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Richmond Hill Middle School honored by state
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Richmond Hill Middle School just joined some elite company. Again.

The school is one of nine middle schools in Georgia to receive a platinum award from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, the second time RHMS has earned that designation and third time it has been honored since the state began handing out such awards in 2005 as part of No Child Left Behind Act legislation. There are currently 429 middle schools in Georgia, and platinum is the highest award a school can get.

Schools can also win gold, silver and bronze, and in 2005 RHMS received a silver award from the state through Georgia’s Single Statewide Accountability program.

"To be recognized three out of five years since they began this program is outstanding," RHMS Principal Helen Herndon said, calling the award the result of a lot of hard work involving students, parents, faculty and staff members.

"It’s a shared vision from all of us, from lunchroom ladies and custodians to everybody else," she said. "If students don’t have a clean building to learn in, they’re not happy. If they don’t have good lunches, they’re not happy, and if they’re not happy they don’t feel like working. Everybody has a piece of this."

That includes teachers who have had to learn a different way to teach since 2004, when Georgia began phasing in a curriculum based on performance standards to meet No Child Left Behind standards.

"Teachers really have a comprehensive, challenging curriculum to teach today versus where we started several years ago," Herndon said. "You have to value kids and you have to be prepared to teach."

Richmond Hill Middle won the 2009 platinum award for making adequate yearly progress for three consecutive years; demonstrating that 35 percent of students exceeded standards on tests; and placing in the top 98 percent or higher of schools measuring the greatest gain in student achievement.

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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