Equity Report 2018
The Process Has Begun
Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) is well-known as one of the top performers in our Commonwealth
and across our country. A national educational assessment organization, Niche, recently ranked our division
as the second-best place to teach in Virginia and the best school district in the state for the quality of our
athletic programming. Out of 132 school divisions in Virginia, our teachers ranked third and our division fifth,
and nationally, ACPS ranked in the top 7.5 percent of all school divisions.
While these rankings are impressive, they do not tell a complete story. There are students in our school
division who are not participating in these high levels of achievement. The purpose of this report is to shine
a light on the weak links in our instructional practices that must change in order for every ACPS student and
employee to reach their highest potential.
Evolving into an exceptional school system begins with owning our weaknesses. Our Superintendent,
Dr. Matthew Haas, together with our School Board began this process through public commitment to
improving our service to all students. From his first meeting with teachers as Superintendent, Dr. Haas made
it clear that closing opportunity gaps is a top priority and carries great urgency. Over the past two years,
our division has supported this commitment through the:
Hiring of three full-time equity education specialists. We are changing the culture of how
professional development is delivered to all teachers and setting the expectation that intentional
instructional practices will improve student achievement.
Approval of an equity policy checklist. Through collaboration with the families and communities
we serve, we are working to ensure that all of our policies and practices meet a gold standard of
inclusiveness and equal opportunity.
Adoption of an anti-racism policy. We are elevating our ability to reach and teach all children
through implementation of practices that remove systemic racism from our schools.
Establishment of an Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee. We have united experts and
leading educators from the University of Virginia, the Board of Supervisors, and the school division
who advise the division on how best to address equity and opportunity gaps.
Development of an annual Equity Report. The product of annual analysis of the effectiveness of
our policies, practices and programs, this report identifies existing equity and opportunity gaps and
offers solutions for maximizing the potential of each student and staff member.
This report was made possible by the insight and guidance of our Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee
and the leadership of its Chair, Dr. Joanna Williams; Vice-Chair, Dr. Russell Carlock; and Equity Leadership
Liaisons, Ben Allen and Adrienne Oliver
It is now time to build upon these initial investments in the future well-being and prosperity of all students
L. Bernard Hairston
Assistant Superintendent for School Community Empowerment
Message to the Board
To the Albemarle County School Board:
It is with pride that we present the 2018 Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) Equity Report on behalf of
the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee.
Our approach has been one of ignited caution; it is, in our view, impossible to observe the trends herein
without experiencing a fiery call to better serve all students, and yet we are keenly aware that the wheels of
progress may be unhurried. When we see the data, we think like educators: Each decimal point is a child we
have sat beside and guided; each slope is a parent phone call; and each percentage is a victory lap
hand-in-hand with a young person. We ask that you see the same.
This reports exists in multiple parts designed to unpack related evidence and its implications. The first
section provides background data and context that broadly compares feeder patterns and associated
demographic shifts. The second section disaggregates data related to opportunity gaps, specifically
highlighting internal ACPS practices and pathways. The third section points to equity gaps for students with
disabilities and disproportionate disciplinary practices. The fourth section speaks to achievement gaps in
connection with standardized assessments. Finally, section five discusses implications for district policy and
practice, as well as areas where continued research and analysis is necessary.
We extend our gratitude to the entire Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee for their support and their
continued work in pursuit of narrowing gaps for the county’s students. Kind regards to Dr. Bernard Hairston,
Assistant Superintendent for School Community Empowerment, as well as Leilani Keys and Lars Holmstrom,
Equity Education Specialists. Thanks also to Chris Gilman and Mark Leach for help in compiling data.
Together, we represent a cross-section of school-based stakeholders. We are teachers, instructional coaches,
and administrators from elementary, middle and high schools across the county. We are graduates of this
division. We are transplants. We are educators of color. We are lifelong learners, engaged each day in the
pursuit of transforming outcomes for our students. Within this report is the hope and concern of a diverse,
growing community, and we share its contents with the sincere optimism born of daily work with young
As a district, we can be proud of much; however, it is our goal that Albemarle County be more and do better.
We believe that ACPS can be a beacon of educational leadership, and throughout this report, we point out
those areas of growth that demand our immediate attention. With this report as a guide, highlighting our
most vulnerable students and the data that evidences our blind spots, we believe the path forward is clear
On behalf of the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee
Challenges and Opportunities
A Changing School District
Albemarle County schools are becoming more diverse, but also have more economic inequality with more
students living in poverty. These trends provide both opportunities and challenges. Diversity brings greater
cultural capital, entrepreneurship, and opportunities for students to learn across differences; however,
economic inequality threatens the well-being of our children. Our schools must adapt to meet these
Students of color and those living in poverty are underrepresented in nearly every program for enrichment
and acceleration in Albemarle County. From career academies to gifted programs, enrichment programs in
our schools act as segregating forces that divide children by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status
Inequitable Instructional Practice
Students of color and those in poverty perform below state averages across nearly all indicators of student
learning in Albemarle County. In some cases, such as math performance for Black students, Albemarle
County ranks among the worst in the state. From third-grade reading to the likelihood of attending college,
our community fails to support students of color and those in poverty to achieve better than their peers in
the state. Teachers and leaders must examine instructional practices and incorporate culturally responsive
teaching into the everyday experience of all students.
The data throughout this report indicate that little change has occurred since the last report was published
in 2016. Actions taken to address these issues must be tied to data, so that progress toward equity can be
benchmarked and evaluated. This report should be produced by county staff in conjunction with the Equity
and Diversity Advisory Committee
Persistent Segregation Requires Action
Students in Albemarle County are segregated by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status due to districting
across schools and tracking within schools. To build more diverse learning communities, policymakers can
change zoning practices and consider diversity when redistricting. To address within-school segregation,
leaders may eliminate intervention programs that remove students from the core curriculum and also build
opportunities that support enrichment beyond the core curriculum, such as high-quality summer school.
To diversify career academies and other elite programs, leaders may change the selection process for entry
as well as build bridge programs to prepare students for success. Middle and high schools may eliminate
the most egregious forms of tracking and, instead, unify students in heterogeneous, democratic learning
Seeking Equity in Educational Opportunity
In the 2015-2016 school year, the Albemarle County
School Board revised Policy IGAK, Equity Education,
to prioritize its commitment to the “tracking of
existing disparities based on past institutional
practices,” including, but not limited to, “enrollment
in certain classes, discipline, graduation rates, and
gifted identification.” Such equity reviews make up
an important part of culturally responsive
educational leadership at the district and school
level (Khalifa, Gooden & Davis, 2016).
As in schools across the country, Albemarle County’s
ethnic diversity continues to increase, providing a
rich opportunity to build multicultural
competencies for all students as we build
democratic and collaborative learning communities.
Let us not squander this opportunity, but embrace it with keen awareness. When a school district represents
all students within data, and when all stakeholders are engaged participants within a learning community,
student outcomes will improve and gaps may be narrowed. By providing current data on student academic
performance and participation in programming by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, and
special education status, this review demonstrates the growing achievement, equity, and opportunity gaps
in ACPS, making apparent the inequities that inform and control our students’ educational journeys and
making crucial the inclusion and prioritization of policies, professional learning, and support related to
A responsive district, unwavering in its commitment to establish a community of learners and learning,
through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time, must be bold in its examination of the
systems and patterns that recreate these data annually. Leaders within such communities must evaluate
collective readiness and willingness to serve learners and their learning, and to build relationships, unlock
relevance, and raise rigor, so as to significantly interrupt recurrences of inequitable dynamics and
outcomes, one student at a time.
This review provides the raw insight to support our common mission. Its purpose is to provide data on
student academic performance and participation in academic programs across several demographic
markers. This information must guide decision-making on setting priorities and improving equity of
opportunity for all students in ACPS. Let this be a catalyst to ignite leadership at all levels in support of all
students. Let this be an invitation to make all mean all.
Background and Context
Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Racial and ethnic diversity in ACPS has increased in recent
years. While the percentage of White students has decreased
from around 70 to 65 percent of students during this time,
the percentages of Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial students
have increased. The fastest growing group is Hispanic
students, increasing from nine percent of students in the
county in 2012 to nearly 13 percent in 2018. In fact, 2016 was
the first year in which Hispanic students were the largest
ethnic or racial group other than White students in ACPS.
The trend of increased diversity follows a national trend and
promises to continue in Albemarle County, as the cohorts of
younger students are more diverse than those of older
students. Thus, in order to continue its success, the division
must build a school system that promotes an ethnically
pluralistic, democratic learning community
More Students Growing up in Poverty
The percentage of ACPS students who are economically disadvantaged grew from 20 percent in 2008 to
around 30 percent in 2018. This is an approximate 52 percent increase in the population of students who
are economically disadvantaged, compared to an overall enrollment growth in the county of about nine
percent. In other words, the economically disadvantaged population grew at about five times the rate of
our overall population during this period. Given the increase in the number of students living in poverty,
even during the economic expansion of the 2010s, the school division should be prepared to adapt to an
environment of even more
students living in poverty,
with a lower tax base, during
the next period of economic
existing school funding and
practices to support
students in poverty, rather
than adding programs with
large budget impacts,
would be one way to
achieve this goal
Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students by Race/Ethnicity
|Race/Ethnicity|| 2012 || 2013 || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 |
|Two or more races||36.77%||37.54%||35.55%||35.37%||34.17%||38.13%||38.04%|
Differences in Racial and Ethnic Diversity Across Feeder Patterns
Ethnic and racial diversity vary widely across the feeder patterns within ACPS. Despite the overall
demographics changes in the country, demographics in the Western Feeder Pattern have been nearly
unchanged in the last seven years. This means that the demographic trends we see in terms of a decreasing
number of White students and more students of color are occurring disproportionately in the Southern and
Northern feeder patterns. Residents and staff living and working in the Western Feeder Pattern may see that
the demographics of their school today mirror those of nearly a decade ago, while families and staff living
and working in the rest of the county will be aware of significant demographic changes. Additionally, the
tendency to segregate students of color, even within the Northern and Southern feeder patterns, means
that these changes are being concentrated even further into a set number of classrooms taught by a smaller
number of teachers. These data suggest a need to evaluate the relationship of race and course enrollment
ACPS Feeder Patterns
- Stony Point**
- Broadus Wood
- Stony Point**
- Stony Point**
- Red Hill
- Meriwether Lewis
*Student body splits at the high school level
**Student body splits at the middle school level
Student Demographics by Feeder Pattern
|Northern Feeder Pattern||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Two or more races||5.80%||6.00%||6.00%||6.00%||6.10%||6.50%||6.70%|
|Southern Feeder Pattern||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Two or more races||5.30%||5.10%||5.40%||5.70%||5.80%||6.40%||6.70%|
|Western Feeder Pattern||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Two or more races||3.20%||3.60%||3.40%||3.40%||3.80%||3.90%||4.20%|
Feeder Pattern Differences in Socioeconomic Diversity
The following table and chart show the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in each of the
three feeder patterns. Patterns of development and school districting have concentrated poverty into the
Northern and Southern feeder patterns, with rates increasing particularly quickly in the Northern Feeder
Pattern. Child poverty rates have increased by 50 percent in the county over the last decade, yet the
Western Feeder Pattern has been sheltered from these changes, meaning that increases in poverty have
been disproportionately channeled to impact families and staff who reside and work in the southern and
northern parts of the county. What is most striking is that these changes have occurred during one of the
greatest economic expansions in the post-World War II period. This brings up an important question of how
the next economic recession will impact these trends. This challenges policymakers in both schools and
the county to confront how development over the next two decades will either mitigate or exacerbate
increasing socioeconomic segregation in county schools.
Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students by Feeder Pattern
|Northern Feeder pattern||29.6%||31.0%||32.5%||32.8%||33.6%||38.2%||38.0%|
|Southern Feeder pattern||35.8%||37.6%||37.7%||38.8%||38.9%||39.2%||40.2%|
|Western Feeder pattern||12.9%||13.0%||12.8%||12.6%||12.8%||12.9%||13.1%|
An opportunity gap represents differences in extracurricular and academic opportunities offered to
students that contribute to different outcomes in learning (Darling-Hammond, 2013). For this report,
an opportunity gap is reported as four or more percentage points of difference between a group’s
representation in the district and in a specific program.
In 2018, ACPS graduation
rates were similar to those
at the state level for Asian,
Black, and Hispanic
outperformed the state
average for White students
as well as English Learners
(ELs) and students with
disabilities (SWD). The
compared to the state
average for its economically
While ACPS maintains parity
with or outperforms Virginia
state averages for all groups
in terms of graduation rates,
over the last three years the
County’s graduation rates
have declined for all
membership groups except
English Learners (ELs) and
Asian students. Further,
there continues to be a gap
in graduation rates between
White and Asian students
and their Black and Hispanic
peers. If this current trend
is not addressed, then the
overall graduation rate for
ACPS students will soon fall
behind Virginia’s average.
The overall dropout rate
for ACPS is slightly better
than the state average;
however, for most
ACPS has a higher dropout
rate than the state average.
ACPS has higher dropout
rates than the state average
for Asian, Black, Hispanic,
Disadv) students. Our
dropout rate for English
Learners (ELs) is better than
the state average, with 19
percent of English Learners
dropping out, compared to
25 percent statewide.
Advanced Versus Standard Diplomas
ACPS outperforms the state in the percentage of students earning advanced diplomas for all groups except
Black students. This indicates that while ACPS meets or exceeds the state average for offering a more
rigorous curriculum to most of its students, it offers a lower level of academic rigor in terms of graduation
requirements for its Black students.
Attendance at Institutions of Higher Education
The overall percentage of ACPS graduates enrolling in institutions of higher education exceeds the state
average; however, this is because there are more White students in ACPS than other membership groups,
and White students, as a group, perform better than the state average. Students of color and students in
poverty in ACPS enroll in institutions of higher education at a lower rate than Virginia students overall.
2018 Enrollment in Institutions of Higher Education
|Students with Disabilities||50%||53%|
The table below shows the percentage of each membership group that is identified as gifted.
An opportunity gap continues to exist in gifted identification for Black, Hispanic, and economically
disadvantaged students, as well as English Learners. While nine percent of all ACPS students are identified
as gifted, only two percent of Black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students are identified.
In ACPS, Asian and White students are more than six times as likely to be identified as gifted compared to
Black and Hispanic students. These numbers have not improved over the last two years, with the exception
of English Learners, whose participation rate has doubled from one to two percent.
Gifted Identification in ACPS, 3-Year Trend
|Two or more races||9%||10%||9%|
|Students with Disabilities||1%||1%||1%|
Enrollment in Career Academies
There is a large opportunity gap in enrollment in the school division’s career academies. These academies
offer greater rigor in instruction; college level courses; opportunities to build workforce readiness skills in
well-remunerated and high-need industries; and an advantaged path to competitive colleges and
scholarships. Currently, the school division disproportionately denies these opportunities to Black and
Hispanic students, poor students, students who are learning English as a second or other language, and
students with disabilities.
The Math, Engineering & Science Academy (MESA) at Albemarle High School offers the starkest example of
these disparities. While Albemarle hosts the largest population of Black high school students in the county,
it has a lower percentage of Black students enrolled in its academy than Western Albemarle High School,
the high school with the smallest population of Black students in the county. This demonstrates that
transportation is not the most salient issue in ameliorating equity gaps in the career academies; rather,
the division must consider recruitment and selection processes to achieve greater equity
2018-2019 Academy Enrollment
|All Academies||All High Schools||MESA||Albemarle High School|
|Two or more races||5%||5%||5%||6%|
|Students with Disabilities||1%||12%||1%||11%|
Enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
An opportunity gap exists in
Advanced Placement (AP)
course participation for
Black, Hispanic, and
(Econ Disadv) students,
as well as English Learners
(ELs). While 34 percent of all
ACPS students participated
in AP courses, only
10 percent of Black students
and 14 percent of Hispanic
students took at least one
AP course in 2018. In ACPS,
Asian and White students
are four times more likely to
take AP courses than their
Black peers. The disparities
in AP enrollment have
worsened in the last two
years for Black and Hispanic
students; they have stayed
the same for students facing
poverty. These disparities
have improved for English
Learners, with 11 percent of
ELs enrolled in an AP course
in 2018, compared to
seven percent in 2016.
These data should be
interpreted along with
Dual Enrollment data that
show gains for Black and
Hispanic students. This
suggests that more Black
and Hispanic students are opting for Dual Enrollment rather than AP courses. Overall, enrollment in
college credit courses has improved for ACPS in the last two years, though there is much room for
Enrollment in AP Courses
|Two or more races||30%||35%|
|Students with Disabilities||6%||4%|
Enrollment in Dual Enrollment (DE) Courses
An equity gap exists in dual enrollment (DE) participation for Black, Hispanic, and economically
disadvantaged (Econ Disadv) students, as well as English Learners (ELs) and students with disabilities (SWD).
While 22 percent of all students in ACPS took at least one dual enrollment course in 2018, only 16 percent
of Black students, 12 percent of Hispanic students, and eight percent of English Learners took one of these
courses. These gaps notwithstanding, enrollment in DE courses is one of the brightest spots of success for
the school division in terms of reducing equity gaps. The last two years saw increases among almost all
membership groups and a reduction in the equity gap for economically disadvantaged students and
English Learners, even while these groups maintained or increased their enrollment in AP courses.
Enrollment in DE Courses
|Two or more races||15%||18%|
|Students with Disabilities||N/A||8%|
The equity gap is defined as disparities in the implementation of school-based practices that contribute to
unequal achievement (Duke, 2011). For this report, an equity gap is defined as four percentage points or
more difference between the category of all students and a particular membership group
A student who is chronically absent is one who misses 15 or more full days during the school year. According
to data from the ACPS Equity Dashboard, every membership group except for White students experienced
an increase in the percentage of students chronically absent. Equity gaps exist for Hispanic and
economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities
|Two or more races||12%||14%|
|Students with Disabilities||17%||18%|
Compared to the data reported in 2016 by the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee, the division has
seen an overall decrease in suspensions. Although there has been a downward trend in suspensions across
all membership groups, Black and Hispanic students still make up a disproportionate number of total
suspensions. In 2015-2016, Black and Hispanic students made up over 41 percent of all suspensions while
only constituting 23 percent of the total student population. Based on 2017-2018 data, the percentage of
suspensions among Black and Hispanic students decreased to 38
In the 2017-2018 school year, 5.8 percent of the ACPS student population received suspensions. More than
13 percent of Black students were suspended that school year, while less than five percent of White students
received an out-of-school suspension. Black students still make up a significant portion of suspended
students and are disciplined at higher rates than their peers in ACPS.
Title I Enrollment
Over the past four school years, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students receiving Title I
services has increased slightly. Three out of every four students who receive this intervention are
economically disadvantaged. Also, in a recurring trend, Black and Hispanic students have just as many
students in Title I intervention as their White peers, despite making up a smaller percentage of the total
Data analysis is recommended on how Title I students, who receive early reading intervention, perform on
their end-of-year Reading SOL. As articulated in the next section of this report (Section IV: Achievement
Gap), economically disadvantaged students demonstrate a 55 percent pass rate on this assessment.
The achievement gap is the difference in academic performance across race and socioeconomic status,
generally demonstrated on standardized tests such as the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL), AP Tests, and
(Reis & Smith, 2013). For this report, an achievement gap is defined as four or more percentage points
of difference between pass rates for all students and those of a particular membership group.
Reading SOL Pass Rates By Membershp Group
Gaps in achievement persist in reading in Albemarle County. There remains a 33 percentage point difference
between Black students and their White peers. Achievement for Hispanic students has decreased from 2016,
with only 53 percent of this demographic demonstrating proficiency on the Spring 2018 SOL. Moreover, a
significant drop occurred for English Learners (ELs). In 2018, 45 percent of these students passed their SOL in
ACPS, which is 42 percentage points lower than their White peers and 14 percentage points lower than the
ACPS performance on the reading SOL is lower than state averages for all demographic membership groups.
This gap in achievement is significant for Black and Hispanic students in ACPS, who are performing 12 points
and 14 points below their same-demographic peers at the state level, respectively.
Math SOL Pass Rates by Membership Group
Since the 2015 school year, there has been little change in the Math SOL pass rates of Black students.
Approximately half of the Black students in ACPS fail their end-of-year Math assessment. Other
membership groups with consistently low achievement rates are economically disadvantaged (Econ Disadv)
students and students with disabilities (SWD). Achievement rates for Black and economically disadvantaged
students are 12 and 16 points behind the state average, respectively. This gap has been a trend for the past
five years. Although the performance of students with disabilities is similar to state averages, the 44 percent
three-year average continues to be an area of growth for ACPS
Based on ACPS data and gaps in opportunity, equity and achievement addressed within this report, this final
section summarizes recommendations for district policy and practice, as well as areas where continued
research and analysis are necessary. Many of these recommendations were made after the 2016 equity
report, but have not yet been fully implemented.
- Build a beloved community that lives up to Dr. King’s description of integration when he described
it as “the positive acceptance of desegregation and the welcomed participation of [all people] in the
total range of human activities.”2
We must ensure that all groups of students are fully welcomed and
participating in all aspects of our schools.
Break down barriers between classes and programs that segregate students, and end tracking
practices that segregate students by race and class.
Build more diverse communities through critical considerations of county zoning practices
Ensure that diversity is distributed across schools in redistricting decisions.
Ensure that textbook costs and exam fees are never a barrier to taking college credit classes.
Build bridges to the most rigorous classes through course recommendation practices and
mentorship support that build social capital among diverse students in challenging classes.
Following the practice of Loudoun County Public Schools, provide schools and teachers with their
own data on behavioral referrals/suspensions, so teachers can compare their own rates to their peers
(e.g., using a simple “disproportionality calculator”) and schools can compare to the division as a
Consider implementing division-wide Restorative Practices. This requires thorough professional
development; training; and buy-in from administrators, teachers and staff.
Invest in intensive professional development in culturally responsive pedagogy, trauma-informed
care, and support for teacher-student relationship-building at the beginning of each year.
Use an early warning system to identify students who are chronically absent or at risk for chronic
absenteeism with a focus on prevention. An implementation guide is available from the Institute of
Collaborate with school stakeholders (parents/families, students, school staff, community partners)
on a root cause analysis to identify trends in chronic absenteeism, and involve community partners in
providing support to chronically absent students and their families.
Follow the previous two recommendations to implement positive discipline strategies that promote
Recruit and hire K-2 classroom teachers with an expertise in early literacy development to ensure
high-quality Tier I reading instruction.
Offer professional development in the area of culturally responsive teaching to new and veteran
teachers. In addition, recruit and hire teachers who have demonstrated expertise with culturally
Strengthen parent engagement through interactive family literacy experiences that occur with
frequency throughout the year.
Increase professional development opportunities that lead to high-yield results in the areas of
language acquisition and literacy development.
Explore and design an alternative Response to Intervention experience (also known as Multi-Tiered
System of Support) that shifts from intervention to enrichment services that spark curiosity, provide
purpose to student learning, and offer enriching life experiences
Study uses of differentiated staffing across schools and provide analysis on practices connected to
improving outcomes for students in poverty.
Increase emphasis on uses of differentiated staffing in conversations with principals.
Connect hiring practices with differentiated staffing to hiring staff with certain experience, licensure
or backgrounds that link to improving outcomes for students in poverty.
Provide extended learning time for students who need additional support by staggering contracts or
providing 11-month contracts for some staff members.
Use a portion of funding from differentiated staffing to support student activity materials fees
(e.g., dual enrollment textbooks, AP exams, field trips) and enrichment opportunities for
economically disadvantaged students.
Tier 1 Instructional Strategies
Develop deliberate and explicit professional development for administrators and teachers on
culturally responsive teaching that closes achievement gaps within the core instructional program.
Consider alternatives to removing struggling students from core instruction in the Tier 1 setting and
provide more unleveled classes in secondary schools.
Utilize instructional specialists to support efforts.
Return to implementing Rick DuFour’s Professional Learning Community (PLC) work in the schools,
facilitated with fidelity and monitored by trained administrators across the division.
Provide professional development (ongoing as well as event-based) that reflects a balanced
approach to work on division initiatives (e.g., technology integration and direct instructional
approaches; student-based learning and teacher-directed instructional practices; problem-based
learning and specific strategies for economically disadvantaged students, English Learners, and
children with disabilities in the Tier 1 setting).
Terms and Abbreviations
The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the 2019 Equity Report where appropriate.
Given varying interpretations of these terms, the intent is to provide the reader with a common
understanding of how the authors of this work use them throughout the document.
Reis and Smith (2013) identify the achievement gap as the difference in academic performance across
race and socioeconomic status, generally demonstrated on standardized tests such as the Standards of
Learning (SOL), AP exams, and SATs.8
For this report, an achievement gap is defined as four or more
percentage points of difference between pass rates for all students and those of a particular membership
Advanced Placement (AP)
Defined by the Virginia Department of Education as college-level courses or programs that are available to
high school students and may allow students to earn college credit.
Dual Enrollment (DE)
Dual Enrollment courses allow high school students to earn college credit through simultaneous enrollment
at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
Economically Disadvantaged (Econ Disadv)
Defined by the Virginia Department of Education as a student who is a member of a household that meets
the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals (less than or equal to 185 percent of
Federal Poverty Guidelines).
English Learners (ELs)
Students who are learning English as a second or other language and who are not yet fluent in English,
based on Virginia’s assessment of English language proficiency called the WIDA ACCESS test.
The equity gap is defined as disparities in the implementation of school-based practices that contribute to
unequal achievement (Duke, 2011).9
For this report, an equity gap is defined as four percentage points or
more difference between the category of all students and a particular membership group.
ACPS schools are divided into three “feeder patterns” according to geographical area: Northern, Southern
and Western. A feeder pattern consists of the elementary, middle and high schools through which students
Defined by the Virginia Department of Education as programs that provide advanced educational
opportunities and an enriched curriculum for students who are endowed with a high degree of mental
High School Academies
Each comprehensive high school in Albemarle County hosts an academy that is focused on preparing
students for high-demand careers. These academies offer many benefits to students and can only be
accessed through a competitive application process.
Math/Reading SOL Pass Rates
The percentage of the total number of students who received a 400 or above on their end-of-year Math or
The opportunity gap represents differences in extracurricular and academic opportunities offered to
students that contribute to different outcomes in learning (Darling-Hammond, 2013).10 For this report,
an opportunity gap is reported as four or more percentage points of difference between a group’s
representation in the district and in a specific program.
Standards of Learning (SOL)
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish minimum expectations for student
learning and achievement. Students in grades 3-8 take SOL tests in Reading and Math.
Students with Disabilities (SWD)
Students identified for special education services, from speech pathology and learning disabilities to severe
and profound disabilities.
The percentage of the total number of students who have had at least one out-of-school suspension during
the school year. For the purpose of this report, students with multiple suspensions are not calculated.
Defined by the Virginia Department of Education as a core instructional program that uses a
scientifically-based curriculum for all students at their instructional level.
Defined by the Virginia Department of Education as a federal funding program to support the instructional
needs of students from low-income families to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity
to obtain a high-quality education and reach (at a minimum) proficiency on state academic achievement
standards and assessments.
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