PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Most Virginia schools are making the grade! That's according to new information released Thursday morning on school accreditation.
96% of Virginia's schools are fully accredited according to the State Department of Education. That's down slightly from last year. The biggest drop was seen in the number of high schools that were fully accredited.
Accreditation is a measure of how a school is meeting state standards for achievement in several subjects.
The news was mixed for Petersburg Public Schools.
First, the good news. J.E.B. Stuart Elementary is now fully accredited, an achievement that hasn't been reached for three consecutive years.
"J.E.B. Stuart, I think, is the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone can see that it's achievable, and we will achieve," said Dr. Alvera Parrish, Superintendent of Schools for Petersburg.
For the first time, six schools in the district have an accreditation rating.
"We're moving in the right direction," said Parrish.
Now, the not so good news. Only three of the seven schools in the district are fully accredited. Last school year, four were fully accredited.
The high school has gone from full accreditation to accredited with warning. So has Vernon Johns Junior High School.
Two schools statewide were denied accreditation this year because of chronically low student achievement. Peabody Middle School, in Petersburg, is one of those schools. For the 6th consecutive year the school did not meet state academic standards.
"We have a real laser focus on Peabody Middle School, because in the area of math they did not fair as well as we expected," said Parrish.
Students say they want a good education.
"Education is important to me, because it's hard to get a job even if you have a diploma," said Petersburg High School student, Creshaunda Crittendon.
17-year-old Creshaunda Crittendon says her teachers work hard, but more is needed.
"Maybe we do need a little more resources to help us out. Some kids need an extra push," she added.
The school district is partnering with outside vendors to help raise student achievement.
"We're excited as we go forward, and I think that's the most important thing," said Parrish.