Education

3 Columbus area schools among Georgia’s 2018 Greatest Gains, Highest Performing winners

The Single Statewide Accountability System award winners includes Columbus High, which earned a Highest Performing award for the fourth straight year (Platinum this year) and was joined by Britt David as a double winner this year, earning a Bronze in Greatest Gains. Only 30 schools in the state are double winners this year.
The Single Statewide Accountability System award winners includes Columbus High, which earned a Highest Performing award for the fourth straight year (Platinum this year) and was joined by Britt David as a double winner this year, earning a Bronze in Greatest Gains. Only 30 schools in the state are double winners this year. mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

Only 7 percent of Georgia’s public schools this year are honored by the state for excellence in performance or improvement, based on academic results from the past three years, and three of those schools are in the Columbus area.

Two of them are in Muscogee County: Britt David Magnet Academy and Columbus High School. The other is Chattahoochee County High School.

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement uses the College and Career Ready Performance Index, which comprises results from the Georgia Milestones Assessment System and other factors, to determine the recipients of the Single Statewide Accountability System awards in two categories: Greatest Gains and Highest Performing. Each award category has four tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

GOSA awarded 159 of the state’s 2,292 public schools this year.

This is the fourth straight year GOSA has determined the SSAS awards — and Britt David has earned an award in both categories each year. Britt David received Silver in Greatest Gains and Platinum in Highest Performing this year.

Columbus High earned a Highest Performing award for the fourth straight year (Platinum this year) and joined Britt David as a double winner this year, earning a Bronze in Greatest Gains. Only 31 schools in the state are double winners this year.

Britt David, an elementary school, and Columbus High are total magnet schools, meaning they don’t have attendance zones and students from throughout Muscogee County can apply, but they must maintain academic and behavioral standards to remain there.

Britt David principal Karen Garner and Columbus High principal Marvin Crumbs weren’t reached for comment before deadline.

Only 42 of Georgia’s 206 districts have at least one school with an SSAS award winner this year. Muscogee tied for the most among the districts serving the state’s other second-tier cities: Chatham County (Savannah) and Richmond County (Augusta) also have two winners each; Bibb County (Macon) has none.

In 2015, Muscogee had three SSAS award winners: Britt David for Greatest Gains (Bronze) and Highest Performing (Platinum), Columbus High for Highest Performing (Silver) and Northside High School for Greatest Gains (Silver).

In 2016, Muscogee had six SSAS award winners: Aaron Cohn Middle School for Greatest Gains (Silver), Blackmon Road Middle School for Greatest Gains (Gold), Britt David for Greatest Gains (Platinum) and Highest Performing (Platinum), Columbus High for Highest Performing (Silver), North Columbus Elementary School for Greatest Gains (Bronze) and Northside for Greatest Gains (Bronze).

In 2017, Muscogee had four SSAS award winners: Aaron Cohn for Greatest Gains (Platinum), Britt David for Greatest Gains (Gold) and Highest Performing (Platinum), Columbus High for Highest Performing (Platinum) and Johnson Elementary School for Greatest Gains (Silver).

Chattahoochee County High School earned a Gold in Greatest Gains this year, its first SSAS award. Chattahoochee County Education Center, the county’s elementary school, earned a Greatest Gains award in 2015 (Silver) and 2016 (Bronze).

“It’s great to see ChattCo High being recognized for its hard work,” ChattCo superintendent David McCurry told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email Monday. “The school has come a long way the past couple years. Principal Sandi Veliz has assembled an amazing group of teachers and administrators. Together they have created a culture of high expectations and accountability, and the students have stepped up to the challenge. I’m extremely proud of everyone on that campus.

“With the support of an amazing board of education, awesome teachers and students, and a wonderful community, the entire school system has seen much academic success lately. The Chattahoochee County School System had the highest 2018 CCRPI average in the RESA district.”

The Chattahoochee-Flint Regional Educational Service Agency, one of 16 in the Georgia Department of Education, also includes the counties of Muscogee, Clay, Crisp, Dooly, Macon, Marion, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor and Webster.

ChattCo High principal Sandi Veliz told the L-E via email Monday, “The hard work and dedication of our students, staff, parents and community has contributed to the success in the district.”

The school increased its three-year CCRPI average from 90.9 to 97.8 and has earned a score of 100 in the progress category the past two years.

“Chattahoochee County has made an intentional and strategic effort to improve the RTI (Response to Intervention) program at all levels,” Veliz said. “We believe this program has helped our teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners.”

The RTI Network defines Response to Intervention as “a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs.” It involves “universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists.”

For the third straight year, no school in Harris County received an SSAS award. Mulberry Creek Elementary School earned Platinum for Greatest Gains in 2015.

To receive a Greatest Gains award, the three-year average CCRPI Content Mastery Score must be in the 99th percentile for Platinum, the 97thpercentile for Gold, the 95th percentile for Silver and the 93rdPercentile for Bronze. The CCRPI Single Score must remain in at least the same range, and the school may not be on any of these lists: GOSA’s Turnaround Eligible Schools and the GaDOE’s Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools or Targeted Support and Improvement Schools.

To receive a Highest Performing award, the three-year average CCRPI Achievement Score must be in the 99th percentile for Platinum, the 97th percentile for Gold, the 95th percentile for Silver and the 93rdPercentile for Bronze. The CCRPI Single Score each year must be at least 90 for Platinum or Gold and at least 80 for Silver or Bronze, and the CCRPI Closing Gaps Score must be at least in the 75thpercentile to ensure the performance of the school’s lowest-achieving students isn’t lagging. These schools also may not be on the aforementioned state intervention lists.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.

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