State denies full accreditation to four Lynchburg schools

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The Virginia Department of Education released its updated list of accreditation ratings on Wednesday.

Lynchburg City Schools (WDBJ7)

86 percent of schools in the commonwealth made full accreditation this school year; a five point increase over last year, according to the Department of Education.

One trouble spot is the City of Lynchburg, where four schools were denied full accreditation.

In Lynchburg, 9 of the sixteen schools fell short of full accreditation:

Linkhorne Elementary, Linkhorne Middle, Sandusky Middle, and Bass Elementary were denied accreditation.
Dearington Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Dunbar Middle, and Perrymont Elementary have a status of "To Be Determined," while Heritage High School was given partial accreditation.

"We're working with the principal closely on that to put strategies in place that will result in full accreditation,” explained LCS acting Superintendent, Larry Massie.

School leaders say they don't' have a timeline of being fully accredited with all their schools, but they hope to have that status in the next few years. "I do think over the next three to four years we should be looking at being fully accredited in all schools,” Massie said.

Assistant Superintendent Jay McClain says full accreditation is the minimum required, not the maximum, and they intend to keep working toward full accreditation status. "You want to get to that 100 percent. The state sets the 70 and 75, but I think each parent is concerned about their own child,” McClain explained.

Full accreditation is based on the performance of students on Standards of Learning and other state-approved assessments in English, mathematics, science and history. "And so that's our ultimate goal: To achieve that with every child and with every family,” McClain added.

School leaders point to E.C. Glass High School, which was granted the status this year after several years of not having full accreditation. "So we're going to keep doing what we're doing and as we see somewhere that we need to do more, we're going to regroup and make an alteration to our plan,” said Karen Bucklew, the assessment specialist at E.C. Glass.

The schools that have a "To Be Determined" status will have the next couple of weeks to submit additional information to the Department of Education.

From there, the Department of Education will decide on their accreditation status.