Albemarle County Schools Granted AYP Status

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

August 31, 2006

Students in Albemarle county headed back to class last week with ease, but school officials were waiting on word of their grade from the previous school year.

Thursday was report card day for the educators.

Albemarle County schools was one of 72 school divisions across Virginia to get approval on the Adequate Yearly Progress goals. This is the first-time it has achieved that goal since the 'No Child Left Behind Act' started five years ago.

"That is a significant milestone for this division. It really speaks to our commitment to eliminating achievement gaps," said Albemarle County Schools Assistant Superintendent Bruce Benson.

Twenty-five schools make up the school division, which serves more than 12,000 kids. More than 1,000 teachers lead the classrooms. All of them must be doing something right. Still, there is room for improvement.

"Even though the division made AYP as a whole, we have some places [where] we have some challenges. Mathematics is an area right now," added Benson.

AYP status is given in two ways. First is to an individual school, and second is system-wide. It's determined by test participation, proficiency in reading and math, along with attendance rates.

"It simply emphasizes the fact that every student is important. The achievement level of every student is important to us," said Benson.

As far as individual schools, 19 Albemarle County schools met the standards, five did not, and one is questionable.

Albemarle County Schools and the Virginia Department of Education are going over more data to determine if the one school still undecided right now, can get AYP status after all. A decision should be made in a few weeks.

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