CHARLESTON - Four area schools were among 58 statewide honored Thursday for achieving Exemplary Accreditation status.
Evans Elementary School in Jackson County and Greenmont, Neale and Vienna Elementary schools in Wood County were recognized during a ceremony in Charleston by the state Office of Education Performance Audits. Officials say the exemplary status given to the schools is the gold standard of educational achievement.
The 58 West Virginia schools honored Thursday met a set of rigorous standards on proficiency tests, student attendance and other measures. They included elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and career technical centers and programs.
"We have high expectations for all schools in West Virginia and these schools have achieved the state board's highest level of recognition," said West Virginia Board of Education President Wade Linger. "This accomplishment speaks highly of the quality of education throughout West Virginia, with schools from every area of our state identified as exemplary."
Exemplary distinction is the gold standard of educational achievement, said Gus Penix, director of the Office of Education Performance Audits. Schools must meet a set of rigorous standards to achieve such status:
* Schools are ranked by the percent of students proficient in each academic subject, as measured by the WESTEST. The top 10 percent weighted ranking for elementary, middle and high schools are designated as Exemplary if other criteria are met.
* A student attendance rate at or above 94 percent.
* The percentage of students who successfully complete Advanced Placement, dual credit and honors classes is at or above five percent in high schools.
Career technical centers also have strenuous criteria to meet. Such schools must meet a minimum of 95 percent of school performance standards across all concentrations; have a 97 percent job placement or continuing education rate; and a 75 percent in-field job placement and continuing education rate, among other requirements.