Published Sunday, January 06, 2013

Board of Education recognizes Rewards Schools

From STAFF REPORTS

education@newnan.com

The Coweta County Board of Education recognized teachers and administrators from three Coweta County “Reward Schools” at its December meeting.

The three schools are Title I schools which have been identified by the Georgia Department of Education as “High Progress” Reward schools. The designation – which is part of the state of Georgia’s waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – is reserved for schools with the highest performance or the biggest academic gains by students in the last three years.

Jefferson Parkway, Arnall Middle School and Evans Middle School were recognized by the state earlier this fall in the ‘Reward’ category. Board of Education members and Superintendent Steve Barker recognized teachers and principals of the schools at the regular December board meeting on December 11.

“To receive this honor, during the first year... is a great reflection on your teachers and students, and on your whole staff,” said Barker.

Under the new state accountability system, the state recognizes two categories of reward schools, including

• A “High-Progress School” is a Title I school among the 10 percent of Title I schools in the State that is making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a High-Progress School if there are significant achievement gaps across subgroups that are not closing in the school.

• “Highest-Performing School” is a Title I school among the 5 percent of Title I schools in the State that has the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. A Highest-Performing School must have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the “all students” group and all of its subgroups in 2011. A school may not be classified as a Highest-Performing School if there are significant achievement gaps across subgroups that are not closing in the school.

The Reward’ designation goes only to Title I schools. Eighteen of Coweta’s 28 regular program elementary, middle and high schools receive federal Title I funding. Non-Title I schools are not eligible for “Reward” designation.

Other categories under the state’s ESEA waiver include Priority, Focus and Alert schools, indicating Title I schools which need greater focus on student academic achievement. No Coweta schools were designated as Priority, Focus or Alert Schools.

Coweta’s three ‘Reward’ schools place them in the company of only a small number of high-performing Title I schools state-wide.

“These schools are shining examples of what we can achieve in public education in Georgia,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “I want to take what’s working at our Reward Schools and replicate that in every school in the state. These are the schools making education work for all Georgians.”

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