New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | October 4, 2023

New Kent schools fully accredited; SOL scores on par or better than state in 26 subject areas

By Andre Jones | September 18, 2023 9:22 pm

All five of New Kent County’s Public Schools are expected to be fully accredited for the FY2023-24 cycle.

New Kent County Public Schools Executive Director of Innovation and Development Ross Miller presented accreditation information during Monday evening’s regular school board meeting.

At the elementary level, the areas of academic achievement in English, mathematics, and science, meeting achievement gaps in English and mathematics, and minimizing chronic absenteeism are used as school quality indicators for that level. New Kent Elementary and George Watkins Elementary School are at Level One, which is at or above the standards, in each of the categories. Quinton Elementary School is in Level One in five of the six indicators, with the achievement gap in English at Level Two, which still indicates it’s above or at the standard but not with as much differential.

At the secondary level, New Kent Middle School met Level One standards in four of the six school quality indicators. New Kent Middle School exceeded expectations in academic achievement in English, science, and mathematics, as well as bridging the achievement gap in math. The middle school is at Level Two in the categories of achievement gap in English and chronic absenteeism.

New Kent High School has two additional school quality indicators to meet along with the aforementioned six above. Accountability in the graduation and completion index rate and dropout rate (low dropout numbers) were at Level One. The high school also reached Level One in academic achievement of English, mathematics, and science. The school sits at Level Two in the achievement gap for English and chronic absenteeism.

In addition to expecting to be fully accredited, New Kent County Public Schools continue to remain at or the state average when it comes to the Standards of Learning (SOL) scores. Approximately 97 percent of SOL scores were at or above the state average in the past testing year.

New Kent County saw improvement in 18 academic categories of testing, with the biggest jump coming by 35 points in World History II. Of the 29 categories of testing throughout the school division, New Kent scored 75 or higher in 15 of them. New Kent’s highest successes were in the areas of End of Course Reading (91), Algebra I (89), and End of Course Biology (87).

Success also came in the form of advanced passing in a few subject areas, with 30 percent of those passing Virginia Studies being in the advanced categories. High advanced pass rates also occurred in the subjects of End of Course Reading (22 percent) and fifth grade mathematics (19 percent).

New Kent County Superintendent of Schools Brian Nichols commented on the academic success.

“I am proud of what we did but we still got some more work to do,” the superintendent commented. “We pride ourselves with the results and succeeded in all but one of the assessments. However, we’re not going to settle.

“I am proud of the level of assessment these kids did passing the tests and the team of teachers who led them along the way,” Nichols continued. “When the kids pass the test at one grade level, we want them to do it at the next level across all subjects. We want them to be ready at the next level.

“That success comes with the kids performing well and our team of leaders and teachers being very strong to lead them in meeting those goals,” the superintendent concluded.