School improvement & Reform
VDOE helps historically low-performing schools and school divisions implement effective instructional strategies and best practices to increase student achievement. The department’s nationally-recognized comprehensive support system, known as the Partnership for Achieving Successful Schools (PASS), focuses on building division-level capacity to support schools in need of interventions. In partnering with school divisions, VDOE’s Office of School Improvement ensures that each school’s unique needs are addressed through differentiated assistance and interventions.
How does VDOE identify low-performing schools for PASS interventions and support?
The Office of School Improvement assists schools in which students are achieving at levels below federal and state accountability standards. Under the state Board of Education’s Standards of Accreditation (SOA), low-performing schools are schools that are rated as follows:
- Accreditation Denied,
- Accredited with Warning in one or more content areas, or
- Conditionally Accredited-Reconstituted
Also see Academic Reviews
The Office of School Improvement also assists schools not meeting the annual measurable objectives of Virginia’s federal No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver. These schools are as follows:
- Priority schools – identified based on overall student performance in reading and mathematics, including graduation rates in the case of high schools. Five percent of Virginia’s Title I schools (36) are identified as priority schools.
- Focus schools – identified based on the reading and mathematics performance of students in three “proficiency gap groups” comprising students who historically have had difficulty meeting the state’s achievement standards. Ten percent of Virginia’s Title I schools (72) are identified as focus schools.
- Proficiency Gap Group 1 – Students with disabilities, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race and ethnicity
- Proficiency Gap Group 2 – African-American students, not of Hispanic origin, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
- Proficiency Gap Group 3 – Hispanic students, of one or more races, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
- Title I and Non-Title I schools not meeting one or more federal annual measurable objective are required to develop a one-year School Improvement Plan
VDOE also recognizes improving and high achieving Title I schools and divisions if they earn one of the following state or federal programs:
- Virginia Index of Performance
- National Blue Ribbon School
- News Release, September 24, 2013 – Ten Virginia Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Honors
- News Release, September 7, 2012 – Nine Virginia Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Honors
- Title I Distinguished School
- News Release, January 17, 2013 – Title I Schools Recognized for High Achievement
Documentation of Federal Waiver Requirements for Teacher Evaluation and Principal Evaluation