Staunton City schools highest improvement rate among VA schools, according to VDOE

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Department of Education released its school accreditation results for this year, which determines which schools have effective educational programs.

Staunton City Schools had the highest level of improvement among school districts across the Commonwealth, according to those results.

“We are so proud of how every school in our division contributed to the overall improvement,” Stephanie Haskins, Executive Director of Instruction for Staunton City Schools, said. “That collective effort and focus of staff members across Staunton City schools is really what moved us forward.”

Staunton moved up 45 spots and is now ranked 55th in the state of Virginia.

“It’s a pretty amazing growth when we compare where we were in 2018-2019 to where we are based on our 2021-2022 school data,” Haskins said.

She added how the school division performed, especially during the pandemic is rewarding.

”Our teachers and staff have worked really hard, and to know that we’re moving in the right direction, motivates us to move even further in that direction,” Haskins said.

Haskins attributes the school division’s jump in improvement rate to its continued learning.

“Prior to the pandemic, our technology department had a plan of rolling out hot spots and digital devices to students, and so, when the pandemic hit, it was actually, in many ways, perfect timing because we were able to actually put those devices in the hands of students,” Haskins said.

However, students weren’t the only ones able to continue learning through the pandemic.

“Simultaneously, we talked to our teachers across the division, and we asked them to really commit to some professional learning over the summer related to virtual instruction because that is something that we’ve never done before,” Haskins said.

Haskins said Staunton teachers are committed to learning themselves and that’s making a positive impact on students.

“We also know that our growth and our growth of students is ongoing and so it’s our goal to continue to focus in these key areas to continue to help us grow and develop and continue this positive trajectory that we’ve started,’ Haskins said.