Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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 5, Oconee County Schools eagerly greeted over 7200 students, nearly 1000 employees, and countless parents to the first day of the 2015-2016 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?  John Gordon, author of Training Camp—A Fable about Excellence, defines greatness as a “life mission.”  In Oconee County Schools, we believe that all students have the ability to be great and it is our job to foster that greatness and assist in achieving that life mission.  

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 reviewed our strategic plan as a system, developed our individual school improvement plans, 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 2014-2015.

College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI)
OCS had a CCRPI score of 90.4, which was the highest in the state and ranked OCS as the number one school system in Georgia.

Graduation Rate
OCS had a 91.9 percent graduation rate, which was the 8th highest in the state and ranked 1st for systems with 4,000 students or more.

SAT
OCS ranked 4th in the state with an SAT composite score of 1565 and ranked 1st in the state for systems outside of the metro Atlanta area.

ACT
OCS posted a composite score on the ACT of 23.5 outperforming the state composite of 20.8 and the national composite of 21.0.

Athletics
OCS was rated one of the best county athletic programs in AAA and AAAA by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association.  OCHS was 5th in AAA and NOHS was 6th in the AAAA Director’s Cup Standings.


As you can see, Oconee County 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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