SOL history made, early reports show

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2005

Suffolk Public Schools earned bragging rights Thursday after learning that all three of its high schools received Standards of Learning accreditation.

Officials were particularly elated that King’s Fork High School earned top ranks in its first year of existence, along with veterans Nansemond River and Lakeland High School, Superintendent Dr. Milton Liverman said in a statement releasing the spring 2005 preliminary analysis.

&uot;We are particularly excited that our newest high school was accredited in its very first year,&uot; Liverman said in the statement. &uot;In addition, we are proud of the students’ phenomenal performance in mathematics.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

In order to become fully accredited, a school’s students must achieve pass rates of 70 percent or higher in English, math, history and science. Nansemond River, which came within two mathematical percentage points of accreditation last year, upped its mark to 75 percent this time around, along with a 90 in English, 87 in history and 75 in science.

Lakeland had the highest math score, nailing a 79, up 14 points from last year and 24 from 2003. Lakeland students also pushed history and science over the mark, rising six points to 72 in history and three in science to reach 71. Their English score was 91, 10 points higher than last year.

In its first ranking, King’s Fork scored 87 in English, 72 in math, 77 in history and 71 in science.

&uot;We had each school develop a school development plan,&uot; said Dr. Lynn Cross, assistant superintendent for secondary instructional services. &uot;They looked at their own test scores and areas of deficiency, and targeted those.&uot;

After-school tutoring helped the children learn, as did &uot;pull-outs,&uot; in which a student was allowed to attend special tutoring sessions while excused from other classes, Cross added.

&uot;We’re excited and we’re very, very proud,&uot; she said. &uot;We want to continue to improve, and we will, using these same strategies. I think the students were taking the testing situations a little more seriously. They understood the consequences of not being successful.

&uot;The principals reported that during the testing situations this year, they could tell that there was a difference; the students really focused on taking the tests and doing well. Everybody has a little part of the success we’ve seen this year.&uot;

SOL tests results for area elementary and middle schools should be released by mid-July. Final results will be verified by the Virginia Department of Education in late fall.