Local schools were among the 447 schools recognized Friday by the state Board of Education for high student achievement, continuous improvement or innovative practices under the board’s exemplar performance school recognition program.
The awards are based on performance and practice during 2018-2019 and prior years.
The recognized schools include 71 schools that earned the Board of Education Highest Achievement Award, 375 schools that earned the Board of Education Continuous Improvement Award and one school that earned the Board of Education Innovative Practice Award. The board also recognized six school divisions for innovative practices. In 2019, the first year of the exemplar performance program, 235 schools earned awards.
“The criteria for the exemplar performance awards are designed to incentivize schools to make the changes in instruction, policy, support services and practice required to make progress toward meeting the Board of Education’s objective of achieving equity in opportunities and outcomes for all students,” Board of Education President Daniel A. Gecker said. “The increase in the number of awards earned this year is evidence of the progress our schools were making toward this objective before the pandemic forced the closure of schools in March.”
“I congratulate the principals, teachers, support professionals and students of all of these schools and divisions for the achievement, innovations and hard work recognized by these awards,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “I believe the success of these schools and school divisions will inspire learning communities across the commonwealth as they plan for the reopening of school and prepare to meet the instructional and social-emotional needs of students — especially students most impacted by the closure this spring.”
Rich Acres Elementary in Henry County and Meadows of Dan Elementary in Patrick County were among the 71 schools earning the 2020 Board of Education Highest Achievement Award.
Schools recognized for highest achievement were “Accredited” during 2019-2020 (based on performance data from 2018-2019) and demonstrated high levels of success across all of school quality indicators, including success in narrowing achievement gaps.
Schools also had to meet the Level One accreditation benchmark for reading, mathematics, and science based on the student pass rate, not including growth or progress on assessments taken by English language learners. Schools must also have had no more than a 5% achievement gap, for schools with two student groups, or a 10% gap, for schools with three or more student groups, between the lowest-performing group and all other students in the school. In addition, schools must have achieved at Level One on all other applicable school quality indicators.
Hardin Reynolds Memorial and Stuart Elementary in Patrick County, as well as Magna Vista High School in Henry County and Albert Harris Elementary and Martinsville High in the City of Martinsville were among the 375 schools earning the 2020 Board of Education Continuous Improvement Award.
Schools recognized for continuous improvement were rated “Accredited” or “Accredited with Conditions” for 2019-2020 and met at least one of the following four criteria based on performance during 2018-2019:
A 10-point increase in the combined rate in reading and math, and in the pass rate in science;
A 10-point increase in the combined rate in reading and math for two or more student groups across three years;
A decrease in the chronic absenteeism rate for three years; or
For schools with a graduating class, an increase in the Graduation and Completion Index and a decrease in the dropout rate for three years.