The Bulloch County Board of Education will have its annual organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m., at the school system's Central Office in Statesboro. Key agenda items include the election of officers, the upcoming Speak Up for Education event on Jan. 26 with school councils and the community, and options for the 2017-2018 School Calendar. Complete Board Packets are available at www.bullochschools.org/boardpackets or one is attached.
The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) released its annual College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores on Dec. 8. The results are based on both school improvement efforts and third through twelfth-grade students’ performance on the Georgia Milestones assessments during the 2015-2016 school year. Click here for the district's scores and a five-year history. All scores statewide are available at http://ccrpi.gadoe.org/2016
According to the GaDOE, there was a significant year-to-year decrease in scores at the elementary level. Overall as a district, Bulloch County Schools’ elementary schools mirrored this trend while overall middle and high school scores increased. The overall school district score was 71.6 points out of a possible 100, compared to the overall state score of 73.6.
CCRPI, the official school-accountability tool used by the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), has been used by the state since 2012. This is when the U.S. Department of Education granted Georgia’s waiver from No Child Left Behind, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement tool. CCRPI measures schools and school districts on a 100-point scale based on multiple indicators of performance.
CCRPI scores are also now the basis for accountability in Bulloch County Schools’ Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS) contract with the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. The Bulloch County Board of Education voted to pursue SWSS status at its Nov. 6, 2014 meeting. After completing the application process, the contract was approved by the State BOE on Feb. 18, 2016. The legally-binding five-year contract (2016 -2021) with the state gives the district flexibility from certain state education laws and regulations in exchange for performance.
These recently released 2015-16 (FY ’16) CCRPI scores are the baseline performance data for Bulloch County Schools’ SWSS contract with the state. Under the contract, the district’s 15 schools going forward must work to meet growth targets which will be released by GOSA in January.
It is not possible to directly compare year-to-year CCRPI scores. The previous scores listed here are for reference only. The CCRPI’s performance targets and weights have not remained constant from 2012 - 2015. Also, over the past four years, the Georgia Department of Education has changed the statewide academic standards from Common Core to the Georgia Standards of Excellence and replaced the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and End-of-Course Tests for grades 3-12 with the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS).
Georgia Student Growth Model Data
In addition to CCRPI, the GaDOE released Student Growth Model data for 2015-16. This is a metric designed to help educators, parents, and other stakeholders better understand and analyze the individual progress students make year to year. It provides a deeper look at student growth by school and school district.
Achievement (50 points):
Content Mastery (40 percent/20 points): Student performance on key statewide grade-level assessments (GMAS).
Post Readiness (30 percent/15 points): How students are performing in areas designated as indicators of their preparation for success at the next grade or education level.
Graduation Rate/Predictor (30 percent/15 points): The four-year and five-year cohort graduation rates for high schools and how well elementary and middle school students are performing in their core academic classes and corresponding state assessments as predictors for high school graduation.
Progress (40 points): Student performance on assessments relative to how other students with similar achievement histories are performing.
Achievement Gap (10 points):
• Gap Size: The gap between the school’s lowest quartile of achievers’ performance and state assessment averages.
• Gap Change: The difference between this year’s and last year’s gap sizes.
Challenge (Up to 10 points - Extra credit points)
• Performance Flags: How well student subgroups (particularly Economically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, Students with Disabilities) achieving relative to subgroups and state performance and graduation targets.
• Exceeding the Bar Indicators: What kind of progress students are making with supplemental indicators that impact their college and career readiness.
Sallie Zetterower Elementary School is a state winner of a $500 Dr. Joe B. Crane Classroom Grant from the Georgia Agribusiness Council (GAC). The school’s winning proposal, submitted by STEM Lab Teacher Ansley Mays, will begin a hydroponics program. SZES was one of three grant recipients by the GAC’s Education Committee. Other state winners included R.B. Wright Elementary School in Moultrie and Central High School in Carrollton.
Bryan Tolar, president of GAC, and Senator Jack Hill were at SZES Dec. 15,.to make a special check presentation to Mays. This is the fourth grant the SZES Stem Lab has received this year.
The school was part of a $25,000 America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant sponsored by Monsanto, which provided nearly $1,200 in technology and instructional resources to each of Bulloch County Schools' nine elementary school STEM labs. In addition, Mays wrote a grant proposal to the Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education from which she received an iPAD, an Osmo program, and STEM literature resources for her students. Georgia Southern University's College of Education also selected a grant proposal from Mays to receive a 3D printer.
Teaching how science, technology, engineering and math relates to agriculture is a major focus of SZES's STEM Lab. It features an adjacent outdoor lab in which the school's more than 700 students are learning about plant propagation, water quality, weather, and more.
According to the GAC, agribusiness is a $74 billion industry in Georgia, the largest economic engine in the state. GAC President Bryan Tolar said, "This industry is comprised of farmers, processors, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and more engaged in the business of agriculture. We believe the proposals for these winning programs best encompass the educational aspects of both the business and spirit of this diverse industry."