All Virginia Beach public schools will be fully accredited for a second consecutive year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday to school divisions by the Virginia Department of Education.
Starting with this 2018-2019 school year, Virginia is using a new system for calculating school accreditation.
No longer will school accreditation be primarily based on Standards of Learning (SOL) results.
Now, calculations will also take into account a series of School Quality Indicators, some of which include, year-to-year growth on specific SOLs, achievement gaps between all students in a school, various demographic groups and absenteeism.
"High school calculations will also continue to include the Graduation and Completion Index and new factors, such as a school's dropout rate," said division spokesperson, Rosemary Gladden. "College and career readiness will also be factored at the high school level starting in the 2021-2022 school year."
Under this new system, successes are based on combined rates, which refer to students at a school who passed the SOL test or who demonstrated growth compared to the previous year.
Specifically, for Virginia Beach schools, some of those successes include the following:
Forty-one schools show combined rates for English at 90 percent or higher.
In math, 32 schools show combined rates at 90 percent or higher.
Tallwood Elementary School showed combined rates of 95 percent in English and 96 percent in math for all students, both increases from last year. Specifically, in math, all reporting groups saw gains ranging from 5 to 24 percentage points.
A 2018 Governor's Award for Educational Excellence winner, Great Neck Middle School continued its strong performance on the SOL tests. Its combined rates in both English and math reached 95 and 96 percent, respectively.
Green Run High School's 7-percentage-point gain in the English combined rate placed it at the 90 percent mark. All various demographic groups also showed gains in English, ranging from 4 to 20 percentage points.
"Again, we are thrilled with this outstanding news and so very proud of this division," said Dr. Aaron Spence, division superintendent. "And, even though we have met this mark in back-to-back years, it should not overshadow the time, effort and work that goes in to being fully accredited. I want to thank our incredible administrative teams, teachers, staff members and students who have worked diligently to earn this achievement. This is a wonderful, deserved accomplishment and I hope our community joins me in celebrating our schools' work."