Case Study: Randolph County Vocational Technical Center, Elkins, W. Va.Report as inadecuate

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Randolph County Vocational Technical Center, Elkins, West Virginia, received a grant in 1997 for a project that was part of the High Schools That Work (HSTW) initiative to improve academic skills of career-bound students. The superintendent and faculty knew that improving achievement meant reaching out to the three home high schools to bring them on board with the improvement effort. Leaders at the vocational technical center faced the task of convincing these schools that the center was not a dumping ground for low-ability, low-achieving students and that these students could and should be taught to higher standards. School leaders and teachers decided to focus on raising students' expectations and preparing teachers to engage students in more challenging assignments. The strategies included eliminating the general track and raising graduation requirements; supporting teachers with staff development; designing a challenging vocational curriculum; improving guidance and advisement; providing extra help; and involving the community. As a result of HSTW workshops, the county has adopted block scheduling, an upgraded vocational curriculum, and the Zeros Aren't Permitted (ZAP) assignment completion program. Students gained in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science. (YLB)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Assignments, Block Scheduling, Case Studies, Community Involvement, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Graduation Requirements, High Schools, Mathematics Achievement, Noncollege Bound Students, Program Improvement, Reading Achievement, School Community Relationship, School Guidance, Science Achievement, Staff Development, Teacher Expectations of Students, Vocational Education, Vocational Schools

Southern Regional Education Board, Publication Orders Department, 592 10th St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318-5790 (98V47; $1). Tel: 404-875-9211, ext. 236; Fax: 404-872-1477; Web site: For full text: es/Rando lph.asp.

Author: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.


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