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2 NCSS schools recognized for improvement

COVINGTON -- The Governor's Office of Student Achievement and the Georgia Department of Education recently announced that two Newton County high schools are being recognized for improvement and achievement during the 2008-09 school year.

Eastside and Newton high schools were among the 327 schools in Georgia recognized under the Georgia Single Statewide Accountability System this year.

"I am pleased to recognize these schools that are working hard to get great results," said Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, in a press release. "Congratulations to the students at these schools for achieving at impressive levels and to the staff for their commitment to helping children learn."

Newton High School was the only school in Newton County to earn state recognition for greatest gains in students meeting and exceeding standards; the school scored on a bronze level. Schools in the greatest gains category must show the greatest improvement in scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests at the elementary and middle school level or on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests.

According to 2008-09 GHSGT results, Newton High School had 92 percent of students pass English/Language Arts, 94 percent pass math, 90 percent pass science and 89 percent pass social studies. Its pass rate saw the largest gains from last year compared to the other two Newton high schools -- English/Language Arts increased 4 percentage points, math increased 5 percentage points, science increased 11 percentage points and social studies increased 6 percentage points.

Eastside High School was the only school in Newton County to earn state recognition for highest performance in students meeting and exceeding standards; the school scored on a silver level. In that category, schools must demonstrate the highest achievements on the CRCT or GHSGT.

According to GHSGT results, Eastside High School had 91 percent of its students pass English/Language Arts, 95 percent pass math, 93 percent pass science and 91 percent pass social studies. Its pass rate also increased 1 percentage point in social studies compared to last year's results; its math and science results were the same from last year, but its English/Language Arts results dropped 3 percentage points.

"The entire school worked hard to earn these awards," said Dr. Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for instruction at NCSS, during last week's meeting of the Newton County Board of Education about the state recognitions.

A complete list of state schools that received awards is listed at www.gaosa.org.