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Absenteeism

This chart displays the percentage of students who were absent for less than 10 percent of the most recent school year for any reason. Students who are absent for more than 10 percent of the school year are at greater risk of academic failure.

Accountability

Virginia’s accountability system supports teaching and learning by setting rigorous academic standards — known as the Standards of Learning (SOL) — and through annual statewide assessments of student achievement.  Results from these tests — which most students take online — are used by the commonwealth to identify schools in need of assistance and to inform parents and the public about the progress of schools through the awarding of annual accreditation ratings.

Accreditation

A process used by the state Board of Education to evaluate the educational performance of public schools in accordance with Board of Education regulations. The 2017 revisions to the Standards of Accreditation express the Board of Education’s vision of continuous improvement for all schools and for student outcomes aligned with the expectations of higher education and employers.

Accreditation Denied

Schools that fail to adopt or fully implement required corrective actions to address Level Three performance on school-quality indicators may be rated as Accreditation Denied by the state Board of Education. A school rated as Accreditation Denied may regain state accreditation by demonstrating to the Board of Education that it is fully implementing all required corrective action plans.

Accredited

Under the state Board of Education’s Standards of Accreditation, a school is rated as “Accredited” if performance on all applicable School Quality Indicators is rated at either Level One or Level Two.

Elementary and middle schools are evaluated on the following School Quality Indicators:

  • Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing achievement (including progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency)
  • Overall proficiency and growth in mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English achievement gaps among student groups
  • Mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Absenteeism

High schools are evaluated on the following School Quality Indicators:

  • Overall proficiency in English reading/writing and progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency
  • Overall proficiency in mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English achievement gaps among student groups
  • Mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Graduation and Completion Index
  • Dropout rate
  • Absenteeism
  • College, career and civic readiness (effective 2021-2022)
Accredited with Conditions

Under the state Board of Education’s Standards of Accreditation, a school is rated as “Accredited with Conditions” if performance on one or more applicable School Quality Indicators are rated at Level Three.

Elementary and middle schools are evaluated on the following School Quality Indicators:

  • Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing achievement (including progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency)
  • Overall proficiency and growth in mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English achievement gaps among student groups
  • Mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Absenteeism

High schools are evaluated on the following School Quality Indicators:

  • Overall proficiency in English reading/writing and progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency
  • Overall proficiency in mathematics
  • Overall proficiency in science
  • English achievement gaps among student groups
  • Mathematics achievement gaps among student groups
  • Graduation and Completion Index
  • Dropout rate
  • Absenteeism
  • College, career and civic readiness (effective 2021-2022)
Achievement gap

The difference between the performance of reporting categories of students, especially those defined by gender, race/ethnicity, disability and socioeconomic status.

ACT

One of the two commonly used tests designed to assess high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work in four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced programs are college-level courses or programs that are available to high school students which may allow students to earn college credit.

Advanced Placement participation and achievement

Virginia students may substitute Advanced Placement examinations for end-of-course Standards of Learning tests in the same subject areas. Virginia also promotes AP participation through the Virtual Virginia online learning program, and uses federal grant money to subsidize test fees for low-income students. According to the College Board, students who score a three or higher on AP exams have greater academic success in college and are more likely to graduate on time with a degree than comparable non-AP peers.

Alternative assessment

A method to measure student educational attainment other than the typical multiple-choice test which may include portfolios, constructed response items and other performance measurement tools.

Alternative education

A school or center organized for alternative programs of instruction.

Assessment

Method of measuring the learning and performance of students; examples include achievement tests, minimum competency tests, developmental screening tests, aptitude tests, observation instruments, performance tasks, etc.

At-risk students

Students who have a higher than average probability of dropping out or failing school.

Attendance rate

Attendance rates are calculated by dividing a school or division’s average daily attendance by its average daily membership (enrollment). Efforts to improve school attendance are part of a larger effort to increase achievement and close performance gaps between student subgroups. Safe and healthy schools – ones that employ a challenging curriculum and reinforce high expectations for academics, behavior, and social responsibility – are schools that motivate students to attend.

Average daily membership (ADM)

The K-12 enrollment figure used to distribute state per pupil funding that includes students with disabilities ages 5-21, and students for whom English is a second language who entered school for the first time after reaching their 12th birthday, and who have not reached their 22nd birthday; preschool and post-graduate students are not included in ADM.

Average SAT scores

The SAT is the predominant college-admissions assessment in Virginia and is an indicator of the effectiveness of schools in preparing students for postsecondary education. Average SAT scores of Virginia students in reading, mathematics and writing are compared with those of students nationwide.

 

Benchmark

A standard for judging performance.

Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award

The Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award is the third-highest award in the commonwealth’s Virginia Index of Performance school recognition program. To earn this award, schools and divisions must meet all state and federal achievement objectives and make progress toward the goals of the governor and the board.

Board of Education Excellence Award

The Board of Education Excellence Award is the second-highest award in the commonwealth’s Virginia Index of Performance school recognition program. To earn this award, schools and divisions must meet all state and federal accountability benchmarks and make significant progress toward the Board of Education’s goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities.

Career & Technical Education

Career and technical education programs in Virginia public schools serve more than 550,000 students in grades 6-12. These programs are designed to prepare young people for productive futures while meeting the commonwealth’s need for well-trained and industry-certified technical workers.

Charter school

A school controlled by a local school board that provides free public elementary and/or secondary education to eligible students under a specific charter granted by the state legislature or other appropriate authority, and designated by such authority to be a charter school.

Class period

Class period is a segment of time in during the school instructional day that is allocated to lessons, courses, testing and assessments or other instructional activities and excludes homeroom.

Cohort

A group of students who entered the ninth grade for the first time during the same school year.

College Board

The organization that administers SAT, AP and other standardized tests to high school students planning on continuing their educations at a post-secondary level.

Combined Rate

The combined rate used to evaluate school performance in English and mathematics includes students who pass Standards of Learning tests and other state-approved assessments and students who are making significant progress and are on a trajectory towards meeting the commonwealth’s high expectations for student learning and achievement. The combined rate for English also awards credit for English-language learners who are making progress towards attaining English proficiency.

By recognizing academic growth, the state Board of Education’s school accreditation standards provide a balanced evaluation of schools. Under the commonwealth’s previous school accreditation system, schools were subject to being perceived as “failing” even if most students were making progress toward proficiency.

 

Combined school

A combined school is a public school containing any combination of grades from kindergarten through grade 12, excluding elementary schools (K-5), middle schools (6-8), or high schools (9-12). Examples of combined schools include K-8 schools and K-12 schools.

Composite index of local ability to pay

A formula to determine the state and local government shares of K-12 education program costs, which is expressed as a ratio, indicating the local percentage share of the cost of education programs; for example, a locality with a composite index of 0.3000 would pay 30 percent and the state would pay 70 percent of the costs.

Conditionally Accredited: New School

Conditionally Accredited: New School is a rating awarded for a one-year period to a new school comprising students who previously attended one or more existing schools to provide the opportunity to evaluate the performance of students on SOL tests and other statewide assessments.

Core curriculum

The body of knowledge that all students are expected to learn in the subjects of English, mathematics, history/social science and science.