Thursday, August 4, 2016

School is in session!

Welcome back!  As you read this article, students from around Oconee County are again walking the halls of our outstanding schools.  On Wednesday, August 3, Oconee County Schools eagerly greeted nearly 7,500 students, approximately 1000 employees, and 15,000 parents to the first day of the 2016-2017 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, OCS’ world-class teachers and staff 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 2015-2016.

College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI)
·        OCS had a CCRPI score of 89.4, which ranked OCS as the number two school system in Georgia as determined by the Georgia Department of Education.  

Graduation Rate
·        OCS had a 93.6% graduation rate, which was the highest in system history.

SAT
·        OCS ranked #2 in the state with an SAT composite score of 1580, up 15 points.

ACT
·        OCS posted a composite score on the ACT of 23.6, ranking #2 in the state.

Athletics
·        OCS was rated one of the best county athletic programs in AAA and AAAA by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association.  OCHS was 3rd in AAA and NOHS was 5th in the AAAA Director’s Cup Standings.

State and National Recognitions
·        OCS was 1 of 4 districts in the state named a 2016 Title I Highest Rewards District

·        OCS was 1 of 6 districts in the state named a 2016 Advanced Placement Honor District

·        NOHS and OCHS were named U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools for 2016

·        MBES was named a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence for 2016

      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.  Please share your thoughts, stories, and ideas about the new school year with me at jbranch@oconeeschools.org. I look forward to your comments and to seeing you in our schools!

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