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Local schools receive state awards for student achievement

COVINGTON -- Two Rockdale County schools and a Newton County school have been recognized by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement for being top achieving schools on state tests.

Rockdale's Heritage High School and Newton's Liberty Middle School were named to the state's list of greatest gains for showing the greatest improvement in scores on the Georgia High School Graduation Test and the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, respectively.

"Liberty teachers are outstanding with a record, now, well known by many," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "This is a recognition we all can be very proud of."

According to the Governor's Office of Student Achievement website, awardwinning schools must have met criteria, which are based on the results of the most recent two years of the CRCT or GHSGT.

Schools are awarded on four levels -- platinum, gold, silver and bronze -- depending on their Adequate Yearly Progress status, the percentage of students exceeding state standards on the assessments and their standing in the state percentile of greatest gains.

Heritage earned a platinum award for making AYP for at least three consecutive years, have more than 35 percent of students exceed standards and being in the 98th percentile of greatest gains.

Liberty earned a bronze award for making AYP, not being in Needs Improvement status and having more than 20 percent of students exceeding standards. In addition, the school also placed in the 95th percentile of greatest gains in the state.

Additionally, Social Circle Elementary School earned a silver award for greatest gains for making AYP for at least two consecutive years, having at least 25 percent of students exceeding standards and scoring in the 96th percentile of greatest gains.

"This year before I arrived in 2008, SCES did not make AYP. Not only have we made AYP every year for the past three years ... but we have consistently increased the percentage of students who meet as well as exceed the standards on the CRCT," said SCES Principal Jodi Weber.

Heritage also was named to the state's highest performing list, along with Lorraine Elementary School in Conyers. There are schools that demonstrated the highest achievement on the GHSGT and CRCT.

"I am thrilled that our school is being recognized in two categories," said HHS Principal Greg Fowler. "These awards are evidence that all students can learn and reach for their potential."

Lorraine earned silver status for making AYP for at least two years, have more than 25 percent of students exceeding standards and having 96 percent or more meeting and exceeding standards.

"Our staff and parents are very proud of the hard work our students continue to put forth and to achieve this prestigious award," said Lorraine Principal David Ray. "This honor is a reflection of the teamwork between students, teachers, support staff and parents and everyone's commitment to academic excellence."

Heritage earned bronze for making AYP and not being in Needs Improvement status, having at least 20 percent of students exceeding standards and at least 95 percent meeting and exceeding standards.

In Georgia, 370 schools made the lists this year.

"The principals and teachers at these schools are to be commended for maintaining a focus on providing every student with a worldclass education," said Governor Nathan Deal.