Virginia Department of Education Press Release
The Virginia Board of Education is honoring 57 schools and two school divisions for raising the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students. The awards are based on student performance on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments during the 2012-2013 and 2011-2012 school years.
West Point Public Schools and Poquoson Public Schools earned the Highly Distinguished Title I School Division designation by exceeding all federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) achievement objectives in English and mathematics for two consecutive years, having all schools fully accredited for two consecutive years and for graduating more than 80 percent of students with Standard or Advanced Studies diplomas.
The board recognized two schools as Title I Highly Distinguished schools and 55 as Title I Distinguished schools.
"I commend the teachers, principals and other educators in all of these schools for helping students meet the commonwealth's expectations for grade-level learning in reading and mathematics," Board of Education President David M. Foster said. "Virginia's new SOL tests — which emphasize the application of content knowledge and critical thinking — set a higher bar and the students in these schools are better prepared for having met it."
Title I Highly Distinguished schools must exceed all state and federal accountability benchmarks for two consecutive years and have achieved pass rates on English and mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests at or above the 85th percentile. The two schools achieving this distinction are as follows:
Title I Distinguished schools are recognized for meeting all state and federal accountability requirements for two consecutive years and achieving reading and mathematics SOL pass rates at 60th percentile or higher. The 55 Distinguished Title I schools are as follows:
"Teachers in these Title I schools challenge their students every day to meet the same expectations we have for students in more affluent communities," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. "They believe in their students and reject the idea that family incomes predetermine educational outcomes."
Each school and division will receive a certificate celebrating its status and achievement.
Title I of ESEA provides funding to school divisions and schools for programs to raise the achievement of students identified as being at risk of academic failure. The federal education law, whose most recent reauthorization is also known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires schools and school divisions to meet annual objectives for increasing student achievement on statewide assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics.