Local Elementary Schools Honored for SOL Achievements

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VA Dept. of Education

The Virginia Department of Education honored four local elementary schools for their students’ performances on state assessment exams.

Matoaka Elementary School in the Williamsburg-James City County Schools and Coventry, Mt. Vernon and Tabb elementary schools in the York County School Division received 2015 Board of Education recognitions for meeting state and federal benchmarks on the Standards of Learning tests.

“I encourage all of the schools and divisions earning awards to take time before the close of the school year to celebrate their success,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said in a news release. “Schools don’t succeed unless students are successful, and each of these awards highlights a school where young Virginians are being well prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Matoaka and Coventry were recipients of the Board of Education Excellence Award, which recognizes schools that met all state and federal accountability benchmarks, and made significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement as set by the state.

The award was given to 109 schools across Virginia.

Coventry’s principal attributed the school’s honor to the engagement of the entire Coventry community.

“[We] are honored to be recognized by the state for our students’ academic performance,” Coventry principal Paula Sasin said in an email. “Student success is a collaborative effort, with the teachers, students and parents all playing a critical role.”

Matoaka Principal Andrew Jacobs echoed those sentiments.

“We’re very excited for the recognition of the hard work of the teachers, students and community of Matoaka Elementary,” Jacobs said.

While the 2015 awards recognize performance on SOL results from 2014, Jacobs said Matoaka’s administration and faculty had consistently focused on preparing students for the exam. He said the school had spent this year familiarizing students and teachers with the new version of the SOL tests, which debuted for the 2014-15 school year.

“We want to help the kids to be comfortable, first and foremost,” Jacobs said.

Mount Vernon and Tabb elementary schools received the 2015 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards, which went to 137 schools in Virginia that met all state and federal benchmarks and made progress toward the goals of the governor and the board.

Coventry and Tabb each received distinguished recognition in 2013 and 2014. Matoaka also received honors for its SOL performance in 2011, 2012 and 2013.