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Posted: October 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

3 schools meet AYP after retesting

Clements passes AYP for first time since 2001

Three Newton County schools have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) after scores from summer retests from the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) came in, according to information released Wednesday by the Newton County School System and the Georgia Department of Education.

According to Director of Public Relations for Newton County School System Sherri Viniard, all three schools – Palmer-Stone Elementary and Clements and Cousins middle schools – had subgroups that failed to meet the AYP standards, causing the schools as a whole to fail.

AYP reflects each individual school’s performance in several different criteria, including the percentage of students taking the test, percentage of students meeting standards in reading/language arts and mathematics, and the percent of student absenteeism in elementary and middle grades.

Several subgroups such as students with disabilities, economic status of families, ethnicity and limited English proficiency are also analyzed, according to Viniard. A school failing to meet the criteria in any one of these three areas for any subgroup does not meeting AYP.

During the summer break, students who had failed the math and/ language arts and reading portion of the test were offered summer school and the opportunity to retake the CRCT. After the retest scores were taken into consideration it was found all three school’s had passed and met AYP for the 2007-2008 school year.

Both Palmer-Stone and Cousins met AYP in the 2006-2007 school year and were not on the needs improvement list. Clements did not meet AYP in the 06-07 school year and in spite of meeting AYP in 07-08, the school remains on the needs improvement list because of consecutive years of failing AYP. According to the Georgia Department of Education Clements must offer both public school choice and supplemental education (tutoring) services.

This marks the first year Clements has met AYP since the program began in 2001, according to Viniard, making it very special for the school.

"We are all simply ecstatic and overjoyed about our scores," said Dr. Sylvia Jordan, principal of Clements Middle School. "When the announcement was made to the teachers and the students you could hear screams of joy from every corner of the building. It feels very good to see the happiness and the pride of the people inside the walls of R.L. Clements Middle School."

Newton County School Superintendent Dr. Steven Whatley was very pleased after hearing the news from the state.

"I know the students, parents, and faculty were pleased to hear the news for these schools. The students and teachers worked very hard during summer school to improve achievement," Whatley said. "It is especially pleasing to have Clements Middle School make AYP after coming so close to making it in previous years.

"In addition to the students and teachers who made this possible, I also want to commend the central office administrators who assisted the schools’ efforts in using test data to target the areas of instruction where each student needed additional help."

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