SOL test results mixed for Henrico students

Students exceed state averages in 19 of 33 tests
Results are in from last year's Virginia Standards of Learning tests, and the numbers for Henrico County public school students are mixed.

Overall, Henrico students improved their average SOL pass rates in 14 of their 33 test subjects during 2011-12, when compared with the previous year's results, but suffered decreases in 13 other subjects. Pass rates remained the same in six subjects.

Henrico students fared best in history (improving in six of the eight tests, when compared to the 2010-11 results, while remaining the same in one) and reading (improving in four of the seven tests, while remaining the same in one).

But they – like other students statewide – struggled with the new mathematics tests, which last year included new, more rigorous standards adopted by the state's Board of Education in 2009.

Average math pass rates in Henrico fell in eight of the nine SOL tests – including significantly in the third-grade test (a 67 percent pass rate, down from 93 percent the previous year) and eighth-grade test (a 41 percent pass rate, down from 82 percent the previous year).

Sixth-grade students were the only ones to improve from their previous math results, jumping from a pass rate of 61 percent in 2010-11 to 72 percent in 2011-12.

In math, Henrico students fared worse than the state average in the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math tests, as well as in the Algebra 1 test.

Overall, the county's students exceeded the state pass rates in 19 of the 33 SOL tests (four in English, six in history, four in math and five in science) but fell short of the state averages in 12 other categories.

“As school divisions align curriculum and instruction with the new standards and focus on strengthening students’ problem-solving skills, I am confident that we will see higher achievement in mathematics and more graduates who are truly college and career ready,” Board of Education President David M. Foster said.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell agreed.

“Raising standards was the right thing to do and in the long-term interest of Virginia students and our economy,” McDonnell said. “I commend all of our teachers and students for their excellent efforts in adapting to and embracing these challenging new standards. This is a necessary step in ensuring that Virginia students are ready to excel in our globally competitive economy. It is a challenge we must meet if we're going to succeed in the economy of the decades ahead.”

Hanover County students outperformed their Henrico counterparts in 27 tests, while Chesterfield students scored better than Henrico students in 19 tests.

SOL science results in Henrico were relatively stable, with pass rates in biology and Earth science up slightly (to 94 and 92 percent, respectively) and third-grade, fifth-grade and chemistry results remaining the same (92, 93 and 97 percent, respectively).

Writing scores were up from 90 to 92 percent at the secondary school level, down from 89 to 87 percent at the eighth-grade level and stable at the fifth-grade level at 89 percent
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.

ACLU urges McAuliffe to veto anti-immigration bills


Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.

At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Libbie Mill Library will host a 3D Printing Workshop for students in grades 5-12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Learn how to create your own 3D designs, download pre-made 3D models, and see an object being printed on the library’s Ultimaker2 3D printer. Bring a thumb-drive so you can save your design. Registration is required. For details, call 501-1940 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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