The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) today announced that Flint Hill Elementary School has been named a 2015 Focus School, meaning an achievement gap exists between Flint Hill Elementary School’s highest and lowest performing subgroups. Overall, 165 schools were placed on the Focus School list. The GaDOE also released its list of Priority Schools—those among the lowest five percent of Title I schools in terms of academic achievement. Of the 81 Priority Schools in the state, none were from Newton County.
According to the GaDOE, changes have been made in how the state determines which schools to add to the Focus list. Under the old formula, Focus Schools were ranked based solely on the size of existing gaps between the highest- and lowest-performing subgroups within the school. This method resulted in the state designating schools with high overall achievement whose gaps were slightly larger than the gaps of low-performing schools.
Under the new formula, the state calculates a three-year average of each school’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) Achievement Gap score. The schools are then ranked based on their three-year average of the CCRPI Achievement Gap Score, with the lowest 10 percent of Title I schools being listed as Focus Schools. This new formula calculation ensures that the state identifies schools with the greatest need for additional resources and state support rather than schools that already have local capacity for improving outcomes for low-performing students.
In 2012, two Newton County elementary schools, Live Oak and West Newton, were placed on the Focus School list using the old formula. Both schools are no longer Focus Schools.
“The staff, teachers, and leaders at Flint Hill Elementary School are committed to ensuring all students are proficient in all content areas,” said Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “I am confident that the Flint Hill community will work together to support the achievement efforts of all students.”