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RICHMOND (AP) -- The state education department says 98 percent of Virginia's public schools are fully accredited after meeting state standardized-testing benchmarks.

The Virginia Department of Education said Wednesday that students at all but 35 of the state's 1,850 schools met or exceeded objectives on 2009-10 Standards of Learning tests and other statewide assessments in the four core academic areas: English, mathematics, science and history.

Officials said 119 of Virginia's 132 public school divisions are fully accredited.

Last year, 98 percent of public schools also were fully accredited.

Norfolk Public Schools released its numbers, saying it successfully pulled schools up from conditional to full accreditation this year. However, one school has been denied accreditation -- Lafayette-Winona Middle School.

Norfolk Public Schoolsis nowrequired to file a corrective action plan for Lafayette-Winona with the Va. Dept. of Educationthis fall. Parents will be asked to offer input into the plan.

School officials said Lafayette-Winona has struggled with its Standards of Learning test pass rates in history, although the school met state benchmarks in English, Math and Science, and had a 100 percent pass rate in Earth Science.

'Lafayette-Winona will be a major focus of our attention this year, and we will make sure the school has everything it needs to improve student learning,' said Dr. Christine Harris, Chief Academic Officer.

Two other schools are working to meet state standards. Ruffner Academy and Lindenwood Elementary are accredited with warning.

Officials note that the three troubled schools have new leadership for this schools yearand Ruffner and Lindenwood received School Improvement Grants.

Lake Taylor and Northside middle schools now officially join the 94 percent of Norfolk schools that are fully accredited, including all five high schools, officials said.

'We are thrilled with their efforts, and we want to see that replicated at all of our schools,' said Superintendent Richard Bentley.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Ellen W. Chambliss Elementary in Sussex County was denied accreditation for a second straight year.

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