The Virginia Department of Education has released its 2016-17 school accreditation ratings, which are a reflection of student performance on Standards of Learning exams. In Henrico, 48 schools are “Fully Accredited,” 12 others are partially accredited, and seven have had their accreditation denied.
Schools can be accredited partially or denied accreditation when pass rates on SOL exams do not meet state targets over multiple years. Fortunately, Henrico County Public Schools has planned for this, and in many cases schools are seeing SOL scores grow in specific areas such as science, social studies, language arts and math. Visit this page to see what we’re doing to enhance student achievement.
Schools where new initiatives have been implemented most successfully are helping guide improvements at other schools. The efforts include a focus on K-12 literacy; on early elementary grades and middle schools; and on new staff development opportunities and providing teachers with support. Middle schools working toward full accreditation are receiving additional resources for students who need more support in math or other subject areas. The division is also exploring the possibility of expanded specialty center options to provide additional high-quality educational choices for middle school students and their families.
Families will receive additional communication when the 2016-17 ratings are considered official. Until then, we would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What does it mean to be “Fully Accredited”?
A: “Fully Accredited” is the rating earned by a school when students achieve an adjusted pass rate of at least 75 percent in English reading and writing, and at least 70 percent in mathematics, science and history/social science. Schools that earned full accreditation were announced in September.
Q: What does it mean to be “Partially Accredited” or “Denied”?
A: There are various ways that a school can be “Partially Accredited” or “Denied”, which occurs when schools achieve adjusted pass rates below those required to meet the Fully Accredited rating. For details, visit the Virginia Department of Education’s accreditation information.
Q: How will these ratings change for the better?
A: Schools that are “Partially Accredited” or “Denied” become “Fully Accredited” again when SOL pass rates meet state benchmarks. We expect schools to regain full accreditation as tougher SOL standards become more familiar over time.
Q: Do accreditation ratings have a negative impact on my student’s grades?
A: No. All grades and SOL scores count for your student.
Q: Do these ratings mean my student won’t graduate?
A: No. A school’s accreditation status doesn’t affect a student’s diploma status. Your school counselor can answer individual questions.
Q: Can I send my child to another school if the current one isn’t fully accredited?
A: No. Attendance and residency requirements are the same for all schools. There is no “school choice” based on accreditation. Any parent wishing their child to attend a school outside of their residency zone must apply for a variance. The rules for a variance are available here.
Q: How can I help?
A: We’re so glad you asked. You can become a mentor, a partner, a volunteer and so much more. Visit the “Community” section at the top of this page for help finding where you’d feel most helpful.
Q: Where are the full ratings?
A: The Virginia Department of Education revamped its accreditation categories in 2014 in order to recognize schools that made significant gains.
The categories include:
- Fully accredited.
- Partially accredited: Approaching benchmark (Schools that are not fully accredited but are within a narrow margin of the adjusted SOL pass rates required for full accreditation in one or more subject areas.)
- Partially accredited: Improving (schools making progress toward meeting SOL criteria, as defined by state guidelines).
- Partially accredited: Warned (Schools which may be seeing higher scores, but are not making enough progress toward state guidelines to be designated as improving).
- Accreditation denied.
Detailed information can be seen on the Virginia Department of Education’s accreditation page.
|HCPS schools fully accredited for 2016-17|
|Middle schools||High schools|
- Partially accredited: Improving: Adams Elementary School
- Partially accredited: Approaching benchmark: Holladay, Lakeside and Longdale elementary schools
- Partially accredited: Warned: Highland Springs and Laburnum elementary schools
- Partially accredited: Reconstituted: Donahoe, Fair Oaks, Mehfoud, Sandston, Varina elementary schools, and Brookland Middle School
Schools with names in bold moved to full state accreditation.
Glen Lea, Montrose and Ratcliffe elementary schools, along with Elko, Fairfield, John Rolfe and L. Douglas Wilder middle schools were denied accreditation by the Virginia Department of Education.
For a school to earn full accreditation, students must achieve adjusted pass rates of at least 75 percent on English reading and writing SOL tests, and at least 70 percent on assessments in mathematics, science and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion. Accreditation ratings may also reflect an average of achievement over several years.