Petersburg Progress Report

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Petersburg Schools has two independent partners working with the district to help increase academic achievement. But as it stands three of the seven schools in the district are fully accredited. Today, the state had a chance to question the school district.

The Superintendent of Schools for Petersburg, Dr. Alvera Parrish, appeared before the State Board of Education Accountability Committee to explain what progress is being made in district when it comes to student achievement.

"3 schools are fully accredited -- 3 are accredited with warning," Parrish said.

In 2006, the school district entered into an agreement with the State Board of Education in an effort to help turn around the struggling school system.

"According to the original agreement all schools in Petersburg by 2009 should have been fully accredited and meeting no child left behind standards," said Charles Pyle.

That goal was not reached in 2009 -- and still has not been reached. Even so, the district says progress is being made.

"If you look at where we were and where we are now, there have been notable increases along the way," Parrish said.

"That the progress that has been made has been in a variety of two steps forward - a step back," Pyle explained.

The state mandated Petersburg to bring in independent companies to work with staff and students. During the presentation Dr. Parrish told the board how those companies, or lead turn around partners, have helped.

"They've been working with our principles, our leadership teams and looking at the data of where students," said Parrish.

Since the state cannot take over the school district --the board will continue to meet with the district and encourage it to do better.

"There are only so many tools in the State Board of Education's tool box. This is the responsibility of the local school board to bring achievement up to state and federal standards," Pyle said.

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