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Two county schools require improvement plan

Halifax County Middle and South Boston Elementary schools are two of 485 schools in the state required to implement improvement plans as part of accountability requirements established by the state board of education as part of the commonwealth’s No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver.

South Boston Elementary and Halifax County Middle School were the only two schools in the county who failed to meet all objectives, both failing in reading.

Division Testing Coordinator Nancy Zirkle reported on the federal annual measurable objectives at the September school board meeting.

“Our students performed as well as their peers in Region 8 in math,” said Zirkle.

Zirkle pointed out South Boston Elementary students only missed the mark by .99 of a point.

According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Education, the schools are required to implement improvement plans to raise achievement of student subgroups that fell short of federal annual measurable objectives in reading and mathematics.

The annual measurable objectives are intended as yearly progress measures for low-performing schools; higher performing schools are expected to maintain or improve upon current pass rates, and high schools also must meet a benchmark for graduation.

“The waivers from NCLB mandates granted by the Obama administration to Virginia and other states mark a dramatic shift in federal education policy,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. “We are now able to target school turnaround efforts and resources on those schools where students truly are falling behind.”