FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – AUGUST 16, 2017
Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations
firstname.lastname@example.org | (804) 332 0965 | @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released official results of state testing today, and Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) continues to shine. Virginia public schools administer 29 state assessments each year, tests that are based on the the Commonwealth’s Standards of Learning (SOL). The results of these assessments, along with graduation rates, provide the framework for Virginia’s school accountability system and the VDOE’s School Quality Profiles.
Once again, Goochland’s pass rates outpaced state averages by a comfortable margin:
|Assessment Subject||GCPS 2017 Pass Rate||Virginia 2017 Average||Delta|
Goochland remains one of just a handful of school divisions in Virginia to have all of its schools meet full accreditation standards each of the last ten years. While this distinction is determined by traditional achievement measures, school leaders believe it’s the division’s focus on what’s best for students that has led to the success. “Our mission to maximize the potential of every learner is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent. “Accountability is important, but Goochland is far beyond a singular focus on minimum proficiency tests – and that’s really what the state’s SOL assessments are. We’re proud of the tradition of excellence in Goochland and we embrace the challenges of continuous improvement.”
Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, described Goochland’s focus on student growth as a key to the division’s success. “We have definitively prioritized individual student growth over traditional achievement measures. Every child’s learning is important, and a true sense of urgency should accompany that mindset. Our focus on individual growth ensures this urgency – and strong outcomes on traditional measures like SOL tests simply become a byproduct of doing what’s best for students. Our teachers have embraced this philosophy, and it’s their talents and commitment to our children that makes our division’s success possible.”
Despite the school division’s exceptionally strong overall results, team members remain committed to continuing to elevate expectations, as well as to targeting areas of relative weakness. Raley stated, “While we certainly have a lot to celebrate, we face the same challenges that most school divisions across the state and nation face when it comes to achievement gaps for our students with disabilities and our African American students. We have made some great progress in these areas, especially recently, but we have more work to do. We are committed to closing these gaps, while continuing to raise the bar for every student.”
Goochland’s math results have have increased by six (6) percentage points over the past three years for African American students, while math results for students with disabilities followed a similar impressive trend: increasing by five (5) percentage points over the same time period. However, Goochland’s reading results declined by three (3) percentage points since last year for the division’s African American students, while reading results for students with disabilities showed a slight increase of two (2) percentage points.
The school division plans to present its annual comprehensive data report to the School Board at its September 12 public meeting..
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