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Tyler Schools Score High on Statewide Ranking

By Staff | Dec 14, 2016

MIDDLEBOURNE – Tyler County schools have been ranked as the second best school system of the 55 counties in West Virginia by Niche, a publication that ranks more than 8,000 school systems across the country.

Only Ohio County was able to narrowly slip ahead of the Silver Knights.

Niche ranked the Tyler schools as the best place to teach and as the second safest school district in the state.

Anytime our district or one of our schools or students are recognized for an accomplishment, it is an honor,” Superintendent Robin Daquilante said. “We’ve ranked in the top ten previously on Niche rankings but we’ve never been in the top three. For a small rural district, ranking second out of fifty five counties is a great accomplishment. It confirms what we already know: we have a staff that is dedicated to our students, students who are well behaved, respectful, and committed to achieving success, and parents and community who have and continue to support our schools.”

Tyler County is a good place to teach. Teachers like Breanna Haggerty, who still has long distance records from her time at TCHS, and Brandy Glover-Frye, yearbook adviser, as well as the Negie clan, a musical family with deep roots at the school, have strong ties to the schools and the community.

“Many of our staff members in Tyler County are products of the Tyler County School system,” Daquilante. “They have a great work ethic, they are professional, and they are dedicated and committed to the students of Tyler County. We consider ourselves to be a well oiled machine with all of our parts (board members, administrators, teachers, aides, secretaries, custodians, cooks, maintenance workers, bus drivers, and mechanics) working together toward one common goal: physical, emotional, and academic success of our students. We are a family!”

In an age when students are known to commit horrific acts of violence in schools, Tyler schools safer.

“Our expectations are communicated to our students from the first day of school through their graduation,” Daquilante said. “Academics are the focus of the school day which then leads to less time for discipline issues to arise. Our staff receives hours of training on how to keep our students safe emotionally, mentally, and physically. Our staff members take very seriously their responsibility for the safety of our students.”

Various media or academic groups have ranked Tyler schools as good, bad and other. The new West Virginia Report Card grading system gave Tyler County school system mixed results. US News and World Report gives the school system high marks.

Daquilante said the main difference in the rankings from the various sources is the data that is used to determine the ranking. For example, the new A-F accountability system in West Virginia is based largely on the yearly assessment, the West Virginia General Summative Assessment. For elementary and middle schools, 83 percent of the grade assigned to the school is based on the assessment, with the remaining points coming from attendance and discipline. At the high school level, 76 percent of the grade comes from the assessment, with the remaining points coming from attendance, graduation rate, and college and career readiness.

US News and World Report considers assessment scores from the yearly assessment as well as the ACT and SAT, graduation rate, and college readiness, Daquilante said. They rank high schools only in the K-12 system.

Daquilante said Niche used the most available date of any of the rating systems. Niche takes into consideration assessment scores, ACT and SAT scores, graduation rate, attendance, quality of teachers, diversity of students, safety of the district, advanced level classes being taught, quality of colleges students go on to attend, and the financial investment as far as per pupil expenditure.

“This is our second year for the new assessment,” she said. “While we did well in some areas, we didn’t do so well in others. Our teachers and administrators have been working since July to identify our weaknesses and continue to work toward making improvements. We understand it is an ongoing process. We also know that many more things go into how we are perceived as a district by our communities. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students. Many of our students receive recognition for Art, Music programs, athletics, as well as academics. Our students go on to be very successful as adults. This level of success is the result of our school community and our communities in which our students live working together for what is best for our students.”

Aside from Ohio and Tyler counties’ school systems, rounding out the top ten was the Monongalia County Schools in third place, Putnam schools in fourth place, Jefferson schools in fifth place, Jackson in sixth place, Marion schools in seventh place, Mineral schools in eighth place, Hancock schools in ninth place and Pendleton schools at tenth place. Niche ranked the Wetzel County School system in 46th place of the 55 county school systems.