Richmond County middle schools not making the grade

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News 12 FIRST AT FIVE - September 13, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Richmond County Middle Schools aren't making the grade. All ten middle schools are on the "needs improvement" list.

Principals have spent a lot of time working on their plan to get off the list for the 2007-2008 school year.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act, each middle school has to meet certain requirements every year.

If they don't--they're placed on the "needs improvement" list. Some of the Richmond County Middle Schools have been on the list as many as eight times.

"My goal for Tubman is simply a very simple goal--in two years--to come off the needs improvement list,"said Tubman Middle School principal, Thomas Norris.

Getting off the "needs improvement" list is a subject every middle school principal is studying--including Veronica Bolton, principal of Murphey Charter Middle School.

Bolton says Murphey is focusing on individual learning, monitoring students progress weekly and communicating more with parents.

"We're going to teach them the same standard, but we're going to give them more one-on-one with an assignment and an explanation of how to do it that fits them, said Bolton.

To get off the "needs improvement" list, middle schools have to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years.

For middle schools that means test participation scores must be at 95%, test scores for reading and language arts must meet state requirements and overrall attendance must be above average.

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