August 16, 2016
School division SOL pass rates, based on 2016 Standards of Learning (SOL) test results, were released by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) today.
HCPS principals and staffs worked collaboratively to implement measures to improve student achievement during the past school year, including: focused professional development, collaborative planning, data conferencing, and curriculum alignment. The hard work exhibited by staff and students has contributed to increases in mathematics across the division from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016.
Sixty-nine percent of Henry County schools met or exceeded the state pass rate in History and eighty-five percent of schools met or exceeded the state pass rate in mathematics. “We feel that the improved math performance is due, in part, to the implementation of computer adaptive testing, because the test is shorter and the level of rigor increases as the student demonstrates mastery of a particular skill,” said Lisa Millner, HCPS Director of Assessment and Accountability.
In addition to increases across the division, pass rates increased in all subject areas at Campbell Court Elementary School and increased or remained the same in all subject areas at Laurel Park Middle School.
Campbell Court Elementary principal Cherie Whitlow said, “The tradition of hard work here at Campbell Court is evident in the amount of growth made on the Virginia Standards of Learning tests. I am confident that the margin will continue to narrow as the students, parents, and teachers strive for excellence. As we begin a new school year, we will continue to foster a culture of high expectations, creating avid thinkers and independent learners.”
“Henry County Public Schools experienced a renewed commitment to maximizing learning time and student expectations in the 2015-2016 school year. Teachers focused on individual student growth by spending time daily conferencing with students individually and in small groups with an emphasis on providing descriptive feedback and demonstrating mastery. They collaborated frequently to create rigorous lessons and develop plans designed to maximize student growth,” observed Beth Adkins, Director of Digital Learning & Innovation.
“We are proud of progress made by each of our schools and are working to implement plans developed in response to data so that we can increase student achievement,” said Division Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton, adding, “While our students are demonstrating gains in reading and writing, we would like to see all students reading on grade level each year and will continue to work toward ensuring that all students are college, career and citizenship ready.”
In an effort to continually increase student achievement, HCPS will continue with several strategies that are yielding positive instructional results. All schools are expected to develop, submit, and monitor their school improvement plan throughout the school year, as well as use Indistar, an online system of continuous assessment and accountability, in order to monitor and evaluate school improvement efforts at each school. To address performance in English: Reading, focused reading, word study, literary analysis, and writing across the curriculum is continuing to be emphasized district-wide along with an additional focus on literacy with continued Daily 5 implementation, Sustained Silent Reading in grades 3-9, and middle school participation in the UVA Struggling Readers Academy.
Teacher leaders will continue to provide focused, school-based professional development related to analyzing data, effective assessment practices, and research-based instructional strategies. Instructional Coaches will continue to work with teachers at each elementary school to implement best practices for collaborating across grade levels to improve instruction and assessment practices. MAP assessment data are also being used across the division to measure student growth and plan for differentiated instruction.
"Student achievement is much more than any single measure," Cotton emphasized. “Our students are learning and succeeding in a variety of areas and we look forward to continuing to support their growth as they continue to learn and grow.”
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