NNPS students making strides in achievement

All NNPS high schools accredited for the third consecutive year


Posted: September 30, 2019

Twenty-four Newport News public schools have earned the accredited status for the 2019-2020 school year, double the number of schools since 2014, according to data released today by the Virginia Department of Education. For the third consecutive year, all NNPS high schools are accredited. This year's accreditation ratings are based on school-quality indicator results from the 2018-2019 school year.

"We are very proud of the achievement of our students and the dedication of our teachers, staff and administrators. Across our schools, we saw growth in several areas, and we look forward to staying focused on the work ahead as we ensure all of our students are college, career and citizen-ready," said Dr. James Pohl, Chief Academic Officer for Newport News Public Schools.

Accreditation results

Twenty-four Newport News Public Schools earned the status of accredited: Marshall Early Learning Center; An Achievable Dream Academy; Charles, Deer Park, Dutrow, General Stanford, Hilton, Jenkins, Kiln Creek, Lee Hall, Nelson, Palmer, Richneck, Riverside, Sanford and Yates elementary schools; Dozier and B.T. Washington middle schools; Achievable Dream Middle and High School; and Denbigh, Heritage, Menchville, Warwick and Woodside high schools.

Virginia accreditation standards measure student performance on multiple school-quality indicators. Elementary and middle schools are evaluated on several indicators:

  • Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing achievement and mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English and mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Absenteeism

High schools are evaluated on more school-quality indicators:

  • Overall proficiency in English reading/ writing and progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency
  • Overall proficiency in mathematics and science
  • English and mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Graduation and completion
  • Dropout rate
  • Absenteeism
  • College, career and civic readiness (effective 2021-2022)

Performance on each school-quality indicator is rated on three levels: level one, meets or exceeds standard or sufficient improvement; level two, near standard or making sufficient improvement; or level three, below standard. To be accredited for the 2019-2020 school year, schools must have all school-quality indicators at either level one or level two.

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

Of note, many of the schools that are accredited with conditions experienced significant growth in student achievement. Six schools increased their student sub-group performance from level three (below standard) to level one (meets or exceeds standard) in one or more school-quality indicator areas:

  • Carver Elementary
  • Hidenwood Elementary
  • McIntosh Elementary
  • Saunders Elementary
  • Sedgefield Elementary
  • Huntington Middle

In addition, eight schools have shown notable progress by reducing the failure rate for one or more indicators: Carver, Discovery STEM Academy, Greenwood, Hidenwood, McIntosh, Newsome Park, Saunders and Sedgefield elementary schools.

Sub-group performance

As designated by the Virginia Department of Education, NNPS reports each test by student subgroups, groups of students who share similar characteristics including gender, racial or ethnic identification, socioeconomic status, or physical or learning disabilities, for example. When reviewing performance data for all student subgroups, results indicate growth on several English/writing tests and growth on all math tests:

English/Reading:

  • The African-American/Black subgroup in grade 8 reading improved by 4.49%
  • The Hispanic subgroup improved in high school end-of-course reading by 2.29%
  • The Hispanic subgroup improved in high school end-of-course writing by 6.74%
  • The students with disabilities subgroup improved in grade 3 reading by 4.49%
  • The students with disabilities subgroup improved in high school end-of-course reading by 4.01%
  • The students with disabilities subgroup improved in high school end-of-course writing by 30.91%
  • The English learners subgroup improved in high school end-of-course writing by 6.09%

Math:

  • All subgroups improved in math at all grade levels, most notably
    • The students with disabilities subgroup had the largest improvement, 17.23%
    • The African-American/Black subgroup improved by 10.5%
    • The economically disadvantaged subgroup improved by 8.26%

NNPS has a plan to continue progress

Newport News Public Schools' academic action plan focuses on increasing English/literacy and math skills.

At the elementary level, the focus is on targeted instruction for students through classroom and small group sessions. In elementary and middle school, students may participate in numerous extended learning opportunities including Saturday academies, intersessions, afterschool learning programs and SPARK, the Summer Program for Arts, Recreation and Knowledge. Newport News Public Schools was awarded a $2 million state department of education grant to advance extended learning programs at various schools to support academic progress.

On improving student achievement and school accreditation, Superintendent Dr. George Parker stated, "It is important that we continue to find innovative ways to meet the needs of learners in real time throughout the school year. Our plan involves deploying resources to schools and classrooms based on the needs of learners. This will ensure that we remain focused on equitable access to a quality education for all students."