98.4 percent of Chesterfield schools fully accredited

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Ettrick achieves full accreditation for first time since 2012-13

Ettrick Elementary, Carver Middle and Salem Church Middle regained full accreditation status and were among the 98.4 percent of Chesterfield County schools to be fully accredited today by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

These 60 schools were fully accredited for the 2017-18 school year:

  • Elementary schools –Bellwood, Bensley, Beulah, Bon Air, Chalkley, Marguerite Christian, Clover Hill, Crenshaw, Crestwood, Curtis, Davis, Ecoff, Enon, Ettrick, 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
  • Middle schools – Bailey Bridge, Carver, Elizabeth Davis, Manchester, Matoaca, Midlothian, Providence, Robious, Salem Church, Swift Creek and Tomahawk Creek
  • High schools – Bird, Carver College and Career Academy, Clover Hill, Cosby, Thomas Dale, James River, Manchester, Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Midlothian and Monacan

“We celebrate the continued growth we see at our schools in terms of student achievement and Standards of Learning pass rates, and we remain committed to achieving 100 percent full accreditation,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “While we expect our schools to be more and to provide innovative and relevant learning experiences that move beyond teaching to a test, we appreciate all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into returning closer to 100 percent full accreditation.”

According to the latest VDOE data, Ettrick Elementary regained status as fully accredited for the first time since the 2012-13 school year.

“We’re excited to see that the additional supports we put into place at Ettrick Elementary resulted in strong academic gains and full accreditation for the first time five years,” added School Board member Rob Thompson, who represents Ettrick Elementary. “The supports put in place to support Ettrick students and staff members will prove to be a model for differentiating resources.”

Additional resources provided to Ettrick Elementary last school year included: an additional Title 1 math teacher and an additional reading teacher, two additional teaching positions that were utilized to reduce class sizes, a part-time special education coordinator to assist with services for students with special needs and Chromebooks for each student in grades 3-5 to support anytime, anywhere learning. A universal screener also was added to allow the leadership team the opportunity to measure students’ current math skill levels to better target math instruction to support student growth.

Falling Creek Middle’s accreditation status is listed as “to be determined” by the VDOE. Falling Creek Middle pass rates on state assessments showed solid growth: science increased 15 percentage points from 2015-16 to 2016-17; math increased 8 percentage points from 2015-16 to 2016-17; history increased 8 percentage points from 2015-16 to 2016-17; and English increased 6 percentage points.

“The growth in student achievement at Falling Creek Middle is hard to ignore, and we’re hopeful that the state won’t look past the continued improvements as the school’s accreditation status is determined,” said School Board Member John Erbach, who represents Falling Creek Middle. “I am optimistic about the future of Falling Creek Middle and look forward to supporting the school’s work and continued growth.”

Carver and Salem Church middle schools were both fully accredited after being deemed partially accredited during the 2016-17 school year.

“Last year, we showed by focusing on engagement and a student’s love of learning that SOL scores are a byproduct of the great things we do in our classrooms,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “By focusing on these things and not focusing on a test, we made learning fun again. When students enjoy learning and realize a connection between classroom lessons and real-world application, the sky is the limit.”

Earlier this summer, the VDOE announced that 46 Chesterfield County schools will benefit from state legislation passed in 2016 that says public schools in Virginia that have been fully accredited for three straight years will be fully accredited for three more years.  Forty-five of the schools will be fully accredited through the 2018-19 school year; one school (Carver College and Career Academy) will be fully accredited through the 2019-20 school year. This automatic full accreditation will provide schools the opportunity be more innovative in their instruction.

“We know that the accreditation ratings are a baseline status,” Siddiqi said. “We want our schools to push beyond minimum expectations and to create innovative and engaging learning environments that inspire students to think bigger.”