Reedy's secret is no secret. He says his staff worked year-round to create a perceived value in the WESTEST for students.
"It's an easy answer. We told our students it was important to us and it should be important to them. Before, they would say that it didn't matter, that it didn't affect their grades or college acceptance," he said. "So we tried to make them understand that there are some things you just do out of a sense of pride and honor."
Teachers started focusing more on motivating students and building morale. For example, the school offered enrichment sessions to prepare for the test. Once students showed improvement and made mastery scores, they could skip out on the sessions -- meaning extra free time.
Reedy met with each class to help them prepare for the test, calling himself "the cheerleader for the school."
"I told them, 'If you don't do it for each other, do it for yourself. Show us what you can do. Show everyone,'" he said. "And they took it to heart."
Reedy watched, within one year, students go from "Christmas treeing" in the answer bubbles -- making designs out of answer sheets instead of actually reading the questions -- to pepping each other up to do well on the test.
"This year there were kids policing other kids. One young lady stood up and said, 'Please give it your best. I want us to do well and for people to recognize us,'" he said.
While the teachers at the school deserve credit, Reedy said, the students are the ones who truly deserve recognition.
"We have great teachers here. But did they teach 100 percent better than ever before? No. It came from the kids," he said. "In short, the kids tried harder. They're ecstatic about the results."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.