More Newport News schools earn accreditation

Posted: September 27, 2018

Newport News public schools are making steady progress in accreditation. Twenty-six schools are accredited, five more than last year.

Across the school division, the collective focus is advancing student achievement. Newport News educators are using a revised curriculum, new achievement goals and an extended learning program to increase student success.

"I am proud of the progress that our students and staff are experiencing," said Dr. George Parker, superintendent of schools. "While we have seen significant growth in accreditation and Standards of Learning test scores, we have more work to do. We want all of our students to be successful."

Four additional elementary schools earned accreditation this year: B.C. Charles, Dutrow, Lee Hall and Palmer. Two more middle schools gained accreditation: Dozier and Gildersleeve. For the second consecutive year, all NNPS high schools earned accreditation.

The accreditation trend has steadily increased from 11 accredited schools in 2014 to 26 in 2018 (see graph below).

For the 2018-2019 school year, Marshall Early Learning Center; An Achievable Dream, B.C. Charles, Deer Park, Dutrow, General Stanford, Greenwood, Hilton, Jenkins, Kiln Creek, Lee Hall, Nelson, Palmer, Richneck, Riverside, Sanford and Yates elementary schools; Dozier, Gildersleeve and B.T. Washington middle schools; and An Achievable Dream, Denbigh, Heritage, Menchville, Warwick and Woodside high schools are accredited.

Twelve schools are accredited with conditions: Carver, Discovery STEM Academy, Epes, Hidenwood, McIntosh, Newsome Park, Saunders and Sedgefield elementary schools; and Crittenden, Hines, Huntington and Passage middle schools.

New accreditation system

The Virginia Department of Education adopted new standards for accreditation in November 2018 which are "designed to promote continuous achievement in all schools, close achievement gaps and expand accountability beyond overall performance on Standards of Learning tests." The new standards also recognize the academic growth of students making significant annual progress toward meeting grade-level expectations in English/reading and mathematics.

Under the state board's revised Standards of Accreditation, schools are evaluated on school quality indicators grouped in three categories: academic achievement, achievement gaps, and student engagement and outcomes. Performance on each indicator is rated at one of the following levels:

  • Level One: Meets or exceeds state standard or sufficient improvement
  • Level Two: Near state standard or sufficient improvement
  • Level Three: Below state standard
  • Too Small: Too few students in school or group to evaluate

NNPS is committed to advancing student achievement

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 additional academic support and teacher coaches are focusing on developing teachers in mathematics and 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.

At all grade levels, the written curriculum for teachers has been simplified. Common, computer-based assessments are utilized to assist teachers with monitoring student progress. And students will work cooperatively with teachers to create success plans that set performance goals which will be reviewed quarterly.

Newport News Public Schools is increasing student achievement in all subject areas and establishing a culture of success for all students.

The accreditation trend has steadily increased from 11 accredited schools in 2014 to 26 in 2018.
The accreditation trend has steadily increased from 11 accredited schools in 2014 to 26 in 2018.