Priority schools are first to receive help, work toward improvement

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 at This Morning / Monday, March 19, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Four Richmond county schools are looking to improve after being named among the state's worst performing.

Glenn Hills High School Principal Wayne Frazier thrives on walking through the doors of his school each morning.

"Our graduation rate, as you know, we have the highest graduation rate for the S.I.G schools," he said.

S.I.G. schools, like Glenn Hills, received school improvement grants because they were identified as low performing. During Frazier's three years as principal, the graduation rate increased steadily at Glenn Hills.

"We had a dropout prevention specialist with the seed grant money," Frazier explained.

The money received from school improvement grants is one of the reasons why the school is now on a priority list released by the Georgia Department of Education replacing AYP rankings.

Carol Rountree, the executive director of student services for the Richmond County School System explained, "Because of the criteria of all school improvement grants schools, it meant those schools were going to be on the list regardless of the progress made."

The list also includes Hornsby K-8, Josey and Laney high schools. Three of those schools received school improvement grants.
Hornsby did not, but their graduation rates and low test scores still qualified them as a priority school.

"We will have lots of professional learning that is designed to focus on specific needs," Rountree said.

Teachers working in priority schools can also expect more on-the-job training and closer evaluations of their performance.

Frazier said improving schools goes beyond the book.

"It's not the money as much as it is the right help. The people who can make a connection and don't mind going into neighborhoods where these children live," he said.

The help and intervention programs for priority schools could take place as early as June.

The three other categories which include alert and focus schools will be released next month. Expect to see the list of reward schools in September.


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