Special Education Program Improvement

The Virginia Department of Education T/TACs assist the VDOE Office of School Improvement in helping low-performing schools (schools in which students are achieving at levels below federal and state accountability standards) and school divisions implement effective instructional strategies and best practices as they build capacity to increase the achievement level of students with disabilities.

Low performing schools are schools that are rated as Accreditation Denied, Accredited with Warning in one or more content areas, or Conditionally Accredited-Reconstituted. Schools not meeting the annual measurable objectives of Virginia’s federal No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver also receive assistance. These schools are identified as:

Priority schools – identified based on overall student performance in reading and mathematics, including graduation rates for high schools.
Focus schools – identified based on the reading and mathematics performance of students in three “proficiency gap groups” comprising students who historically have had difficulty meeting the state’s achievement standards. Ten percent of Virginia’s Title I schools (72) are identified as focus schools.

Proficiency Gap Group 1 – Students with disabilities, English language learners, and economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race and ethnicity
Proficiency Gap Group 2 – African-American students, not of Hispanic origin, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1
Proficiency Gap Group 3 – Hispanic students, of one or more races, including those also counted in Proficiency Gap Group 1

Title I and Non-Title I schools not meeting one or more federal annual measurable objective are required to develop a one-year School Improvement Plan.

More information about Virginia’s school improvement and reform effort is available at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/school_improvement/index.shtml