VAN – Van Jr. Sr. High School is a very small school, but it’s accomplishing some very big academic goals and achievements.
The school of approximately 245 total students in grades 6 through 12 was named a “Success School” after the majority of student groups met the annual academic goals in mathematics and English/language arts.
Van Jr./Sr. High ranked third in the state based on the most recent WESTEST 2 scores. The scores and rankings can be found online at http://www.schooldigger.com/go/WV/schoolrank.aspx?level=3
The high school increased by 36 places, while the middle school increased 42 spots.
“Good test scores happen because of students’ hard work and teachers’ dedication,” said Van’s Vice Principal Eddie Hendricks.
Van Principal Garth Mock said the school reached its goals in attendance or graduations rates, student academic growth, student success on WESTEST 2, and learning gaps between student groups are small.
“Van’s target score was 48.2575, but they achieved an index score of 68.9261,” Mock said. “The students, their parents, teachers and staff here deserve all the credit for this remarkable academic achievement.”
Van was also designated a “Reward School,” Mock said.
How are Success Schools reviewed for Reward School designation?
“A Success school that is ranked among the highest 10 percent of schools for growth, without significant achievement gaps, will be designated as a High Progress Reward School,” according to Mock. “A Success school that is ranked among the highest 10 percent of schools for Math and English/Language Arts achievement, without significant achievement gaps, will be designated as a High Performing Reward School.”
Mock said at the beginning of the year Van holds an academic tailgate.
“Parents come to speak with the teachers, get information from the counselor and obtain Engrade login information,” he said. “Parents and students also receive free food (prepared by the PCO) and a ticket to go to a ballgame of their choice.”
Mock said motivated students, with involved parents, has allowed the small school to reach its strategic plan goals.
The school also has a new and improved school web site at www.vanhighschoolbulldogs.com
Students at the school won many awards:
The Boone County VFW’s “Voice of Democracy” contest winners all came from Van: Jessie Workman – 1st Place, Sarah May – 2nd Place, Cassidy Castle – 3rd Place and Megan Anderson – 4th Place.
Science Fair winners included Daniel Gibson – 1st place, Paige Miller – 2nd place and Sarah May – 3rd place. Noah Jarrell, 6th grade student at the school, placed 1st in the county Math Field Day.
Students also participated in the WV Young Writers, Rhododendron Girls State, the WV Governor’s Honors Academy and the WV Geography Bowl.
Several students were named to the National Honor Society, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston, participated in youth and government activities and were on the school’s Student Council.
Students collected canned goods and dry goods to donate to two local food pantries as part of the Honor Society Food Drive. Students also participated in “Relay for Life” which raises money for cancer research.
“Our students continued the tradition of giving back to the community, participating in academic events and contests,” Mock said. “With all the accomplishments our small school has achieved it shows what is possible when staff, faculty, students, parents and the community work together toward a common goal of academic success.”
Mock said the support from the Boone County Board of Education and Boone County Schools officials were also a major part in the school’s success.
“I am proud of our small school and its success,” Mock said. “The Van area is a wonderful place with a strong community of caring, which has been displayed over and over again.”