The governor’s seal of approval
Westwood Hills Elementary among those honored by Kaine
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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today announced that 153 Virginia public schools have earned the 2010 Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence. The award is the highest honor under the Virginia Index of Performance incentive program created by the Board of Education in 2007 to advance Governor Kaine’s “competence to excellence” agenda promoting advanced learning and achievement.
Westwood Hills Elementary School in Waynesboro was the only school in the Greater Augusta area on the list.
“My administration has made it a priority to move beyond merely meeting standards to truly encouraging excellent performance in our schools,” said Kaine. “I’m pleased to recognize the many Virginia educators and students whom stepped up the challenge of exceeding the minimum expectations of the Standards of Learning to receive the coveted VIP awards this year.”
To qualify for the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, schools and school divisions must meet all state and federal achievement benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and achieve applicable excellence goals for elementary reading, enrollment in Algebra I by grade 8, enrollment in college-level courses, high school graduation, attainment of advanced diplomas, increased attainment of career and industry certifications, and participation in the Virginia Preschool Initiative. Schools and school divisions also earn bonus points for other performance measures, including the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard.
“The criteria for these awards go beyond test scores and include student outcomes and best practices in areas that support learning,” Board of Education President Mark E. Emblidge said. “It speaks well of the strength of Virginia’s public schools that so many schools earned awards this year even with higher standards.”
In July, the Board added objectives for high school graduation to the VIP awards criteria and established more rigorous benchmarks for achievement in the core subject areas of English, mathematics, science and history/social science.
“The award-winning schools are in every corner of the commonwealth and serve all types of communities, including rural areas, urban neighborhoods and communities with high concentrations of children whose native language is not English,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said.