Suffolk schools honored

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Suffolk elementary schools have been honored by the Virginia Department of Education for the progress in the Virginia Index of Performance program.

Northern Shores Elementary School was honored by the education board with a VIP Excellence Award, which is the second tier of recognition for the program. Driver and Southwestern Elementary Schools received VIP Competence to Excellence awards, representing recognition at the program’s third tier.

“We are proud of all our schools,” Suffolk School Superintendent Milton Liverman said in an email through school spokeswoman Bethanne D. Bradshaw on Tuesday.

“Every one of our schools, our administrators, our teachers, our support staff and our students are striving to meet and exceed the ever-increasing standards set by state and federal guidelines.”

The three-year-old VIP program recognizes schools and divisions based on the percentage of students achieving at the advanced level on Standards of Learning assessments and based on the progress made toward increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities.

“The criteria for these awards go beyond test scores and include student outcomes and best practices in areas that support learning,” Board of Education President Mark E. Emblidge said.

“It speaks well of the strength of Virginia’s public schools that so many schools earned awards this year, even with higher standards.”

This year’s awards criteria included more rigorous benchmarks for achievement in the core subject areas of English, math, science, history and social science, according to a news release from the Board of Education.

Suffolk’s Northern Shores Elementary was one of 288 schools that earned the second-tier award. There also were 15 school divisions honored at that level.

Driver and Southwestern Elementary were two of 281 Virginia schools honored at the third-tier level. Seventeen school divisions also received the third-tier awards.