All schools fully accredited

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New accreditation standards approved by the Virginia Board of Education last November are closing achievement gaps and promoting continuous achievement, according to a September press release from the Virginia Department of Education.

“This academic year marks the implementation of major enhancements to the commonwealth’s school accreditation standards,” said an August press release from the Virginia Department of Education. “The revisions to the Standards of Accreditation, approved by the state Board of Education in November 2017, are designed to provide a more comprehensive view of school quality, place increased on emphasis on closing achievement gaps and encourage continuous improvement for all schools.”

In light of this, Superintendent of Charlotte County Schools Dr. Nancy Leonard said all five schools in Charlotte County are fully accredited under both the old and new standards of accreditation.

“It has been a long journey to achieving 100 percent of schools being accredited in Charlotte County,” said Leonard. “It took a lot of people working very hard and very strategically as a team to reach this level of success. This did not happen by accident.”

The August release said for the 2018-19 school year, ratings would be scored on multiple quality indicators ranging from level one to level three. Level one is at or above standard, level two is near standard or improving and level three is below standard.

“Schools with all indicators at Level One or Level Two will be rated as ‘Accredited.’ Schools with one or more indicators at Level Three will be rated as ‘Accredited with Conditions.’ Only schools that fail to implement state-required improvement plans would be rated as ‘Accreditation Denied’ under the new system. Corrective action plans and state interventions currently in place for the state’s lowest-performing schools will remain in effect,” said the release.

All five schools in Charlotte County, Eureka Elementary, Bacon District Elementary, Phenix Elementary, Central Middle School and Randolph-Henry are fully accredited and according to the Virginia Department of Education, accredited schools must possess all quality indicators at either level one or level two.

Quality indicators can include, but are not limited to academic achievement in subjects such as English, math and science as well as achievement gaps and student engagement and outcomes, including dropout rate, graduation/completion index and chronic absenteeism.

“Every school under the new accreditation regulations — regardless of performance — must develop a multi-year plan to support continuous improvement on all school quality indicators,” said the release. “The revised Standards of Accreditation Require specific local and state actions to improve performance on indicators rated at Level Two and Level Three.”

Leonard said is she very proud of the school system and those who comprise it.

“I am so very proud of our students, parents and our faculty and staff at all of our schools and as well as the school board office team,” she said. “It has been a united effort and we are so proud of this accomplishment. We know our schools are great but it is nice to have that verified by the Virginia Department of Education.”