Tidewater schools remain fully accredited

All Tidewater school divisions earned accreditation for the 2017-18 academic year, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

Schools earn accreditation based on student’s performance on the Standards of Learning tests and other assessments during the 2016-17 academic year.

West Point, King William, New Kent and King and Queen schools are among the 1,573 Virginia public schools to earn full accreditation. There are 1,823 public schools in the state, according to a Sept. 13 Virginia Department of Education news release.

“I am very proud of our students' continued exceptional performance on state SOL tests,” West Point Superintendent Laura Abel said. “Our teachers and students have continued their strong performance on SOLs while also expanding instructional innovation efforts.”

Other area superintendents echoed Abel’s sentiment.

“This year’s strong performance is a reflection from our dedicated joint effort of our students, faculty, staff, parents and community,” King and Queen Superintendent Carol Carter said, adding the district’s schools have been fully accredited for three consecutive years.

West Point, King William and New Kent schools have been fully accredited every consecutive year since at least the 2008-09 academic year, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

“We’re very proud of that,” New Kent Superintendent Dave Myers said in reference to the district’s full accreditation.

News of King William schools accreditation was welcomed by the district’s superintendent, David White.

“I’m proud to say we remain accredited,” White said.

Eighty-six percent of state public schools earned full accreditation. The figure is a 5-point improvement compared to the previous year, when 81 percent of state schools earned full accreditation.

Students are required to achieve adjusted pass rates of at least 70 percent on math, science and history assessments, as well as at least 75 percent in English, for a school to earn full accreditation.

Tidewater pass rates typically met or exceeded state averages in the 2016-17 academic year. Statewide, students passed reading and writing SOL tests at a rate of 80 and 79 percent, respectively. Pass rates came to 79 percent for math and 82 percent for science. History and social science had a pass rate of 86 percent.

High schools are also required to meet a graduation and completion benchmark. Accreditation may reflect an achievement average over several years, the release states.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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