An increase in the attendance rates in the West Orange – Cove school system is resulting in a positive academic impact upon the District. West Orange – Stark Middle School has experienced the largest rise in daily attendance, increasing from 93.22 percent in 2010 to 97.25 percent this year.  District-wide the attendance increase is from 94 percent in 2010 to 95.43 percent as of Oct. 9 of this year, an increase of almost 1.5%.

Other campuses have also shown improvement. North Early Learning Center has increased from 91.60 percent to 95.94 percent. High School and Elementary School growth has been upward, but smaller. West Orange – Stark High School has improved attendance from 93.77 percent in 2010 to 94.01 percent this year; while WO-S Elementary’s attendance has moved from 95.21 to 95.34 percent.

James Colbert, Superintendent at WOCCISD, said, “One of the hardest statistics to move within a school district is attendance and enrollment. What we have experienced with the movement in attendance in our district and particularly at the Middle School is phenomenal. It has resulted in increased performance and academic distinctions of the school.”

Within the past decade, West Orange –Stark Middle School experienced several intermittent years of “Academically Unacceptable” ratings from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Additionally, the Middle School received an “Improvement Required” rating for the 2012-2013 academic year.

In reviewing WO-S Middle School STAAR scores from 2012, 2013, and 2014, the campus has shown consistent growth in the majority of subject areas, and is performing close to or with state averages in several areas. This year, in fact, the campus not only “Met Standard,” but also earned five of seven TEA distinctions for Academic Performance on the 2014 STAAR test:

•Academic Achievement in Reading / English Language Arts

•Academic Achievement in Mathematics

•Academic Achievement in Social Studies

•Top 25% Student Progress

•Top 25% Closing Performance Gaps

WO-S Middle School Principal Anthony Moten believes the attendance rate on the campus is a hidden attribute of the campus’s academic achievement.

“Our improved attendance has made it possible for us to ensure that kids are learning on a daily basis,” Moten said.

He also attributes much of the success and improvement to the efforts of staff, parents, District administration, and community.

Superintendent James Colbert said, “Through calibration with our campus leadership, current District Community Liaison Jacoby Franks, and previous WOC Community Liaisons Paul Thomas and Rachel Stephens, as well as Justice of the Peace David Peck, we have been able to achieve a great amount of success in a short period of time.”

The increased attendance rate also results in additional budget dollars for West Orange – Cove CISD.

Photo: West Orange – Stark Middle School Principal Anthony Moten.