Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Virginia School Quality Profiles

What are School Quality Profiles?

School Quality Profiles are a new way to look at the performance of Virginia’s public schools and factors that can impact student learning and achievement. School Quality Profiles were developed by the state Board of Education in response to the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, which directed the board to redesign online reports for schools and school divisions to more effectively communicate to parents and the public about the status and achievements of Virginia’s public schools. School Quality Profiles are available for all schools, school divisions, and for the state.

How do School Quality Profiles differ from previously published reports on school performance?

School Quality Profiles include interactive graphs and other features to provide a richer experience for parents and others interested in learning about the performance and quality of the commonwealth’s public schools. In addition to data and graphs on school accreditation ratings and student achievement on Standards of Learning tests, School Quality Profile reports include information on factors that can impact learning, such as absenteeism, participation in school breakfast and lunch programs, and discipline.

Do School Quality Profile reports have features and tools to help users understand and share the information presented?

School Quality Profile reports include clickable icons that provide additional information on the data presented. Under each graph or chart, there is a “Show Explanation” button that provides context for the information presented, including information on related efforts of schools to improve outcomes for students. Hovering over a graph results in the appearance of a popup box with additional details to aid understanding. Tools allow users to view data for a particular student population and compare the performance or data of a school with division- and state-level information. There also are tools that allow users to view the data behind a graph or chart, save a report, embed a graph or chart, or share a report on social media.

How are School Quality Profile reports organized?

School Quality Profile reports include a snapshot page that provides high-level information about achievement and other school-quality factors. More detailed information is found under a series of tabs that organizes interactive graphs and data into the following categories: Accountability, Assessments, Enrollment and Demographics, College and Career Readiness (high schools, school divisions and the state), Finance, Learning Climate, and Teacher Quality.

What information is presented under the Accountability tab?

The Accountability tab includes reports on state accreditation ratings and information on high school graduation reported to the U.S. Department of Education for accountability purposes.

What information is presented under the Assessment tab?

The Assessment tab includes reports on student achievement on Standards of Learning tests in English, mathematics, science and history. The Assessment tab on School Quality Profiles for elementary schools, school divisions and the state also includes a graph on the performance of kindergarten students on diagnostic assessments measuring knowledge of literacy fundamentals.

What information is found under the Enrollment and Demographics tab?

The Enrollment and Demographics tab includes data on Fall Membership (enrollment as reported on September 30 of each school year); information on the racial and ethnic make up of schools, school divisions and the commonwealth’s public schools as a whole; and information on other student populations, including students with disabilities and English language learners.

What information is presented under the College and Career Readiness tab?

The College and Career Readiness tab includes information on the types of diplomas earned by students, graduation rates, students participating in advanced programs, students earning career and technical certifications and industry licenses, and postsecondary enrollment.

What information is found under the Finance tab?

Reports under the Finance tab include division- and state-level information on the percentage of expenditures for instruction, per-pupil spending, and sources of financial support for operations.

What information is presented under the Learning Environment tab?

The Learning Environment tab includes reports on factors that can have a major impact on school quality and student performance. These factors include attendance, absenteeism, safety, discipline practices, and whether eligible students are participating in school breakfast and lunch programs.

What information is found under the Teacher Quality tab?

The Teacher Quality tab includes division- and state-level reports on student-teacher ratios in grades K-7, student-teacher ratios in grades 8-12, teacher educational attainment, provisionally licensed teachers, and the percentage of classes in schools, school divisions and the state taught by teachers not fully certified in the content area.

Will additional reports be added in the future to the School Quality Profile reports?

Yes. The state Board of Education has identified additional reports to be added to the School Quality Profile reports as the information becomes available. These include reports on gifted education programs, average class sizes, and statistically valid surveys of students, teachers and other school employees on the learning environment.