Albemarle working with school divisions to help close achievement gap

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 1:43 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County Public Schools are working to close the achievement gap, something Superintendent Matthew Haas says has been an issue for a while.

The county says the Standards Of Learning scores for students of color are below the state average in all areas, expect overall pass rate.

“The achievement gaps we have in Albemarle County schools have existed for as long as I can remember. I’ve been here just about 20 years,” Haas said Monday, January 23.

Superintendents from Charlottesville, Albemarle, Hanover, York, and Roanoke got together to share advice on how to close that gap.

“I believe when you collectively get a lot of brain power in the room that the possibilities are endless,” Hanover County Public Schools Superintendent Michael Gill said.

“We are working closely with our neighboring school divisions, seeing what things are working well for them,” Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Royal Gurley said. “Then we are saying, ‘can those things be replicated within Charlottesville City Schools?’”

“We really want to see our student achievement in reading and math improve for our students of color, our students with special capacities, and our economically-disadvantaged students, as well as our English-language learners,” Haas said.

“Not all of them do poorly, but a lot of them do, and we’re really trying to look down at the data, look at how we can help and make improvements in science, math, reading in particular,” School Board Member Kate Acuff said.

Some ideas that have been discussed include analytical problem solving, as well as better ways to utilize time.

“We are serious about closing the achievement gap, and we are looking to people who are doing better than we are to figure out how we can do better,” Acuff said.

Albemarle County Public Schools hopes to make this roundtable discussion an annual event.

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