Fairfield Court Elementary is the only one of the eight area schools Fully Accredited for the 2014-2015 school year. The status of Armstrong High School will be determined by the Board of Education in October, after having been previously Accredited with Warning and again failing to meet the benchmark targets in 3 of the 4 tested subjects. The other 6 neighborhood schools are classified as Accredited with Warning, including MLK Middle School which did not meet the targets in any of the four tested subjects.
For Richmond Public Schools, only 11 of the 44 schools are Fully Accredited for this year.
Elementary and middle schools are Fully Accredited if students achieve all of the following pass rates:
- English – 75 percent or higher
- Mathematics – 70 percent or higher
- Science – 70 percent or higher
- History – 70 percent or higher
High schools are Fully Accredited if:
- Students achieve pass rates of 75 percent or higher in English and 70 percent or higher in mathematics, science and history; and
- Attain a point value of 85 or greater based on the Graduation and Completion Index (GCI).
The percentage of schools meeting state accreditation standards declined statewide for a second consecutive year as a consequence of the growing impact of more rigorous reading, writing, science and mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests introduced since 2011.
Sixty-eight percent, or 1,246, of Virginia’s 1,827 public schools are rated as Fully Accredited for 2014-2015 compared with 77 percent for 2013-2014, and 93 percent for 2012-2013. The number of schools Accredited with Warning rose to 545, an increase from last year’s total of 393. The drop in accreditation came despite statewide improvements in mathematics performance and hundreds of schools that also saw incremental gains in reading, writing and science.
Ten schools in six divisions have been denied state accreditation for 2014-2015 because of persistently low student achievement, including L. Douglas Wilder Middle in Henrico County and Fred D. Thompson Middle in Richmond.
The status of 14 schools will be determined by the Board of Education in October. Under Virginia’s accountability program, a school that has been on academic warning for three consecutive years and fails to meet state standards for a fourth consecutive year can apply for Conditional Accreditation — if the local school board agrees to reconstitute the school’s leadership, staff, governance or student population. A reconstituted school can retain conditional accreditation for up to three years if it is making acceptable progress. The three Richmond schools seeking conditional accreditation are Armstrong High, George Wythe High and Thomas C. Boushall Middle.
Priority schools — comprising the lowest-performing five percent of Title I schools — must engage a state-approved turnaround partner to help design and implement school-reform models that meet state and federal requirements. Of the 36 schools identified as Priority schools for 2014-2015, 12 are Richmond schools: Binford Middle, Blackwell Elementary, Elkhardt Middle, Fred D. Thompson Middle, G.H. Reid Elementary, Ginter Park Elementary, Henderson Middle, John Marshall High, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Oak Grove/Bellemeade Elementary, Richmond Alternative and Woodville Elementary.
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