All Chesterfield County comprehensive schools are fully accredited for the 2012-13 school year, according to student achievement data released today. The Virginia Department of Education establishes accreditation status each year based on student achievement on Standards of Learning tests taken during the previous school year.
Chesterfield students continue to surpass state averages on SOL tests; a chart showing Chesterfield SOL pass rates accompanies this news release.
“Chesterfield County Public Schools remains committed to preparing every student for success,” Superintendent Marcus J. Newsome said. “This includes monitoring academic growth through a variety of assessments, including state SOL tests.”
These Chesterfield County schools are fully accredited:
With a five percent increase in its graduation rate, Meadowbrook High is now fully accredited after being provisionally accredited last year. To improve the number of students graduating on time and earning Virginia Board of Education-recognized diplomas, Meadowbrook High increased its focus on relationships by creating smaller learning communities within the school.
One school, Chesterfield Community High, is not listed as meeting accreditation standards; however, the state’s current data do not take into consideration the alternative accreditation plan approved by the Virginia Board of Education and put into place at Chesterfield Community High.
This spring ushered in new SOL mathematics tests that have drawn a lot of attention throughout Virginia because of the substantial increase in the level of difficulty and the amount of time completing the tests took some students. Revisions to Virginia’s learning objectives typically occur every six to eight years, resulting in changes to the tests.
Schools can achieve full accreditation using the current year’s scores or using a three-year average of scores. “With the focus this year on lower, statewide math performance, we want to celebrate that 75 percent of our schools surpassed the math requirement for this year and our remaining schools surpassed the math requirement using the three-year-averaging option,” Dr. Newsome said.
“This year’s mathematics SOL revisions are the most sweeping since the standards were first adopted in the 1990s,” Dr. Newsome said. “The state-level tests are so different that you cannot compare this year’s scores to those from previous years.”
State education leaders have stressed that decreasing pass rates are a sign that the state is expecting more, not that students are learning less. To help parents understand the changes, the Virginia Department of Education created “What Parents and Students Should Know About the New Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning.” Available at www.doe.virginia.gov, this document contains helpful information and resources for students, parents and educators.
“Our school division has been proactive in preparing for higher state expectations,” Dr. Newsome said. “A focus on rigor, relevance and relationships has helped create classrooms in which students learn to think and solve problems. Our new innovation plan, the Design for Excellence 2020, continues to prepare our students for success on SOLs but, more importantly, we are preparing our students for success beyond high school and to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world.”