Thursday, October 2, 2014

High performers

The awards and accolades keep rolling in for the students and teachers of Oconee County Schools!  Last month both North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School were named to a list of America’s Top High Schools by the nationally-recognized online publication The Daily Beast.  This honor placed NOHS and OCHS in the top two percent of schools in the country.  This month the awards are from the state level, but carry an equal amount of prestige and distinction. 

The Georgia Department of Education recently recognized four systems in the state as Title I Reward Districts.  Among those four leading districts was Oconee County Schools, which means our students had the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments.  Title I Reward Districts were named in four categories: large districts with 10,000 or more students, medium districts with 4,000 to 9,999 students, small districts with 2,000 to 3,999 students and extra-small districts with fewer than 2,000 students.  Oconee County Schools was recognized as the number-one system in the state for medium-sized districts. More specifically, in Oconee County, 93.8 percent of students met or exceeded standards, compared to the state average of 82.9 percent.

In presenting the awards, State Superintendent Dr. John Barge said, “We are enormously proud of these districts who are working, often against the odds, to improve education outcomes for their students.  It is not easy work they are doing, but the impressive results speak for themselves.”  

While all of our schools and students contributed to this accomplishment, two schools were singled out for their outstanding performance.  Oconee County Elementary School and Oconee County Middle School were placed on the Highest-Performing School list.  A Highest-Performing School is among the five percent of the state’s Title I schools with the highest absolute performance, over three years, for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a Highest-Performing School if it has been identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School.

Again, Dr. Barge had glowing praise for our schools stating, “The schools on this list represent some of the finest efforts being put forth in Georgia education.  The educators, parents, students, and communities who came together to move these schools forward should take great pride in the results.”

And take great pride we do!  We are proud of our kids, our teachers, and our community.  Together, we continue to reach our goal of sustained excellence and continuous improvement.  This award is perhaps one of the best indicators of that achievement as it reflects the academic success of some of our more at-risk young people over an extended period of time—three years.  This achievement is not an anomaly, but rather a pattern of continuous attainment by different classes in different grades over different years.  It is noteworthy and worth celebrating!  Congratulations students! 

To learn more about these accomplishments please visit  

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