State of Richmond city schools

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond school leaders say, in spite of a 24 million dollar budget shortfall and five straight years of budget cuts, they are succeeding.

"I'm not willing to let them go yet in spite of what's happening," said Dr. Yvonne Brandon with Richmond City Schools. "I know that I may have to slow down my aggressive calendar and maybe put some things in a different order based on priorities but I'm not willing to let them go yet."

Among other things, school officials plan to expand a violence prevention program to Armstrong High School and open a Child Care Center there.

Plans are underway to make Richmond Community High School a charter school and to expand IB  programs at Chimbarazo Elementary.

Officials expressed concern over decreases in proficiency in 6th grade math and reading. Scores indicated proficiency was down 24% and 51% in reading and math respectively.

"I do believe that the numbers were a little bit appalling," said father, Dwayne Perkins who has a 6th grader in Richmond City Schools.

We asked school leaders how they would grade themselves this year.

"I would give it um…an A," said Dawn Page with the Richmond City School Board

"I would give us an A," Brandon told us. "We've had our challenges, and that's how we grade our students. Based on how they reflect on what they've done and how they move beyond where we want them to be."

Not every parent we spoke to felt the same way.

"I would give it a C plus, maybe even a B," said Perkins. "I just want us to get to the level where we're performing, you know, at least at the state average."

Officials say their on time graduation rate has improved generally over ht last several years, but they have seen a dip in SOL scores and on-time graduation rates this year.

The day care center and violence prevention program at Armstrong High School both aim to improve those numbers.

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