RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The accreditation status for Virginia schools for the 2016-2017 school year was released Wednesday, which showed that 81 percent of schools are fully accredited while 29 schools in 11 divisions have been denied state accreditation.
Locally, seven schools in Richmond have been denied accreditation. They are Amelia Street Special Education, Armstrong High, Martin Luther King Middle, Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, Richmond Alternative, Elizabeth D. Redd Middle and Swansboro Elementary. Elizabeth D. Redd Middle and Swansboro Elementary had partial accreditations last year.
“Many of our schools were on already on this trajectory and correcting this is a process, not a single action. Addressing the years of challenges will take more than two school years,” RPS Superintendent Dana Bedden said in a statement. “Richmond is in the midst of a change process that takes time and an investment that matters for the greater good of Richmond.”
In Henrico County, spokesperson Andy Jenks was pleased to report that, for the first time since the 2012-13 school year, all nine high schools have become fully state accredited while four others that were partially accredited last year – Charles M. Johnson Elementary, Dumbarton Elementary, Henry D. Ward Elementary and Highland Springs High – gained full accreditation status.
Meanwhile, Wilder Middle remains in the same position it’s been in since 2014 – with its accreditation denied.
“Overall, more schools have earned full accreditation and others are making gains toward that goal,” HCPS Superintendent Patrick C. Kinlaw said in a release. “We still have work to do. We must also remember to look beyond the numbers and consider the whole child. We want our students, families and schools to know that we’re proud of the hard work and dedication that goes into educating the children of Henrico County.”
Chesterfield County also saw great improvements with a 93 percent accreditation rate, going from nine partially accredited schools to three. Falling Creek Elementary, Harrowgate Elementary, Marguerite Christian Elementary, Salem Church Elementary, Providence Middle and Bird High all regained full accreditation for the current school year.
“While we will focus this year on developing a variety of methods with which to measure student and school success, we realize that many in the public hold the accreditation designation as an important indicator of student success,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said in a release from Chesterfield County Schools. “We celebrate the hard work of our outstanding staff members. Everyone – from the teachers to our student support personnel to the administrators to all of those who make sure our buildings operate effectively – played a role in these successes, and we salute them.”
In Petersburg, Peabody Middle School was denied accreditation for the 11th consecutive year. Last year, Vernon Johns Junior High was also denied but is closed this year. Additionally, A.P. Hill Elementary maintained full accreditation for the second year in a row while Walnut Hill Elementary – which was partially accredited last year – gained full accreditation.
“Having A.P. Hill and Walnut Hill elementary schools achieve full accreditation is something to celebrate, but our schools are not yet where we want them to be,” Dr. Marcus Newsome, superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools said in a release. “I believe the start of the new school year provides a fresh beginning and new opportunities. Teachers, staff and administrators are committed to active student engagement and partnering with parents, family members and the community to provide a quality education for every student.”
For the full Virginia Accreditation Status for 2016-2017 based on achievement results from 2015-2016, visit here.