Albemarle County Middle School Raises SOL Scores, Earns Full Accreditation

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Walton Middle School Walton Middle School
Josh Walton Josh Walton
Jennifer Graham Jennifer Graham
Hallway inside Walton Middle School Hallway inside Walton Middle School

Efforts at an Albemarle County middle school to raise standardized test scores are paying off.

Educators at Walton Middle School have been working to bring students' SOL (Standards of Learning) scores up after the school lost full accreditation.

"We had been partially accredited to the three years prior to last year," said Principal Josh Walton.

SOL pass rates at the middle school rose from 66 percent on the English language arts test to 75 percent this past year. The pass rate on the math portion also increased, up from 76 percent to 81 percent.

The school has worked to keep students engaged, and teach the curriculum at high levels.

"That common goal was to make sure that our students were learning at the levels they should be learning," said the principal.

Language arts teacher Jennifer Graham said teachers worked together to tap into the students' potential and started to look at the bigger picture: "How we can blend and mix kids and group kids in a variety of ways to tap into their strengths," she said.

Teachers allowed students to get involved in offering suggestions for changes at the school, such as a redesign of learning labs.

“These were designed last year with a group of architects, innovation team, teachers, and some students as well got involved," Walton said.

The state announced in August that Walton Middle School had earned full accreditation.

Full accreditation means more autonomy and more opportunities to reach a common goal.

Other schools that showed improvement in SOL test scores include Albemarle High School, Hollymead Elementary School, and Baker-Butler Elementary School.

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