Two Richmond schools denied accreditation from Virginia Board of Education

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Martin Luther King Jr. Middle

RICHMOND, Va. — Two Richmond schools, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle and Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts were denied accreditation by the Virginia Board of Education Thursday.

This means the local school board must submit a corrective plan of action to the Board of Education. They must also enter into a binding memorandum of understanding with the state board detailing steps to be taken to raise student achievement to state standards.

Schools denied accreditation, however, do not lose state funding, nor are they subject to state takeover.

Michelle Stoll, spokesperson for Virginia Board of Education, told CBS 6, “Looking at the most recent data, both schools demonstrated downward trends in state accreditation results for students.”

“Martin Luther King Junior Middle’s school scores have dropped in English, Math and Science and the school has not met the accreditation benchmarks in all subjects as required for full accreditation,” she said. “Patrick Henry has shown downward trends in Science, Math and English and has not meet benchmarks in English and Math.”

CBS 6 has obtained a letter Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts sent out to parents:

January 29, 2016

Dear Parents,

On January 28th, we were notified that PHSSA‘s application for Conditional Accreditation with the Virginia State Board of Education had been denied due to failure to demonstrate progress in student achievement data measured by the Standards of Learning assessments.  Our school will now engage in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Richmond City School Board and State Board of Education until the school meets full accreditation.   The corrective action plan to the Board of Education will detail steps to be taken to raise student achievement to state standards. Though PHSSA was denied accreditation, we do not lose state funding, nor are we subject to state takeover.

As part of our change in accreditation, we shall provide parents of enrolled students and other interested parties with a copy of the proposed corrective action plan, including a timeline for implementation, to improve the school’s accreditation rating.  Parents and other interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed corrective action plan. Such public comment shall be received prior to finalizing the school’s corrective action plan and a Board of Education memorandum of understanding with the local school board.

We assure you that we will continue to hold true to our mission at PHSSA to cultivate students’ maximum growth and develop stewardship through a premier environmental and arts education. Our staff is focused on providing the very best education for our students. We are a young school still growing and evolving, and we truly believe that we have made great strides and will continue to do so.  We are appreciative and grateful to Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden and Richmond Public Schools for their assistance in the accreditation application and their continued support through this process.

We thank you for your support and we are here to answer any of your questions as they arise.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eileen Atkinson

Principal, Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts