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County schools make the grade

by Larry S. Chowning

The Virginia Department of Education recently released 2008 Standards of Learning (SOLs) test results and all three Middlesex County Public Schools are fully accredited, it was announced at a county school board meeting Monday night.

Assistant superintendent of schools Rashard J. Wright told the school board, “I’m very excited to start my instruction presentation with our accreditation news,” he said. “All three of our schools are fully accredited.”

Wright said 95 percent of the schools in Virginia are fully accredited by the state.

Middlesex Elementary School (MES), St. Clare Walker Middle School and Middlesex High School had grades above the state minimum benchmark requirements in every test category.

Grades 3-5 at MES had an 80 percent passing rate in English. The state requirement was 75 percent.

In math, MES had a 76 percent rate. The state requirement was 70 percent.

MES third-graders had 89 percent pass history, well above the state requirement of 50 percent.

Totaling grades 3-5, MES had 94 percent pass, again well above the state requirement of 70 percent.

In science, 88 percent of the third-graders passed, and all students in grades 3-5 had an 87 percent rate—both well above state guidelines.

St. Clare Walker Middle School students also were successful in all categories—88 percent passed English; 87 percent passed history; 93 percent passed science; and 74 percent passed math. The state requirement in all four test areas was 70 percent.

Middlesex High School had passing rates in the 90s in all four categories—94 percent passed English; 92 percent passed math; 97 percent passed history; and 90 percent passed science. The state requirement in all four areas was 70 percent.

Wright said that the new block scheduling at the high school has played an important role in giving teachers more time to work with students. He also praised teachers at the high school and throughout the school system for a job well done.

Wright said that the obvious weakest area is math on the elementary and middle school levels, and plans are in the works to find ways to improve these scores.

posted 10.16.2008

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