Title I Distinguished Schools: 7 schools named to annual list

COVINGTON - The Georgia Department of Education has named seven Newton County School System Title I schools to its 2008-09 Title I Distinguished Schools list.

To be on the list, the school must be a Title I school and have made Adequate Yearly Progress for three or more years in a row. Title I schools are those that have a high population of economically disadvantaged students and receive federal money to assist with them.

In Newton County, six schools remained on the annual list and one school joined the list this year; they are part of the 777 Georgia public schools to make the list.

Fairview, Ficquett, Heard-Mixon, Palmer-Stone and West Newton elementary schools remained on the list for making Adequate Yearly Progress for the past six years; the schools have been considered distinguished for four years. Cousins Middle School remained on the list for making AYP for five years; it has been on the distinguished list for three years. Rocky Plains Elementary School, which has been open for three years, joined the list this year for making AYP for three consecutive years.

"We are very proud for these schools for the significant increase in test scores for students who are economically disadvantaged," said Dr. Linda Hayden, associate superintendent of instruction for NCSS. "They are making a difference in each child's future. Our thanks go to the staff and principal at each school for motivating students to succeed."

West Newton Elementary School Principal Ericka Anderson said all school officials are proud of the students, parents and teachers for the accomplishment.

"Each group has worked hard together to form a true partnership which enables our students to be successful," she said.

Heard-Mixon Elementary School Principal Lee Peck said making AYP for six years is a proud success and also gave thanks for support from the community.

"To be named a distinguished school is certainly an honor and validates all the hard work our community gives to help increase student achievement," he said.

The six NCSS schools that are repeated achievers on the list have each earned $842 from federal funds; Rocky Plains Elementary School has earned a certificate from the state for its first-time honor.

Other eligible Title I schools in Newton County that didn't make the list because of not making AYP for three consecutive years include Livingston, Middle Ridge, Oak Hill and Porterdale elementary schools and Clements, Indian Creek and Veterans Memorial middle schools; South Salem is a Targeted Assistant Title I school, but just opened this school year so it doesn't qualify for the award because of its AYP status.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: At A Glance

2008-09 Title I Distinguished Schools in Newton County

· Cousins Middle

· Fairview Elementary

· Ficquett Elementary

· Heard-Mixon Elementary

· Palmer-Stone Elementary

· Rocky Plains Elementary

· West Newton Elementary

Source: Newton County School System