Teachers Meet to Make Education More Effective


ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Data shows less than one-third of West Virginia's public schools are meeting goals for student learning and improvement.

The Department of Education says 184 out of the state's 652 schools met goals for learning and growth. Meanwhile, 251 schools met one of the goals.

One city in the Kanawha Valley is trying a unique approach to fix the problem by getting all teachers on the same page.

It may be Christmas break for schools in St. Albans, but the learning hasn't stopped. In fact, some rooms were still filled, though the pupils were a little bigger. The course material is conversation.

"We weren't doing a good job of communicating with one another," said St. Albans High School Principal Jeff Kelley.

"You got three third-grades and they're each teaching something different and then you spread it out over seven elementary schools and when they go to the two middle schools, then you really have a problem," said Clark Fitzwater, a parent.

Fitzwater has three children in elementary school and wants to make sure they're getting the most out of their time in class.

"You don't have to go back and re-teach something to five kids that came from a different classroom."

Friday's lesson covered everything from a meet-and-greet to discussing standards for schooling.

"I can speak intelligently to 'I know that teacher, I know what they teach, I know how they do it,' " said geometry teacher Matt Rhodes.

"The middle school teachers understand where the kids are coming from in elementary. The high school teachers understand where they're coming from in middle school and elementary," said Kanawha County Deputy Superintendent Tom Williams.

For these educators, it means putting in the time when students are away, to make teaching more effective when they return.

"I think they hit a home run today," William said. "Outstanding day."

School officials are hoping to put this practice in place throughout Kanawha County.

They eventually hope to include input from city officials, business owners, and even parents.


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