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BCMS appealing AYP results
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Bryan County ranked high in the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report for 2006–2007, but Pembroke’s Bryan County Middle and High Schools didn’t make the cut.

Principal Deborah Hamm is preparing an appeal for the middle school’s test results, but the outcome will not be known for a couple of weeks, said Dr. Sallie Brewer, Superintendent of Bryan County schools.

On Friday, it was unclear as to whether or not there will be an appeal for the high school.

AYP is part of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act, "intended to hold both states and schools more accountable for student results by instituting requirements on academic growth, student assessments, teacher qualifications, and annual local report cards," said the Georgia Department of Education web site.

NCLB requires schools to meet certain AYP standards.

"If a school fails to meet AYP goals for two ore more years, it is classified as a school in need of improvement," the GaDOE site said. Currently, both Bryan County Middle and High Schools are on the list.

In 2007, all Bryan County schools placed at 100 percent test participation. This statistic is based on all student groups, of at least 40 members, at a participation rate of 95 percent or above on selected state assessments in Reading/English Language Arts and Mathematics, the GaDOE site said.

Bryan County Middle School was the only county school that didn’t meet a second testing indicator – in this case, attendance.

Because Bryan County Middle School did not achieve AYP status in 2004 or 2005, "Bryan County Middle School must satisfy both academic and attendance indicators in two years out of three in order to get off the ‘needs improvement’ list," said Brewer.

The school did pass on both indicators in 2006 and, this year "the academic standard was met, but 17 percent of the students missed more than 15 days – two percent too many to meet the attendance standard," said Brewer.

"The system has many procedures in place to encourage good attendance, but there are factors involved beyond the control of the school," she said. "To encourage good attendance, a parent of every student absent from school is contacted daily."

Bryan County High School did not make AYP in 2005 and 2006, and was the only county school this year that did not meet academic performance standards set by the AYP. This criterion is based on students that must meet or exceed state objectives for proficient or advanced scoring on certain assessments in Reading/English Language Arts and Mathematics, according to the site.

Bryan County High School "met the graduation rate standard but failed to meet the academic testing standard," said Brewer. 

Over 80 percent of Georgia schools achieved AYP status this year, but for the first time ever, the number of schools labeled "Needs Improvement" went up, according to a GaDOE media release on July 6.

Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, said the state will be taking a closer look at in the months to come. "We need to figure out why this number has gone up and, from a state perspective, what we can do to help," she said in the release. "We will dig into these numbers and see what the data tells us."

"Staff members at both schools have completed and continue to participate in professional development targeted to meeting the needs of our students," Brewer said of what Bryan County is doing to better its future testing results.

"Each of these schools has a comprehensive school improvement plan outlining procedures for improving student performance. In every school in Bryan County, the objective of both administrative and instructional staff is to improve student performance every year," she said.






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