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Five-year trend shows district's graduates are closing gap between state & national peers 
Bulloch County Schools’ 2016 graduates achieved higher scores than their 2015 peers in all tested subjects for both the ACT and SAT.  While graduates’ scores can typically fluctuate up or down from year to year, the district’s five-year trend data across all tested subjects shows an overall increase in scores for each high school and the system.
 “We are making steady progress,” said Charles Wilson, superintendent of schools. “We still have room to improve; however, these results point to the success of the work being done. Our administrators and I see the positive effect of the performance culture we are building.” 
Wilson is referring to the strategic shift the Bulloch County Board of Education, its administrators and teacher leaders made almost five years ago. They committed to build a performance culture to support the district’s community-based strategic plan and the move to a new state operating status as a Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS). 
“Our focus is continuous improvement,” Wilson said.  “Our principals and teachers are using key strategies for student learning and collaborative, empowered, and innovative teaching practices. We believe this will result in growth for all students."
“The steady growth trend on both the SAT and the ACT is certainly encouraging,” said Dr. Ken LeCain, principal of Statesboro High School. “I believe these slow steady increases can be traced directly back to our teachers’ closer scrutiny of academic standards and their endeavor to make our students think more critically.”
"We are really pleased with the success of our students, especially in English,” said Donna Clifton, principal of Southeast Bulloch High School. “We devote so much thought and energy to close reading and to extended writing, and our students' success is a reflection of the hard work being done by students and teachers.” 
Portal Middle High School’s strategy, due to its smaller size, has been to use its support staff, instructional coordinators and counselors to address individual student academic needs identified by faculty. “We also utilize creative scheduling for prescribed remediation and enrichment for our high school students," said Patrick Hill, principal of PMHS.
Since 2012, the district has worked with the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement to train and empower teachers and principals to effect student achievement by better analyzing and using data to lead instruction and change in their schools. Teachers are also collaborating more in teams, called professional learning communities (PLCs). Teachers meet regularly amongst grade levels and academic subject areas to better recognize student needs and provide more individualized, tailored instruction. By developing common classroom assessments, they see real-time how students are mastering concepts and are able to make immediate adjustments as opposed to waiting for annual standardized test results like ACT, SAT and Georgia Milestones.  
“This strategy will lead to improved outcomes and opportunities for our students,” Wilson said. “It is a lot of work, it is hard work, and it will require adjustments, but it is the right work,” Wilson added. “I commend our professionals for working together and sticking with it to put this foundation in place. I encourage parents to learn more about how this is happening in their child’s school to better understand the progress being made at all grade levels.”
A snapshot of the district's five-year trend data for the SAT and ACT is attached. Complete ACT and SAT College Board reports for the school system and each of its three high schools are available at www.bullochschools.org/testing 

Twitter Chat ad for ESSA














The Georgia Department of Education will host a live Twitter chat on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7 - 8 p.m. to gather feedback about Georgia's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act. Simply follow them @gadeptofed from your Twitter account, and if you respond, use the #ESSAINGA with your response. 


If you'd like to prepare prior to the live chat, this is their script.  Do not post your answer to a question until you see it posted live and remember the hashtag #ESSAINGA.


GaDOE Script for Live Twitter Chat

·         Welcome to #ESSAChatGA! Today we'll discuss & gather your feedback on Georgia's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act. #ESSAinGA

·         You can view the full ESSA legislation here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114s1177enr/pdf/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf & find more information here: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/ESSA.aspx #ESSAChatGA

·         Today we'll focus on 5 areas: Accountability, Assessment, Edu. of the Whole Child, Tchr & Leader Development, & Fed. Programs. #ESSAChatGA

·         First, though, please introduce yourself & tell us why #ESSAinGA matters to you! #ESSAChatGA

·         First up: Accountability. Through #ESSAinGA we're examining & refining the CCRPI. Here's an overview: [LINK TO ONE-PAGER] #ESSAChatGA

·         Q1 on Accountability: As a parent, teacher, etc. what are the most important things for you to know about your school? #ESSAChatGA

·         Q2 on Accountability: How should a school’s successes or failures be measured? #ESSAChatGA

·         Now on to Assessment. Here's an overview on testing & #ESSAinGA: [LINK TO ONE PAGER] #ESSAChatGA

·         Assessment Q1: What can be done to improve statewide tests for Georgia public school students? #ESSAChatGA

·         Assessment Q2: What do you want to know about yr child’s learning/progress & what kind of test would appropriately measure that? #ESSAChatGA

·         Next up: Education of the Whole Child. Here's an overview: [LINK TO ONE PAGER]. #ESSAChatGA

·         Whole Child Q1: How might kids' passions be engaged in & out of school? How could tech scale those opportunities statewide? #ESSAChatGA

·         Whole Child Q2: If you were to design a strategy w/ 3 main goals for "Educating the Whole Child, what would those goals be? #ESSAChatGA

·         Moving on now to Educator & Leader Development. Here's an overview: [LINK TO ONE PAGER] #ESSAChatGA

·         Ed & Leader Q1: What do you consider to be the most important qualifications for teachers & principals? #ESSAChatGA

·         Q2: What are some of the most powerful partnerships you've seen for preparing, developing & advancing teachers & school leaders? #ESSAChatGA

·         For our final topic, we'll discuss Federal Programs to Support School Improvement. Overview: [LINK TO ONE PAGER] #ESSAChatGA

·         FP Q1: What has worked well in schools to ensure continued improvement? #ESSAChatGA

·         FP Q2: How can Georgia build local capacity to sustain improvements? #ESSAChatGA

·         Final Q: How can we continue to receive stakeholder feedback after the #ESSAinGA planning period? #ESSAChatGA

·         QUOTE TWEET: This would be in addition to @SuptWoods' Student, Parent, Teacher, & Superintendent Advisory Councils. #ESSAChatGA

·         Thank you so much for joining us & sharing your feedback on #ESSAinGA! Remember you can email feedback to essa@doe.k12.ga.us. #ESSAChatGA


Stilson Elementary to Open Thursday; System’s 101 bus routes ran without incident; Student attendance at 92 percent


Bulloch County Schools reopened to a normal schedule Wednesday, except for Stilson Elementary, which will open Thursday. The district’s 15 schools, Transitions Learning Center and offices had been closed since Friday due to Hurricane Matthew.  The system has closed for four days this school year due to hurricane conditions with Matthew and Hermine. 


“This community has been through a lot these past few days, and we know how important it is for everyone to have their normalcy restored,” said Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson. “We have a moral obligation to all children in this community.  We believed it was our responsibility to resume school operations as soon as we were able to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment, along with hot meals.”


The system notified parents Monday afternoon via its email and telephone messaging system, website, social media and area radio, print and television media outlets that classes would resume on Wednesday.  “We wanted to give parents and employees time to plan ahead to determine their individual situations and make decisions about their ability to return,” said Wilson.  


“There are lots of smiles, and it’s been a great day,” Nate Pennington, principal of Nevils Elementary, said about his school's first day back. Like Stilson, some families in Nevils are still without power and water. The district let parents know that they understood some areas received greater damage than others. Parents could address their individual conditions and make the best attendance decisions for their child. Superintendent Wilson encouraged principals and teachers to work with families from confirmed damage areas as they transition back to a normal schedule.


The decision to reopen came after Wilson received the latest information about road and power conditions across the county from the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency. By 8 a.m. Wednesday, less than 2,000 residents were without power. More than 95 percent of residents’ in Bulloch County had power due to the tremendous efforts of Georgia Power Company, Excelsior EMC, and line crews from across Georgia and outside the state. 


Stilson Elementary School
Georgia Power Company restored electricity to Stilson Elementary just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Staff thoroughly checked the school Wednesday and prepared it to open Thursday with a normal schedule and food service operations.  


Bus Routes
All of the system’s 101 bus routes ran without incident on Wednesday. “All of our drivers, except one, who had a death in the family, reported for work, and they did a great job,” said Paul Webb, BCS’s chief operations officer.  Webb reported that he and his drivers were aware of conditions along their routes. “Our drivers are our driving force,” said Webb. “They are the first face of the district for more than 5,000 students. We encourage drivers to know our students’ families and build relationships with them,” said Webb. “Our lead drivers personally called parents Tuesday night and arranged an alternate bus stop location if a section of road was accessible by car, but not by bus.”  


Nevils Area: The Nevils lead driver reported Wednesday that all drivers were able to safely reach all but two students. The lead driver called these parents Tuesday night and arranged an alternate bus stop to help these two children get to school.


Stilson Area: Even though Stilson Elementary School was closed Wednesday, Southeast Bulloch Middle School and Southeast Bulloch High School, which serve this area were open. The lead driver reported they were able to safely complete 100 percent of their routes by using different access points and contacting parents Tuesday evening to arrange an alternate bus stop.


Brooklet Area: All but three of the Brooklet area’s bus drivers were able to reach 100 percent of their stops on Wednesday. Despite attempts to contact parents to coordinate alternate bus stops or access stops via another route, two of the Brooklet area’s buses only reached 95 percent of their stops and one only reached 75 percent.  


School Nutrition Services
Bulloch County Schools’ School Food Services Department worked around the clock through Tuesday to ensure meal preparation was at a functional level by Wednesday. There was some loss of food supplies, but the department was able to replenish supplies and serve hot meals that matched the previously printed menu except at one school, Brooklet Elementary. “Wednesday is chicken day, and we were able to serve the kids’ favorite chicken nuggets at all schools, except Brooklet, where we served Chicken Alfredo,” said Megan Blanchard, school nutrition director. 


“Our food vendors were amazing and made quick deliveries to us,” said Blanchard. “Also, all the school nutrition directors in this area support one another. We purchased some of Evans County’s fresh produce for this week that would have gone to waste since they are still closed. This turned out to be a win-win for both counties. It’s how we all support one another in times of need.” Blanchard added that that schools are prepared to accommodate all documented student food allergies as normal.


Operations & Maintenance
Paul Webb, the district’s chief operations officer over safety, maintenance, transportation, facilities and school nutrition, directed the district’s response for these areas and served as a liaison to the Bulloch County EMA. As directed by EMA, Webb made district bus, fuel and facilities resources available to assist recovery and relief efforts.


The district’s maintenance and grounds crews, under the direction of Glenn Rogers assessed all of the schools over the weekend and worked to repair and clear any storm damage.


Bulloch County Schools serves a total of 10,505 students, 10,115 without Stilson Elementary, which was closed Wednesday. Not including Stilson, there were 821 students not in attendance due to either storm recovery or other reasons. Again, principals and teachers will work with families in confirmed damaged areas. The district's attendance rate Wednesday was 92 percent.


BES                 44 absent, 93.57 % attendance
JPBES             36 absent, 95.35 % attendance
LCES               33 absent, 94.83 % attendance
LCMS               50 absent, 92.69 % attendance
MLES               58 absent, 90.12 % attendance
MCES              23 absent, 96.78 % attendance
NES                 39 absent, 91.45 % attendance
PES                 27 absent, 92.88 % attendance 
PMS                 14 absent, 91.41 % attendance
PHS                 26 absent, 90.00 % attendance
SZES               37 absent, 94.95 % attendance
SEBMS            122 absent, 84.2 % attendance
SEBHS            136 absent, 85.87 % attendance
SHS                 148 absent, 90.92 % attendance
SES                  Closed
WJMS              28 absent, 95.68 % attendance
Total Absent     821