Columbia County Teachers prepare for larger classes and more cuts
Brooke White knows the importance of a good education.
It's why she has different methods of making sure her students make the grade. Something, many of the teachers at Sallas Mahone Elementary share.
"We discuss ways with the other teachers to help each other and what works for me I could share that with someone else," said White.
And that's one of the reasons Sallas Mahone is one of eight schools in the Valdosta area exceeding the requirements set by Georgia on its standardized test, the CRCT.
Those schools are Clyattville Elementary Moulton-Branch Elementary, Pine Grove Elementary, Lake Park Elementary, Lowndes Middle School, S.L. Mason Elementary, W.G. Nunn Elementary.
All the schools were named by the Georgia Department of Education as Title 1 Distinguished Award Winners.
Title 1 means the schools receive federal aid.
The money each school acquires is determined by how many students are receiving free or reduced lunch.
For each grade level three through eight the school needed 73 percent of its student to pass reading and nearly 68-percent to pass math.
But School officials didn't just meet the mark, they beat it.
With more than 90-percent of the students passing reading and over 85 percent of them passing math.
Sallas Mahone Principal Gary Glover says monitoring the progress of students and getting them into programs that fit their needs is the key.
"In doing that we're raising the bar because we feel like if children exceed on the CRCT they're certainly going to meet as well on the CRCT," said Glover.
Glover says the theme for this school year is "No Excuses".
He says he had teachers come into his office saying some kids hadn't done their homework in weeks.
The Sallas Mahone Principal says he understands kids come from different backgrounds and not everyone has that support at home.
Glover says teachers can only control what happens at school so he suggested they have the students do the work in class instead of taking it home.
It's another reason why students are excited about their progress because teachers are willing to do what it takes to make sure they are understanding the material.
"It's really fun when you get to see your grades go higher, you get a better education," said Zachary Dean.
Next year that bar will rise a little higher but students say they're ready.
Sallas Mahone has been meeting the state's requirements for the last nine years.