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October 7, 2019

All Fauquier public schools earn state accreditation

The Virginia Department of Education bases accreditation primarily on SOL tests.
We are encouraged by our state leaders to teach and provide support for the whole child, and I am excited for our teachers and students because they have had another successful year of learning.
— Deputy Superintendent Major Warner
Press Release

The Virginia Department of Education has accredited all Fauquier County Public Schools for the 2019-20 term.

Eighteen schools received the highest accreditation rating, and Taylor Middle School is accredited with conditions. The VDOE bases accreditation ratings on a school accountability system that provides a comprehensive view of school quality.

“I am happy for the kids and the teachers,” Superintendent David Jeck said. “I want to give a special shout-out to Taylor Middle School. The staff and students work so hard there, and the kids are so creative. I hope this doesn’t discourage them. They are doing great things.

“School accreditation is based primarily on standardized, multiple-choice test scores,” Dr. Jeck added. “There are other factors considered, but SOL scores take center stage. I am looking forward to the day when innovation and 21st-century skills attainment are factored in also. It can be done.”

This is the second year that Virginia’s accreditation standards measure performance on multiple school-quality indicators in the areas of academic achievement, achievement gaps, and student engagement and outcomes.

Elementary and middle school indicators

• Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing and math, including progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency.

• Overall proficiency in science.

• English and math achievement gaps among student groups.

• Absenteeism.

High school Indicators

• Overall proficiency in English reading/writing, math and science, and progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency.

• English and math achievement gaps among student groups.

• Graduation and Completion Index.

• Dropout rate.

• Absenteeism.

Schools with one or more school-quality indicators at level three (below standard) are accredited with conditions. Taylor Middle School received the accredited with conditions designation because the school received a level three rating for English achievement gaps among student groups.

“We are encouraged by our state leaders to teach and provide support for the whole child, and I am excited for our teachers and students because they have had another successful year of learning,” Deputy Superintendent Major Warner said.

“We have made the transition to a system that allows our community to view the quality of their child’s school through a much broader lens, not just a single testing data point. That is critical to creating a healthy culture where kids feel connected to their schools.

“Our teachers and principals get to implement strategies that foster growth and mastery, and I believe this approach creates a climate where teachers get to really focus on what skills each kid needs to be successful,” Mr. Warner continued. “We have a system now where schools and teachers receive credit for the growth that occurs from moving kids along a continuum and towards a proficiency standard.  I think that is a really important step to take in eliminating the high-stress teachers and students experience with SOL tests,” he said.
The Virginia Department of Education provides online School Quality Profile reports for each school and school division. These profiles contain detailed information on student achievement by subject and grade level. The profiles also provide data on other key indicators of school quality.

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