High school to implement formula for success

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon-Upshur High School will be the first school in the state to embrace the Power of ICU formula.

The Power of ICU is a program designed around the formula “Completion + Quality Assignments + Healthy Grading = Student Success.”

Most of the staff completed a one-day training Monday, but bringing ICU to B-UHS has been in the works for a year, according to principal Eddie Vincent.

“I have been going to High Schools That Work presentations and connected with [ICU Founder] Danny Hill a few years ago,” Vincent said. “We planned on making this happen and we were able to do it this year. It’s a program designed to enhance school culture and battle student apathy.”

Vincent, together with curriculum director Tim Derico and Title 1 director Jody Johnson, brought Hill in for the one-day training Monday. During the afternoon portion of the one-day training, Hill talked about healthy grading practices.

“A grade should reflect what a student has learned in relation to a standard — and the most important part is this — based on the most recent evidence,” he said. “That is the key to the whole thing.”

One way of judging whether or not a class is ready to move forward with the test is the use of clickers, a way for students to show what they understand about a subject during an informal quiz.

The teacher can quickly see based on student responses what needs to be reviewed more before moving on.

Vincent said some of the teachers who completed an earlier training plan on incorporating clickers in their classes.

“We are taking a real hard look at how we grade, what we grade and ways to better prepare students for a career in college,” he said.

Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School principal Renee Warner and her leadership team also attended part of the training and will be involved with implementing some of the Power of ICU formula at their own pace, according to Vincent.

“It’s a culture-building philosophy,” he said. “This program is in 25 states and I think it is really going to help us with a lot of things, including school climate and test scores.”

Vincent said the high school  will be using a database that monitors what students are completing and making sure that there are quality assignments in the classroom.

It’s going to take a team approach from everyone at the high school to implement the program, according to Vincent.

“It’s a proven method and I think we are fortunate to be able to get on board at this point,” he said. “I think it can be a difference maker for us.”

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