Gov’s Award Goes to Two Loudoun Middle Schools

Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn and J. Michael Lunsford Middle School in Aldie were among eight Virginia schools to win the 2016 Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, the highest award under the Virginia Index of Performance.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the state Board of Education announced May 24 that 278 schools and two school divisions earned VIP awards for advanced learning and achievement. The VIP incentive program recognizes schools that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the governor and the board.

“These schools epitomize academic excellence and the innovation, teamwork and commitment to high standards that have made Virginia’s public schools among the nation’s best,” McAuliffe stated.

Two Virginia school divisions and 104 schools—including 10 Loudoun County schools—earned the Board of Education Excellence Award for meeting all state and federal accountability benchmarks and for making significant progress. The Loudoun County schools on that list were: Belmont Ridge Middle, Belmont Station Elementary, Briar Woods High, Emerick Elementary, Legacy Elementary, Little River Elementary, Mill Run Elementary, Rosa Lee Carter Elementary, Stone Bridge High and Sycolin Creek Elementary.

The Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award went to 166 schools statewide for meeting all state and federal benchmarks and making progress toward the goals of the governor and the Board of Education. The 18 Loudoun County schools that earned this award were: Aldie Elementary, Arcola Elementary, Broad Run High, Buffalo Trail Elementary, Eagle Ridge Middle, Hamilton Elementary, John Champe High, Loudoun Valley High, Lowes Island Elementary, Lucketts Elementary, Meadowland Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Pinebrook Elementary, Round Hill Elementary, Sanders Corner Elementary, Stone Hill Middle, Waterford Elementary and Woodgrove High.

One thought on “Gov’s Award Goes to Two Loudoun Middle Schools

  • 2016-05-31 at 9:36 am

    The two middle schools are to be commended for their achievements.

    However, both VDOE and Loudoun County’s school board should be ashamed of themselves. Nineteen (19) LCPS elementary schools were included in the state’s “VIP” awards. But four were conspicuously left out:

    – Rolling Ridge ES
    – Guilford ES
    – Frederick Douglass ES
    – Evergreen Mill ES

    These four had among the highest, if not the top, student growth scores in all of Loudoun County. That means that after you discount for FRL/ESL and all the other socioeconomic factors, these schools obtained the best performance. But they were not included anywhere in the list. They were all much discussed in the Leesburg rezoning debates and deserve much better. When we don’t recognize the teachers and principals who have the most success, will anybody want to work in schools with high rates of FRL and ESL?

    Why do I blame VDOE and LCSB? Because federal law required the VIP awards to consider student growth. Virginia received $40M+/yr and LCPS received over $2M+/yr that was conditional on them following the ESEA (No Child Left Behind) waivers requiring use of student growth. VDOE even bailed out on SGPs in FY15 so they could artificially boost their passing rates with “progress tables” as their student growth measure. And then they completely failed to even use those! It’s outright fraud on the federal government, the taxpayers and yes, the teachers/principals who take the most challenging positions. These awards are essentially a list of the most affluent, not the most successful, schools.

    Your “esteemed” school board won’t even look at the data. In fact, VDOE refused to even calculate SGPs for the FY15 year despite still being under federal requirements to do so. And the powers that be (Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney Jim Plowman, Attorney General Mark Herring, etc.) simply ignore it all.

    So when teachers wonder why they don’t receive accolades for succeeding at the hardest jobs, when successful principals wonder if there are superintendent’s “pets”, when students question whether the school board has your interests in mind, look no further than the knowing deception by all of the educational “professionals” involved in this cesspool.

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