(ROANOKE) WSLS 10 – Hurt Park Elementary, Westside Elementary, and Garden City Elementary are now partially accredited. Roanoke City School staff wrote letters of appeal to the Virginia Department of Education for the three school to be given consideration to be fully accredited.
The accreditation comes after the good news in September listing Round Hill Elementary as fully accredited. The last time that happened was 2012-2013, meaning they hit the marks set by the Virginia Department of Education after a few years of low math, science and English scores.
“Our reading scores have definitely come up in the last four years. One thing we’ve done is really get to know the kids. Once you get to know the kids you really know their strengths and weaknesses,” said Corey Hawks, Round Hill Elementary School Principal who pushed for a bigger trust factor since arriving in 2013. “Parent communication and teacher communication is the one thing that has really drove everything that we’ve done at round Hill. Letting parents know that there is an SOL score but at the end of the day we’re also here for your child, there is a social aspect that these kids need to know and understand.”
The school has been under construction for the last four years. Adding new spaces like this one, giving students plenty of room to spread out and it means smaller class sizes for students.
“The renovation of classrooms has definitely sparked interest in academics. The new technology we have here is second to none and it’s wonderful that our school board has given us those things that we can put in place. Definitely small group instruction is something that is huge, getting that kid on their level,” said Hawks.
“The teachers work really hard here to make sure students are getting what they need,” said Emily Leimbach, a 3rd grade teacher at Round Hill who adds sometimes its hard as 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
“We meet them where they are. If they come in having a rough morning or making sure they have breakfast we made them where they come in to make sure they’re supported during school and not just pushing them to meet the standards,” said Leimbach.
It’s all of those factors that principal Hawks says will keep them moving into the future.
Leimbach says even as a first year teacher, she had access to great resources in her building.
“I was a first-year teacher last year and I was still able to work really hard with my students and get us where we needed to be because I had a support system here so you have to look for those people that are going to help you strive and achieve,” said Leimbach.