The Virginia Department of Education has accredited all Fauquier County Public Schools for the 2019-2020 school year, Fauquier County Public Schools officials announced in a news release Monday. Eighteen schools received the highest accreditation rating, while one, Taylor Middle School, was accredited with conditions, according to the news release.
“I am happy for the kids and the teachers. I want to give a special shout-out to Taylor Middle School. The staff and students work so hard there, and the kids are so creative. I hope this doesn’t discourage them. They are doing great things,” Superintendent David Jeck said in the news release.
“School accreditation is based primarily on standardized, multiple-choice test scores. There are other factors considered, but SOL scores take center stage. I am looking forward to the day when innovation and 21st-century skills attainment are factored in also. It can be done,” Jeck said.
Virginia’s accreditation standards measure performance on several indicators including proficiency on Standards of Learning tests, achievement gaps and absenteeism. High schools are also evaluated on their dropout grate.
Schools with one or more school-quality indicators at level three (below standard) are accredited with conditions.
Taylor Middle School was accredited with conditions because of the school’s rating on “English achievement gaps among student groups,” according to the news release.
Deputy Superintendent Major Warner said he is pleased that the schools are accredited.
“We are encouraged by our state leaders to teach and provide support for the whole child, and I am excited for our teachers and students because they have had another successful year of learning. We have made the transition to a system that allows our community to view the quality of their child’s school through a much broader lens, not just a single testing data point. That is critical to creating a healthy culture where kids feel connected to their schools,” Warner said in the news release.
“Our teachers and principals get to implement strategies that foster growth and mastery, and I believe this approach creates a climate where teachers get to really focus on what skills each kid needs to be successful,” Warner continued. “We have a system now where schools and teachers receive credit for the growth that occurs from moving kids along a continuum and towards a proficiency standard. I think that is a really important step to take in eliminating the high-stress teachers and students experience with SOL tests,” he said.
The Virginia Department of Education provides online School Quality Profile reports for each school and school division. These profiles contain detailed information on student achievement by subject and grade level. The profiles also provide data on other key indicators of school quality.