PWCS Accreditation/Accountability Results Show Solid Performance and Improvements

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

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A total of 80 out of 87 eligible Prince William County Public Schools are fully accredited, according to a report on state accreditation and federal accountability results released today by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
The change reflects the improved performance of seven schools that rose from “accredited with warning” status last year to fully accredited now; they are: Enterprise and Kilby Elementary Schools, Rippon and Stonewall Middle Schools, and Freedom, Gar-Field, and Potomac High Schools. The improvements mean all PWCS high schools are now fully accredited.

“This is exciting news that rewards all the hard work going on to produce continuous improvement at every one of our schools,” said Deputy PWCS Superintendent Rae Darlington. “Some of the results also remind us that several improving schools still have a way to go to reach the student learning and performance we expect; and a couple will be getting special attention to accelerate their journeys.”

The accreditation status of Fred Lynn Middle School is not yet determined, as VDOE reviews schools statewide that had been “Accredited with Warning” for multiple years. Fred Lynn is in that category, and fell short of accreditation benchmarks in science and English. However, the school did post improving results since last year in all four content areas, including a 17-point gain in science and 16 points in math.

“We are seeing definite signs of improvement there, and in the few other schools that fell short of full accreditation. And we are committed to getting them all quickly back on track to helping every student achieve the success that he or she deserves,” added Darlington.

Among the other schools that were not Fully Accredited, Dumfries and Neabsco Elementary Schools, and Beville and Godwin Middle Schools were rated as “Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate,” missing pass rate benchmarks by just a point or two in a single subject. Vaughan Elementary was “Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate,” coming close to the target pass rate in English, but missing by more in science. Belmont Elementary was designated “Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate,” recognizing a seven-point gain in English pass rates over last year.

Despite that improvement, federal accountability results now list Belmont as a “Priority School,” based on the latest SOL performance results in comparison to other Virginia schools. Efforts to move up after last year’s Virginia “Focus School” status yielded some gains, but student scores in reading and mathematics did not rise to desired levels.

Belmont’s “Priority School” status lasts three years and requires the school to follow VDOE’s prescribed and approved measures toward improvement. These include: involvement of an expert outside improvement partner; review and strengthening of the instructional program; finding ways to extend learning time; and extra training and assistance to aid teachers committed to measurable increases in student performance.

Kerrydale Elementary is now designated as a “Focus School” based on SOL scores and challenges with the performance of their African-American students. That designation ensures both extra help and VDOE oversight, as the school charts a course toward improved performance.

Other federal accountability results show:

  • Divisionwide, PWCS met 39 of 45 Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO);
  • All of the participation objectives in Reading and Mathematics were met at the Division level;
  • All student subgroups except those with disabilities met performance objectives in reading and mathematics;
  • 34 schools met all AMOs and higher expectations. Another 18 schools met all but one AMO.

“Higher expectations continue to raise the bar on AMO targets, and our students and schools are rising to the challenge,” said Darlington. “This report will help us increase our focus and redouble our efforts to improve every school and help every student succeed. It is also a great reminder that our students are already being well served by the dedicated educators in Prince William County Public Schools.”

To see the full VDOE report on PWCS Division and school-by-school performance, visit:
http://doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/school_report_card/index.shtml

For a guide to the meaning of state accreditation and federal accountability designations and terminology, visit:
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/school_report_card/accountability_guide.pdf

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