RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Education announced Wednesday that 86 percent (1,573) of Virginia’s 1,823 public schools are Fully Accredited for the 2017-2018 school year.
The numbers also reveal that of the 88 schools that were denied accreditation for the school year, 29 (about 33%) are in Hampton Roads.
Many local school districts had all schools fully accredited, including Virginia Beach, Williamsburg-James City County, York County, Poquoson, Middlesex County, Mathews County, Gloucester County, Isle of Wight County, Southampton County, and Surry County.
The number of fully accredited schools is a five-point improvement over the 2016-2017 numbers, when 81 percent of schools were fully accredited.
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 congratulate the teachers, principals, support staff and other educators in these schools for their hard work and dedication to helping students meet the commonwealth’s high expectations for learning and achievement,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “I also want to thank and encourage educators in schools that are making progress as they move closer to achieving full accreditation. As we begin the transition to a new accountability system that recognizes growth and includes important outcomes such as achievement gaps and dropout rates, a commitment to continued improvement in all schools will be vital to our success.”
Twenty-eight schools in the state earned a full accreditation for 2017-2018 after undergoing state Board of Education-approved reconstruction in the past year. Reconstruction may include changes in school leadership, governance, faculty or attendance.
Ten of those schools are in Hampton Roads:
- Chesapeake — George W. Carver Intermediate and Portlock Primary
- Hampton — Aberdeen Elementary, Alfred S. Forrest Elementary and Jane H. Bryan Elementary
- Newport News — Heritage High and T. Ryland Sanford Elementary
- Norfolk — Norview Middle and Sherwood Forest Elementary
- Virginia Beach — Bayside Middle
Three Hampton Roads schools that were denied accreditation in 2016-2017 moved from Accreditation Denied to Fully Accredited as a result of improved student performance:
- Newport News — Willis A. Jenkins Elementary
- Norfolk — Tanners Creek Elementary
- Portsmouth — Park View Elementary
The 29 Hampton Roads schools that were denied accreditation are:
- Chesapeake — Camelot Elementary, Rena B. Wright Primary and Truitt Intermediate
- Hampton — John Tyler Elementary
- Newport News — Carver Elementary,
- Crittenden Middle, George J. McIntosh Elementary, Hidenwood Elementary (second consecutive year) and Huntington Middle (second consecutive year)
- Norfolk — Azalea Gardens Middle, Blair Middle, Coleman Place Elementary, Jacox Elementary, Lake Taylor High, Lake Taylor Middle (fourth consecutive year), Lindenwood Elementary (fifth consecutive year), P.B. Young Sr. Elementary (third consecutive year), Richard Bowling Elementary, Tidewater Park Elementary (third consecutive year) and William H. Ruffner Middle (sixth consecutive year)
- Portsmouth — Brighton Elementary, Cradock Middle, Douglass Park Elementary, John Tyler Elementary, Westhaven Elementary and William E. Waters Middle
- Suffolk — Booker T. Washington Elementary, John F. Kennedy Middle and Mack Benn Jr. Elementary
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement Wednesday about the increase in the number of fully accredited schools:
“This is a significant accomplishment for Virginia’s public schools, and one that is the result of tremendous diligence and hard work of our students, teachers, principals and division leaders over many years,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “These schools are proving the strong leadership at the state and local level, combined with smart policy and adequate resources can make a real difference how our Commonwealth prepares the next generation to succeed in a new Virginia economy. I am proud of the success we are seeing in schools across the Commonwealth and look forward to building on these results in the months to come.”