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Students show state superintendent what happens in Wirt County schools

Wirt County Journal of Elizabeth, West Virginia

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State superintendent Michael J. Martirano's visit to Wirt County Oct. 16, 2015 went extremely well according to superintendent Mary Jane Pope-Albin.

According to Albin, Dr. Martirano's visit was conducted entirely by the student leadership groups from each school With no adults presenting anything to the superintendent.

"The students showcased what they wanted him to see," Albin told the board members.

"The high school students showed him their technology and he visited several instructional areas including a virtual classroom and a calculus math class. The students were able to show him some things he had not seen before," Albin stated

At the primary center and middle school, it was again the students who showed Dr. Martirano around their building.

In addition to learning how to earn "Tiger Stripes," the superintendent saw first-hand the students using their I-Pads in the math and science classes.

"He also saw students teaching a lesson on a SmartBoard in one class," Albin explained.

"He was very impressed with that," she added.

Albin said that she has received some feedback about Dr. Martirano's visit to the county and said he was both impressed and pleased with Wirt County's use of technology.

In other business at the board's meeting Oct. 27, superintendent Albin briefed the board on the county's new attendance initiative called "Strive for '95."

The program is designed to encourage each school to reach the 95 percent attendance rate.

Jeff Smith, director of support services, reported the September attendance figures to the board.

The rate at the Wirt County Primary Center was 94.95 percent, at WCMS it was 95.46 percent, and at WCHS it was 91.69 percent.

As part of the Strive for '95 program students with perfect attendance through the first 30 days of school were recognized.

"Research shows that if attendance increases in the first 30 days of school, there is a significant carryover into the rest of the school year," Albin explained.

Smith said that at the primary center 28.5 percent of the students had perfect attendance the first month of school.

The rate at the middle school for perfect attendance during that span was 29.1 percent, and at the high school it dropped to 12.6 percent.

Albin said the state superintendent was very pleased with Wirt County's attendance programs to promote better attendance, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Albin said that the overall enrollment for the school system is up to 1073 students.

That number is up from the 1039 student's enrolled last school year. Albin said that a large part of the increase is due to the many students attending Wirt schools from outside the county.

"Many families continue to send their children here from surrounding counties because they believe in the quality education we are able to provide their children here in Wirt County," Albin stated.

Under personnel, the board employed James Bunner as the math and reading Gear-Up interventionist, effective immediately.

He will coordinate with the classroom instructors, primarily in eighth grade, to work with students needing additional help.

The board also employed Barbara McCray as a custodian III at WCPC/WCMS, and Mary Somerville as a cook III at those same two schools.

Jason Staats was hired as a substitute bus operator, pending state and local testing requirements.

The board recognized Lou Ann Thorn as the October 212 Degree Club honoree for service personnel.

Mrs. Thorn is the secretary at Wirt County Primary Center and was cited for her hard work, dedication, and willingness to help wherever and whenever she is needed.

Presenting the award to Mrs. Thorn were superintendent Albin, board president Carl Brainard'and principal Ken Heiney.

Volunteer chaperones approved by the board included Kristi Wilson (WCPC and WCMS), Jessica Mason (WCPC), Janet Mace (WCMS and WCHS), Sarah Burton (WCPC), Jeffrey Burton (WCPC), and Tracey Nichols (WCMS and WCHS).

The board approved paying invoices of $55,226.10, budget supplements of $73,894 and budget transfers of $853.41.

The next meeting of the Wirt County Board of Education will be Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m. iiuhe Wirt County High School cafeteria.

Copyright 2015 Wirt County Journal, Elizabeth, West Virginia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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