All four of the schools in the Manassas Park City Schools division are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education, the state agency announced Wednesday.
Just 85 of the 132 school divisions in the Commonwealth have all schools fully accredited—down by 12 from 97 last year, according to department of education data.
"It is gratifying to see that once again Manassas Park City Schools is recognized for outstanding academic achievement by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are pleased the hard work by our teachers, administrators and support staff has paid dividends for our students," Dr. Bruce McDade, superintendent of Manassas Park City Schools said on Wednesday.
"As I mentioned last week when I presented our assessment results to the Governing Body, our commitment moving forward remains unchanged. We are focused on several key areas, most notably mathematics, and with continued hard work and dedication, our goal is to be fully accredited next year without having to rely on the rolling three-year average.
You may have seen some of our teachers and administrators wearing t-shirts this fall with the slogan "Game On." This is our mantra for the year: academic achievement is the game, and we are all ready to play. The 2012-13 school year is off to a great start and we are very much up to the challenge of maintaining high student achievement for all students in our school division."
The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2012-2013 is three points lower than the percentage that earned the highest rating for 2011-2012, Virginia education officials said this week.
“This year’s decrease in the percentage of schools meeting the fully accredited rating is attributed, in part, to results of the new college-and career-ready mathematics tests that were first introduced during 2011-2012,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “We can expect a similar impact next year when we see the results of schools implementing more rigorous standards and tests in English and science this school year.”
“Even with three-year averaging, the board’s move to more rigorous standards will continue to present accreditation challenges for many of the commonwealth’s schools,” said Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster.” We are confident, however, that over the long haul our graduates will be better prepared to succeed in college and the work place.”
Virginia accreditation ratings are based on the student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) and approved-substitute tests in English, mathematics, history and science administered during the 2011-2012 school year or overall achievement during the last three years.
The results of tests in each subject are combined to produce overall school passing percentages in English, math, history and science.
At the middle and high school level, a pass rate of 70 percent or above in English, math, history and science is required for full accreditation in Virginia.
But for accreditation to be obtained at the elementary level, a 75 percent pass rate is required on the English test given in grades 3-5.
Pass rates of 70 percent or higher are required in fifth-grade math, science and history. Pass rates of at least 50 percent in third-grade science and third-grade history.
Beginning with tests administered in 2012-2013, the minimum pass rate for English will rise to 75 percent for all grades, and the pass rates for the other three core areas — at all grade levels — will be 70 percent, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Education.
Accreditation ratings also may reflect adjustments made for schools that successfully remediate students who failed reading or mathematics tests during the previous year. Adjustments also may be made for students with limited-English proficiency and for students who have recently transferred into a Virginia public school.