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Posted: December 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Newton juniors score better on writing test than state average

The Newton County School System is pleased to announce that the district's 11th grade first time test takers ncreased the pass percentage over last year's totals on the Georgia High School Writing Test
(GHSWT).

According to Newton County School System Director of Testing, Dr. Shelia Thomas, all three high
schools -- Alcovy, Eastside and Newton - bested the state average pass percentage of 91 percent on the Fall 2008 Writing Test. As a result, the school system's overall pass percentage of 95 percent also surpassed the state average. Data released by the Georgia Department of Education indicate the school district's 95 percent pass percentage was three points higher than the 2007 average of 92 percent.

"I am very proud of our students and staff who have worked diligently in the area of writing," said Dr.
Linda Hayden, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology. "We will continue
to strive for even more gains next year as we focus on the students who need assistance in the area of
writing. I know that all students in our county can be good writers."

Overall, 95 percent of Alcovy High School eleventh grade first -time test takers passed the GHSWT in 2008,
compared with 92 percent in 2007. The school's results marked a three-point increase over last year's totals. The school's pass percentage matched the district average and bested the state average in 2008.

"As always we are proud of the accomplishments of our students," said Dave Easterday, principal of
Alcovy High School. "We are equally proud of the hard work and dedication of our teachers to make
sure our students are prepared for the test."

Eastside High School students topped both the district and the state pass percentage in 2008, with 97 percent of the test takers passing the GHSWT on the first try. In 2007, 95 percent passed the test on their first attempt.

 The school's 2008 pass percentage marked a two point increase over the last testing cycle.

"EHS is pleased with the continued successes we are having in these academic areas," said Dr. Bob
Daria, principal of Eastside High School. "It clearly illustrates that our students, faculty, and parents are
focused on meeting high levels of student achievement. Meeting this mark is based on the collective
efforts of all parties. I applaud all of them as a group, and individually."

Newton High School students posted a two-point gain in pass percentage this year, with 93 percent of the
school's first-time test takers passing the test. In 2007, 91 percent passed the test on their first attempt.
Newton High bested the state pass percentage by two points this year.

"The Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test results are an indicator of the continuous
improvement efforts made by the teachers and students at Newton High School," said Dr. Roderick
Sams, principal of Newton High. "The increase in scores demonstrates the combination of improved
instructional practices and renewed academic focus. We are proud of our results and more
improvement is expected."

For more information on the Newton County School System 2008 Georgia High School Graduation Test
data, call the NCSS Office of Public Relations at (770) 784-2908.


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