Thursday, August 8, 2013

Welcome back!

Welcome back!  As you read this article, students from around Oconee County are again walking the halls of our outstanding schools.  On Wednesday, August 7, Oconee County Schools eagerly greeted over 6800 students, nearly 1000 employees, and countless parents to the first day of the 2013-2014 school year.  This is an exciting time!  Whether your student is a kindergartener just beginning his or her educational experience or a senior taking the final steps toward graduation, the world-class teachers and staff of OCS stand ready to assist.

As we begin this new school year, it is important to do so with purpose and pride – pride in all that we do and a clear purpose for why we are embarking on the journey ahead.  Students, teachers, and our learning community will again be challenged to achieve greatness!  How is greatness defined?  One definition reads, “being much beyond average or ordinary.”  In Oconee County Schools, we believe that all students have the ability to be great and it is our job to foster that greatness.

Thus, as we begin a new school year, it is important to reflect on the accomplishments of the past and set new goals to surpass prior achievements.  We have developed our school improvement plan as a school system and hope that you will take the time to sit down with your student and set goals as well.  The information below is just a brief synopsis of the achievements of our students in 2012-2013.

Graduation Rate

OCS had a 90.48% graduation rate in 2013, which was the 7th highest in the state and 1st for systems with 4,000 students or more.

SAT

OCS ranked 3rd in the state with an SAT composite score of 1571, and 1st in the state for systems with fewer than 35,000 students.

ACT

OCS posted a composite score on the ACT of 23.6, outperforming the state composite of 20.7 and the national composite of 21.1.

EOCT

OCS ranked within the top 10 of 180 school systems in Georgia on all End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) in the “Exceeds” category.

CRCT

OCS ranked within the top 10 of 180 school systems in Georgia for the percentage of students “exceeding” standards on 29 of the 30 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT).

Athletics

OCS was rated the best county athletic program in AAA by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association. OCHS was 5th and NOHS was 6th in the AAA Director’s Cup standings.

As you can see, OCS students achieved great things last school year.  Yet, sustained excellence demands continuous improvement.  To achieve greatness we must get better each day in all that we do.  Whether it is in the classroom or on the athletic playing field, the students of Oconee County can, do, and will excel. Through partnerships with our parents, students, and business community OCS will continue to provide a world-class education with a small-town feel.   Please share your thoughts, stories, and ideas about the new school year with me at jbranch@oconeeschools.org.

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