Ninety-Six Percent of FCPS Schools Fully Accredited

News Release
September 13, 2017

Ninety-six percent of schools in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), or 187 of 194, have earned full accreditation from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for 2017-18, based on results from Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests administered during the 2016-17 school year. This represents a three percentage point increase for FCPS over last year and is ten percentage points above the 2017-18 rate for Virginia as a whole.

Accreditation ratings for 2017-18 include 169 FCPS schools qualifying under 2016 General Assembly legislation for multi-year accreditation as a result of consistently meeting the Commonwealth’s accountability standards. Five schools are partially accredited; and the status of two schools at risk of being denied accreditation will be determined by the Virginia Board of Education later this year.

“With Portrait of a Graduate serving as a guide, we are using multiple methods to assess student progress with a focus on equitable outcomes for every student,” said FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “SOL scores are one tool we use to determine the progress our students are making. Accreditation is an important part of assessing progress, and we plan to continue to strive for higher levels of excellence as we aim to have 100 percent of our schools fully accredited. However, we understand that schools are much more than any single day’s test score, and recognize that schools making progress toward accreditation deserve recognition for their work.”

For a school to earn full accreditation, overall adjusted student pass rates must be at least 75 percent for assessments in English, reading, and writing and at least 70 percent for tests in mathematics, science, and history. High schools must also meet a benchmark for graduation and completion. Accreditation ratings may reflect an average of student achievement over three years.

Like state accreditation ratings, federal accountability designations are based on student achievement on SOL tests during the 2016-17 school year. However, federal accountability focuses only on schools that receive Title I federal grant funds, which support schools serving communities with significant economic need. Under federal accountability guidelines, the lowest-performing Title I schools are identified as either Priority or Focus schools.

Priority schools comprise the lowest-performing five percent of Title I schools in the Commonwealth. No FCPS schools are identified as Priority schools for 2017-18.

Focus schools comprise 10 percent of the Commonwealth’s Title I schools selected on the basis of achievement gaps. Focus schools retain their designation for a minimum of two years. No new schools in FCPS have been identified as Focus schools, and three schools have been designated to continue Focus status for one additional year in 2017-18.

School accreditation ratings and federal accountability status for 2017-18 are available through online school quality profiles and reports produced by VDOE.

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For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.