Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oconee County Schools ranked #1 in Georgia

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2015, the students, parents, and teachers of Oconee County Schools have much to celebrate.  As community members and longtime residents have known for decades, Oconee County is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  Offering a world-class education with a small-town feel is one of the hallmarks of Oconee County Schools and that educational excellence is being recognized more and more by others around our state and nation.  It is safe to say that the secret is out!

In the recently released College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), the Georgia Department of Education ranked Oconee County Schools as the number one school district in the state of Georgia! The CCRPI is Georgia’s statewide accountability system, implemented in 2012. It measures schools and school districts on an easy-to-understand 100-point scale, helping parents and the public better understand how schools are performing. Oconee County Schools (OCS) was the only system in Georgia to receive an “A” rating on this scale! OCS earned a score of 90.4 while the state average came in at 72.0.  In addition, OCS saw ratings increase at the elementary, middle, and high school levels from the previous year while the state average saw a decrease across its 180 systems. 

Yet, as stated earlier, Oconee County Schools is being recognized as a leader not only in our state, but also nationally.  The Niche Rankings, a nationally-recognized website, recently ranked more than 100,000 public and private schools and districts based on dozens of statistics and 27 million opinions from 300,000 students and parents.  The result—Oconee County Schools was once again named the number one county school system in Georgia! According to www.niche.com, “a high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly.” The Niche ranking methodology used factors such as student-teacher ratio, graduation rate, Advanced Placement enrollment, state assessment proficiency, and SAT and ACT achievement.

Thus, as our students enter a new semester and a new calendar year, they do so attending schools that have been recognized both in our state and throughout our nation as some of the best around.  Certainly, our students should take great pride in these rankings as their achievement plays a significant role.  Our teachers should also feel tremendous satisfaction in knowing that their hard work, preparation, and diligent efforts to provide a world-class educational environment are being noticed and appreciated not only locally, but throughout our state and nation.  Finally, the citizens of Oconee County should walk a little taller knowing that others are recognizing what we have known for quite some time—Oconee County and Oconee County Schools are special!

A school truly is four walls with our future inside.  It appears that in Oconee County Schools our future is indeed bright! Let me know what you think at jbranch@oconeeschools.org. 

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