A lot of change is coming to the Lowndes County School System, starting with its superintendent.
Wes Taylor presided over his first Lowndes County Board of Education work session and regular session meeting Monday since officially becoming superintendent on July 1. His presence certainly echoed a message of growth and improvement.
“We are going to be in the schools and be a presence in the building,” said Taylor amidst discussion of being more involved in seeing all students reach graduation.
This conversation stemmed from a presentation of the Spring Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) data, the 2011-2012 End of Course Test (EOCT) Data and the 2011-2012 Writing Assessment summary by Director of Curriculum PreK-5 Sharon Galloway, Director for Curriculum 6-12 LeAnne McCall and Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Rodney Green.
“Third grade looks very, very good,” said Galloway in regards to the CRCT.
In reading, 97.1 percent of students met or exceeded standards, passing the state measurement that was only 90.6 percent. In English Language Arts (ELA), 98.1 percent of students met or exceeded standards, passing the state measurement which was only 90.5 percent. In math, 90.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards, the state measurement was at 81 percent. In science, third grade’s 90.3 percent did above and beyond better than the state’s average of meet and exceed at only 78 percent. Students who met or exceeded standards for social studies reached 90.1 percent when the state average was only 81 percent.
“In grade four, we still held on,” said Galloway.
In reading, 96.3 percent of students met or exceeded standards when the state was at 90.2 percent.
In ELA, 96.4 percent of students met or exceeded standards while the state was at 90.9 percent. In math, 89.9 percent of students met or exceeded standards, passing the state which sat at 80.2 percent. In science, 89.1 percent of students met or exceeded standards while the state’s average was 80.8 percent. Rounding out across the board, 87.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards surpassing the state percentage of 78.4 percent.
“The same for grade five,” said Galloway. “Very, very pleased with the fifth grade.”
In reading, 97.5 percent of fifth graders met or exceeded standards while the state was at 91.5 percent. In ELA, 98.9 percent of students met or exceeded standards while statewide was 94.4 percent. In math, 92.6 percent of students exceeded standards while statewide only 83.7 percent of students did so. In science, 87.9 percent of students met or exceeded standards which surpassed the state average of 78 percent. Fifth grade had 87.2 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards in social studies passing the state at 76.7 percent.
The same success could be seen at grades six, seven and eight.
“We’re of course above the state in all areas,” said McCall.
For sixth grade, 98.6 percent of students in reading met or exceeded standards (96 percent at state average); in ELA, 96.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards (92.1 percent at state average) ; in math, 90.3 percent of students met or exceeded standards (79.9 percent at state average); in science 80.7 percent met or exceeded standards (72.6 percent for state average); and in social studies, 76.4 percent of students met or exceeded standards (73 percent state average).
For seventh grade, 97.4 percent of students in reading met or exceeded standards (94 percent at state average); in ELA, 95.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards (93.3 percent at state average); in math, 96.7 percent of students met or exceeded standards (91 percent at state average); 89.9 percent of students in science met or exceeded standards (84.6 percent at state average); and in social studies, 82.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards (77.7 percent at state average).
“There’s a drop, especially for math, between seventh and eighth,” said McCall. “The same is true for science.”
For eighth grade, 98 percent of students in reading met or exceeded standards (95.9 percent at state average); in ELA, 97.5 percent of students met or exceeded standards (95.2 percent at state average); in math, 85 percent of students met or exceeded standards (76.7 percent at state average); in science, 78.5 percent of students met or exceeded standards (73.5 percent at state average); and in social studies, 81.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards (76.9 percent at state average).
McCall also reviewed the EOCT for grades 9-12. She noted that as the state moves away from the Graduation Test, the EOCT is going to be more of an indicator for measurement.
“I think you’ve done a good job considering the space we have to fit these subjects in,” said board member Mike Davis.
After presenting writing assessment scores, Green discussed the move away from Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
“AYP is a thing of the past,” said Green.
Now a new acronym is rolling out, CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index).
“This is something new here in the state,” said Green.
The state of Georgia was awarded a waiver from No Child Left Behind, CCRPI is a way for the state to track performance index.
“It will be much more comprehensive in the schools and in the system,” said Green.
Fred Davis raised concerns about providing opportunity for students outside of a traditional college track.
“I am for every child receiving as much education as they possibly can ... but are we gearing students to enter the work profession in other ways other than the college area?” Davis asked. “What is the state doing in that regard?”
Taylor explained that state Superintendent Dr. John Barge weaves the professional work force into all of his initiatives.
“I think it’s critical that we prepare all of our students ... to be productive in the work force,” said Taylor. “Anything that helps students to be productive after graduation.”
According to Taylor, teaching and learning will be meeting with all of the system’s school principals and will be sure to discuss continuing education.
“Let’s start this year and have some type of program to track these kids,” said board member Jason Wisenbaker.
Wisenbaker suggested having every freshmen fill out a card and list their friends. So if a child stops attending school, the system has a network it can implement for information.
"We need to obligate ourselves to that,” said Fred Davis, referring to keeping track of students.
In other business:
• Person Information Officer Lynne Wilson presented changes to the 2012-2013 student handbook.
• Director of Transportation Roger Christie presented information on compressed natural gas and propane as alternative fuel options. Christie also presented some information investigating the feasibility of utilizing the Lowndes County Fuel Depot. As presented, the feasibility did not appear very likely.
• Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dr. Troy Davis told the board that Moulton-Branch Elementary School needed a new roof. The board approved this request that will cost more than $94,000.
• Davis also presented some information on the hydroponics project with Partnership for Health.
• The board approved the class-size resolution for the 2012-2013 school year which was the exact same as last school year.
A lot of change is coming to the Lowndes County School System, starting with its superintendent.
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