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Mon students are making the grade better in W.Va., local district reports

Courtney Whitehead spends her days dancing with data in Monongalia County’s school district.

At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, she got to perform a love song.

She was singing, in effect, for the excess levy, which voters resoundingly renewed during Saturday’s special election.  

The excess levy is the tax measure that brings all those extra dollars – for all those extra academic amenities in the local district.

It’s why Mon can offer all that foreign study and all those advanced placement courses.

And it also helps pay the salaries of those critical, above-the-formula personnel such as the nurses and counselors who staff every building here.

“This is pretty exciting,” said Whitehead, who directs assessment, accountability and counseling services for the district.

Once again, she said, Mon has outperformed the Mountain State’s 54 other public districts.

The county’s averaged 69% in English, 48% in science and 45% in math, often putting in double-digits past some counties, she said.

Visit and follow the links to see how your child did on the testing.

Whitehead was especially heartened by the marks netted by Mon’s high-schoolers.

“The performance of our students in high school is a reflection of our entire system,” she said.

Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr., meanwhile, said the district is again studying up on the state School Building Authority, which doles out dollars for new school construction and other infrastructure projects.

That’s because it’s resubmitting its $1.6 million request to add three additional classrooms to the county Technical Education Center on Mississippi Street.

But not just any classrooms.

The classrooms would be devoted to science, technology, engineering and math pursuits – or STEM, as said pursuit is known in academic and professional circles.

Enhanced study of robotics, pre-engineering and e-gaming would be the subjects taught in the research laboratory-like setting.

Last spring the SBA denied the request, which Campbell called the district’s No. 1 priority.

That hasn’t changed, he told the BOE. That’s why it’s going through again – with lots of tweaks and revisions – so the SBA can again take it up later this fall.

COVID was also taken up during the meeting. Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said masking is still working overall, even if the numbers of positive diagnoses among students remain steady.

A total of 89 students presented with positive diagnoses last week, she said. Masking is why those numbers aren’t higher she said. The district has a mandate.

“It’s still our best mitigation strategy,” she said.

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