RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Virginia Department of Education has identified 37 low performing schools as priority schools. These schools must implement a program that meets state and federal requirements.
Another 73 schools have been identified as focus schools, meaning that they must employ state-approved, school-improvement coaches.
These designations are based on how each school performed during the 2012 – 2013 school year.
In 2012, a two year flexibility waiver was granted by the US Department of Education under the No Child Left Behind Act to focus on schools not performing as well.
Under the waiver, Virginia schools are no longer required to follow outdated No Child Left Behind Policies, but the state has to identify five percent of the lowest-performing Title I schools as priority schools.
In a press release, the Virginia Department of Education identified another 10 percent of Title I schools as focus schools. According to records, these schools are historically low performing schools.
The Virginia Department of Education says the waiver also sets annual measurable objectives for lower performing schools that will narrow achievement gaps in reading, math and high school graduation rates.
743 schools, including one of the 37 priority schools and 27 of the 73 focus schools, out of 1,828 schools met all of the objectives.
1,085 schools did not meet all of the requirements. 459 of those schools are required to implement an improvement plan for low-achieving students. Plans are not required for 534 high-achieving schools.
Area schools listed as priority schools for the 2013 – 2014 school year:
- Henrico County – L. Douglas Wilder Middle
- Petersburg – A.P. Hill Elementary and J.E.B. Stuart Elementary
- Richmond – Armstrong High, Binford Middle, Blackwell Elementary, Elkhardt Middle, Fred D. Thompson Middle, Ginter Park Elementary, Henderson Middle, John Marshall High, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Oak Grove/Belle-meade Elementary, Richmond Alternative and Thomas C. Boushall Middle
Improving focus schools in our area:
- Hanover County – Elmont Elementary
Other focus schools in our area:
- Louisa County – Moss-Nuckols Elementary
- New Kent County – George W. Watkins Elementary