Cloverdale Elementary School is one of 145 schools to earn the 2017 Virginia Board of Education Excellence Award, and Botetourt County Public Schools and four other county elementary schools and both high schools were among the school divisions and individual schools to earn the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award.

The awards were announced last week by the Board of Education and the Governor’s Office.

A total of 386 schools and 17 school divisions earned 2017 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and achievement. The VIP incentive program recognizes schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the governor and the board.

Education Excellence Awards are second tier awards in the VIP program, and Distinguished Achievement Awards are third tier awards.

Last year, three Botetourt schools earned Distinguished Achievement Awards. They all repeated this year. Breckinridge Elementary, Buchanan Elementary and James River High School are the repeat award recipients while Colonial Elementary, Greenfield Elementary and Lord Botetourt High School earned the honor during the 2016-17 school year as well.

According to the announcement, nine schools earned the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, the to tier in the VIP program. Two school divisions and 146 schools earned the Board of Education Excellence Award; and 15 school divisions and 231 schools earned the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award.

To earn the Board of Education Excellence Award, Cloverdale Elementary students had to meet all state and federal accountability benchmarks and make significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities they are set by the Virginia Board of Education.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank the teachers, principals, staff and students who worked so hard to achieve this honor. The success of these schools and divisions is the direct result of their commitment,” Board of Education President Daniel A. Gecker said. “The board expects that the commitment to excellence will continue throughout the upcoming school year.”

To earn the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards, the school division as a whole and Breckinridge, Buchanan, Colonial and Greenfield Elementaries, and James River and Lord Botetourt High Schools had to meet all state and federal benchmarks and make progress toward the goals of the governor and the state board.

“School success is based on student success and each of these awards highlights a school or school division where young Virginians are being well prepared for the challenges ahead,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.

More information about the VIP incentive program for schools and school divisions is available on the Virginia Department of Education website at

VIP awards presented to schools and school divisions are based on criteria and guidelines adopted by the Board of Education. Schools and school divisions must meet or exceed all applicable state and federal accountability requirements.

The awards criteria includes:

  • Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence – 80 VIP base points in each content area and meet all state objectives for increased achievement and expanded opportunity
  • Board of Education Excellence Award – 80 VIP points (including bonus points) in each content area
  • Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award – 75 VIP points (including bonus points) in each content area

In addition, high schools and school divisions must graduate at least 85 percent of students with a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma within six years – or achieve an annual increase in their graduation rate for the Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award – and have a dropout rate of 10 percent or less. Schools and school divisions that experience significant irregularities in the administration of Standards of Learning (SOL) and other state assessments are ineligible.