MARTINS FERRY - Officials in the Martins Ferry City School District are happy with preliminary results for the Ohio Graduation Tests and Ohio Achievement Assessments taken by students during the 2011-12 school year.
Superintendent Dirk Fitch revealed the unofficial numbers from the state tests to members of the Martins Ferry board of education during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.
"I was really happy," said Fitch. "These guys buckled down and worked hard, and they came back with some pretty darn good scores."
Fitch noted that there were some areas that showed room for improvement, but overall the results of the state tests showed continued improvement in most cases and a strong commitment to academics district-wide.
The OGTs are taken each year by high school students across the state, and OAAs are taken by Ohio students in third through eighth grades.
Compared to last year's scores within the school district, Martins Ferry students showed a slight decline in the areas of fifth grade math and science, sixth grade reading, seventh grade math and all areas in the 10th grade: reading, math, writing, science and social studies. However, the preliminary state test scores showed improvement in all other grades and subjects tested.
In fact, Martins Ferry's average in many categories was significantly higher than the state average in the same categories, especially in the areas of eighth grade science, seventh grade reading and fourth grade math.
Among school districts within Belmont County, Martins Ferry's preliminary state test scores for the 2011-12 school year earned the top place for seventh grade reading. The district earned second place among schools in the county in the areas of 10th grade reading, math, science and social studies; eighth grade science; fourth grade math; and third grade math and reading. Fitch noted, however, that these were preliminary figures and stressed that the rankings among schools in the district could change once official results are released.
I n other action Wednesday, the board unanimously approved a new contract for Fitch, who is currently completing the term of his first three-year contract. The new three-year pact will be effective beginning Aug. 1 of this year.
Board members Nick Stankovich and Rev. William Webster were not present during Monday night's meeting. However, board President Bob Zilai read a letter drafted by Stankovich supporting Fitch's new contract.
Also Monday, the board:
- approved the deposit of the gas drilling lease singing bonus money from XTO, a subsidiary of Exxon/Mobile. Late last year, the school district entered into a gas drilling lease agreement with XTO and recently received the signing bonus of around $300,000.
- voted to approve the purchase of one bus from Midvale/Canton Truck Sales and Service and lease a second bus over a four-year period.
- accepted the resignation of Becky McKeegan, who is retiring as elementary school secretary effective Aug. 1.
- approved the employment of Rebekah Shirley and Barbie McKeegan as co-middle school council advisors, of Lori Beck as summer school teacher for grades three and four on Aug. 6-9, of Danielle Lagon as Title IIA teacher at the elementary school, of Kasha Doyle and Dona Fortunato as substitute nurses for the 2012-13 school year, and of a number of substitute teachers for the coming school year.
- met in executive session to discuss personnel issues, but did not take action following the meeting.
The next meeting of the Martins Ferry City School District's board of education is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 in the administration building on the school campus.
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