Isle of Wight schools fully accredited

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

On-time graduation rate exceeds state average

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight County Schools are fully accredited, with most measures at level one and two, according to data released Thursday by the Virginia Department of Education.

Graduation and drop-out rates also exceeded state averages. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Level one indicates achievement that meets or exceeds state standards or sufficient improvement in math, English and science. Level two means that scores show achievement near state standards or sufficient improvement, according to DOE.  

“We are pleased that all of our schools are fully accredited as expected.  In Isle of Wight County schools, we are working to ensure all students are college, career and life ready, and the SOL tests are one measure to show we are achieving that goal,” said schools spokesperson Lynn Briggs.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Isle of Wight County schools graduation rate for the Class of 2018 was 95.5 percent and the drop-out rate was 2.5 percent, according to DOE. 

Those rates exceed the state average for graduation and drop-out rates, which were 91.6 and 5.5 percent, respectively. 

This is the first set of school ratings under the new 2017 Standards of Accreditation, which are designed to promote continuous achievement and close the gaps and expand accountability beyond overall performance on the state Standards of Learning tests, according to VDOE spokesperson Julie Grimes. 

These new standards also recognize the academic growth of students making significant annual progress toward meeting grade-level expectations in English and math, said Grimes.

Included in the division-specific report card were the number of career and technical education credentials earned over the past three school years. 

The number of Isle of Wight students completing a career and technical education credential fell by 17.5 percent from the 2015-16 to the 2017-18 school years — or from 234 to 193 completers, according to the state report. 

A CTE credential is an industry credential or state license in an occupation earned while pursuing a high school diploma, according to the DOE. 

Efforts to reach school officials concerning those numbers were unsuccessful by press time. 

The number of advanced placement tests taken fell by about a half percent between 2015-16 and 2017-18, and dual enrollment and governor’s school attendees remained mostly constant during the same period. 

More than half of Isle of Wight County students earned advanced diplomas, at 52.6 percent — about the same as the state average. 

To earn an advanced diploma, students must complete at least 26 standard units of credit and five verified units of credit, which includes passing associated SOL courses, according to the DOE. 

Fall membership numbers also fell slightly during the same period, from 5,483 students in 2015-16 to 5,476 in 2017-18 — a decrease of less than one percent. 

The ninth grade class saw the biggest bump in the 2017-18 school year, with 60 new students. 

School enrollment was roughly 5,450 in 2007, which indicates an increase of about 26 students over the past 10 years. 

Efforts to obtain current enrollment numbers were unsuccessful by press time. 

Nearly 63 percent of Isle of Wight County schools students at the fall 2017 membership count were white, with about 27 percent indicating they were Africa-American and the remaining divided between Hispanic, Asian and those of two or more races, according to the state report. 

Of Isle of Wight County students, nearly 34 percent were eligible for the free and reduced lunch program during the 2016-17 school year.  

To be eligible for the program students are evaluated based on household income and size, as well as other factors. 

When it comes to short-term and long-term suspensions and expulsions in the 2016-17 school year, only white students were expelled, while black and white students were nearly equally given short-term suspensions, and white students received more long term expulsions.   

More than half of Isle of Wight County educators held a master’s degree (52 percent) during the 2017-18 school year, 43 percent had a bachelor’s degree and five percent have other training. Six percent of teachers during the 2017-2018 were provisionally licensed.   {/mprestriction}