All schools in Radford City have been accredited by the Virginia State Education Department based on performance results from the 2017-2018 school year.
The Virginia Department of Education website explains the accreditation process as follows: “Accreditation ratings reflect the progress of schools toward meeting the commonwealth’s expectations for student learning in English, math, science, and history/social science.
“Ratings are based on the achievement of students on tests taken during the previous academic year or on a three-year or four-year average of achievement. Ratings for high schools also reflect the success of efforts to increase completion and graduation.”
Overall, Radford students performed well on the state assessments, although there were some student group achievement gap concerns at the secondary level.
These are the most recent scores indicating the proficiency or above percentages division-wide (state average scores follow in parentheses): Reading—84 percent (79); writing—77 percent (78); math—79 percent (78); science—83 percent (81) and social studies—89 percent (85). The division-wide attendance rate was 95 percent.
At McHarg Elementary School students do not take state assessments in various subject areas. However, there is one measure for kindergarten that analyzes the percentage of students meeting literacy benchmarks.
In this area, students are assessed on their knowledge of literacy fundamentals including phonological awareness, alphabet recognition, the concept of word, knowledge of letter sounds and spelling.
At McHarg, 96.46 percent of the students met those literacy benchmarks as compared to 88.19 percent statewide.
Additionally, at McHarg, 8.33 percent of the students were chronically absent (missing 10 percent or more of the school year).
Achievement is measured at the other three division schools through School Quality Indicators such as academic achievement for English, math, and science; student group achievement gaps; and student engagement and outcomes (chronic absenteeism, for example).
Academic achievement scores are arrived at by adding together the percentage of students in the school or group passing state tests, the percentage of students in the school or group passing state tests after remedial instruction, and the percentage of non-passing students who improved compared with prior performance on state tests.
At Belle Heth Elementary, students performed at Level One (school is performing at or above the state standard for the indicator), the highest level possible, in almost every area.
There was only one area where students performed at Level Two (school is performing near the state standard for the indicator or improving), which was for black students, where there was a small achievement gap for English. Students just missed the 75 percent cutoff with a score of 74 percent.
In math, as a school, the percentage proficient or advanced was 90 percent compared to a goal of at least 70 percent.
In science, 86 percent compared to a target of 70 percent were proficient or advanced. In English achievement, as a school, 89 percent of the students were proficient or advanced as opposed to a goal of at least 75 percent.
On the history assessments overall, 43 percent of the students were proficient with 48 percent advanced for a total of 91 percent at or above proficiency in that area of study (compared with an 84 percent state average).
At Belle Heth, 4.39 percent of the students were chronically absent (again, missing 10 percent or more of the school year).
Students with disabilities outscored the state goal in all areas (school percentage score/goal): English (77/75), math (71/70) and science (86/70). Economically disadvantaged students also did well (school percentage score/goal): English (83/75) and math (84/70).
At John N. Dalton Intermediate School, with accreditation as a school, students exceeded the goal in each subject area (school percentage score/goal): English (81/75), math (78/70) and science (82/70).
There were student group achievement gap issues in both English and math, however. Students achieved at Level Three, below the state standard, in four areas and at Level Two in one area.
Here are the areas where students did not reach the achievement goal (school percentage score/goal): English—economically disadvantaged students (70/75) and students with disabilities (40/75) [11.2 percent of the total population qualified as students with disabilities]; Math—black students (59/70), economically disadvantaged (61/70) and students with disabilities (40/70).
Overall on the writing assessments, 50 percent of the total students were proficient and 18 percent advanced (68 percent total at/above proficiency compared to a state average of 78 percent).
In history overall, 56 percent were proficient and 29 percent advanced (85 percent at/above proficiency compared to a state average of 84 percent).
Under absenteeism at Dalton, 10.32 percent of the students were considered chronically absent.
At Radford High School, with accreditation scores as a school, students also outscored state goals on the academic achievement assessments (school percentage score/goal): English (86/75), math (71/70) and science (83/70).
There were five areas where students performed below the state standard (school percentage score/goal): English—black students (59/75) and students with disabilities (30/75) [12 percent of the total population qualified as students with disabilities]; Math (school percentage score/goal)—Black students (48/70), economically disadvantaged students (58/70) and students with disabilities (27/70).
In writing, 57 percent of students were proficient and 27 percent advanced for a total of 84 percent at or above proficiency (state average was 78 percent).
In history, 73 percent were proficient with 17 percent advanced, for a total of 90 percent at or above proficiency (state average was 84 percent).
At Radford High School, the chronic absenteeism rate was 16.87 percent (this is a major concern and the impetus for the new attendance policy this year).
Also, 3.08 percent of the students (4 students) in the Class of 2018 dropped out of school before graduating.
The graduation rate was 96.9 (one of the highest percentages in the area) and compares with a state average of 91.6 percent.
Also, with the most recent numbers, 82 percent of Radford students moved on to some form of higher education compared with 70 percent on the state level.
As a school division, Radford City Schools performed exceptionally well on the state assessment benchmarks.
There are specific student group achievement gaps in English and math at some levels where black students, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities lagged behind overall school performance.
Division teachers and administrators have planned various professional development, scheduling and instructional strategies to address those needs during this school year.
Some of these were discussed at the school board retreat meeting earlier in the year.