School superintendent credits students, staff
by Celia Shortt
Coweta County School System Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker reported on the state of the school system at the Newnan Rotary Club meeting on Friday.
Throughout his presentation at Newnan Country Club, Barker highlighted the continued achievement of Coweta students. He credited that achievement to their hard work and commitment, but also to the staff and teachers who have been working hard and serving the students.
“We have a lot of employees doing great work across the board,” he said. “I am proud of them across the board.”
In 2013, Coweta students met or exceeded Criterion-Referenced Competency Test standards at a higher rate than the state of Georgia in all 30 areas covered by the test. Coweta high school students’ 2013 passage rates for End-of-Course Tests passage rates were higher than their state counterparts and have trended up over the past three years. The 2012 four-year cohort graduation rate increase almost five percent from the previous year and was higher than the state of Georgia’s 2012 graduation rate, he said.
Barker also reported 2013-2014 school enrollment was 22,563 students as of September. He said it is slightly down from where it was last school year; but he is confident it will rebound back, and this year will finish the same as last.
He shared an update on the conservative facilities plan for the school system. Renovations and the replacement of the central campus buildings at Evans Middle School will begin in the summer of 2014.
The three-year renovation and addition project at East Coweta High School is under way and will allow enrollment there to reach 3,200 students. The two major renovations at Atkinson Elementary and Elm Street Elementary were finished in time for the start of the 2013 school year.
Barker stressed that the school system will continue to be conservative in its renovations and plans for the future of the school facilities.
Near the end of his presentation, Barker commented on the five-year strategic plan for the school system. The current strategic plan ends in 2014, so the system is renewing its long-range strategic plan this fall.
He said parents, students, and faculty were surveyed from Aug. 26 through Sept 12 to gain feedback on the school system. Next, a series of focus groups and stakeholder meetings will be held in October and November and used to develop the school system’s 2014-2019 plan.
“Strategic planning in 2013 will provide new goals and objectives for our school system, and a continuous improvement process for our schools,” he said.
Its goals include setting the state for school board consideration of System Flexibility options in 2014-2015 and for AdvancED (SACS) reaccreditation in 2015-16.