RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Every year, the Virginia Department of Education runs a status check on its schools to determine whether or not they are meeting standards which set their students up for success.
This year, 89% of public schools in Virginia earned their full accreditation status. That means most schools in the state are at — or near — the state’s education standards. 8News is recapping central Virginia’s accreditation report card, starting in Henrico County.
Both Elko Middle School and Montrose Elementary School improved their performances from last year and earned full accreditation status. Varina High School, however, fell to being “accredited with conditions.”
This does not mean Varina was denied accreditation altogether — rather, the school must work towards improving certain aspects of its operation when it comes to addressing the needs of students.
In total, 57 of Henrico County’s 68 public schools currently meet Virginia’s performance standards.
Moving over to Chesterfield County, where four schools became accredited with conditions, which is up from two last year. Therefore, 60 of Chesterfield County’s 64 schools have full accreditation status in 2023.
Richmond Public Schools (RPS), on the other hand, saw an improvement this year. In 2022, 28 of the district’s 44 schools were accredited with conditions. This year, that number dropped to 24 as four additional schools moved up to achieve full accreditation status.
Earlier this year, 8News reported that chronic absenteeism is improving within RPS. This year’s data showed that 15 RPS schools earned a below-standard rating in that category. That number is compared to eight from last year, but keep in mind — the number of schools does not reflect the total number of students.
Last year, five out of six public schools in Petersburg were accredited with conditions. Petersburg High School, the city’s only fully accredited public school, lost that status this year and is now also accredited with conditions.
To decide whether or not to award a school full accreditation, the Department of Education evaluates factors like drop-out rates, absences and academic success in Math and English.
None of central Virginia’s schools were entirely denied accreditation, but according to board leaders — all schools, regardless of status, are always encouraged to continue to strive to do better.
All schools in New Kent County, Goochland County, Hanover County and Colonial Heights are fully accredited. There are still two Virginia schools pending board review, but neither of those are in central Virginia.