ASHLAND – Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) zby the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) based upon results during the 2018-2019 school year. This the first year that school divisions have been solely assessed under the newly revised and more rigorous Standards of Accreditation established by the Virginia Board of Education.
HCPS is one of the largest school divisions in the Commonwealth to experience this level of success at all of its schools.
Students exceeded all of the Standards of Learning (SOL) benchmarks set by the VDOE in English (reading and writing), math, history, and science, as well as met or exceeded the state average on 28 out of 29 SOL tests.
Hanover’s student performance continues to rank highly in the state in all five subject areas. For the fourth year in a row, students earned the highest pass rate in math among the 15 largest school divisions in the Commonwealth.
Other highlights include:
! Black and white students’ overall pass rates exceeded state pass rates in all five subject areas.
! Students with disabilities’ overall pass rates exceeded state pass rates in reading, math, history, and science.
! Hispanic students’ overall pass rates exceeded state pass rates in reading, writing, math, and science.
Dr. Michael B. Gill, superintendent of schools, said, “I am proud of our students’ continued hard work and high achievement. Our teachers, faculty, and staff are true professionals who work tirelessly to establish authentic relationships and build trust with every student, and I am grateful for their dedication. I am also thankful for the strong and unwavering support of our families, school board, and community partners who are essential to our longstanding success. As always, we remain committed to meeting the unique academic and socio-emotional needs of all learners to help ensure they maximize their potential and further close achievement gaps.”
The revised and more rigorous Standards of Accreditation now include multiple school quality indicators as opposed to solely measuring overall student achievement on SOL tests, making it more challenging for schools to achieve full accreditation. This is intended to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a school’s performance to encourage continuous improvement and close achievement gaps.
The new school quality indicators more closely evaluate achievement disparities among student groups; student absenteeism; overall proficiency and growth in English and math; the progress of English learners towards English-language proficiency; college, career, and civic readiness; graduation and completion; dropout rate; and, more.
Performance on each school quality indicator is rated at one of three levels, as follows:
! Level One — Meets or exceeds standard or sufficient improvement.
! Level Two — Near standard or making sufficient improvement.
! Level Three — Below standard.
Schools earn one of three accreditation ratings based upon their performance in these areas, as follows:
! Accredited—Schools with all school quality indicators at either Level One or Level Two.
! Accredited with Conditions—Schools with one or more school quality indicators at Level Three.
! Accreditation Denied—Schools that fail to adopt or fully implement required corrective actions to address Level Three school-quality indicators.
“While we welcome the increased rigor of the new state accreditation standards, we are cognizant that test scores captured at a single moment in time do not define the success or worth of a student, teacher, school, or division. We will continue to support and advocate for further revisions to the accreditation criteria that are practical and consistent with our sustained focus on relevance, equity, and innovation. Above all, our primary goal is to provide our students with exceptional learning experiences that will help to ensure they are well-rounded, life-ready, and productive citizens,” said Dr. Gill.
To learn more about the Standards of Accreditation, visit the VDOE website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/accreditation/2017-school-accred.shtml. To view Virginia School Quality Profiles by school or division, visit http://schoolquality.virginia.gov/.
The VDOE will soon release graduation and dropout rates. HCPS expects to far exceed the graduation benchmark at all four high schools, as well as maintain one of the lowest dropout rates in Virginia.
Information submitted by Chris R. Whitley, Hanover County Public Schools public information officer.