Accreditation Waived for Accomack Schools for Second Year

0
450

By Stefanie Jackson – Each of Accomack County’s public schools has received the state accreditation rating of “accreditation waived” for the second year in a row as the consequences of closing schools to students during the COVID-19 pandemic wreak havoc on Standards of Learning (SOL) test results.

The SOL tests were not administered in the spring of 2020, as all Virginia public schools had been shut down since mid-March of that year due to COVID-19.

When SOL testing resumed in 2021, “the focus for that year – for last school year – was identifying the impact of the pandemic on student learning and establishing a new baseline for measuring growth,” said Sandy Drummond, director of accountability and assessment, during the Sept. 21 school board meeting.

Accomack County’s SOL test results followed similar trends in Northampton County and across Virginia, with drops in English reading scores but dramatic declines in math.

The reading SOL passing rates for each Accomack elementary school were: Accawmacke, 64% in 2019 and 51% in 2021; Chincoteague, 84% in 2019 and 66% in 2021; Kegotank, 63% in 2019 and 52% in 2021; Metompkin, 55% in 2019 and 46% in 2021; and Pungoteague, 68% in 2019 and 46% in 2021.

The math SOL passing rates for Accomack elementary schools were: Accawmacke, 79% in 2019 and 33% in 2021; Chincoteague, 89% in 2019 and 53% in 2021; Kegotank, 75% in 2019 and 27% in 2021; Metompkin, 70% in 2019 and 29% in 2021; and Pungoteague, 82% in 2019 and 40% in 2021.

The reading SOL passing rates for Accomack middle schools were: Arcadia Middle, 66% in 2019 and 54% in 2021; Nandua Middle, 70% in 2019 and 69% in 2021.

The math SOL passing rates for Accomack middle schools were: Arcadia Middle, 79% in 2019 and 35% in 2021; Nandua Middle, 81% in 2019 and 48% in 2021.

For Accomack schools with a graduating class, the reading SOL passing rates were: Arcadia High, 80% in 2019 and 74% in 2021; Chincoteague High, 88% in 2019 and 78% in 2021; Nandua High, 85% in 2019 and 76% in 2021; and Tangier Combined, 68% in 2019 and 79% in 2021.

For Accomack schools with a graduating class, the math SOL passing rates were: Arcadia High, 84% in 2019 and 59% in 2021; Chincoteague High, 91% in 2019 and 76% in 2021; Nandua High, 86% in 2019 and 80% in 2021; and Tangier Combined, 84% in 2019 and 25% in 2021.

Drummond called the SOL test results “eye opening, but certainly not a normal year for us.”

She noted that expedited retakes of SOL tests were not done last year (except for high school students who needed verified credits for graduation), but she could not guess how much that affected overall scores.

The SOL test results appear “concerning, but remember, we were supposed to focus on instructional needs,” Drummond said.

She also reminded listeners that schools were still responsible for teaching a whole year of content but school buildings were open for in-person learning only 88 days last school year. (A typical school year is 180 days.)

Participation in the SOL assessments also dropped last year. Normally, 99% of Accomack students take the SOL tests but in 2021, about 76% took the reading assessment and 79% took the math assessment.

Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said in August, “What matters now is where we go from here, and we will use the data from the SOLs to identify the unique needs of every learner as our schools resume in-person instruction for all students.”

Drummond pointed out students will be formally assessed both in the fall and spring this school year, “and I think we’re going to turn the corner and see … how much our students achieve.”

Previous articleDominion’s Offshore Wind Turbines Will Generate Energy and Jobs
Next articleNorthampton Approves Art for Courthouse Green