Tuesday, November 13, 2007

High Marks For Local Schools

Schools are so important now and in the future. Today's students are the future leaders of our country, so education is paramount.

I found this article online a few weeks ago at NBC29.com's HomePlace page (http://www.nbc29.com/global/Category.asp?C=105495 ), but it has since been taken off of their site, so I pasted it below. (To view the article that Google cached click here: )

This article shows we are doing things right. Great job!

Local Public Schools Get High Marks
By Joanne DiMaggio, NBC29

Visitors who discover the quality of life residents enjoy here in Central Virginia find themselves wanting that for their own families. Naturally, their thoughts focus on local public and private schools throughout the area, wondering what kind of an educational foundation these schools will offer their children.

The answer in a word is-outstanding. In their Report to the Community, Albemarle County Public Schools quoted Education Week, a national education journal, as saying Virginia children are the most likely in the nation to experience academic success by finishing high school and continuing on to college. That's quite an achievement and something the school systems here point to with pride.

In this two-part series, we will give you an overview of both public and private schools in the Central Virginia area. While it's impossible to present detailed information on each school in one article, you can read more about individual schools within the counties by visiting their Web sites. Links to those sites are included at the end of each summary.

Albemarle County Public Schools

Albemarle County stretches across 726 square miles, making it the fifth-largest county by area in the Commonwealth. The mission of the school district is to establish a community of learners and learning through rigor, relevance, and relationships, one student at a time.

Albemarle County school district services 12,446 students in 26 schools (16 elementary; 5 middle; and 5 high schools, including Murray High (charter) and Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC), which is jointly operated with Charlottesville City Schools.

Fifteen percent of Albemarle County students are identified as gifted and there is a 90% high school completion rate. Students-to-computers ratio is 3.15:1 and the budgeted per student cost is $11,338.

Albemarle County Public Schools are 100% fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education-the highest rating a school can earn. The SAT performance of Albemarle County's high school graduates surpassed state averages significantly. Albemarle County students scored a 555 in math, and a 554 in verbal. Both scores were 42 points above the stage average. Sixty-three percent of Albemarle County graduates earned an advanced studies diploma; the division ranked third in Virginia for high school students graduating with advanced studies diplomas in 2005; and 85% of Albemarle County students go on to pursue post-secondary education.

Albemarle County Public Schools received the Gold Medal for being among the top 17% of public school districts in the United States in Expansion Management magazine's 16th annual Education Quotient. The 2006 Albemarle County Citizen Satisfaction Survey gave the district a 92.4% satisfaction rating. Individual honors went to Agnor-Hurt Elementary (Gold Award) and Stone-Robinson (Silver Award) from the Governor's Awards for Best Practices in Nutrition and Physical Activity Program.

Average class size is 19.09 students (K-5); 20.67 (grades 6-8); and 20.59 students (grades 9-12). Approximately 58% of Albemarle County teachers hold a master's degree and both teachers and support staff continue to receive honors as respected education experts in Virginia and the nation.

Last summer an estimated $3.45 million was invested into improvements to school buildings and campuses at 20 schools. Approximately $13 million in major, long-term facilities projects at two schools also began: a $5 million renovation and expansion of Cale Elementary and a $6.25 million construction project for a new auditorium at Monticello High School.

For information on Albemarle County Public Schools, including additional accolades and awards, visit http://www.k12albemarle.org/.

Augusta County Public Schools

Augusta County Public Schools has a comprehensive educational program for students from preschool through high school. The school system takes in approximately 11,000 students from around the county, as well as the independent cities of Waynesboro and Staunton. Augusta County Public Schools operate 22 schools, including 5 high schools, 3 middle schools, 12 elementary schools, 1 regional vocational/technical center, 1 regional governor's school, plus a regional special education program and a regional Head Start program.

Currently the division employs approximately 880 teachers and offers advanced curriculum in language arts, science, foreign language, mathematics, social studies, physical education, and fine arts, with college credit available. The schools offer a program for gifted and talented students in the areas of language arts, mathematics, art, music, and drama as well as vocational education programs in agriculture, business, home economics, technology, trade, and industry. Extensive media services, connections to the Internet, and e-mail are provided to all students and personnel. Summer school enrichment and remedial programs are available as well as special education programs to provide a continuum of services for students with special needs.

More information is available at http://www.augusta.k12.va.us/.


No comments: