Manassas Park City Schools is one of 97 school divisions in the Commonwealth to have every one of its schools meet Virginia Standards of Learning requirements and be accredited, the state Department of Education announced Thursday.
Accreditation is based on the performance of students on Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other state assessments during 2010-2011.
When considering accreditation, the state Department of Education considers students’ performance in English, mathematics, history and science. In the case of high schools, the graduation rate is also considered.
Elementary schools are considered fully accredited if students achieve the following pass rates:
• English — 75 percent or higher, grades 3-5
• Mathematics — 70 percent or higher, grades 3-5
• Science — 70 percent or higher in fifth grade and 50 percent
or higher in third grade
• History — 70 percent or higher in Virginia Studies (grades fourth and
or fifth) and 50 percent or higher in third grade
Middle schools are fully accredited if students achieve pass rates of 70
percent or higher in all four content areas.
High schools are fully accredited if students achieve pass rates of 70
percent or more in all four content areas and attain a point value of 85
or greater based on the Graduation and Completion Index.
Dr. Bruce McDade, superintendent of Manassas Park City Schools, said Thursday he is happy about the school division's achievements.
“As you know, our teachers, staff and students worked extremely hard last year to ensure our students would meet with success on their SOLs” he said. “Today’s news is a testament to the outstanding effort put forth by everyone in the school division who continue to do what is in the best interests of our students.”
Ninety-seven of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions have all schools fully accredited, compared with 119 last year, according to the state Department of Education.
Ninety-six percent of Virginia’s 1,838 public schools are fully accredited and meet all state standards for achievement, according to the department.
The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2011-2012 is two points lower than the percentage that earned the highest rating previous year.
Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction, Patricia I. Wright, said she expects further declines in accreditation as schools implement more rigorous standards and tests in English and mathematics. Mathematics standards will change this year, while English standards will change during 2012-2013 school year.
“Our schools will begin a new trend line as these more rigorous standards and assessments become effective,” Wright said. “But raising standards is the right thing to do and I am confident that our teachers and schools will rise to the challenge and Virginia students will be better prepared as a result.”