Skyline to continue improvement plan programs

FRONT ROYAL — Skyline High School will continue its three-year school improvement plan with remediation programs on the tails of a significant jump in SOL scores last school year.

Because Skyline students had composite scores of 73 percent in English tests and 69 percent in math tests in the 2014-2015 school year, the school required an improvement plan by the state. At the Warren County School Board’s regular September meeting, Director of Secondary Instruction Alan Fox reported that those scores improved dramatically into the 2015-2016 school year, jumping to 78 in English and 77.5 percent in math.

Skyline Principal Michael Smith told School Board members about a Friday school program for after-school remediation and lunchtime remediation. He said the school will continue the Friday school program past the improvement plan timeline and try establishing a Wednesday program as well.

“We have kids that are actually volunteering to stay for help this year,” he said.

Superintendent Greg Drescher said after the plan presentation, “Having been around since the very beginning of the SOLs, I know what it takes to do a 5-point and an 8-point gain — that’s huge.”

Allison Cusato, an instructional technology resource teacher, talked about the successes of a fine arts summer camp for rising 7th grade and high school students as part of an instructional report at the meeting. Two high school students also spoke about their experiences in the performance and visual art programs, mentioning their growth in the arts and the fun had with friends.

As a construction update, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Melody Sheppard said roofing and brickwork has begun at the new middle school in progress. Air conditioning repairs at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School has brought relief to students and faculty there and new windows may be replaced within a few months, she said.

At the meeting, the School Board approved more than $18,000 for renewed purchase of a food and nutrition services sale system, along with a $25,000 contract with Education Logistics for bus route optimization, especially in anticipation of the new middle school.

Board members accepted a $700 donation to the Warren County Middle School Special Education Department and more than $2,800 in funds for an increased immigrant population during the 2014-2015 school year.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com