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Bridge Street Middle School Students Celebrate Test Scores

photo by: Derek Redd

Bridge Street Middle School students get doused in colored powder by Elm Grove Lions Club member Mary Jo Graebe during a “color run” as part of a celebration Thursday of improved standardized testing scores.

WHEELING – On Thursday, the letter “B” was for Bridge Street Middle School – and principal Jessica Broski-Birch getting a “B” carved into her already short hair.

Bridge Street students celebrated higher standardized tests scores Thursday with donuts, some splashes of color, and watching Broski-Birch get a portion of her scalp buzzed.

She had promised students if they achieved as high as a 95% cumulative proficiency score on their General Summative Assessment test, she would have the letter “B” for Bridge Street carved into her hair.

The students achieved a cumulative 97% proficiency score on the test, and she contacted her stylist – Luke Steed of Frederick’s Day Spa Salon – to come bring his clippers.

Sixth-grade students scored highest, so they got to sit in the gymnasium and watch as Steed buzzed a circle onto the left side of Broski-Birch’s scalp – while leaving a “B” of hair in the middle.

Students in the other grades at the school also scored well, and they joined in the celebration on the middle school’s playground. All students were able to participate in a “color run” jogging two laps around the school’s greenspace while members of the Elm Grove Lions Club and LEO Clubs tossed colored powder at the white T-shirts they were wearing.

They also got the chance to douse school personnel in a dunk tank and enjoyed donuts from a donut truck parked on the playground.

The GSA test results indicated Bridge Street students improved their math scores by 5 percentage points overall this year. English and language arts scores, meanwhile, increased by as much as 15%, according to Broski-Birch.

The students have a newly renovated school this year, where family photos and murals of well-known people accomplishing great things hang in the hallways.

But Broski-Birch said she thinks after a long period of virtual learning, just being in the building with teachers and other youths made all the difference to the students.

“I know the parents did their best,” she said of children learning at home during the pandemic.

Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kim Miller attended the celebration, and congratulated the students on their efforts to improve.

“It didn’t happen overnight,” she told them. “I thank you for all of your hard work.”

Miller also referred to Broski-Birch as “a most amazing principal.”

“She believes in you,” Miller said. “And she wants you to be the best version of you that you can be.”

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