26 Newport News public schools earn accreditation

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Newport News public schools are making steady progress in accreditation. Twenty-six schools are accredited, five more than last year.

Across the school division, the collective focus is advancing student achievement. Newport News educators are using a revised curriculum, new achievement goals and an extended learning program to increase student success.

“I am proud of the progress that our students and staff are experiencing,” said Dr. George Parker, superintendent of schools. “While we have seen significant growth in accreditation and Standards of Learning test scores, we have more work to do. We want all of our students to be successful.”

Four additional elementary schools earned accreditation this year: B.C. Charles, Dutrow, Lee Hall and Palmer. Two more middle schools gained accreditation: Dozier and Gildersleeve. For the second consecutive year, all NNPS high schools earned accreditation.

The accreditation trend has steadily increased from 11 accredited schools in 2014 to 26 in 2018.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Marshall Early Learning Center; An Achievable Dream, B.C. Charles, Deer Park, Dutrow, General Stanford, Greenwood, Hilton, Jenkins, Kiln Creek, Lee Hall, Nelson, Palmer, Richneck, Riverside, Sanford and Yates elementary schools; Dozier, Gildersleeve and B.T. Washington middle schools; and An Achievable Dream, Denbigh, Heritage, Menchville, Warwick and Woodside high schools are accredited.

Twelve schools are accredited with conditions: Carver, Discovery STEM Academy, Epes, Hidenwood, McIntosh, Newsome Park, Saunders and Sedgefield elementary schools; and Crittenden, Hines, Huntington and Passage middle schools.

The Virginia Department of Education adopted new standards for accreditation in November 2018 which are “designed to promote continuous achievement in all schools, close achievement gaps and expand accountability beyond overall performance on Standards of Learning tests.” The new standards also recognize the academic growth of students making significant annual progress toward meeting grade-level expectations in English/reading and mathematics.

Under the state board’s revised Standards of Accreditation, schools are evaluated on school quality indicators grouped in three categories: academic achievement, achievement gaps, and student engagement and outcomes. Performance on each indicator is rated at one of the following levels:

  • Level One: Meets or exceeds state standard or sufficient improvement
  • Level Two: Near state standard or sufficient improvement
  • Level Three: Below state standard
  • Too Small: Too few students in school or group to evaluate
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