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Orange school is accredited
Locust Grove Primary School "fully accredited"

Date published: 9/29/2012

BY DAN McFARLAND

Locust Grove Primary School has now received a "fully accredited" rating from the Virginia Department of Education.

Originally listed as having failed to receive full accreditation, the school's rating was modified following an appeal by the Orange County School System.

The reason that the school originally received a failing grade is a bit involved. Orange County Schools Director of Testing, Data and School Improvement Jim Yurasits explained the situation this way:

"Locust Grove Primary had no students taking SOLs, so like other schools in that situation, it was 'partnered' with its associated elementary school, Locust Grove Elementary. With the changes made in the math SOL test Locust Grove Elementary students scored only a 68 percent pass rate. Accreditation requires 70 percent.

"However, the accreditation standards allow a school whose single-year scores are below the standard to substitute their three-year average scores. This allowed Locust Grove Elementary School to receive a passing grade in math toward accreditation.

"However, since Locust Grove Primary is a 'new' school to the Department of Education, it had no three-year average to fall back on, and was judged not fully accredited.

"We appealed to the Virginia Department of Education, and after explaining the situation, they agreed to give Locust Grove Primary the same accreditation rating as the elementary school."

Dan McFarland:
Email: dmcfarland@freelancestar.com