Raising the Bar

THE MARTINS Ferry School District is one of academic excellence.

It is also one that is not content to rest on its laurels. That point was reinforced at this week’s board of education meeting.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch, with help from two of his staffers, unveiled some major academic changes that will be implemented within district classrooms in the near future.

Ferry school officials are tweaking on how they will assess students’ performance while also looking to identify area of concern.

Specifically, the district has opted to participate in the Ohio Improvement Process plan.

Fitch says the district is not mandatd to do so, but is going that route to “help us close the gap of learning in some of our subgroups. We want to improve and sustain our reading and math scores.”

With that said, we are in support of Martins Ferry’s academic blueprint for improvement.

The foundation of the Ferry game plan is the establishment of the District Leadership Team, consisting of three teachers and a principal from each of the district’s three buildings.

School officials also examined potential areas of need, pinpointing reading and math. They subsequently developed strategies to address those needs and put our action plan into place.

The district is planning to make greater use of technology to better prepare and assess the students. It will create data that pinpoints exactly what is needed by students.

The district is also utilizing an online professional development program for teachers. Those who elected to take part in this received an iPad or Samsung Galaxy and must agree to attend four online development sessions per year.

Making the new educational initiative even more attractive is that money for the technology is coming from Title I and II funding, supported by federal programs and not taking a chunk out of the general fund budget.

It all adds up to an improved academic experience for students in Martins Ferry schools. We give district officials an A+ for being proactive in regards to enhanced learning.

Fitch’s goal is for all Martins Ferry students to show academic improvement. The pieces are now being put in place to make that happen.