In The News
More Newport News Schools Earn Accreditation
NNPS Students Making Great Strides in Achievement
(09/14/2016) - More Newport News public schools earned accreditation while increasing student achievement on the 2015-2016 Standards of Learning (SOL) tests according to data released today by the Virginia Department of Education. Accreditation ratings require all schools to meet or exceed benchmarks for achievement in English, mathematics, science and history. High schools must also meet a graduation and completion index.
District-wide, Newport News public school students posted gains on all SOL tests.
"We are very proud of the advances our students and staff are making on these rigorous tests," said Dr. Ashby Kilgore, superintendent of schools. “More Newport News schools have earned full accreditation, signifying that our students are successfully applying their knowledge and skills ensuring future success."
Twenty Newport News Public Schools are Fully Accredited, up from 15 during the 2015-2016 school year: Marshall Early Learning Center; An Achievable Dream Academy; B.C. Charles, Deer Park, Discovery STEM Academy, General Stanford, Greenwood, Hilton, Kiln Creek, Nelson, Richneck, Riverside and Yates elementary schools; Gildersleeve and B.T. Washington middle schools; Achievable Dream Middle and High School; and Denbigh, Menchville, Warwick and Woodside high schools.
To be Fully Accredited for the 2016-2017 school year at least 75% of students must pass SOL tests in English and at least 70% of students must pass SOL tests in math, history and science. High schools must also attain a point value of at least 85 based on the Graduation and Completion Index. State accreditation ratings may also reflect a three-year achievement average.
One school earned the Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate designation: Dutrow Elementary School. Schools that are within a two-point margin of the adjusted SOL pass rates for full accreditation are designated as Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark. Seventy-three percent of students must pass SOL tests in English and at least 68% of students must pass SOL tests in math, history and science. Students at Dutrow met the state benchmark in English, and exceeded state benchmarks in history and science, while posting a 68% pass rate in math.
Four schools are designated Partially Accredited: Warned School including McIntosh Elementary School; and Crittenden, Dozier and Hines middle schools. Schools that are not within a narrow margin of achieving the benchmarks or making acceptable progress as defined by the state department of education receive a rating of Partially Accredited: Warned School. All four schools improved student achievement:
- McIntosh Elementary School’s SOL scores increased in English, history and science, and students exceeded the state benchmarks in history and science
- Crittenden Middle School students surpassed the state benchmarks and increased the SOL pass rates in history and science
- Dozier Middle School’s scores increased in three subjects (math, history and science) and students exceeded the state benchmarks in those subjects
- At Hines Middle School, SOL scores increased in two subjects (math and science) and students surpassed the state benchmark in history
Seven schools have the Accreditation Denied rating: Hidenwood, Jenkins, Lee Hall, Newsome Park and Sedgefield elementary schools; and Huntington and Passage middle schools. Six schools made gains in academic achievement:
- Hidenwood Elementary School’s SOL scores increased in English and students met the state benchmark in science
- Jenkins Elementary School’s scores increased in all four subject areas and students exceeded the state benchmarks in math and science
- SOL scores increased in two subject areas (math and science) at Lee Hall Elementary School and students exceeded the state benchmark in history
- Newsome Park Elementary School students increased achievement on English and math SOL tests
- Huntington Middle School students’ SOL scores increased in math
- History SOL scores increased at Passage Middle School and scores remained steady in English and science
Under the revised accreditation regulations, schools that have not been fully accredited for four consecutive years will still be denied accreditation and will be designated Accreditation Denied. Even if a school meets the qualifications for Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark Pass-Rate or Partially Accredited: Improving School Pass-Rate ratings, because the school did not receive the fully accredited rating in the last four years, the accreditation will be denied.
Accreditation ratings at six schools will be determined by the Department of Education at a later date: Carver, Epes, Palmer, Sanford and Saunders elementary schools; and Heritage High School.
NNPS has a plan to continue progress
Newport News Public Schools' academic action plan focuses on increasing literacy and math skills, and giving students more learning time.
At the elementary level, an additional 2.5 hours a week of targeted instruction for students is provided through the use of a daily intervention/enrichment block at all schools. Interventionists provide intensive instruction in reading and mathematics for students in need of increased academic support and additional teacher coaches are focusing on developing teachers in content integration.
In elementary and middle school, students may participate in numerous extended learning opportunities including Saturday academies, afterschool learning programs and SPARK, the Summer Program for Arts, Recreation and Knowledge. Newport News Public Schools was awarded a $2.7 million state grant to advance and support extended learning.
At the middle school level, a literacy institute will build teacher expertise to advance academic achievement in English, building on the success of the elementary literacy institute model which helped increase pass rates in English at 22 of 23 elementary schools.
At all grade levels, the written curriculum for teachers has been simplified. Common, computer-based assessments will be utilized to assist teachers with monitoring student progress. Students will also work cooperatively with teachers to create success plans that set performance goals which will be reviewed quarterly.
NNPS' curriculum advances student learning
Newport News Public Schools curriculum is aligned to the newer, rigorous Standards of Learning, but NNPS educators go beyond teaching the minimum state standards. The NNPS curriculum combines the SOLs with the district’s college, career and citizen-ready skills (information literacy, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation, initiative and self-direction, social responsibility and collaboration) to better prepare students for success as learners, future employees and contributing citizens.
To assess student learning, SOLs and college, career and citizen-ready skills are integrated within performance assessments or tasks that students engage in to demonstrate their understanding and application of learning goals.