Thursday, March 14, 2013

More good news!

The good news about Oconee County Schools continues to pour in from all around the state.  In the last few weeks our schools and school system have been recognized with numerous awards, visited by state dignitaries, and recommended for reaccreditation by AdvancED. 

Our high schools are leading the way in the state of Georgia.  Both schools were named to the prestigious list of 2013 AP Honor Schools based on student enrollment and achievement in advanced placement course work.  In fact, OCHS and NOHS were two of only twenty-two high schools in the state of Georgia to be named an AP Merit School as well as an AP STEM School and AP STEM Achievement School.  The criteria for these awards are rigorous.

·         AP Merit Schools: Schools with at least 20% of the student population taking
AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of three (3) or
higher.
·         AP STEM Schools: Schools with students testing in at least two (2) AP math
courses and two (2) AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC,
AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP
Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science).
·         AP STEM Achievement Schools: Schools with students testing in at least two (2)
AP math courses and 2 AP science courses and at least 40% of the exam
scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of three (3) or
higher.

To achieve at these levels, students must create a solid foundation of learning early in their educational experience.  Thus, it is important that all of our schools are stellar and that our teachers are reaching all students.  Good news yet again!  Recently, OCS was named a 2013 Title I Reward District.  This award recognizes school districts that have made progress in improving the performance of the all students group over a number of years on the statewide assessments and whose high schools are increasing graduation rates.  Our district is one of only four systems in the state to receive this recognition and the $50,000 monetary award that accompanies it. 

Our elementary and middle schools pave a great path on the road of knowledge and have been recognized for their outstanding performance and commitment to students as well. Colham Ferry Elementary, Oconee County Elementary, Rocky Branch Elementary, and Oconee County Middle School were all recently named Title I Highest Performing Reward Schools.  This recognition is based on CRCT achievement and carries a monetary award of $10,000 for each school that remains in Title I status. A quick review of the list of schools reflects that OCS represents four of the sixty-eight schools recognized.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge visited OCMS in January.  Barton Lowery, field representative for Senator Johnny Isakson, visited OCHS and OCPS last week, and on March 21, Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal will visit MBES to read to students and review that outstanding learning environment. 

Good news all around!  Email me more good news at jbranch@oconeeschools.org.

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