All Suffolk schools accredited

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

A day after state Department of Education officials waived some History SOL (Standards of Learning) test results, came more good news for Suffolk schools:

When all is said and done about the 2004-05 school year, Suffolk will have tossed a perfect game with all 12 elementary, all four middle, and all three high schools meeting full accreditation.

After Wednesday’s decision from Richmond, John F. Kennedy Middle School was Suffolk’s only school still coming up short.

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Wednesday’s changes pushed four elementary schools over the SOL bar, but had no effect at the middle school level.

But on Thursday, according to Bethanne Bradshaw, public information officer for Suffolk Public Schools, one of the options that the state gives for compiling a school’s test average will now mean John F. Kennedy is fully accredited.

&uot;The state gives us a number of ways to count and average the scores because they want us to succeed, they don’t want us to fail.&uot; said Bradshaw.

The option is a three-year trailing average within the same subject, in this case, history.

This option has been confirmed with the state, which means the state now recognizes that Suffolk’s public schools are fully accredited.

Due to last year’s Department of Education decision to waive all failing history results from the Spring 2004 SOL tests, only passing results from Spring 2004 entered the three-year average for 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Results from Spring 2003, Spring 2004, and Spring 2005 then combined for a 72.5 percent average for John F. Kennedy; a passing grade.

&uot;That makes us very happy,&uot; said Bradshaw, &uot;we’re very excited, but every year we have to meet it again.&uot;

2006 had been the target year for achieving full, city-wide accreditation.

But even with Suffolk schools coming in one year ahead of schedule, they will have to continue to do so because sanctions for not meeting SOL standards are scheduled to start following the 2006-07 school year.