Lancaster schools continue to rebuild after COVID-19

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

The release of the School Quality Profiles and Standards of Learning (SOL) results for the 2022-23 school year by the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) last week shows that like many schools across the Commonwealth, the rebuild after COVID-related closures in Lancaster is still a work in progress.

In a press release with the data, Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said, “Grade 3 though 8 students are still struggling to recover the learning loss from the pandemic and are not performing as well as their pre-pandemic peers.” She added that the data “demonstrates just how important school attendance is for students’ academic success.” Students who missed more than 18 days of school scored 18% lower in reading and 25% lower in math than students with regular attendance.

Meanwhile, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the ALL IN VA plan to combat learning losses, with $418 million going toward “proven programs that will achieve the greatest student impact—approximately 70% for high-dose tutoring, 20% for Virginia Literacy Act implementation and 10% for chronic absenteeism response.”

SOL scores, school quality and accreditation

Schools receive full accreditation when three school quality indicators—academic achievement, achievement gaps and student engagement and outcomes—reach Level One, meet or exceed state standards, or Level Two, near state standards or making sufficient progress. Schools that receive one or more Level Three indicators, below state standards, receive accreditation with conditions.

Lancaster Elementary School (LES) was fully accredited, although the school scored a Level Two for students with disabilities in English and math. The school made strides in….