All schools state accredited

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

All Suffolk Public Schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education, the department announced Wednesday.

The state accreditations are based on the results of Standards of Learning tests given in the spring.

“[Suffolk Public Schools] is pleased that all schools continue to meet the state accreditation standards,” said Bethanne Bradshaw, schools spokeswoman.

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Of 132 school divisions in the state, 119 attained full accreditation.

Results are based on Standards of Learning tests administered toward the end of the school year to students in grades three through 12.

In middle schools and high schools, a pass rate of at least 70 percent in English, math, science and history is required for full accreditation.

In order for elementary schools to achieve accreditation, at least 75 percent of the students in third through fifth grades must pass the English test.

At least half of the third-graders and 70 percent of fifth graders must have passed science and history tests.

Seven out of ten third and fifth graders must also pass the math test.

The Standards of Learning results, a state requirement, are different from Adequate Yearly Progress results that use data from the Standards of Learning tests, and were released in August.

Fourteen Suffolk schools failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a set of federal benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind Act and is more stringent than Standards of Learning requirements.

“Teachers and students should be proud of this accomplishment, but recognize that the work is not finished,” Bradshaw said. “Closing the achievement gap continues to be a focus.”