VDOE recognizes New Kent and West Point schools for achievement among disadvantaged students

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has recognized two local elementary schools, as well as one school division for raising achievement among disadvantaged students.

For the second consecutive year, West Point Public Schools (WPPS) earned one of the two Highly Distinguished Title I School Division designations.

WPPS and Poquoson Public Schools received the recognition because both exceeded all federal and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) math and English achievement objectives for two consecutive years, and all schools in both divisions also were fully accredited for two consecutive years.

The divisions also had an 80 percent graduation rate, with students achieving standard or advanced diplomas.

"We are pleased West Point Public Schools has been honored by the Virginia Board of Education as one of only two school divisions in the state to receive the Highly Distinguished Title I School Division designation," said Superintendent Jeffery Smith. "This recognition speaks to the ongoing commitment that staff, parents, students and community members have to the academic success of each student."

"Although the Standards of Learning and the assessments are far more rigorous, we are pleased that our students continue to achieve at these higher levels. As a school division, we have developed an evidence-based instructional model that challenges and supports students in meeting and exceeding high academic standards and expectations equally matched by exceptional instructional delivery," Smith added.

West Point Elementary School and New Kent Elementary School were also recognized as two of 55 Title I Distinguished Schools, meaning both schools met all state and federal accountability requirements for two consecutive years and achieved 60 percent reading and math SOL pass rates.

"Teachers in these Title I schools challenge their students every day to meet the same expectations we have for students in more affluent communities," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia Wright. "They believe in their students and reject the idea that family incomes predetermine educational outcomes."

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.