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Fairfield Court Elementary is the only one of the eight area schools Fully Accredited for the 2014-2015 school year. The status of Armstrong High School will be determined by the Board of Education in October, after having been previously Accredited with Warning and again failing to meet the benchmark targets in 3 of the 4 tested subjects. The other 6 neighborhood schools are classified as Accredited with Warning, including MLK Middle School which did not meet the targets in any of the four tested subjects.
For Richmond Public Schools, only 11 of the 44 schools are Fully Accredited for this year.
Elementary and middle schools are Fully Accredited if students achieve all of the following pass rates:
High schools are Fully Accredited if:
The percentage of schools meeting state accreditation standards declined statewide for a second consecutive year as a consequence of the growing impact of more rigorous reading, writing, science and mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests introduced since 2011.
Sixty-eight percent, or 1,246, of Virginia’s 1,827 public schools are rated as Fully Accredited for 2014-2015 compared with 77 percent for 2013-2014, and 93 percent for 2012-2013. The number of schools Accredited with Warning rose to 545, an increase from last year’s total of 393. The drop in accreditation came despite statewide improvements in mathematics performance and hundreds of schools that also saw incremental gains in reading, writing and science.
Ten schools in six divisions have been denied state accreditation for 2014-2015 because of persistently low student achievement, including L. Douglas Wilder Middle in Henrico County and Fred D. Thompson Middle in Richmond.
The status of 14 schools will be determined by the Board of Education in October. Under Virginia’s accountability program, a school that has been on academic warning for three consecutive years and fails to meet state standards for a fourth consecutive year can apply for Conditional Accreditation — if the local school board agrees to reconstitute the school’s leadership, staff, governance or student population. A reconstituted school can retain conditional accreditation for up to three years if it is making acceptable progress. The three Richmond schools seeking conditional accreditation are Armstrong High, George Wythe High and Thomas C. Boushall Middle.
Priority schools — comprising the lowest-performing five percent of Title I schools — must engage a state-approved turnaround partner to help design and implement school-reform models that meet state and federal requirements. Of the 36 schools identified as Priority schools for 2014-2015, 12 are Richmond schools: Binford Middle, Blackwell Elementary, Elkhardt Middle, Fred D. Thompson Middle, G.H. Reid Elementary, Ginter Park Elementary, Henderson Middle, John Marshall High, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Oak Grove/Bellemeade Elementary, Richmond Alternative and Woodville Elementary.
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The Franklin Military Academy senior class will be hosting a car wash fundraiser on the rear parking lot of the school on Tuesday afternoon from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM as part of Back to School Night.
By Geoffrey Cooper, MD, president of the Church Hill Association
The Church Hill Association holds two potluck picnics every summer that are open to all in the community. At the CHA August Community Picnic, neighbors were encouraged to bring donations of school supplies or financial contributions to support Chimborazo and Bellevue Schools. Members of our community contributed $370 in checks and approximately $750 in supplies for a total contribution of over $1000!
The Church Hill Association gives away 75% of its profits each year to community nonprofit organizations (including the schools), and these donations were in addition to CHA’s yearly contributions.
Thank you Church Hill Community for giving so generously to support our neighborhood.
Today is the 1st day of school for all of the neighborhood public schools. Good luck to all of the staff, students, and parents at Fairfield Court Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, George Mason Elementary, Bellevue Elementary, Martin Luther King Middle School, Armstrong High School, and Franklin Military Academy.
Student achievement improved statewide during 2013-2014 on challenging mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests first introduced three years ago, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) reported today. Statewide, 74% of students passed the mathematics assessment for their grade level or course, compared with 71% during 2012-2013 and 68% the previous year. Students posted gains on eight of the nine individual grade-level and end-of-course mathematics SOL tests, with the biggest increases in grades 4, 5, 7, 8, Algebra I and Algebra II.
In Richmond, scores improved in 21 of the 34 tested areas, an improvement over last year when scores fell in 75% of the tested subjects.
Two of the five area elementary schools saw impressive improvement over last year. Scores rose in 10 of 11 categories at Chimborazo ES and 10 of 11 at George Mason, but fell in all 11 at Bellevue, 6 of 11 at Fairfield, and 6 of 11 at Woodville.
Scores at MLK MS improved or held steady in 10 of their 14 categories, and in 11 of 14 at Armstrong. Franklin Military, serving grades 6-12, saw scores rise or hold steady in only 10 of 22 reporting categories, though with generally better scores than either MLK or Armstrong. MLK MS, for example, improved from 11% to 12% passing for 7th grade math (compared to a 29% pass rate citywide). Only in Civics & Economics did more than 50% of the students pass the test.
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DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help students in need:
Here’s how it works: Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.
These next 3 days are an especially good time to donate, as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is picking up the 2nd half of most of these projects when donors commit to the 1st half. Your donation goes twice as far.
In our area:
Church Hill Academy teachers will no longer have to set up and tear down their classrooms each day thanks to a recent move to a shared space at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Fulton Hill.
Their capacity has increased from five to seven classrooms with potential for additional space as the school expands. The school year will begin Sept. 2 with 37 students from the East End.
A piece by Chris Suarez on RVA Open Source tells a bit of the history of Kennedy High School and Armstrong High School, and has the details on a historical marker planned to commemorate Kennedy HS:
Established in 1968, JFK opened as a state-of-the-art school facility for the East End’s various neighborhoods including – but not limited to – several housing projects. Located at 2300 Cool Lane, Kennedy was built within a mile of Armstrong High School.
“In my heart, it’s still the landmark high school in the city of Richmond.” said former Kennedy faculty member, Pernell Taylor, “I’ve been to a lot of high schools throughout Virginia and it ranks with the best. I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
A former basketball, track and football coach and physical education teacher at JFK Kennedy for 30 years, Taylor says he was one of the original teachers offered a position at the new Kennedy school which included two gymnasiums, an auditorium with a balcony, a greenhouse and air conditioning (an unprecedented luxury at the time for most Richmond Public Schools).
“I think it’s critical we don’t lose this history,” said 7th District School Board Representative and Chairman Donald Coleman. “I know it’ll bring joy to a lot of people who believe they lost something. Kennedy is a significant part of Richmond history. It was part of a critical transition period for Richmond Public Schools and African-American people.”
Northside Coalition for Children has announced a Back-to-School Rally for August 9th at MLK Middle School.
The Richmond City Health District has immunizations and physicals available now, with dated for vaccinations in August and September. In addition, vaccinations, Tdap shots, and physicals will be available at a special event on August 22nd.
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The agenda for the June 16 meeting of the City Planning Commission has a few items of local interest:
The subject property is a 26,582 square foot corner lot, which is situated on the northeast side of the intersection of N and North 31st Streets. Situated on the property is a 71 space parking area that currently serves the Thirty First Street Baptist Church. The applicant proposes to provide parking for the proposed school located across the intersection at 3015 N Street. The subject property is located in the R-6 Single-Family Attached Residential zoning district, which only allows parking areas as an accessory use serving principal permitted uses. The parking area currently serves a church use that is located on the adjacent property. The applicant would like the parking area to serve a proposed school located across the intersection from the parking area. The parking area serving a use not located on the subject property constitutes the parking area as a principal use, which is not permitted in the R-6 zoning district. Therefore, the applicant has requested a special use permit.
The new building will be single story with an area of 22,097 gsf building to accommodate 260 students in pre-school ages 3 through 5.
The folks at CHAT have posted a *great* set of photos from the recent Field Days at George Mason and Chimborazo Elementary Schools.
Come out and say hi to the little ones:
Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 10) Bellevue Elementary School will do their annual walk to Chimborazo park for Field Day.
At 9:30 am the lower grades will walk east to the park and at 11:30 am they will walk west back to the school.
At 12:30 pm the upper grades will walk east to the park at 2:30 pm they will walk west back to the school.
Please come out and say hello, wave and cheer them on. Please think about keeping dogs, especially barkers, inside or visibly on-leash.
It is such a rarity that the Bellevue kids walk the streets of our beautiful neighborhood. Thank you for making them feel welcome.
An RTD article by Zachary Reid says that 7 Richmond schools will have new principals next year, including Chimborazo Elementary and Woodville Elementary.
The new leaders chosen for four of the city middle schools are all from outside of Richmond Public Schools. The new elementary school principals have not been named yet.
This school year marks Cheryl Burke’s 19th year as principal of Chimborazo Elementary. Woodville has been led this year by Interim Principal Kara Lancaster-Gay.
This follows an early February emergency principal change at Martin Luther King Middle School where Rickie Hopkins replaced 3rd year principal Dr. Valerie Harris.
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