Eighty-six of Loudoun County’s 87 public schools earned full accreditation for the 2016-2017 school year. But Sugarland Run Elementary in Sterling received partial accreditation with warning for the second year in a row.
The Virginia Department of Education this week rolled out the list of schools that received the sought-after “fully accredited” stamp for the new academic year.
Sugarland Run Elementary fell short of receiving full accreditation because just 63 percent of its students passed the science portion of the Standards of Learning exam, seven points below the state’s benchmark. However, the school logged pass rates well above the benchmarks in English (85 percent), math (88 percent), and history (97 percent).
Loudoun school system’s instructional staff will continue to provide support to Sugarland Elementary, including reviewing lesson plans, observing classrooms and student work, and coaching for the school’s teachers and principal.
For a school to earn full accreditation, students must earn pass rates of at least 75 percent on English reading and writing SOL tests, and at least 70 percent on tests in math, science and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion.
The state’s report showed big gains by Middleburg Community Charter School, which a year ago failed to meet accreditation standards when its pass rate in science was 14 points shy of the benchmark. Under new leadership, Principal David Larson, the school worked with VDOE personnel and the school system’s School Improvement Office to boost students’ performance.
In the spring, they tallied pass rates of 85 percent in English and math, 100 percent in history and 90 percent in science.
The report also delivered good news for Forest Grove Elementary. The Ashburn school was one of 39 schools statewide to automatically receive full accreditation for the next three years because of its stellar track record. A new state law, Senate Bill 326 directed the state Board of Education to grant three additional years of full accreditation to schools that had previously earned full accreditation for three consecutive years.
This is the best accreditation report Loudoun has seen in recent years. Last year, Sugarland Run Elementary and Middleburg Community Charter School missed the full accreditation mark. Two years ago, four schools missed it: Sterling Elementary School, Sterling Middle School, Park View High School and Tuscarora High School. Those schools have since improved test scores to meet state benchmarks.
Statewide, 81 percent of Virginia’s 1,825 public schools earned full accreditation this school year, a three-point improvement over last year.
“I hope these results will encourage teachers, principals and other educators in all of our schools as they strive to help students meet Virginia’s high expectations for learning and achievement,” stated Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples.