by Megan Schiffres
Northumberland Middle School principal Javornda Ashton says her goal for the 2019-20 academic year is to reduce the achievement gaps that exist in her school for black students and students with disabilities.
NMS is accredited by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) but its accreditation included an assessment which showed an achievement gap in English for economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities, who were also shown to experience an achievement gap in math. Although the VDOE did not characterize the school as having an achievement gap between black and white students in English and math last year, black students have not performed as well as white students in assessments of their English and math skills for at least the last five years at the middle school, where 40% of the student population identify as black.
“By June 2020, the achievement gaps of black students and students with disabilities in English will be reduced by at least 10%. By June 2020, the SOL pass rate of black students and students with disabilities will increase by at least 20% in the content area of English. By June 2020, the SOL pass rate of students with disabilities will increase by at least 20% in the content area of math. By June 2020, performance of all students will meet or exceed a 75% SOL pass rate in the content area of English. By June 2020, performance of all students will meet or exceed a 70% SOL pass rate in the content area of science and mathematics,” said Ashton.
The middle school will continue to implement positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) into the culture of the school this year by encouraging its students to model P.R.I.D.E. (Politeness, Respect, Integrity, Determination & Excellence), she said.
“NMS will foster a safe, loving, nurturing and supportive environment where all students feel valued,” said Ashton.