Madison Designated Distinguished School

Madison Elementary School has been named a 2012-13 “West Virginia Title I Distinguished School,” an honor announced Monday at the Ohio County Board of Education meeting.

Based on the 2012 WESTEST 2 results, only 12 of the 329 Title I schools in West Virginia met the criteria to be honored as a Title I Distinguished School.

In order to be considered for this honor, a Title I school must have achieved AYP in reading and language arts and math for three or more consecutive years and must demonstrate 60 percent proficiency for all subgroups in reading and language arts and mathematics.

Principal Nicolette Kacmarik attributed Madison Elementary’s success to the effort the school’s staff makes “every day” to continuously improve the school, which is located on Wheeling Island.

“Each and every day we practice reflective thinking – What could we do better? What didn’t work yesterday? How can we improve this today? We are always looking to do better than we did before,” Kacmarik said.

She said the school’s staff consists of both Title I and non-Title I teachers with Title I instructors either serving a co-teacher role in the classrooms or providing small group “pull-out intervention” for students struggling in reading and math.

The school also utilizes a Title I homeschool intervention coordinator that addresses the social, emotional and mental health needs of the students and discusses these issues with parents.

“The Title I teachers are certified and highly qualified. For example, if they are a reading specialist, they must have a master’s in reading,” Kacmarik said. “But at our school the lines are very blurred, because everyone jumps in and takes the the role of active teaching every day.”

In order to be designated as a Title I school, all of Madison Elementary’s students must qualify for services under the Title I federal program based on the school’s poverty level.

Madison Elementary is the only school in Ohio County designated as a Title I school for the current school year.

Superintendent Dianna Vargo said the school’s honor illustrates the hard work the teachers, students and parents demonstrate daily.

“There’s a strong commitment to academics at Madison and the staff works very diligently with the students every day to make sure that they are learning. It’s an every day effort by the entire school community,” Vargo said.