Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Shining Example of Student Success

Congratulations once again to the students, teachers, and parents of Oconee County! Last week, our school system and several of our schools were recognized at the state and national levels for outstanding student achievement. Awards were received from the Georgia Department of Education in the area of Title I distinction, from the College Board in the area of Advanced Placement (AP) success.

Colham Ferry Elementary, Oconee County Elementary, Rocky Branch Elementary, and Oconee County Middle School were all named “Highest-Performing” Reward Schools. “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.”

A “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 of students in the school) that are not closing.

Oconee County Schools was also named to the third annual AP Honor Roll by the College Board. This distinction is impressive as it honors school districts that are simultaneously increasing access to AP course work while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Since 2008, OCS has increased the number of AP exams taken by more than 500 test takers, while at the same time doubling the number of AP exam successes. Oconee County Schools is the only school system in the state of Georgia to be named to the AP Honor Roll for three consecutive years!

These two honors reflect the great work of our students and teachers. They also demonstrate that academic rigor can and should be expanded to all students in our schools. When done properly, this increased rigor has a positive impact on the achievement of all students despite their socioeconomic status.

How is our school system meeting the needs of your student?

Would you like to see more academic rigor in our schools?

Are there academic programs that you would like to see offered that are not currently?

I look forward to your input. Please continue to share it with me at

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