Working Together to Fight Inequality
Dear Families, Educators, and Stakeholders,
As the state agency in charge of our public schools in Virginia, we have determined that it is our responsibility to maximize the potential of every student in Virginia. But for far too long, students in our communities of color and especially African-American students have faced systemic racism in our public schools and in our broader community. It is our moral duty to be an organization that fights for every child in our schools, but especially for the students where our system has failed. The death of George Floyd and the protests of this past weekend have left me reflecting on how we, as an organization, can re-double, redefine, and strengthen our efforts to eradicate racism from our public schools and to make an impact on the broader community. School is the place, if nowhere else, that we can raise a generation of students committed to each other to ensure equality and equity for every member of our society.
We have begun the process in the leadership of our agency to build cultural competency and trainings that can impact the broader education community, but that alone will not be enough. We must look at our policies, regulations, standards, resources, accountabilities, and all tools available to us to hold ourselves and our school communities accountable to ensuring that race cannot be a predictor of student success and thus, that achievement gaps are eliminated from our schools permanently.
I am committed to working with our school communities to eradicate systemic racism from Virginia’s public schools and our larger communities. School leaders play a unique role in these conversations with our children, and so we must work to seek culturally responsive practices for all of our educators. The fear and rage expressed by protestors about police brutality and racial injustices faced by African-Americans is a reminder that we all have more work to do.
I hope you will join me in standing with anyone in our agency, local divisions or those working in our communities to fight racial injustice in our society and to eradicate racism from our schools. In the coming weeks, I will engage our leadership team to re-double and recommit to our mission to ensure that we can be the beacon of hope and certainty to make a difference in the lives of our students so that this next generation can grow in a future society free of systemic racism, especially in our schools.
I know many of you are hurt and struggling with the recent events, and I recognize that this is not an isolated incident but one that shows the harsh reality of what our African-American community faces on a daily basis. Please know that I’m here to be an ally and accomplice in supporting you, listening and learning from you, but especially want to be here for you if you need anything. Please know that all of you are on my mind as we all find ways to heal.
James F. Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Congratulations VIP Award Recipients!
The Virginia Department of Education joins Governor Northam and the Board of Education in recognizing 270 schools and nine school divisions that have earned 2019 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced student learning and achievement. The VIP program celebrates schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the Governor and the Board of Education.
The schools and school divisions earning 2019 VIP awards — which are based on student achievement and other performance indicators during 2017-2018 — include:
- Five schools that earned the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence
- One division and 90 schools that earned the Board of Education Excellence Award
- Eight divisions and 175 schools that earned the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award
The teachers, principals, superintendents, administrators and support staff of these award-winning schools and divisions share a commitment to deeper learning, expanding opportunity and preparing all students for success. And I look forward to visiting as many of these learning communities as possible during the coming months to offer my personal congratulations for their outstanding work preparing young Virginians for what comes next. Please help me congratulate all of our 2019 recipients!
2019 Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence
Five schools earned the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, the highest VIP award.
These schools are as follows:
- Arlington County — Jamestown Elementary
- Fairfax County — Chesterbrook Elementary, Carson Middle, Cooper Middle, and Longfellow Middle
To earn the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, schools and school divisions must meet all state and federal achievement benchmarks and achieve all applicable excellence goals for elementary reading, enrollment in Algebra I by the eighth grade, enrollment in college-level courses, high school graduation, attainment of advanced diplomas, attainment of career and industry certifications, and participation in the Virginia Preschool Initiative.
2019 Board of Education Excellence Awards
One division — West Point Public Schools — and 90 schools earned the Board of Education Excellence Award, the second-highest honor in the VIP program. The division and schools also met all state and federal accountability benchmarks and made significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities set by the board.
The schools receiving Board of Education Excellence Awards are as follows:
- Albemarle County — Virginia L. Murray Elementary
- Alexandria — Lyles-Crouch Elementary
- Arlington County — Arlington Science Focus School, McKinley Elementary, Nottingham Elementary, Taylor Elementary, and Williamsburg Middle
- Chesapeake — Butts Road Intermediate, Butts Road Primary, Grassfield High, Hickory High, and Southeastern Elementary
- Chesterfield County — Cosby High, J.B. Watkins Elementary, Swift Creek Elementary, and Winterpock Elementary
- Fairfax County — Chantilly High, Churchill Road Elementary, Colvin Run Elementary, Floris Elementary, Forestville Elementary, Greenbriar West Elementary, Haycock Elementary, Keene Mill Elementary, Lake Braddock Secondary, Langley High, Madison High, Mantua Elementary, McLean High, Mosby Woods Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary, Oakton High, Poplar Tree Elementary, Robinson Secondary, Rocky Run Middle, Sangster Elementary, Spring Hill Elementary, Springfield Estates Elementary, Thomas Jefferson High for Science and Technology, West Springfield High, Westbriar Elementary, Willow Springs Elementary, Wolftrap Elementary, and Woodson High
- Henrico County — Colonial Trail Elementary, David A. Kaechele Elementary, Deep Run High, George H. Moody Middle, Holman Middle, Mills E. Godwin High, Nuckols Farm Elementary, Rivers Edge Elementary, Shady Grove Elementary, Short Pump Elementary, Three Chopt Elementary, Tuckahoe Elementary, and Twin Hickory Elementary
- Loudoun County — Briar Woods High, Cardinal Ridge Elementary, Legacy Elementary, Lowes Island Elementary, Madison’s Trust Elementary, and Sycolin Creek Elementary
- Lynchburg — Paul Munro Elementary
- Montgomery County — Gilbert Linkous Elementary
- Newport News — Deer Park Elementary
- Prince William County — Battlefield High, Mary G. Porter Traditional School, Patriot High, and Pennington Elementary
- Richmond — Mary Munford Elementary and Open High
- Roanoke — Crystal Spring Elementary and Grandin Court Elementary
- Roanoke County — Penn Forest Elementary
- Russell County — Belfast Elk Garden Elementary
- Scott County — Weber City Elementary and Yuma Elementary
- Virginia Beach — Linkhorn Park Elementary, Old Donation School, Princess Anne Elementary, North Landing Elementary, Tallwood Elementary, Thoroughgood Elementary, and Trantwood Elementary
- West Point — West Point Elementary
- Wise County — Central High
- Wythe County — Rural Retreat Elementary and Sheffey Elementary
- York County — Mount Vernon Elementary
2019 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards
The Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award was earned by eight divisions and 175 schools that met all state and federal benchmarks and made progress toward the goals of the Governor and the Board of Education.
The divisions receiving Distinguished Achievement awards are as follows:
- Falls Church
- Loudoun County
- Roanoke County
- Wise County
- Wythe County
- York County
The schools receiving Distinguished Achievement awards are as follows:
- Albemarle County — Hollymead Elementary, Meriwether Lewis Elementary, and Stone Robinson Elementary
- Amherst County — Temperance Elementary
- Arlington County — Arlington Traditional, Discovery Elementary, Long Branch Elementary, Swanson Middle, Tuckahoe Elementary, and Yorktown High
- Augusta County — Riverheads High and Wilson Memorial High
- Bath County — Millboro Elementary
- Bedford County — Forest Elementary
- Botetourt County — James River High
- Charlotte County — Eureka Elementary
- Chesapeake — Cedar Road Elementary, Deep Creek Central Elementary, Grassfield Elementary, Great Bridge High, Great Bridge Intermediate, Great Bridge Primary, Hickory Middle, and Western Branch High
- Chesterfield County — Bettie Weaver Elementary, Midlothian High, Midlothian Middle, Robious Middle, Tomahawk Creek Middle, W.W. Gordon Elementary, and Woolridge Elementary
- Fairfax County — Archer Elementary, Belvedere Elementary, Camelot Elementary, Canterbury Woods Elementary, Centreville High, Crossfield Elementary, Fairfax High, Flint Hill Elementary, Fox Mill Elementary, Frost Middle, Great Falls Elementary, Kilmer Middle, Lees Corner Elementary, Marshall High, Navy Elementary, Oakton Elementary, Sherman Elementary, Terra Centre Elementary, Thoreau Middle, Wakefield Forest Elementary, Waynewood Elementary, and West Springfield Elementary
- Falls Church — George Mason High and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle
- Fauquier County — C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary
- Gloucester County — Botetourt Elementary
- Hanover County — Atlee High, Kersey Creek Elementary, Pole Green Elementary, and Rural Point Elementary
- Henrico County — Gayton Elementary, Glen Allen Elementary, Glen Allen High, Pemberton Elementary, Pocahontas Middle, and Short Pump Middle
- Lexington — Lylburn Downing Middle
- Loudoun County — Belmont Ridge Middle, Belmont Station Elementary, Blue Ridge Middle, Brambleton Middle School, Broad Run High, Buffalo Trail Elementary, Cedar Lane Elementary, Creighton’s Corner Elementary, Eagle Ridge Middle, Emerick Elementary, Freedom High, Hamilton Elementary, Hillside Elementary, J. Michael Lunsford Middle, John Champe High, John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Little River Elementary, Loudoun County High, Loudoun Valley High, Mercer Middle, Mill Run Elementary, Newton-Lee Elementary, Riverside High, Rosa Lee Carter Elementary, Sanders Corner Elementary, Seldens Landing Elementary, Stone Bridge High, Stone Hill Middle, and Trailside Middle
- Louisa County — Jouett Elementary
- Montgomery County — Blacksburg High
- Newport News — R.O. Nelson Elementary
- Norfolk — Larchmont Elementary
- Patrick County — Woolwine Elementary
- Pittsylvania County — John L. Hurt Elementary, Tunstall High, and Union Hall Elementary
- Poquoson — Poquoson Elementary and Poquoson Primary
- Prince William County — Ashland Elementary, Cedar Point Elementary, Gainesville Middle, Glenkirk Elementary, J.W. Alvey Elementary, Minnieville Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle, T. Clay Wood Elementary, The Nokesville School, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary
- Pulaski County — Snowville Elementary
- Richmond — William Fox Elementary
- Roanoke County — Back Creek Elementary, Bonsack Elementary, Cave Spring Elementary, Cave Spring High, Clearbrook Elementary, Glenvar High, Green Valley Elementary, Hidden Valley High, and William Byrd High
- Rockingham County — East Rockingham High
- Russell County — Honaker Elementary
- Salem — South Salem Elementary
- Scott County — Duffield-Pattonsville Primary and Hilton Elementary
- Spotsylvania County — Chancellor Elementary
- Stafford County — Colonial Forge High, Mountain View High, Rodney E. Thompson Middle, and Winding Creek Elementary
- Tazewell County — North Tazewell Elementary and Richlands High
- Virginia Beach — Great Neck Middle, Green Run Collegiate, John B. Dey Elementary, Ocean Lakes High, Princess Anne Middle, and Three Oaks Elementary
- Washington County — Greendale Elementary, High Point Elementary, Holston High, John S. Battle High, and Meadowview Elementary
- West Point — West Point High and West Point Middle
- Williamsburg-James City County — Stonehouse Elementary
- Wise County — Eastside High, J.W. Adams Combined, L.F. Addington Middle, St. Paul Elementary, and Union Primary
- Wythe County — Fort Chiswell High, Rural Retreat High, Scott Memorial Middle, and Speedwell Elementary
- York County — Coventry Elementary, Dare Elementary, Grafton Bethel Elementary, Grafton High, Grafton Middle, Tabb Elementary, Tabb High, Tabb Middle, and York High
The Virginia Index of Performance program was established by the state Board of Education in 2007 as a means of recognizing schools and school divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards.
In April 2018, the Board of Education approved criteria for a new exemplar school recognition program to replace the VIP awards. The new program will include awards for high achievement, continuous improvement and innovative practices.
I am excited about the new exemplar schools program because it will highlight the great work taking place in schools that may have not been recognized under the VIP program. These include schools where students are making great progress toward meeting state standards and schools that are narrowing achievement gaps and reducing chronic absenteeism. The first awards under the new exemplar school system will be announced this summer and I can’t wait to offer my congratulations to these schools as well.
More information about the VIP incentive program for schools and school divisions is available on the VDOE website.