It's a measuring stick for high-poverty schools on whether they made progress over the past year. A few schools were added to the Needs Improvement list, meaning they did not meet the adequate yearly progress requirements mandated by the state, but there were also some schools that made its way off that list.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication by every student and teacher at Thomas County's Cross Creek Elementary School. Turns out, it’s work that paid off, because the school was not included on Georgia's list of "needs improvement" schools this year.
"We have some challenges but we're excited about the accomplishments, especially at Cross Creek and the stuff, what they've been able to accomplish this year," says Larry Green, Thomas County Schools Superintendent.
There is another barrier for the system to cross this school year, its middle school. Macintyre Park was on the list. Also on the list, all four of Thomasville City Schools title one schools, including Scott Elementary School.
"It's disappointing because we've worked so hard, but the good news is that we made adequate yearly progress in reading and math, we were only one percent shy of making it," says Mary Friesen, Scott Elementary principal.
A schools adequate yearly progress is largely determined by how well students perform on the criterion-referenced competency test, or CRCT, but it’s not the student body as a whole. The students are divided into sub-groups, like race and economic status, and each group must show improvement.
Schools like Scott Elementary will be back at work this year, saying it will be off the list next year. Schools that made it off the list this year must stay off next year as well to be officially removed from the "needs improvement" schools list.
You can log on the Georgia Department of Education website for more information. www.doe.k21.ga.us