How Richmond Co. schools recognition days impact students


News 12 This Morning/Tuesday January 14, 2014

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW)--There were a lot of celebrations at the Richmond County Schools 2nd Nine Week Academic Recognition Day.

Many Philip Bertling, a science teacher and STEM coordinator at Dorothy Hains Elementary school, joined in on.

"It's a positive thing for these students to have a recognition for all their hard work," said Bertling.

"The effort is to promote academic and behavioral improvement among all students in the schools," according to the school district.

But are these ceremonies actually making a difference?

"In the beginning we have a PARS test and assessment of seeing where they are before the report card and when the report card comes out," Bertling explained. "We look at what growth [there has been] and we like to recognize those students who have the most growth."

Bertling had students recognized in the first Recognition Day and he says since then, he and his colleagues have noticed improvements.

"We're seeing growth in the areas I like [such as] science and mathematics--we look at that. We also look at reading, social studies--really the whole gambit," he said.

This being the 2nd recognition day, district officials tell me there's a lot more to be looked at.

Bertling tells me so far, he and his colleagues are already seeing major improvements in overall improvements in the classroom--and in attitude.

"We're looking at the whole picture," he said. "From homework that goes into the grading to quizzes to testing to projects--all of it put together."

He tells me he feels no matter what, these recognition days are effective in helping all students continue improving.

"I think anytime that you have students and you go out of your way to recognize them, for their academic achievements no matter how large, how small--it's always going to have a positive impact," said Bertling.

District officials tell 12 they plan to continue these recognition days and continue looking into the impact.


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