Chesterfield County Public Schools and Virginia State University announce partnership to assist Ettrick Elementary

Chesterfield County Public Schools and Virginia State University (VSU) today announced the first of a two-part partnership effort designed to support Ettrick Elementary’s return to full accreditation. Beginning in February, Virginia State will provide 25-40 students from VSU’s College of Education and other student-led support organizations to help with targeted interventions related to math at Ettrick Elementary.

“Ettrick Elementary continues to make progress, specifically in English, where student pass rates on state-mandated tests have increased 11 percentage points during the last several years,” said Chesterfield School Board Member Rob Thompson, whose Matoaca District serves Ettrick Elementary. “In seeking to help Ettrick continue to improve, the School Board has invested additional instructional resources in the school. We are constantly looking to add additional layers of support. VSU will provide a mutually beneficial partnership that will help students at both schools excel and grow.”

“This partnership is a win-win for the school and university,” Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “We’re excited about the opportunities that this partnership provides and look forward to continuing to work together on other opportunities that would support our work to transform Ettrick into an engineering center.”

VSU’s immediate involvement will provide a strategic tutoring and volunteer program to support Ettrick students in grades 3-5, and VSU education students will receive authentic field work while assisting in Ettrick classrooms. The program will focus on supporting small-group instruction and one-on-one support in math heading into the spring semester administration of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments.

“We are serious across the entire education spectrum about supporting Ettrick Elementary,” Virginia State University President Dr. Makola Abdullah said pointing to an array of VSU leaders present. “We must make this work for our students and Ettrick’s students. We must have a long-term vision – the Trojans and the Hero Trojans. We must work together to be successful so that our students and your students are prepared for success.”

In addition to this partnership, Chesterfield County Public Schools has provided additional supports to Ettrick Elementary for the 2016-17 school year including:

  • Priority in screening potential candidates and hiring new teachers
  • An additional Title 1 math teacher and an additional reading teacher, giving the school a three-person leadership team in both math and reading
  • Two additional teaching positions, utilized in first and fourth grades to reduce class sizes
  • A part-time special education coordinator to assist with services for students with special needs
  • Chromebooks for each student in grades 3-5 to support anytime, anywhere learning and to provide students immediate access to academic and remediation programs without having to wait for a computer lab to become available
  • Shorter wait times for computer labs for students in grades K-2
  • A universal screener to allow the leadership team the opportunity to measure students’ current math skill levels to better target math instruction to support student growth
  • A full-time substitute to provide consistent academic support when a teacher is out of the building

Ettrick Elementary continues utilizing a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to provide before- and after-school remediation and enrichment for approximately 120 students in grades 2-5.