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Four Harrison Co. schools 'exemplary'

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Four schools in Harrison County are performing at the highest level possible, based on the state Board of Education's standards.

Johnson, Norwood and Simpson Elementary schools and Bridgeport High School have all received an "exemplary" accreditation rating from the state. All other schools in the country received "full" accreditation ratings, the second highest status possible.

The ratings are based on total basic skills scores from the SAT-9 assessment, attendance and dropout rates, and scores on the state's writing assessment.

Only 50 schools in the state have achieved "exemplary" status this year, said Superintendent Carl Friebel.

"To have four in our county out of the 50 is exceptional," he said. "But to have all our schools fully accredited, that in itself is reason to celebrate."

Harrison County Schools have been fully accredited the past several years, Friebel said.

"We're so proud of the teachers, principals and students and the work they do," he said. "It brings a lot of honor to Harrison County to have students performing at that level."

The exemplary status is a new category the state added this year in its guide for rating schools.

To get an "exemplary" rating, schools must meet these requirements:

n SAT-9 -- 75 percent or more of the school's students in grades three through 11 perform at or above the 50th percentile in total basic skills, and 10 percent or fewer students perform within the 25th percentile.

n Attendance rate is at or above 94 percent.

n Dropout rate is at or less than 3.6 percent.

n Writing assessment -- 20 percent or more of the school's students score at or above three, out of a possible four.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or by e-mail at jbiller@exponent-telegram.com.

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