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Hightower Trail, Sims Elementary on state Focus List
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Two Rockdale County Public Schools were recently identified as among 165 Title I schools in the state cited for their achievement gap. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) released its Priority and Focus Schools lists which identify Title I schools in need of support in terms of academic achievement and achievement gap respectively. RCPS has no schools on the GaDOE Priority Schools list, which are the lowest 5 percent of Title I schools. However, Hightower Trail Elementary and Sims Elementary have been identified as Focus Schools for being among the lowest 10 percent in achievement gap scores for Title I schools.

Achievement gap includes both the size of the gap between the school's bottom quartile of students and the state average, and the degree to which that gap is closing. The GaDOE ranks Title I schools based on their three-year average of their CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) Achievement Gap score.

"We received our CCRPI results in December for the 2013-14 school year and identified the low achievement gap scores for Hightower and Sims at that time," says Superintendent Richard Autry. "We immediately put a plan in place to provide additional resources and support to see improvements for the 2014-15 school year CCRPI which will be released later this fall. With the new CCPRI accountability system in Georgia, we have adjusted our focus from an absolute bar for student achievement to measuring and monitoring the growth and progress of each student. This approach will help us better identify the lowest quartile of students in order to provide additional support and interventions to help those students progress at a faster rate and demonstrate acceptable growth."

In Newton County, Flint Hill Elementary was identified on the Focus List for its achievement gap.