$80,000 accreditation incentive program in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Thousands of dollars will be dished out to the public schools in Petersburg that made accreditation. It's all part of new program to motivate students and staff.

The cash awards are part of a plan the school system came up with called the Accreditation Incentive Program.

"This was like a last effort to give external motivation we felt would drive our staff and students to push even harder than they already were," said Gail Wade, Staff Developer/Grant Writer.

The school district requested a grant from the Cameron Foundation to fund the program. The foundation pledged up to $80,000 to be split among schools that made accreditation for the 2008-2009 school year.

Here's the breakdown: Petersburg High School will get just over $17,600. Walnut Hill Elementary School is getting more than $10,000. A.P. Hill Elementary - $8,003, and Robert E. Lee Elementary some $7,600.

Over the past several years schools in Petersburg have struggled to make accreditation. Right now, four out of seven schools in Petersburg are fully accredited.

"It's a great incentive and its helpful -- helps us meet the academic needs of our students," said Barbara Patterson, Principal of Robert E. Lee Elementary School, which has already received its money.

"We're going to get math material, resource materials for the students, we're going to get instruments for students for music - art material for students to promote art," said Patterson.

Teachers from each accredited school formed a committee to decide how the money will be spent. The plan was later presented and approved by the superintendent of schools. School leaders say they'd like to make this financial incentive an annual occurrence. It's unclear right now if that will be the case.

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