School News

Intermediate school shares successes and challenges with school board

by Kate Evans

Warm Springs Intermediate School Principal Rebecca Huber presented the intermediate school strategic plan update at the February 6 Morgan County School Board meeting and focused on the school’s achievements and challenges.   Warm Springs Intermediate School currently has 358 students enrolled in grades 3-5.

Huber shared the many “Good Things” that are happening at the intermediate school, which included winners at the county and regional science fairs and Math Field Day, community engagement and parent events.

Warm Springs Intermediate School students in fourth grade teacher Tia Myers’ (in back on right) class got 10 minutes of free math game time for passing their SpringMath goal of doing 84 division problems in two minutes. Their next skill goal is answering 72 mixed multiplication and division problems in two minutes. Kids were playing random fraction games, converting mixed numbers to improper fractions, equivalent fractions and adding and subtracting fractions, Myers said.

Needs assessment

A needs assessment with demographic data indicates that the school has 80% low socioeconomic status (SES) students and 58 special education students.  The school also has a very transient population, Huber said.

The school’s staff needs to strengthen their Tier 1 instructional delivery with the percentage of students receiving Tier 2/Tier 3 intervention, Huber said.  They also need to recognize when students need support sooner.

State exams

On the 2023 state exams, third grade math proficiency was 61% and reading proficiency 59%.  Fourth grade math proficiency was 37% and reading proficiency 38%.  Fifth grade math proficiency was 39%, reading proficiency 41% and science proficiency 32%, Huber said.

The school’s three-year proficiencies for reading, math and science on the state exams rose each year-from 28% in math, 26% in reading and 20% in science in 2021 to 39% in math,  35% in reading and 26% in science in 2022.  Their proficiencies increased again in 2023 to 45% in math, 44% in reading and 32% in science.

The number of students needing intense intervention this year were down this year, Huber said. Some 72 students (20%) are receiving reading intervention. Some 55 students (15.5%) are getting math intervention, Huber said.


Warm Springs Intermediate School’s goals are to increase proficiency in both reading and math by 16% by the end of the 2023-2024 school year as measured by the West Virginia General Summative Assessment.

The intermediate school will also decrease chronic absenteeism to below 18% by the end of the 2023-2024 school year as measured by West Virginia Zoom data.

Targeted and intensive instructional strategies include 3 small group instruction, school based academic coaching support and reducing chronic absenteeism, Huber said.

Early intervention and identification strategies include specialized professional development, the new SpringMath program (Tier 1 support), math intervention and co-taught writing with interventionist Kacey Avey. Staff is focused on the upcoming writing assessments, Huber said.

Huber said that the next steps included implementing a classroom intervention approach, consistent progress monitoring with literacy task and SpringMath individual interventions, continuing to strengthen the Student Assistance Team (SAT) process and  reading support and coaching.


Assistant Principal Christie Butts reported on efforts to maintain and improve discipline.  Staff is now using a classroom infraction/office referral chart and a point system using the Class Dojo.

Butts said they’ve also simplified the referral forms and gone to a centralized precise data collection process.  School staff has prompt communication with parents and guardians and fair and consistent communication and consequences for students.

Students with more than three office referrals will go through the SAT process for behaviors, except those with a special education caseworker.  The school gives a nine-week reward incentive for students with fewer than three office referrals per quarter.  They also do positive office referrals and surprise class rewards for behavior, Butts said.

Attendance, survey

The percentage of chronically absent students at the intermediate school dropped from 23% last school year to 11.9% this school year, Huber said.  The school does weekly attendance calls, monthly and nine-week attendance rewards and has a daily attendance incentive of winning a slime kit from Communities in Schools facilitator Amanda Sealey.

The school did well on a Capturing Kids Hearts Survey and is a Capturing Kids Hearts National Showcase School Nominee.  Huber said they’ll know in April if they’ve won.

School needs

Huber is requesting math professional development in standards and rigor, continued writing development across all grade levels and training in tiered instruction within the classroom in small groups and class interventions. She’s also asking for an additional special education position for the 2024-2035 school year.

Huber said things are going well. They have great students and great teachers who work really hard.    Staff needs to pick up the rigor, teach at a faster pace and have more in-depth lessons.  They’re moving in the right direction.

Huber said she thinks they have the best staff in the county.

“I’m very proud,” she said.