status:

* All schools will be ranked by the percent proficient in each subject. Schools earning the top combined ranking will be eligible for the next step of ranking on a student achievement index. The top 10 percent weighted ranking for elementary, middle and high schools will be designated as exemplary if other criteria are met.

* The student attendance rate is at or above 94 percent in the most recent year for which data are available.

* The percentage of students who successfully complete Advanced Placement, dual credit and honors classes is at or above 5 percent in high schools.



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