Dr. Brad Robinson’s School Board update

August 9, 2015

Thanks to Dr. Brad Robinson for providing the following school board update:

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Preliminary State Results Indicate Significant Student Achievement Gains for Norfolk Public Schools

Booker T. Washington High School is Projected to Earn Full State Accreditation Status

Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) administrators project that more schools will earn full state accreditation this year, and that Booker T. Washington High School will earn full accreditation status with double-digit gains in the percentages of students who met or exceeded state benchmarks in math, social studies, and science.

The projection, to be shared with the City of Norfolk School Board during a live-streamed work session on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, is based upon preliminary results of the annual Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. The Virginia Department of Education is scheduled to release official SOL pass rates on August 11, 2015, and to release official accreditation ratings in September 2015. (Click here to see the full presentation.)

Preliminary results indicate that division-wide, Norfolk’s students significantly improved their academic performance. NPS experienced double-digit growth in every core content area, compared to the prior school year.

Nearly 82% of NPS schools demonstrated an increase in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding state benchmarks in English and social studies, according to the preliminary results; nearly 89% of schools increased the percentage of students meeting and exceeding state standards in math; and 68% of schools increased student performance in science.

According to preliminary results, math and social studies were areas of strength division-wide, with 77% of schools meeting the state benchmark in math, and 86% of schools meeting the benchmark in social studies.

“We are proud of our students, teachers, principals, and support team for the growth and improvements demonstrated,” said Michael E Thornton, Ph.D., acting superintendent. “We will continue to strengthen our effort and resolve toward achieving full accreditation for all schools, while focusing on the individual needs and aspirations of our students.”

At the high school level, all schools met or exceeded state benchmarks for English, and four schools exceeded state benchmarks in math, history and science. At the middle school level, students performed better in English, math and social studies compared with the prior year. Preliminary results indicate that five middle schools realized double-digit gains in social studies.

The division projects that a total of four additional schools will earn full accreditation this year: Booker T. Washington High School, Camp Allen Elementary School, Larrymore Elementary School, and Willard Elementary School. Four of five high schools are expected to be fully accredited.

While emphasizing the division’s growth, Dr. Thornton and Chief Academic Officer Kipp D. Rogers, Ph.D., said the preliminary results also clearly indicate the areas of continued challenge for Norfolk Public Schools. The division must focus on ensuring that all schools earn full accreditation, and also that achievement gaps between subgroups of students are closed.


Outstanding education available at Norfolk Public Schools

April 30, 2015

drbradDr Brad Robinson, Wards Corner resident and Norfolk School Board member, shares the below information about students who have received outstanding education at Norfolk Public Schools.

1.      Students at Norfolk’s Maury, Granby and Norview high schools are benefiting from among the most rigorous educational experiences offered in the region, state and nation, according to The Washington Post’s rankings of United States high schools. Maury ranks second in Hampton Roads, behind only one high school in Virginia Beach, and 36th in Virginia. Maury ranks 600 out of approximately 22,000 high schools in the country, which is in the top 3 percent. Granby is third in the region, 48th in Virginia, and 808th in the country, which places it in the top 5 percent of all high schools. Norview is eighth in the region, 74th in Virginia and 1,435 out of the approximately 22,000 high schools nationally. The Washington Post’s ranking essentially examines the proportion of students at each high school who are offered a chance at challenging course work through such programs as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate. Norfolk Public Schools has consistently emphasized participation in advanced-level coursework as an important way to help all students boost achievement, critical thinking and college-readiness skills. Participation at Booker T. Washington and Lake Taylor high schools has increased significantly as well. You can learn more about Norfolk Public Schools’ Advanced Placement efforts by watching the April 20th edition of “NPS Now,” featuring AP Teacher Specialist Andrea Disney and Maury AP English Teacher Toni Kershasky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxYWpK12z90 (advance to time stamp 20:06).

2.      Every year, The Virginian-Pilot sponsors the Scholastic Achievement Scholarship award and selects the top 10 finalists out of 52 students across Hampton Roads. Maury High School’s Emily Martell won the first place scholarship award for $10,000. Stacie Doughtie of Booker T. Washington High School made the list of top 10 finalists for this honor

3.      Miss Martel of Maury also was the overall winner out of 1,700 entries in the Friends of the Norfolk Library annual Book Review Contest.  Maury took 11 of the 12 awards at the high school level, and Ghent had a third-place winner at the fourth-grade level. The winners will be honored during a ceremony May 19 at 3 p.m. at the Slover Library.

4.      The Ruffner Young Scholars who recently were honored by the Board for their international recognition (NPS Website – Ruffner Young Scholars win major global award ) and who are featured on this week’s edition of “NPS Now” (NPS Now on Youtube)  will also participate in a taping for “Norfolk Perspectives” tomorrow, and will be honored at a City Council meeting on May 19 at 7 p.m.

For further information, Norfolk Public Schools has a press release (Maury, Granby and Norview High Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Challenging, According to The Washington Post)  and the Washington Post coverage can be found here.


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