Four schools pending accreditation

Published 1:36 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

Three of Lunenburg County’s schools received “To Be Determined” accreditation status for the 2016-17 school year, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Central High School, earned full accreditation status.

The rankings are based on performance on english, math, history and science Standards of Learning (SOL) tests during the 2015-16 school year.

According to VDOE, in order for a school to receive full accreditation, elementary and middle school students must achieve 75 percent or higher in English; and 70 percent or higher in mathematics, history and science. High school students must meet the same subject benchmarks and also attain a point value of 85 or greater according the Graduation and Completion Index (GCI).

A “To Be Determined” (TBD) status indicates a school is in its fourth consecutive year of not meeting accreditation standards and has applied to be placed into the “reconstituted-partially accredited” status rather than being denied accreditation. These schools must submit an application to VDOE showing SOL improvement and their goals and actions to continue progress to become fully accredited. According to VDOE, 145 schools across the commonwealth fall into this category for the 2016-17 school year. VDOE will meet on Oct. 7 with schools whose status is TBD to provide technical assistance and next steps, Superintendent Charles Berkeley said.

Victoria Elementary, Kenbridge Elementary and Lunenburg Middle schools all received TBD status and are pending VDOE’s decision.

The three schools struggled to meet the mathematics benchmark. Kenbridge and Victoria Elementary schools received 61 and 67 percent pass rates in math respectively. With these scores, Kenbridge was categorized as “Warned,” and Victoria as “Improving.”

Lunenburg Middle School also was categorized as “Warned,” with 62 percent of students passing the math SOL.

In all other subject areas, Lunenburg Middle met its benchmarks.

Victoria Elementary was warned also in the english category as only 69 percent of the student body received passing scores-six points below the benchmark.

The fully-accredited Central High not only met all benchmarks, but also scored an 88 GCI, 3 points higher than required.

According to VDOE, more than 80 percent of Virginia’s 1,482 public schools are fully accredited for the 2016-2017 school year. This is a 3-point improvement from scores earned during the 2015-2016 school year.

Seven schools earned full accreditation after undergoing reconstitution last year, VDOE said, which included “significant changes in school leadership, governance, faculty or attendance.” Reconstitution status must be approved by the state Board of Education.

The three schools pending accreditation will enter into reconstitution status if their applications are approved by VDOE in coming months, according to Berkeley.