Walker Upper Elementary

ZACK WAJSGRAS/THE DAILY PROGRESS FILE

Walker Upper Elementary School in Charlottesville

Five schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville are not fully accredited this year, according to data released Monday.

Greer and Woodbrook elementaries and Murray High School in Albemarle were accredited with conditions along with Buford Middle and Walker Upper Elementary schools in Charlottesville. Those five schools will be required to submit improvement plans to the state. Schools that fail to implement improvement plans can be denied accreditation.

About 7% of Virginia schools were accredited with conditions, according to the Virginia Department of Education. Last year, Greer and Walker both received that designation.

Many of the schools did not earn full accreditation this year because of how students, particularly black students and those with disabilities, scored on reading and writing tests. If one or more student group doesn’t meet the state benchmark in either English or math, a school could be accredited with conditions.

The scores are calculated using pass rates and student growth.

Woodbrook, Greer and Buford all have new principals this year. The new building leaders previously led schools that scored high marks in the annual accreditation ratings.

Greer Elementary School

Elliott Robinson/Charlottesville Tomorrow

Greer Elementary School

Clark Elementary is the only school in the area to improve its status and earn full accreditation. All student groups met the state benchmark in math.

Charlottesville division spokeswoman Beth Cheuk said accreditation is one of many data points the school system uses to assess itself.

“We want to do better every year,” Cheuk said.

Improvement efforts for the division’s schools will reflect the schools’ plans to make sure “we are serving students well,” she said.

Declines in performance on state reading tests — especially among black and economically disadvantaged students — resulted in an increase in the number of schools that will receive state assistance to address achievement gaps in English, according to the state’s news release.

“This is the second year that schools have been evaluated under the 2017 [state] Board of Education-approved accreditation standards, and this new system for measuring the progress and needs of schools is doing exactly what it was designed to do,” said James Lane, the state superintendent of public instruction, in the release.

In Albemarle, achievement gaps in English were prevalent across student groups and schools; however, many schools narrowed the gap in math scores. Division-wide, math pass rates ticked up to 81% from 76% in the 2017-18 school year.

Albemarle County schools spokesman Phil Giaramita wrote in an email that the improvement in math is helpful “given how strong math scores usually are a faithful indicator of future academic success in all subjects.”

Giaramita added that the state’s emphasis on student growth provides a more accurate and complete assessment of schools.

Woodbrook Elementary School

Daily Progress file

Woodbrook Elementary School students are seen at the start of the 2017-18 school year. The school, along with four others in the area, was accredited with conditions this year.

Achievement gaps

Accreditation is based on several indicators including proficiency and growth in English and math and absenteeism rates, among others. Schools can be a level one, two or three on any of the indicators. This is the second year of the new system.

If every indicator is at either level one or two, a school is accredited. Schools with one or more level three performance are accredited with conditions.

Level one means the school meets or exceeds the state standard or shows “adequate” improvement. Level two means schools are near the state standard or are making progress from a level three distinction. Level three means schools are performing below the state standard.

“… These latest ratings will help VDOE target its efforts toward increasing student literacy and furthering progress toward eliminating achievement gaps in the schools that are most in need of the department’s support and expertise,” Lane said in the release.

The accreditation ratings follow last month’s release of pass rates on the state’s Standards of Learning exams in reading, writing, math, history and science. Math was the only subject in which pass rates increased in Albemarle County or Charlottesville, though both were below the state average.

The city and county school boards will review state data at their meetings in October.

Greer made progress toward meeting state standards, compared with its 2017-18 test scores. However, black students and those with disabilities did not meet the state benchmark in either English or math.

Greer Elementary 2018-19 English Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Percent Showing EL Progress or Proficiency Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 53 8 12 6 79 21
Asian 60 0 27 13 100 0
Black 38 10 15 0 63 37
Economically Disadvantaged 43 9 16 7 76 24
English Learners 49 10 18 21 97 3
Hispanic 43 9 19 17 88 12
Students with Disabilities 29 5 17 7 57 43
White 76 4 1 4 85 15

Greer Elementary 2018-19 Math Scores

Student Group Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 64 9 6 80 20
Asian 81 6 13 100 0
Black 45 7 7 60 40
Economically Disadvantaged 58 12 8 78 22
English Learners 68 18 9 95 5
Hispanic 67 16 5 89 11
Students with Disabilities 42 13 4 60 40
White 80 7 4 91 9

Science scores at Woodbrook fell below the state standard — 59% of the students passed and the state benchmark is 70%. Additionally, black students didn’t meet the English benchmark, nor did students with disabilities in English or math.

Woodbrook Elementary 2018-19 English Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Percent Showing EL Progress or Proficiency Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 63 5 6 4 78 22
Asian 56 6 6 13 81 19
Black 40 6 9 0 55 45
Economically Disadvantaged 51 8 9 6 74 26
English Learners 50 12 14 21 98 2
Hispanic 55 13 13 8 88 12
Students with Disabilities 22 11 19 0 52 48
White 84 1 1 5 91 9

Woodbrook Elementary 2018-19 Math Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 69 10 5 84 16
Asian 55 15 15 85 15
Black 54 9 7 70 30
Economically Disadvantaged 60 13 8 81 19
English Learners 66 22 12 100 0
Hispanic 65 21 5 91 9
Students with Disabilities 22 7 22 52 48
White 85 6 1 93 7

Giaramita said culturally responsive teaching practices will be the focus at those schools and throughout the division, as well as implementing professional learning communities, which schools Superintendent Matt Haas previously has discussed.

“The achievement gap is the primary target for improvement,” Giaramita said.

Murray High was dinged for absenteeism. About 28.75% of its students were chronically absent in the 2018-19 school year. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year, regardless of reason, according to the state.

Giaramita said this is the first year Murray has had an issue with attendance. Murray, a charter school, had fewer than 100 students enrolled during the 2018-19 school year.

“They are reviewing all absences and will be handling each student involved on an individual basis to determine how the school can be more supportive going forward,” Giaramiata wrote in an email.

He added that the school will place more of an emphasis on relationships with families and improvements to curriculum that focus on project-based learning.

“The idea is that by making school more engaging, the interest level of students in school will be stronger,” he wrote.

Buford Middle School

Josh Mandell/Charlottesville TomorrowBuford Middle School

Science scores at Walker Upper Elementary did not meet the state standard — 56% of students passed the test. In addition, black students didn’t meet the state benchmark in English or math and those with disabilities didn’t hit the threshold in English.

Walker Upper Elementary 2018-19 English Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Percent Showing EL Progress or Proficiency Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 63 5 6 2 76 24
Asian 61 3 8 16 87 13
Black 43 8 9 1 61 39
Economically Disadvantaged 43 7 10 4 65 35
English Learners 48 7 14 17 86 14
Hispanic 53 5 8 5 70 30
Students with Disabilities 35 9 11 1 56 44
White 86 2 2 1 91 9

Walker Upper Elementary 2018-19 Math Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 63 6 7 76 24
Asian 76 11 5 92 8
Black 41 8 11 60 40
Economically Disadvantaged 46 9 10 64 36
English Learners 61 15 10 86 14
Hispanic 55 7 8 70 30
Students with Disabilities 39 8 15 61 39
White 86 4 3 93 7

At Buford, similar gaps among those student groups, as well as students from low-income families, resulted in being accredited with conditions.

In Greene, Louisa, Fluvanna, Madison and Orange counties, all schools were fully accredited. Tye River Elementary was the only school in Nelson County accredited with conditions. Buckingham County’s elementary, primary and middle schools all were accredited with conditions.

Buford Middle 2018-19 Math Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 70 5 5 80 20
Asian 88 4 8 100 0
Black 49 6 8 63 37
Economically Disadvantaged 56 7 9 72 28
English Learners 71 11 16 98 2
Hispanic 75 7 4 85 15
Students with Disabilities 43 11 7 61 39
White 84 4 3 91 9

Buford Middle 2018-19 English Scores

Student Groups Percent Passing Percent Passing With Recovery Percent Showing Growth Percent Showing EL Progress or Proficiency Accreditation Combined Rate No Proficiency or Growth
All Students 68 2 3 2 74 26
Asian 65 0 6 18 88 12
Black 45 3 5 0 53 47
Economically Disadvantaged 48 2 4 3 58 42
English Learners 53 2 12 29 96 4
Hispanic 79 1 5 2 86 14
Students with Disabilities 30 4 10 0 44 56
White 86 0 0 2 89 11

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