Every school within Chesterfield County Public Schools is accredited once again, according to 2015-16 school year information released by the Virginia Department of Education. The school division is one of the largest in the state with no schools denied accreditation.
Of the 61 comprehensive schools within the Chesterfield County school division, 52 are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. That is an increase of six schools from the 2014-15 school year, and means that 85 percent of the division’s schools are fully accredited. Schools that regained full accreditation this school year are: Carver Middle, Clover Hill High, Crenshaw Elementary, A.M. Davis Elementary, Hopkins Elementary and Meadowbrook High.
These schools are fully accredited this year:
“Our work to provide innovative and engaging instruction has resulted in learning
environments that are preparing students for success in a global economy,” Superintendent Marcus Newsome said. “I congratulate our teachers, support staff and administrators for their continued dedication and commitment to providing a quality education for every student. While we celebrate our success on state-mandated tests, we know that testing alone does not adequately prepare a student. Using strategies such as blended learning, project-based learning and service learning, our teachers are providing rigorous and relevant learning experiences that develop a student’s ability to think critically and solve complex problems.”
The Virginia Department of Education establishes accreditation each year based on student achievement on rigorous Standards of Learning tests taken during the previous school year. State data released earlier this year showed Chesterfield County Public Schools student pass rates increased in science, history and writing and put Chesterfield students ahead of state averages once again. In addition to the 5 percentage-point gains in reading and mathematics, student achievement for all Chesterfield County students increased in history and social studies (to 88 percent from 84), science (to 84 percent from 81) and writing (to 79 percent from 77).
The Virginia Board of Education recently revised its school accreditation standards to better inform the public about the progress of schools toward meeting the commonwealth’s high expectations for student learning and achievement. The revised Standards of Accreditation created new ratings to differentiate schools that are close to meeting the requirements for full accreditation, or that are making significant progress, from those that are not.
In addition to having 52 schools fully accredited, Chesterfield County Public Schools has one school identified as partially accredited while approaching the state’s benchmark pass rate. Providence Middle School is within a narrow margin of the adjusted SOL pass rates required for full accreditation. Providence exceeded the required benchmarks in math, history and science, and was within 2 percentage points of meeting the English benchmark.
Chesterfield County Public Schools had three schools identified as partially accredited while improving school pass rates. Bird High, Falling Creek Elementary and Marguerite Christian Elementary were deemed to have made acceptable progress toward full accreditation. Bird High met four of five benchmarks and increased scores in math. Falling Creek Elementary met three of four benchmarks and increased scores in science. Marguerite Christian Elementary met three of four benchmarks and increased scores in English.
Ettrick Elementary, Harrowgate Elementary, Salem Elementary, Falling Creek Middle and Salem Middle are designated as Partially Accredited: Warned School.
“We are pleased that the state has chosen to differentiate ratings to acknowledge student growth and school improvement,” Dr. Newsome said. “However, we realize we still have work to do.”
Chesterfield County Public Schools will allocate additional support to schools that are not fully accredited. Reading coaches and math coaches will be assigned as needed, and leadership teams will meet monthly to monitor student progress. All schools that are not fully accredited are working with the school division’s School Support Team. These same schools have developed a school improvement plan aligned with the division’s Design for Excellence 2020 strategic innovation plan. Division-level efforts to support schools are reviewed monthly at the Chief Academic Office Team meetings.
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.