Henrico, Va. Sept. 27, 2018 – Six additional Henrico County schools achieved accreditation in 2018, according to information released today by the Virginia Department of Education. Fair Oaks, An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Highland Springs, Laburnum, Mehfoud, Montrose and Varina elementary schools earned a status of “Accredited.” The total brings to 16 the number of Henrico Schools regaining state accreditation over the past three years. All nine Henrico high schools maintained accreditation.
The number of accredited schools rose to 60 of the school division’s 67 K-12 schools, or 90 percent – the highest number of accredited schools in six years.
In the period since 2014-15, the school division has cut from 28 to 7 the number of schools designated as not accredited or accredited with a qualifier.
“When families choose Henrico County Public Schools, they do so because they trust that their students will be challenged academically and be ‘life-ready’ when they graduate,” said Superintendent Amy Cashwell. “Our students are taught to think critically and creatively, they communicate and collaborate, and as global citizens they learn to inspire the trust of others and believe in themselves to succeed. What we see in today’s new ratings is evidence that the hard work of our students, their families and our schools is paying off.”
The schools that regained accreditation saw impressive upticks. Fair Oaks Elementary School saw a 5-percentage-point gain in math, while students with disabilities at the school gained 15 percentage points in math and 11 in English. Laburnum and Highland Springs elementary schools both saw 9-percentage-point gains in science. Montrose had a 3-percentage-point gain in English, and Varina and Mehfoud elementary schools both gained 4 percentage points in English.
In addition to the six Henrico County schools that regained state accreditation, additional evidence of progress included:
- All nine high schools are performing at or above the highest state standard (level 1) in the indicators for graduation, and for academic achievement in English.
- All elementary schools were at or above the highest state standard (level 1) for the absenteeism indicator.
- Every school in Henrico County was at or above the highest state standard (level 1) for the indicators for English learners’ performance in math and English.
- The five middle schools designated as “Accredited with conditions” all made gains in English, with an average gain of 2.7 percentage points.
Henrico County Public Schools continues to pursue an aggressive plan to ensure that all its schools reach and maintain accreditation. As part of that strategy:
- HCPS hired eight instructional coaches in 2018 to provide additional support to teachers at 16 schools. The coaches are also part of Henrico Schools’ strategy for improving teacher retention at these schools. Another instructional coach will focus on helping students with disabilities at seven additional schools.
- Sixteen teachers specializing in STEAM concepts (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) were hired in 2018 at elementary schools with the most at-risk populations. The school division also created a new STEAM specialist position and hired two STEAM school coordinators.
- Staff members will get more professional development at schools where achievement gaps have been identified.
- Schools will get more training and coaching to help students with disabilities, particularly in reading and math.
The Department of Education revamped the way it describes accreditation this year. The new accreditation system describes schools as “Accredited,” “Accredited with conditions” or “Accreditation denied.” The scale is designed to reward schools where students show academic growth. Elementary and middle schools are rated on six indicators and high schools are rated on nine indicators; schools may earn a level one, two or three for each indicator.
- Accredited: Schools with all school quality indicators at level one or two.
- Accredited with conditions: Schools with one or more school-quality indicators at level three.
- Accreditation denied: Schools that fail to adopt or fully implement required corrective actions to address level three indicators.
The new state system replaces the scale that rated schools as “Fully accredited,” “Accreditation denied,” or “Partially accredited” with qualifiers such as “Approaching benchmark,” “Improving,” “Warned” or “Reconstituted.”
For a brief explanation of the Virginia Department of Education’s new accreditation standards read a one-page document at this link: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/school-accred.pdf
For a more detailed explanation, visit this page on VDOE’s website:http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/2017-school-accred.shtml
HCPS schools accredited for 2018-19
(Schools in bold regained accreditation)
Schools designated as “Accredited with conditions” were Glen Lea and Ratcliffe elementary schools and Brookland, Elko, Fairfield, John Rolfe and L. Douglas Wilder middle schools.