ROANOKE, Va - School accreditation results across the commonwealth are in and all but one school in Roanoke is now fully accredited by the state.
Overall, 86 percent of Virginia schools are in the clear, which is a 5-point improvement from last year.
Roanoke City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rita Bishop says there's been outstanding progress for all schools that were not accredited last year. Five of the six schools now accredited are: Garden City Elementary, Westside, Breckinridge, Lucy Addison, and Stonewall Jackson.
Dr. Bishop says reading and writing were issues at all schools last year. So the school system focused on improving scores in these subjects by hiring a writing specialist.
"I gave up a central office position and brought three very fine reading people into the central office and they served all of the schools. But two of them focused very hard on the schools that were not accredited. I think they made a tremendous difference," said Dr. Bishop.
Hurt Park Elementary is the only school in the district still not accredited. It has failed to make the standard for several years.
But it's not all bad news. Dr. Bishop says the school showed a 12 point increase in its reading scores.
They're hoping a new look at the school, with a mural throughout the halls, a music room and a new library, will motivate students and staff to continue on their road to improvement.
Hurt Park also started the new school year with a new principal, who has a proven track record of success.
"She was the principal in Pittsylvania County. Her school scores were certainly quite low when she took over the helm of the ship. They consistently every year made progress," Bishop said.
Dr. Bishop says to expect Hurt Park to have a conditional accreditation next year.
"When we get there with the teaching staff, the principal, is the central office support. I'm pretty optimistic," said Dr. Bishop.
School Year Percentage of Schools Accredited
The percentage of schools fully accredited in Roanoke has increased by 33 percentage points in the past three years.
It went from 65.5 percent in 2014 to 95.8 percent this year.
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