Hillsboro Elementary Principal Worried About School Meeting AYP
Hillsboro, WV – Hillsboro Elementary Principal Terrence Beam is concerned about his school meeting Adequate Yearly Progress as defined by No Child Left Behind policies. At the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday night, he went over the results of a survey done by the West Virginia Office of Education Performance Audits or OEPA. An audit of the school was conducted in October.
Hillsboro has met AYP the last two years based on the Confidence Interval. That’s a statistical measure used to minimize the chance that a school doesn’t make AYP because of the natural differences that occur in groups of students from school to school or from year to year. To meet AYP, students must demonstrate a certain level of learning for their grade level. Principal Beam says he’s concerned about testing scores this year.
Beam says he is confident that writing scores will go up this year due to teachers working intensely with students to improve their writing skills. He says the OEPA team identified some other areas of concern such as classroom manangement. He says the Regional Educational Service Agency or RESA has helped in that regard. He’s also asking teachers to challenge their students to develop critical thinking skills rather than relying on simpler multiple choice or true/false testing. He’s pleased with teacher response to the audit findings.
“I really feel that my teachers have worked extremely hard this year” says Beam. “They have taken the criticism that RESA gave them, that OEPA has given them, and instead of making excuses and saying it’s not our fault, they’ve been asking questions, what can they do to make things better.”
Another concern cited by the OEPA is a lack of multicultural education at the school. Beam was part of a committee who addressed this issue in Nicholas county. He hopes to use that plan as a template for Pocahontas once he moves into his new position as county Director of Federal programs in July.