Now there is an even better reason to rent apartments in Roanoke, VA. The schools. Governor Terry McAuliffe and the state Board of Education has recognized ten Roanoke County schools for meeting and exceeding certain benchmarks when it comes to accountability standards.
The Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and achievement recognizes schools that exceed minimum state and federal standards, also working towards “excellence goals,” established by the governor’s office and the Board of Education.
Cave Spring High School and Hidden Valley Middle earned the Board of Education Excellence Award, meaning they have met the accountability standards and are making “significant” progress towards excellence goals. (Crystal Spring Elementary in Roanoke City also met that standard.)
Eight schools earned the Distinguished Achievement Award, meaning they have made “some” progress towards the excellence goals established by the governor and the board. Those schools are Cave Spring Elementary and Middle Schools, Hidden Valley High School, Glenvar Middle; Clearbrook, Fort Lewis, Oak Grove and Penn Forest Elementary Schools. (Breckinridge Elementary in Botetourt County also earned the Distinguished Award.)
The awards also “honors schools…that have large numbers of students earning the Standards of Learning assessments.” County schools have worked hard to meet benchmarks. “We’re really pleased that Roanoke County is well represented in these awards and we hope to add more schools to that list next year,” said Williams.
Being honored “validates” the work put in by teachers and staff all year, work that starts in the summer before classes start up again “to really hone our instruction [and] align our curriculum to the standards.” Not only meeting but exceeding those standards “in different ways,” is the goal. That’s apparently the best way to be singled out by the Board of Education as well.
Branching out “into 21st Century skills” is a goal for Roanoke County schools, into areas like communication, collaboration and critical thinking, “well past the standards. We think by moving past the standards it helps our schools move to a higher [level] in achieving those standards.”
Being recognized as a high-achieving school system, with ten schools in particular being singled out, is a nice feather in the cap for Roanoke County, where Dr. Lorraine Lange is the superintendent. “If you look at school divisions around the state you find that we’re very competitive here in Roanoke County, and frankly this [entire] region should be noted for its high academic achievement across the board.”