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Five Newton County schools awarded with Title 1 honor
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Five Newton County elementary schools were honored recently as 2011 Title 1 Distinguished Schools.

They are Heard-Mixon Elementary, Palmer-Stone Elementary, Rocky Plains Elementary, West Newton Elementary and Oak Hill Elementary. The honor was earned by 861 schools in Georgia.

"These schools have shown that high expectations, hard work and collaboration do improve student achievement," Georgia School Superintendent John Barge said in a press release. "I'm so pleased to recognize the educators, students and parents in these schools and school districts. These 868 schools could make excuses, but they don't. The teachers and students are focused and the consistent results prove it."

Title I schools have a significant population of students who are economically disadvantaged and receive federal money to assist with the education of these students. Georgia Title I Distinguished Schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress at least three years in a row.

"Congratulations are very much in order for the students, staff, and parents of these five Newton County schools," said School Superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews. "I believe State Superintendent Barge really hit it on the head when he suggested that ‘these schools could make excuses, but they don't!' Each school has met the rising bar that is No?Child?Left?Behind, and has jumped over it time and time again, year after year. And, while students and parents play a big role in a child's education, clearly quality teaching matters! They have our thanks and admiration."

Title I schools making AYP for three consecutive years are awarded a certificate, while those who have made AYP four or more years receive a monetary award, paid for out of federal funds.

Newton County's schools and their awards are listed below:
• West Newton made AYP for eight consecutive years, six years distinguished. Awarded $742.
• Heard-Mixon made AYP for eight consecutive years, six years distinguished. Awarded $742.
• Palmer-Stone made AYP for eight consecutive years, six years distinguished. Awarded $742.
• Rocky Plains made AYP for five consecutive years, three years distinguished. Awarded $742.
• Oak Hill made AYP for three consecutive years, one year distinguished. Awarded a certificate.