The resurgence of J.P. King, Jr. Middle School

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Four short years ago, Franklin’s J.P. King Jr. Middle School was categorically downgraded by the Virginia Department of Education and given the dubious status of that as a priority school, joining the city’s S.P. Morton Elementary School as one of the 37 lowest performing schools in the state. Fast forward to this month, when preliminary state information indicated students at the middle school had collectively passed their Standards of Learning tests at such a rate that the school is on the cusp of once again being fully accredited.

Official recognition of accreditation status will not come until some time in September, and it is still possible that the school may miss by a point or two here or there. If that is the case, we will share their disappointment in having fallen just short, but will also celebrate the tremendous strides they have made toward reclaiming excellence.

School principal Lisa Francis, her faculty and staff — and certainly the students and families of J.P. King Jr. Middle School — deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the hard work and dedication behind their improved results. They have shown members of their community, many of whom had given the city’s schools up for dead, that hard work, perseverance and an unfailing commitment to excellence can overcome many obstacles.

We at The Tidewater News thank Ms. Francis and the entire J.P. King family for reminding our entire community there are no limits to what is possible, and we look forward to chronicling their continued success into the future.