NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Department of Education announced Wednesday that 81 percent of Virginia's 1,825 public schools are now fully accredited. The numbers also reveal that among 29 schools that were denied accreditation for 2016-2017, 15 are in Hampton Roads.
The number of fully accredited schools is a 3-point improvement over the 2015-2016 numbers, when 78 percent of schools were fully accredited.
The increase is thanks to improved performance of students on Standards of Learning tests and 2016 legislation providing multi-year accreditation for schools that consistently meet accountability standards.
For a school to earn full accreditation, students must achieve adjusted pass rates of at least 75 percent on English reading and writing SOL tests, and at least 70 percent on assessments in mathematics, science and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion. Accreditation ratings may also reflect an average of achievement over several years.
“I hope these results will encourage teachers, principals and other educators in all of our schools as they strive to help students meet Virginia’s high expectations for learning and achievement,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.
Seven schools in the state earned a full accreditation for 2016-2017 after undergoing state Board of Education-approved reconstruction in the past year. Reconstruction may include changes in school leadership, governance, faculty or attendance.
Two of those schools are in Hampton Roads -- King's Fork High School in Suffolk, and Williams Elementary in Virginia Beach.
Two local schools -- Hunter B. Andrews School in Hampton and Kiptopeke Elementary in Northampton County, moved from Accreditation Denied to Fully Accredited as a result of improved student performance.
There are 162 schools that received partial accreditation and 29 that were denied accreditation altogether.
Of the 29 schools that were denied accreditation, 15 of them are in Hampton Roads.
- Portsmouth — Churchland Middle for a second consecutive year
- Norfolk — P.B. Young Sr. Elementary and Tidewater Park Elementary for a second year; Southside STEM Academy at Campostella Elementary and Lake Taylor Middle for a third year; Lindenwood Elementary for a fourth consecutive year; and William H. Ruffner Middle for a fifth consecutive year
- Newport News — Hidenwood Elementary, Huntington Middle and Lee Hall Elementary for the first year; Mary Passage Middle and Willis A. Jenkins Elementary for a second consecutive year; and Newsome Park Elementary and Sedgefield Elementary for a third consecutive year
- Hampton — A.W.E. Bassette Elementary for a second consecutive year
Only three local school districts have all of their schools fully accredited -- Poquoson, Williamsburg-James City County, and York County.