High achieving and improving
The reputation of the public schools often inspires families to make their home in Chesterfield County. But don’t just take our word for it: SchoolMatch consistently rates Chesterfield County Public Schools as having precisely the balance parents seek. Chesterfield residents say they are happy with their choice: In a 2010 survey, nearly 86 percent of residents rated Chesterfield schools as excellent or good. Is it any wonder that for the sixth time Chesterfield was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance?
Guided by the Design for Excellence 2020 strategic plan, the school system is working to achieve its vision of providing an engaging and relevant education that prepares every student to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world.
- 58,286 students attend 62 schools: 38 elementary schools (K-5), 12 middle schools (6-8), 11 high schools (9-12) that include 11 specialty centers and 1 technical center
- 25-to-1 pupil-teacher staffing standard for elementary school, 27-to-1 for middle school and 26-to-1 for high school
- $533 million operating budget (69 percent for instruction, 11 percent for operations and maintenance, 8 percent for debt, 6 percent for transportation, 4 percent for administration, attendance and health and 2 percent for technology)
- $9,030 cost per student
- 7,815 full-time and part-time positions
- 6.3 million meals are served in school cafeterias each year, and 32 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
- In 2012-13, the student body is 55 percent white, 26 percent black, 11 percent Hispanic, 3.5 percent Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific islander, 4 percent two or more races and 0.5 percent American Indian/Alaskan native.
Good steward of tax dollars
Audits consistently prove that Chesterfield schools are efficient and effective. Based on student enrollment, Chesterfield is among the country’s 100 largest school systems but still keeps costs low. In 2011, out of 132 school divisions in Virginia, Chesterfield ranked 123rd lowest in total per-pupil costs. Standard & Poor’s compared reading and math proficiency with money spent and determined that Chesterfield schools are extremely effective, ranking the school division third among 15 of Virginia’s largest localities. A 2010 efficiency audit found Chesterfield County Public Schools to be “a very well-run school division” operating at 99.3 percent efficiency.
Launching successful students
- All Chesterfield schools are fully accredited, and students continue to perform well on Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests. In fact, Chesterfield students achieved perfect scores on 5,787 SOL tests in 2011-12.
- More than 89 percent of Chesterfield students graduate on time, outperforming their peers across Virginia. In 2012, there were 4,614 graduates: 55 percent earned advanced diplomas, and 80 percent planned to continue their education. The class of 2012 earned $20.8 million in scholarships.
- Chesterfield makes attracting and retaining the best teachers and staff members a priority. Working in Chesterfield schools are 1,801 teachers with master’s degrees, 100 National Board Certified Teachers and 82 employees with doctorates.
- Chesterfield’s curriculum is rigorous and relevant. Initiatives include a school readiness program for 4-year-olds at a few schools, world language instruction in some elementary schools and algebra for every student during middle school. Safety nets help struggling students reach their goals. Alternative study options include day and night programs and online courses. Also, about a dozen online classes are available to students outside Chesterfield.
- Center-based programs in elementary and middle schools meet the needs of gifted learners. High school students may choose to attend their neighborhood school or apply to a specialty center, technical center or two regional governor’s schools based on individual interests and talents.
- The number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement class increased to 3,679 in 2011-12 from 2,699 in 2006-07. Dual enrollment registrations increased to 2,519 in 2011-12 from 381 in 2001-02. Each year, about 2,000 career and technical education students earn industry certification.
- More than 3,500 students live in homes where English is not the dominant language. The majority of English for Speakers of Other Languages students speak Spanish as their first language, but more than 60 other languages are represented.
- Hundreds of businesses, faith communities and organizations partner with schools, and thousands of individuals volunteer.
- Chesterfield 2013 Teacher of the Year Paul Daszkiewicz, who teaches math at Meadowbrook High, was named Region 1 Teacher of the Year. He is the 10th Chesterfield County teacher in 16 years to achieve this regional distinction.
- Dr. Adam Seldow, executive director of technology, won the Virginia Department of Education’s 2012 State Educational Technology Leadership Award.
- Bellwood Elementary was selected as a 2011 National Title I Distinguished School for sustained achievement. Bellwood is the fifth elementary school to be honored: Beulah in 2010, Harrowgate in 2006, Chalkley in 2005 and Bensley in 2002.
- The Cosby High Titans won the 2012 Wells Fargo Cup for Group AAA in the Virginia High School League for having the best overall record in 27 sports.
- In 2012, the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance selected Ginny Heintzelman of Spring Run Elementary as Virginia’s Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and selected Dee Castelvecchi of Elizabeth Davis Middle as Virginia’s K-12 Health Teacher of the Year.
- The Virginia Art Education Association named Kathie Tharp of Cosby High as Virginia Art Educator of the Year in 2011.
- In 2012, Virginia Tech’s School of Education recognized Chesterfield County Public Schools with the Excellence in Education Award for 21st-century teaching and learning.
- Kimberly Bliley, who teaches special education at Midlothian Middle, won a 2012 Virginia Lottery Super Teacher Award.
- Chesterfield County Public Schools was selected for the 2012 Advanced Placement District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP classes while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
- The Cisco Academy of the Chesterfield Technical Center in 2012 won the first-ever Rigorous Programs of Study National Award from the National Association for Career Pathways Leadership.
- Elizabeth Scott Elementary won the 2012 Exemplary Reading Award from the Virginia State Reading Association and was one of just 13 schools to win a 2012 Exemplary Reading Program Award from the International Reading Association.
- Grange Hall Elementary math teacher Vickie Hugate was the only Virginia teacher to win a prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011.
- For two years in a row, Leslie Alderman was Virginia’s top school bus driver and in 2011 she made the top 10 nationally.
Chesterfield County School Board
Chair David Wyman, Dale District
Vice Chair Patricia Carpenter, Midlothian District
Carrie Coyner, Bermuda District
Dianne Smith, Clover Hill District
Thomas Doland, Matoaca District
Marcus J. Newsome, Ed.D.