NNPS students making strides in achievement

Annual accreditation information released

Posted: September 23, 2022

All Newport News public schools are either Accredited without Conditions or Accredited with Conditions for the 2022-2023 school year according to data released September 22, 2022, by the Virginia Department of Education. The accreditation ratings are based on school-quality indicator results from the 2021-2022 school year. This year marks the return of school accreditation ratings, which were waived for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are very proud of the achievement of our students and the dedication of our teachers, staff and administrators. Because of their efforts, our students have consistently demonstrated growth in reading and mathematics throughout the pandemic and are poised to continue making great gains this school year. While we will continue to address the challenges associated with significant learning loss from the pandemic, our results demonstrate the commitment of our educators and students to making learning and academic success a priority," said Dr. George Parker, Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools.

Accreditation Results

Of the thirty-eight NNPS schools under accreditation requirements, a majority (23) earned the status of Accredited Without Conditions: Marshall Early Learning Center; An Achievable Dream Academy; Charles, Deer Park, Dutrow, General Stanford, Hilton, Jenkins, Kiln Creek, Knollwood Meadows, Palmer, Richneck, Riverside, Sanford and Yates elementary schools; Gildersleeve and B.T. Washington middle schools; Achievable Dream Middle and High School; and Denbigh, Heritage, Menchville, Warwick and Woodside high schools. Schools that are Accredited Without Conditions met or exceeded state benchmark requirements for all student gap groups in academic areas, graduation rate and dropout rate.

Fifteen NNPS schools are Accredited With Conditions: Carver, Discovery STEM Academy, Greenwood, Hidenwood, Katherine Johnson, McIntosh, Newsome Park, Saunders, Sedgefield and Stoney Run elementary schools; and Crittenden, Ella Fitzgerald, Hines, Huntington and Passage middle schools. Schools Accredited with Conditions may have one or more school quality indicator areas in need of improvement.

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

  • Overall proficiency in English reading/writing achievement and mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English and mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Absenteeism (waived for calculation of accreditation for the 2022-2023 school year)

High schools are evaluated on more school-quality indicators:

  • Overall proficiency in English reading/ writing and progress of English learners
  • Overall proficiency in mathematics and science
  • English and mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Graduation and completion
  • Dropout rate
  • Absenteeism (waived for calculation of accreditation for the 2022-2023 school year)
  • College, career and civic readiness

Reading and Math SOL Scores Rise for NNPS Students

When the Virginia Department of Education released the 2021-2022 Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores for all public schools across the Commonwealth, there was good for Newport News Public Schools.

The school division's results are a story of resiliency and a commitment to meeting the physical and emotional needs of students. NNPS leaders take great pride in our students, who despite the challenges of the pandemic over a two-year period, demonstrated adaptability while giving their best.

The Virginia Department of Education's accreditation process factors in student growth. Measuring student growth gives instructional staff a clear picture of the progress students are making as many recover from a loss of learning. Because of the pandemic, NNPS results follow a similar trend across the state with some noted exceptions. With NNPS' emphasis on consistency in literacy and mathematics throughout the pandemic during periods of virtual and in-person instruction, 28 NNPS schools demonstrated academic growth in English/reading scores and 29 schools earned the highest rated benchmark of level one for performance on English/reading SOL tests.

In mathematics, 31 schools met the level one benchmark, and 13 schools demonstrated improvement. Dr. Parker stated, "Our NNPS team credits the great work of our teachers and support staff and our focus on professional development throughout the pandemic for the progress that we are seeing in reading and mathematics." Beginning in 2019, all elementary staff were required to take a graduate level course in the science of reading. NNPS also implemented a more rigorous math curriculum in 2020.

NNPS has a Plan to Continue Progress

While NNPS' results in reading and mathematics are promising, there is still much work to do. The school division's focus on improvement in science and school attendance will be critical to raising academic outcomes for individual schools and the overall division. While NNPS began the school year with a greater number of teacher vacancies, school staff and teachers are upbeat and positive about the new school year. Regarding the impact of staffing this year, Dr. Parker stated, "We are extremely focused on raising student achievement this year. We have made the necessary adjustments to ensure that our students have a quality learning experience with a caring adult in every classroom in our school division. We ask that parents and guardians partner with us by ensuring that their child attends school every day, if possible. Students who are present and ready to learn will succeed."

View the Virginia Department of Education accreditation report for NNPS online.