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School System Gets Statewide Recognition After Moving from 'Low Performing' to 'High Achieveing'
December 2006

Schools in Lee County have improved so much, so quickly, the Virginia State Board of Education has taken notice.

lee countyLEE COUNTY, VA - Three years ago, Lee County, Virginia Schools, became the first school division in the state to adopt a voluntary corrective action plan. After a division-level review to gather information for an "essential action" plan for improvement, Lee County began making progress in student achievement that would eventually bring the school system to "fully accredited" status and meeting NCLB "AYP" requirements.

As part of their district-wide school improvement plan, Lee County teachers have attended QTL™ in after-school sessions at their own Center.

Fred Marion, Division Superintendent of Schools for Lee County stated, "We were the first school division in Virginia to do a 'Corrective Action Plan' for division improvement and I congratulate all the teachers, administrators, and support staff who worked hard to bring us to this level of achievement." The faculty, staff and administration implemented a broad-reaching plan to raise student achievement.

As part of that plan, every faculty member participated in QTL professional development.

Read about The Challenge.
Read about The Process.
Read about The Impact.
Read about The Experience.

On November 30, 2006, State Superintendent, Dr. Billy Cannaday, Jr. announced to about 1,500 participants at the Virginia ASCD Conference that the Lee County plan had worked.

As a result, the State Board of Education had unanimously voted that Lee County Public Schools had successfully implemented its plan and was released from the requirements of the plan.

"This is testament to what schools can do, " said Dr. Cannaday, "because it only took them two years to do it."

Title I Director Gary McCann told QTL instructor Vonda Ferguson, "Certainly QTL shares in the victory we celebrate. We look forward to continuing the relationship with QTL as we now have a much more difficult task of staying on top of student achievement and continuing to move forward. Thank you and QTL for your assistance in helping us reach this milestone of achievement."

According to the Virginia Board of Education agenda:

"In the 2006-2007 school year, all of the schools in Lee County Public Schools are fully accredited. All schools have made AYP as did the division. In addition, Elk Knob Elementary School was recently named as one of the seven nominees to the No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools for 2007. The division continues to monitor, modify and implement the correction action plan and has implemented essential actions that have promoted improved student achievement throughout the division."

The board was set to review Lee County's progress. However, Dr. Cannaday recommended that on the strength of the district's growth and future plans the board bypass that step and release Lee County Public Schools from the voluntary plan.

The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning is proud to be a partner to Lee County Public Schools, whose teachers have fully participated in the QTL™ process. The Centers salutes the faculty and administration of Lee County Public Schools for their commitment to their students and for the successes students and faculty enjoy. The faculty began the QTL™ processes in January 2005 and has been fully engaged in the process.

The Lee County Public School success is even more noteworthy since the previous month, the state board had denied accreditation to schools in the Petersburg Division because of low student achievement.

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