September 13, 2017 Published in Schools, Top Stories

Eighty-Six Percent Of Virginia Public Schools Fully Accredited Staff Report

The Virginia Department of Education announced today that 86%, or 1,573, of the commonwealth’s 1,823 public schools are rated as Fully Accredited for this school year, based on the performance of students on Standards of Learning and other state-approved assessments in English, mathematics, science and history during 2016-2017. This represents a five-point improvement over last year, when 81% of schools earned the state’s top accountability rating.

Twelve of Alexandria’s City Public Schools  obtained full accreditation, which is an increase of one school from last year. John Adams Elementary School, which was partially accredited in 2016 is now fully accredited joining, Charles Barrett Elementary School, Patrick Henry Elementary School, Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, George Mason Elementary School, Matthew Maury Elementary School, James K. Polk Elementary School, Samuel Tucker Elementary School, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, Mount Vernon Community School and George Washington Middle School.

For a school to earn full accreditation, students must achieve adjusted pass rates of at least 75% in English and at least 70% on assessments in mathematics, science and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion. Accreditation ratings may also reflect an average of achievement over several years.

ACPS is one of the 67 Virginia school divisions that is not fully accredited because not all of the schools within the division are fully accredited. T. C. Williams High School is partially accredited, Warned in math for the 2017-2018 school year with a pass rate 62%.  Francis C. Hammond Middle School accreditation is To Be Determined by the Virginia State Board of Education.

Like state accreditation ratings, federal accountability designations are based on achievement on SOL tests during 2016-2017, with accountability requirements focused on schools that receive Title I funding to support services for economically disadvantaged students. The lowest-performing Title I schools are identified as either Priority or Focus schools.

While William Ramsey Elementary School’s State Accreditation is To Be Determined by Virginia State Board of Education, it is one of Virginia’s 48 Focus Schools. Focus schools must employ state-approved, school-improvement coaches. Focus schools retain their designation for a minimum of two years unless they no longer receive federal Title I funding.  

Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 School has been denied accreditation for the sixth consecutive year.  It is one of Virginia’s 33 Priority Schools. Priority schools must design and implement school-reform models that meet state and federal requirements.

According to ACPS, Jefferson-Houston surpassed the accreditation benchmark in history and came within three points of the benchmark in science and four points in math. Also, according to ACPS, the school has seen remarkable academic growth during the past four years, gaining 19 percentage points in English, 20 percentage points in math, 22 percentage points in history and 31 percentage points in science.

“Our accreditation results remain largely consistent with the previous year and Jefferson-Houston’s notable academic growth in such a short period of time is particularly significant. I am confident that the school will continue to see progress this school year as it continues its march to success,” said ACPS Interim Superintendent Lois F. Berlin.

2017-2018 Accreditation Ratings

Accreditation Rating


of Schools

Percent of

All Schools

Fully Accredited



Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate



Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-GCI



Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate



Partially Accredited: Improving School-GCI



Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate



Partially Accredited: Warned School-GCI



Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School



Accreditation Denied



Conditionally Accredited (New Schools)



To Be Determined



Total Schools



“I congratulate the teachers, principals, support staff and other educators in these schools for their hard work and dedication to helping students meet the commonwealth’s high expectations for learning and achievement,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “I also want to thank and encourage educators in schools that are making progress as they move closer to achieving full accreditation. As we begin the transition to a new accountability system that recognizes growth and includes important outcomes such as achievement gaps and dropout rates, a commitment to continued improvement in all schools will be vital to our success.”

In June, the state Board of Education approved revisions to the Standards of Accreditation that place increased emphasis on closing achievement gaps between student groups – and continuous improvement in all schools – while providing a more comprehensive view of school quality. A final vote on the revised standards by the board is expected in November.

All schools are Fully Accredited this year in 65 of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions, compared with 53 divisions last year. The divisions with all schools Fully Accredited (other than new schools that automatically receive conditional accreditation) are as follows:

  • Amelia County
  • Appomattox County
  • Arlington County
  • Bath County
  • Bland County
  • Botetourt County
  • Carroll County
  • Charles City County
  • Charlottesville
  • Clarke County
  • Colonial Beach
  • Colonial Heights
  • Covington
  • Craig County
  • Dickenson County
  • Dinwiddie County
  • Falls Church
  • Floyd County
  • Fluvanna County
  • Fredericksburg
  • Galax
  • Giles County
  • Gloucester County
  • Goochland County
  • Greene County
  • Hanover County
  • Highland County
  • Isle of Wight County
  • King George County
  • King William County
  • King and Queen County
  • Lexington
  • Loudoun County
  • Louisa County
  • Manassas Park
  • Mathews County
  • Middlesex County
  • New Kent County
  • Norton
  • Orange County
  • Patrick County
  • Pittsylvania County
  • Poquoson
  • Powhatan County
  • Radford
  • Rappahannock County
  • Richmond County
  • Roanoke County
  • Rockingham County
  • Russell County
  • Salem
  • Scott County
  • Smyth County
  • Southampton County
  • Stafford County
  • Surry County
  • Sussex County
  • Tazewell County
  • Virginia Beach
  • Washington County
  • West Point
  • Williamsburg-James City County
  • Wise County
  • Wythe County
  • York County

Eighty-eight schools in 27 divisions are denied state accreditation for 2017-2018 because of persistently low student achievement. These schools are as follows:

  • Accomack County — Metompkin Elementary
  • Alexandria — Jefferson-Houston Elementary (sixth consecutive year)
  • Amherst County — Madison Heights Elementary
  • Buckingham County — Buckingham County Elementary, Buckingham County Middle and Buckingham County Primary
  • Chesapeake — Camelot Elementary, Rena B. Wright Primary and Truitt Intermediate
  • Danville — Edwin A. Gibson Elementary, G.L.H. Johnson Elementary, O. Trent Bonner Middle, Park Avenue Elementary, Schoolfield Elementary, Westwood Middle and Woodberry Hills Elementary (third consecutive year)
  • Essex County — Essex High (third consecutive year)
  • Franklin — S.P. Morton Elementary
  • Greensville County — Belfield Elementary, Edward W. Wyatt Middle and Greensville Elementary
  • Halifax County — Sinai Elementary
  • Hampton — John Tyler Elementary
  • Henrico County — Elko Middle, Glen Lea Elementary, Harold Macon Ratcliffe Elementary, Laburnum Elementary and L. Douglas Wilder Middle (fourth consecutive year)
  • Hopewell — Harry E. James Elementary
  • Lancaster County — Lancaster Middle
  • Lynchburg — Linkhorne Elementary, Linkhorne Middle, Sandusky Middle and William M. Bass Elementary
  • Newport News — Carver Elementary,
  • Crittenden Middle, George J. McIntosh Elementary, Hidenwood Elementary (second consecutive year) and Huntington Middle (second consecutive year)
  • Norfolk — Azalea Gardens Middle, Blair Middle, Coleman Place Elementary, Jacox Elementary, Lake Taylor High, Lake Taylor Middle (fourth consecutive year), Lindenwood Elementary (fifth consecutive year), P.B. Young Sr. Elementary (third consecutive year), Richard Bowling Elementary, Tidewater Park Elementary (third consecutive year) and William H. Ruffner Middle (sixth consecutive year)
  • Page County — Luray Elementary
  • Petersburg — J.E.B. Stuart Elementary and Vernon Johns Middle (twelfth consecutive year)
  • Portsmouth — Brighton Elementary, Cradock Middle, Douglass Park Elementary, John Tyler Elementary, Westhaven Elementary and William E. Waters Middle
  • Richmond — Armstrong High (third consecutive year), Binford Middle, Blackwell Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, G.H. Reid Elementary, George Mason Elementary, Ginter Park Elementary, Henderson Middle, J. L. Francis Elementary, Lucille M. Brown Middle, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle (third consecutive year), Oak Grove/Bellemeade Elementary, Overby-Sheppard Elementary, Richmond Alternative School (third consecutive year), Swansboro Elementary (second consecutive year), Thomas C. Boushall Middle, Thomas Jefferson High, Westover Hills Elementary and Woodville Elementary
  • Shenandoah County — North Fork Middle and W.W. Robinson Elementary
  • Staunton — Bessie Weller Elementary (third consecutive year)
  • Suffolk — Booker T. Washington Elementary, John F. Kennedy Middle and Mack Benn Jr. Elementary
  • Warren County — Ressie Jeffries Elementary
  • Waynesboro — Wenonah Elementary and William Perry Elementary
  • Westmoreland County — Montross Middle

Schools denied accreditation are subject to corrective actions prescribed by the state Board of Education through a memorandum of understanding with the local school board.

The status of 92 schools at risk of being denied accreditation for 2017-2018 will be determined by the Board of Education later this year. Under Virginia’s current accountability regulations, a school that has not earned full accreditation for three consecutive years — and fails to meet state standards for a fourth consecutive year — can apply for a rating of Partially Accredited: Reconstituted School if the local school board agrees to reconstitute the school’s leadership, staff, governance or student population. A reconstituted school can retain this rating for up to three years if it is making acceptable progress.


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