Newly released test results for Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments in Virginia reveal some local schools fell below the state average.
Three southwest Virginia districts, Bristol City, Buchanan County and Smyth county all scored below the state average of 78 percent.
The overall passing rate for the state of Virginia is 78 percent, but Bristol Virginia scored 76 percent in the 2018-2019 school year. Bristol Virginia Superintendent Keith Perrigan said he and the school system has been working to ensure higher test results in the future.
Bristol Virginia Public Schools superintendent Keith Perrigan is not surprised about the state results.
“We were much further below the state average than we are now. Our students and our staff, we’ve had tremendous growth,” Superintendent Perrigan said.
He said the first step is for teachers to build relationships with their students.
“Good teamwork, collaboration between schools, adding reading specialists and reading coaches, math coaches into our elementary schools,” Perrigan said.
Washington Lee Elementary principal Dr. Faith Mabe knows what it is like to be in the bottom tier.
Dr. Mabe said, “In 2014, Washington Lee was a focus school, which means we were in the bottom ten percent.”
Since her reign began in 2014, she has turned the elementary school out from a low performing school into a high performing school.
“We were teaching the right things but we had to be very responsive, building level data and make interventions individualized for students,” Dr. Mabe said.
Her approach has set a standard for the other schools in the district.
“We really had to change our mindset to make sure we were teaching those social emotional skills, along with the academic skills,” Dr. Mabe said.
Buchanan Public Schools also scored below the state average for the third year in a row, with a score of 72 percent. we reached out to the school system and are waiting for a comment.
Here is a list of other Virginia counties in our area. Buchanan and Bristol City were below average for the third year in a row. Smyth County also missed the state average by one percent.
State Average: 78% pass overall
Bristol City: 76%
Buchanan County: 72%
Dickenson County: 83%
Lee County: 78%
Norton City: 83%
Scott County: 85%
Smyth County: 77%
Washington County: 86%
Wise County: 86%