Three Newton schools honored

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Three Newton County schools were honored along with 345 public schools in the state for outstanding academic achievement.

The Office of Student Achievement and the Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the schools were being recognized for academic improvement and achievement during the 2009-10 school year. In Newton County, Fairview Theme School, Clements Middle School and Heard-Mixon Elementary School were recognized.

"We're very proud of these accomplishments in student achievement," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "Student learning has to be our bottom line. Congratulations to the students, teachers, administrators and all others who've contributed to this improvement."

The schools were honored under Georgia's Single Statewide Accountability System, which awards schools based on their performance on state curriculum exams and Adequate Yearly Progress status.

"Congratulations to the principals, teachers, parents and students at these schools," said Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the Office of Student Achievement. "This is one way to say 'great job' to these school communities that have stayed focused and committed to helping children learn and achieve at high levels."

Schools are awarded on four levels -- platinum, gold, silver and bronze -- and in two categories -- greatest gains and highest performance.

Heard-Mixon and Clements scored on the bronze level in the greatest gains category. Schools scoring bronze are not in Needs Improvement status with the state, had more than 20 percent of students exceed state standards and ranked in the 95th percentile of greatest gains. Those in the category showed the greatest improvement in scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test or the Georgia High School Graduation Test.

Fairview received a platinum award in the greatest gains category. Platinum schools have met Adequate Yearly Progress for at least three consecutive years, had more than 35 percent of students exceed standards and ranked in the 98th percentile of greatest gains.

Criteria were based on students who attended the schools for the full academic year.

"The students and staff at these schools are to be commended for this significant achievement," said State School Superintendent Brad Bryant. "These high levels of achievement and improvement don't happen unless everyone is focused on the goal of providing a world-class education to every student."