93 percent of Chesterfield County schools are fully accredited

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Student achievement in Chesterfield County Public Schools continues to increase, as do the number of schools identified as fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education.

According to 2016-17 school year data, 93 percent of Chesterfield County Public Schools’ 61 comprehensive schools are fully accredited. That is an 8 percent increase from the number of schools fully accredited during the 2015-16 school year.

These schools regained full accreditation for the current school year: Falling Creek Elementary, Harrowgate Elementary, Marguerite Christian Elementary, Salem Church Elementary, Providence Middle and Bird High.

“While we will focus this year on developing a variety of methods with which to measure student and school success, we realize that many in the public hold the accreditation designation as an important indicator of student success,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “We celebrate the hard work of our outstanding staff members. Everyone – from the teachers to our student support personnel to the administrators to all of those who make sure our buildings operate effectively – played a role in these successes, and we salute them.”

These 37 elementary schools are fully accredited for the current school year: Bellwood, Bensley, Beulah, Bon Air, Chalkley, Marguerite Christian, Clover Hill, Crenshaw, Crestwood, Curtis, Davis, Ecoff, Enon, Evergreen, Falling Creek, Gates, Gordon, Grange Hall, Greenfield, Harrowgate, Hening, Hopkins, Jacobs Road, Matoaca, Providence, Reams, Robious, Salem Church, Elizabeth Scott, Alberta Smith, Spring Run, Swift Creek, Watkins, Bettie Weaver, Wells, Winterpock and Woolridge.

These nine middle schools are fully accredited: Bailey Bridge, Elizabeth Davis, Manchester, Matoaca, Midlothian, Providence, Robious, Swift Creek and Tomahawk Creek.

All 11 of Chesterfield County’s high schools are fully accredited: Bird, Carver Academy, Clover Hill, Cosby, Thomas Dale, James River, Manchester, Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Midlothian and Monacan. (Carver Academy’s designation is preliminary upon state confirmation that all alternative benchmarks have been met.)

“The School Board is excited to see continued academic growth,” Chair Dianne H. Smith said. “We know that much work remains, but we are excited to see reaffirmation from the state that more students and schools are mastering the curriculum we are required to assess. We offer kudos to our school-based staff members, as well as to our instructional and operational teams, for their work in creating engaging learning environments that encourage student success!”

Carver and Salem Church middle schools are designated as partially accredited. Salem Church was 32 passed language arts tests away from being fully accredited, while Carver was 44 passed language arts tests away from full accreditation. These two schools will receive additional staffing to meet math and reading needs as well as dedicated instructional coaching to support grade-level planning.

The school division has applied for reconstitution status for Ettrick Elementary and Falling Creek Middle, both of which are listed by the state as accreditation to be determined. Applications are under review by the Virginia Department of Education. Ettrick Elementary and Falling Creek Middle will receive supports similar to Carver and Salem Church middle schools, as well as other differentiated support such as the use of a universal screener program that will allow a school to measure students’ current skill levels to better target instruction to support student growth.

The Virginia Department of Education establishes accreditation annually based on student achievement on rigorous Standards of Learning tests taken during the previous school year. Reading pass rates in Chesterfield County continue to increase – up 2 percentage points last year and a total of 7 percentage points during the past two years. With an 84 percent pass rate, Chesterfield County Public Schools reading pass rate is 4 percentage points higher than the state average.

State data showed that Chesterfield County Public Schools student achievement levels continue to fare favorably when compared to other school divisions in Virginia. Chesterfield County’s student pass rates met or exceeded state averages 75 percent of the time. In addition to a 4-point differential in reading, Chesterfield County Public Schools student pass rates in mathematics are 3 percentage points higher and 1 percentage point higher in science. Student performance in social studies is even.

The Virginia Department of Education website (www.doe.virginia.gov) provides accreditation and SOL information for every school in Virginia. Information to help parents understand SOL changes is available here: www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml.