By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Virginia High School has met the Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for the first time since the state established the testing a decade ago.
A celebratory atmosphere enveloped Monday evening’s Virginia School Board session as Principal Jason Vicich shared the test results with board members.
“I want you guys to know how much I appreciate the work Mr. Vicich does and how much I appreciate the work Mr. (Aaron) Llewellyn (assistant principal) does,” said an elated Superintendent Brent O’Daniell. His words were echoed by Board President Matthew Werner and other board members.
The elementary and junior high school students achieved AYP goals for reading, but came up somewhat short in mathematics. The state will officially release AYP results on Oct. 31.
Regarding academic improvement, Vicich reported the Response To Intervention (RTI) program is producing positive results in reading at the elementary and junior high school levels. RTI is an unfunded mandate, meaning the state requires RTI but provides no funds for implementation or operation.
Vicich said the school now has a full-time RTI reading teacher who is able to provide intensified intervention to students who are lagging behind their peers. Depending on the level of need, students receive 30 to 60 minutes of additional reading instruction each day.
The next step is for the district to hire a full-time RTI math teacher, Vicich said. Despite the additional cost, Vicich made it clear the RTI approach produces results that will enhance a student’s opportunity for future success in life.
AYP test results and the RTI program will be discussed with parents during the parent-teacher conferences scheduled for this Thursday and Friday. The conferences run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
Also on Thursday, the Virginia FFA will be selling pork chops and hot dogs at the school from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The FFA also will offer the same menu on the north side of the Virginia Square on Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The money raised will help fund the group’s trip the the FFA conference in Louisville, Ky.
Werner had another piece of good news for the board when he announced the district has received its first building project payment from the state. A total of $3,627,876.61 has been deposited.
The school construction project continues to move forward without any major problems. It is anticipated the gymnasium roof will be in place by Nov. 5.